Vidalia Land Surveying

Welcome to Vidalia Land Surveying

Vidalia land surveying

Welcome to our site. We want to provide you with information on Land Surveying in general and specifically in the City of ​Vidalia, Louisiana, and the Adams County, Louisiana area. If you have any land surveying questions, you’ve come to the right place.

Land Surveying is a very important industry, and it has been around for ages. To know more about the basics of land surveying, you can click here.

Land Surveyors are professionals who measure and make precise measurements to determine the size and boundaries of a piece of real estate.  While this is a simplistic definition, this is one of the most common types of surveying related to home and land owners. To know more about what a land surveyor does, click here.

What you can expect from Vidalia Land Surveying

If you need assistance on any land surveying services, our surveyors have the proper experience and credentials. We strive to give good customer service as well.

Vidalia Land Surveying offers different land surveying services. We also offer Boundary surveying, percolation & soil testing, subdivision design and layout, topographic surveying, construction surveying and layout, and pipeline surveying services.

How to contact Vidalia Land Surveying?

CALL Vidalia Land Surveying TODAY at (318) 414-2634​ to discuss your land survey needs. You can also send us a message by filling out the form on the right or going to our Contact Page.

What is Property Encroachment and How to Deal with It

What exactly is property encroachment? Encroachment happens when a certain improvement extends onto and over the boundary line of a neighboring property.

One of the most common types of encroachment is structural encroachment – this is when a part of a building extends over the property line. However, gardening beds as well as fences also are constructed over the line and are considered an encroachment as well.

Why do encroachments happen? More often than not, an encroachment is an honest mistake. It might be that the previous owner or contractor miscalculated and thought they were building on their property, or the wrong pin may have been used. Without a survey, this happens more than you would think.

There are several ways to deal with encroachments. The easiest way is to politely ask your neighbor to remove the encroachment. This is not usually a big problem if it’s only a flower bed or something else that can easily be removed.

If it’s a fence or a part of a structure, you can strike up an agreement and have the other party pay rent for the part of your property that was encroached. Another option is to sell the “encroached” property to the other party so they’re free to use it.

If you would rather use your property, you can go to court and plead your case. This is the most expensive option usually. An early agreement is much better for both sides.

Property Encroachment

This is exactly why a land survey is very important if you’re going to buy property. When it comes to an encroachment, the earlier you address the problem, the better. This is because of the Adverse Possession laws.

This law states that if someone openly uses a piece of property for a certain period of time and pays taxes for it, among other requirements, they could claim possession of the property and be awarded ownership.

Please note though that each state has different property encroachment laws so it’s best that you talk to a lawyer and a local land surveyor.

For any property encroachment problems or questions about it, call Vidalia Land Surveying at (318) 414-2634​ or send us a message through our contact form.

Tips on Hiring a Land Surveyor

Land surveyor at workHiring a land surveyor means paying them good money, which is why we need to make sure that we get the best service in return. We need to make sure that we only get the best service, as I’m sure you don’t want to pay good money and not get the service that you’re expecting.

If you’re looking to hire the service of a land surveyor, here are some guidelines that you may want to keep in mind.

Hiring a Land Surveyor:

Start by looking for land surveying companies in your area. Knowing your options allow you to choose the best. Checking the internet, the yellow pages and the newspaper is a very good way to start. Make sure to make a list of the companies’ contact information since you’d need to make contact with them later.

Licensed Land Surveyor

Only deal with licensed land surveyors, so ask to see their license before hiring them. If possible, ask for a copy and authenticate it. Furthermore, check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints the company might have against them.

Another important thing to remember is to hire a land surveyor whom you’re at ease working with. To find out, meet with the person. Study how he answers your questions and how he talks to you and you’d be able to determine if you’re comfortable with him. Aside from this, you’d also be able to gauge how knowledgeable he is by the way he answers your questions.

Contract Signing with a Land Surveyor

Read and understand every bit of the contract before signing it. Some people overlook the fine print, but make sure that you don’t. Make sure that there are no hidden charges, and that will be getting all the services that you’ll be paying for. Signing a contract makes a person legally bounded to it, so you have to fully understand what you’re signing up for to prevent any problems in the future.

As long as you get the best value for your money by hiring someone who will give you what you paid for, hiring a land surveyor shouldn’t be any problem.

For a land surveyor at Vidalia,AL and surrounding areas, call us at (318) 414-2634​ or send us a message by going to our contact page.

What Is A Land Surveyor?

land surveyor

Land Surveyor: Definition

A land surveyor is a professional person with the academic qualifications and technical expertise to measure and plot the lengths and directions of boundary lines and the dimensions of any portion of the earth’s surface (including natural and other structures.) That definition is quite a mouthful, but in actuality the field of surveying (geomatics) includes many other facets.

For the home-owner the land surveyor is the person who locates the boundary of your property and the location of your home within that boundary to determine if there are any encroachments by your neighbors onto you or vice versa. Common encroachments are fences, driveways, etc.

Louisiana Land Surveyor

Land surveyors in the United States are regulated and licensed by the various state governments. In Louisiana, the Louisiana State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (www.bels.state.al.us) was established in 1935 to protect the public by helping “to safeguard life, health, and property, and to promote the public welfare by providing for the licensing and regulation of persons in the practices of engineering and land surveying.

This purpose is achieved through the establishment of minimum qualifications for entry into the professions of engineering and land surveying, through the adoption of rules defining and delineating unlawful or unethical conduct, and through swift and effective discipline for those individuals or entities who violate the applicable laws or rules.”

As of 2007, a newly licensed land surveyor is required to have a four year degree in surveying or a closely related field and an additional four to eight years of on-the-job training under a licensed land surveyor.

Licensed Land Surveyors are also required to maintain and update their professional knowledge and skills by attending 15 hours of continuing education each year.

In preparation for a typical lot or mortgage survey of your house, a land surveyor may review tax maps, aerial maps, deeds, subdivision plats, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations and possibly flood maps.

For a typical lot survey the subdivision plat is the most important of these because it gives the exact dimensions of your lot and the relative location of your property corners. The surveyor uses this to locate and/or re-establish your property corners.

In the field the survey crew will find the property corners along with some of your neighbors corners if yours can’t be found, measure the distances and angles between all of the points, locate all improvements on your property, including your house, pool, out-buildings, retaining walls, fences, driveways and sidewalks, etc.

Other improvements like sanitary sewer mains, storm drainage ways, overhead power lines and the like are located because these might indicate an easement across the property. The plat should show these, but they don’t in all cases. We’ll talk about easements in a later article.

Once all of the field information is gathered, the chief land surveyor takes the field notes and prepares a preliminary sketch of the work. This is passed along to a draftsperson who prepares the final drawing for your use. The draftsperson will check all of the maps mentioned earlier to make sure that all building setback lines and easements are shown on the drawing.

The surveyed distances and directions are compared to the plat distances and directions also. Any discrepancies or encroachments are shown on the drawing. Your attorney uses the drawing to determine if any other legal work is needed during the closing.

The mortgage company or bank uses the survey to insure they are loaning you money on the correct property (in case they end up owning it. Yikes)

So now, what do you have for your money. You have a drawing which shows your house on your lot. You should have stakes and/or flagging by all of your property corners. Make sure you know where they are located.

The actual corner is marked by an iron pin or pipe of some sort. (The type of monument should be shown on your survey drawing.) You might also want to take a look for them at least once a year to make sure they’re still there.

For a land surveyor at Vidalia,AL and surrounding areas, call us at (318) 414-2634​ or send us a message by going here.

Basics of a Property Survey or Boundary Survey

Both property surveying and boundary surveying dates back in ancient history to the Egyptians who surveyed farm sites along the Nile River after every flood event.

Boundary Surveying Today

boundary surveying

Surveying is used for many reasons today.  A property survey or boundary survey is completed to establish a specific location of a parcel of land along with its exact acreage.  It is used to determine the boundaries of an area of ownership.

It is also used to identify a piece of property by a written legal description or to provide a review of the accuracy of an existing description. This data is of the utmost importance with regard to buying and selling land, and is also used to insure a clear title to the land.Here’s a little more about boundary surveying.

There are many different kinds of surveys that can be performed. Boundary surveying is typically done for undeveloped land. A lot survey or closing survey is typically done to re-establish the boundary of a previously established parcel of land.

These types of surveys measure the actual physical extent of the property in question. Most surveys progress through the basic procedures regardless of the type being done.

Any pertinent deeds, contracts, maps or other documents that contain a description of the property’s boundaries are located, studied and interpreted. A determination is made of what the actual property description says, along with the locations of any physical evidence of the boundaries.

This can be in the form of both natural and man-made monuments or markers that exist in the field. The property is then measured to establish the boundary, not only using the appropriate existing monuments but with setting new markers where necessary.

Measurements are accomplished using a total station and other surveying tools. A total station measures both vertical and horizontal angles, as used in triangulation networks. After these steps are accomplished, the property description and plat are prepared.

Boundary Surveying: Interpreting results

Concordia Parish ms property surveyInterpreting the results of boundary surveying is not as difficult as it may first seem. For instance, a property plat will usually contain a directional orientation which is typically indicated with an arrow pointing north.It will contain the bearing and distance of each boundary line, the property lines of other properties shown on the plat, and the names of adjacent property owners listed in the areas of their property.

Corner monuments, along with the names of any natural monuments (such as “Smith’s Creek”, for example) or a brief description of any unnamed natural monuments (such as the “30-inch oak tree”) are on the plat.

There is also a title block containing the property’s location and owner name, the land surveyor’s name and license number, the date the survey was performed, the scale of the plat and any other relevant data.

Boundary Surveying Services

For a free boundary surveying quote for Vidalia or Concordia Parish, Mississipi, call Vidalia Land Surveying at (318) 414-2634​ or visit our contact page to send us a message. 

Difference in FEMA Elevation Certificate and LOMA

I get calls all the time from someone requesting an Elevation Certificate or Elevation Survey. Usually it’s because they’ve gotten a letter in the mail from their mortgage company telling them they have to get flood insurance. This leads them to contact their insurance company and that leads to a surveyor.

“purchasing flood insurance is mandatory…if the loan is federally insured or the lender is regulated by the federal government”

Purpose of the Elevation Certificate

elevation_certificateAn Elevation Certificate is a form “…used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA)…” Make sure that your surveyor uses the latest version of this form as it’s currently being revised (March 2016).

Surveyor Measures the Elevations

The surveyor determines the lowest floor elevation of the house, the lowest adjacent grade (LAG) elevations of the house, the elevation of the lowest element attached to the house (like a porch step,) and the lowest elevation of machinery or equipment servicing the building. The surveyor also identifies the building type according to the instructions in the Elevation Certificate form.

Base Flood Elevation Determined

After these are measured, then the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is determined from either the Flood Maps (FIRM), the Flood Insurance Study (FIS), or by the local community. The difference in elevation between this BFE and the LAG and/or Lowest Floor will determine the insurance premium rate.

LOMA Removes Flood Insurance Requirement

Even if an Elevation Certificate shows that your house is above the Base Flood Elevation at all points, you still have the requirement to obtain flood insurance. Only after the submission and approval of a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) can the Flood Map be amended and the Federal mandate for the purchase of flood insurance be removed.GIS with Flood Hazard Zone Overlay

The LOMA process can be done online and typically takes 30 days or less but sometimes a review of the LOMA submission can identify additional information that is needed.

It should be noted that the Elevation Certificate must be completed by a Land Surveyor, Engineer, or an Architect who is authorized by law to certify elevation information, though I don’t know of any Architects that will do these, and not too many Engineers.

Call Vidalia Land Surveying at (318) 414-2634​ for help with an elevation certificate or LOMA in Vidalia or Concordia Parish, Louisiana.