A Plat of Survey is typically required at a closing when you purchase or sell a home. A Plat of Survey is a drawing detailing the measurements of the property and contains all structures and encroachments on the property, such as a house, garage, porch, patio, sidewalks and driveway.
ALTA/ACSM surveys are typically used on commercial or industrial pieces of property and are used occasionally on large, vacant tracts of land and residential property. The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) have jointly adopted the ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards. These standards were developed as a collective effort, in order to create an accepted and recognized legal document that presents particular information in standardized detail for acceptance by the various title insurance companies. This particular type of survey is normally used by title insurance and mortgage companies where they require the surveyor to perform specific survey and mapping requirements, such as locating the legal boundary lines, any improvements, easements, sewer, water, electric, telephone and flood plain lines, as well as any encroachments that directly effect the property.
A Plat of Subdivision allows for the creation and division of a parcel of land into any number of lots, depending upon the surrounding requirements. The primary use of a subdivision plat is for residential, commercial or industrial developments. Subdivisions are regulated by State Statutes and are reviewed by the state and local governing agencies. The process for preparing a subdivision plat is generally done in incremental stages. The first step is a design concept, which centers around the developer’s market desires and parameters dictated by local ordinances. It is then followed by the second and third step, which are the preliminary and the final plats of subdivision. Each of these vital steps requires a review and approval from the local municipal governments, including the State Department of Administration. Following the approval processes, the Final Plat of Subdivision with all the accurately detailed dimensional information is then recorded at the Register of Deeds. The subdivision plat therein contains the desired lots, road dedications, and various types of easements, building setback lines, flood plain information and other pertinent data.
Topographic surveys involve determining the exact shape and location of both natural and artificial features based upon the ground level. A topographic survey is a three dimensional survey map representing spot elevations and/or contour lines, existing physical structures, utility locations, fence lines, waterways, etc. It is used primarily for the design of new buildings, parking areas and to aid in the determination of surface drainage of water located on the property.
Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to create a high accuracy survey control and positioning system to accurately locate utility services in detail and features over large areas or obstructed sites. GIS links attributes and spatial geographic information together and combined with GPS, adds remote sensing and mapping technology to create a digital information database, which can be used for environmental management and planning.
Construction Stakeout surveys physically display on the property the proposed features of the project, using various forms of field markers, including but not limited to; wooden stakes, P.K. nails, colored ribbon, flags, and/or paint. Field markers are established to locate proposed storm inlets, right-of-ways, centerlines, back of proposed curb, grade stakes to show proposed elevations, etc. Stakes are then established an offset distance away from the proposed feature, so that the point can be reset accurately, if the original point was destroyed during the construction process.
Boundary surveys are used for locating property lines and corners of tracts of land as related to deed descriptions, including improvements, easements, building lines, and encroachments found on the subject property. The corners of the property are physically located and, if necessary, new corner monuments are installed or reset. This particular service provides the client with property pins physically located or set at all corners of the property, along with a drawing that legally represents a permanent record of the surveying information. This process begins with fieldwork of locating any existing monuments on the client’s property, and boundary markers on nearby lots, tracts, blocks, and sections. These additional corners are used to confirm the location of the monuments found on the client’s property or to provide “control” to establish the locations of the boundary corners to be set.
Typically, a Plat of Highway survey is a service provided to the State of Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the State of Illinois Toll Highway Authority or the various County Highway Departments. An established firm can become pre-qualified with the State prior to receiving contracts from IDOT, Toll Highway Authority or County Highway Departments, through an extensive review process. This special type of survey involves defining the Right-of -Way widths and indicating the required modifications to the widths, as determined by the Highway Department. Also, any construction easements or centerline data will be accurately shown for planning, both on the final drawings and in field markings.
An Elevation Certificate (EC) reports the relative vertical distance above or below a base flood elevation issued from a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). FIRM is produced and regulated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of our federal government for use in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FIRM is designed to help determine whether or not a property and/or building are in a special flood hazard area. The FIRM typically does not show any physical buildings, and many minor or residential streets are not included in the display. Therefore, the surveyor is often called upon to measure the elevation of a building and report on an EC as to how far above or below the base flood elevation it is.