WHAT WE DO
Responsive. Efficient. Precise.
A modern approach to an old profession.
Residential & Commercial Boundary surveys
One of the primary roles of a Surveyor is to determine the boundaries of real property on the ground. The boundary has already been established and described in legal documents (deeds), possibly shown on prior survey plans or maps, and is likely recorded in your local registry. The corners of the property will either have been marked by a prior surveyor, property owner, or there may be no markers at all. To determine the boundaries, a diligent Surveyor will research the records back to when the property was first created by deed, which may be as far back as 100 years or more. A field survey is then completed to accurately measure the boundary “evidence” found at the property, which may include iron rods or pipes, barbed wire fences and stonewalls, or blazed trees. The measurements are then reviewed in relation to the property records, and the results are shown on a survey plan or map of the property.
Engineering & topographic surveys
Topographic Surveys are used to map the elevations of the ground and existing features on the surface of the earth, including slopes & ditches, buildings, streets, utilities above & below the ground, and water bodies. A surveyor will take many measurements across a site to determine the changes in elevation, and plot those measurements in a two or three dimensional view to observe the topography and profile of a site. Typically these measurements are taken in such a way as to be able to accurately draw and compile a map of the existing site features in relation to their elevations. This information is especially important for design professionals such as Architects and Civil Engineers, who utilize the information to make sure a structure is built at the right elevation, the water drains properly away from a structure or roadway, or underground utilities are avoided during construction. A municipality may require topography to approve a site design or subdivision in order to ensure surface water is properly drained away from the site, or a suitable building site exists.
alta/NSPS land title surveys
An ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey must adhere to a set of national standards put forth by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (formerly by ACSM) and adopted by the American Land Title Association. Typically a Land Title Survey is required by a lending institution during the sale process, and is intended to certify that the property that is being financed is as stated, and is free of encumbrances or discrepancies in title. A title search is completed by a completed by a Title Attorney on behalf of the institution, and a title commitment is prepared for purposes of issuing title insurance, protecting the lender, buyer & seller. A survey is an integral part of this process, and includes mapping not only the boundaries of the property, but also any improvements (buildings, driveways & parking, utilities, etc) and easements benefiting or encumbering the property.
Condominium surveys are required to complete a Condominium Plat, which must be certified by a Surveyor and is one of the documents required in order to create a Condominium Association. Condominiums are regulated by the Condo Act statutes provided by State legislation in order to protect the future unit buyers, and a strict criteria of requirements must be followed on the survey plan. The plan is provided to an Attorney that specializes in condominium law, who prepares the condominium documents that form the association based on the results of the survey. The survey must include the boundaries of the property, all improvements, easements benefiting or encumbering the property, and unit dimensions. Different than a Boundary or Topographic Survey, a Condominium Survey requires the Surveyor to enter the units to measure interior walls and determine the division lines and square footage. Condominiums can be new structures designed as unit housing, or can be created from existing single family homes, multi-family dwellings or apartment buildings.
Land Division & subdivisions
The division of a parcel of land into two or more lots may require a survey ensure the property being sold is as described. A “subdivision” is generally regulated by the municipality, and may be defined as splitting a lot into 3 or more parcels in any 5 year period, depending on the governing State or municipality. Typically, a single lot can be split off every 5 years without triggering the subdivision review process. Lots must meet the requirements set by the municipal ordinances, usually including a required road frontage and lot size. A Boundary Survey is completed to determine the perimeter of the property to be divided, and a plan is prepared depicting the proposed division for recording. Depending on the proposed division of land, a wetlands investigation and soil test may also be required to determine the suitability of the proposed lots for a building and wastewater disposal system. Legal descriptions are also prepared by the Surveyor, who then provides the documents to a Title Attorney to record at the registry after the sale.
flood plain elevation certificates
Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline, and over 5,000 miles of coast if you include all of the islands. FEMA is seeking to redefine the Base Flood Elevations (BFE) in many coastal Maine communities which may change the flood zone of your property, and as a result in your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance. FEMA publishes maps that are used to determine the limits of a 100 year (1% chance any given year) and a 500 year flood (0.5% chance any given year), based on the topography and elevation of the adjacent land. If your home or commercial property falls within a zone designated as at risk of flood and you are required to purchase flood insurance, an Elevation Certificate will be required by the insurance agent to determine rates. An Elevation Certificate may also be required by the municipality or Code Enforcement Officer to obtain a building permit or occupancy certificate. The Elevation Certificate must be completed and certified by a Land Surveyor, Engineer, or Architect, and will include specific elevations of the structure and surrounding land, as well as photo documentation to be provided to the agent.
construction layout & as-built
Modern construction techniques requires precise measurement and documentation in order to successfully complete a project, and a Surveyor plays a crucial role in ensuring a structure or utility is built according to specifications. Construction Layout Survey is the process of interpreting construction plans and marking the location of proposed new structures such as roads, buildings or utilities. The staked reference points guide the construction of proposed improvements on the property, and will help to ensure the construction project is completed on schedule, on budget and as intended. As-built surveys accurately measure the completed construction, and is provided to the design team to verify that the construction meets the required specification. In utility construction, as-built surveys document the location of the utility as it was installed on the face of the earth, taking the guess work out once it is buried.
Routing Surveys involve the measurement and mapping of long corridors of land, which may cover existing roadways, cross-county wooded land, or both. These surveys are used for planning and design purposes to construct roads and utilities across Towns, Regions or States. Surveyors define the boundaries of the land along the route, and accurately locate topography, features and utilities that may be considered obstacles for the design to allow for the most efficient and cost effective route. These can be especially challenging surveys to maintain the spatial integrity of that data over such long distances, and require strategic survey planning and methods that aren’t required for localized sites. The information may be further compiled with other data sources, such as Wetland, LiDAR topography, Orthophotography, Anthropological and Artifactual.
uas imagery & mapping
UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) Mapping is accomplished by attaching a high-resolution camera to a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or Drone, and taking a large number of overlapping photos of the site or object from the air. The photographs also contain positional and elevation data, which is used to compile the photos and generate a point cloud and 3D model from the pixels, with accuracies as great as 2cm. Applications range from topography of roads and quarries, to inspection and modeling of infrastructure such as electric transmission lines and cell towers. This advancement in Surveying technology allows for the accurate measurement of features that may be inaccessible or dangerous by traditional methods, such as steep cliffs, bridges or cell towers.
terrestrial laser scanning
Terrestrial Laser Scanning is a ground based survey method in which a tripod mounted device that emits a pulsating laser rotates and sweeps across its target to collect up to 1 million points per second, allowing for an unparalleled level of data to be collected and analyzed. A 360 degree scan reaching up to 500 feet can be collected in minutes, vastly increasing the production of a field surveyor and the level of detail they are capable of providing. Beyond the high density of data, a major benefit of this method is the ability to collect data to millimeter accuracy without to use of traditional targeting devices. This technique allows Surveyors to map bridges, roadways, substations and other dangerous features without ever coming in contact, staying far away from traffic, fall or electrical hazards. This data can then be utilized to create accurate 3D models of the site, creating a visual depiction to existing and proposed features that is not possible on traditional 2D plans.