Common Surveying Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Posted by Team - 30 September, 2015


Land surveyors are licensed professionals with advanced training. However, that doesn't mean they don't make mistakes once in a while. Land surveying is a highly technical process that involves knowledge of mathematics, technology, and specialized equipment. Of course, you can't rule out the margin for human error. No matter how talented a person is at his or her job, there will always be a mistake or two when the human element is involved.

Unfortunately, clients may not always be so forgiving. Land surveyors are relied on by civil engineers, construction companies, business owners, homeowners, contractors, and countless other third party entities. When mistakes result in extended project times or costly fixes, the brunt usually falls on the land surveyor. Here are the most common mistakes surveyors make and how they can be avoided.


One of the most common surveyor mistakes is a miscalculation of property boundaries. Often, this occurs due to disorganization or a simple mistake. Occasionally, it's due to a malfunction with the equipment, causing it to relay inaccuracies. Errors like these lead to inaccurate mapping, often failing to show property easements or other boundaries. Even a small problem like this can be costly. If a home or building is erected in the wrong spot and the mistake isn't discovered until late in the building process, the repercussions can cost thousands of dollars. Land surveyors can avoid mistakes like these in several ways, including:

  • Always staying up to date with education. New ethical practices and technologies come to the industry each year, and ongoing education will keep you in the loop.
  • Keeping your documents organized by using advanced software designed to record and sync data.
  • Double-checking the measurements of your surveying equipment. Check property records with online tools like Courthouse Direct. This supports the findings of survey equipment and helps to avoid legal disputes.

Miscommunication Between Client and Surveyor

Surveyors work with clients across all different industries. While some of these clients may understand a surveyor’s job and findings, like architects and engineers, others may have trouble understanding what all that data means. For example, a homeowner using a land surveyor before having his or her home built might not understand a swimming pool isn’t possible in his or her yard. These homeowners may not know what an easement is and how that will impact the way they access their homes.

As a surveyor, it's your job to communicate with your clients in a way that makes sense to them. Accurate and aesthetically pleasing maps and 3D models will help your clients visualize the data you've collected. Instead of telling them how an easement will affect their plans for a driveway, show them. 3D laser scanners are excellent for this purpose. They collect data quickly and accurately so you can create beautiful CAD drawings and models in half the time.

Taking Too Long

Obviously, many clients may not understand why land surveying and construction take a long time. Most people don't know what exactly land surveying entails. They don't understand that you need to conduct in-depth surveys to get highly accurate results, and your fieldwork is limited to when you can actually access the property.

Time frames are pushed for a number of reasons, including miscommunications, improper scheduling, inaccurate results, and mistakes with final documents. There are a lot of factors and people at play in land surveying and even one kink in the chain can cause a severe backup. Stay on schedule by keeping in communication with clients and co-workers at all times.

Whether it's using software that makes data accessible to everyone in the company, or using 3D scanners that cut down on turnaround time, your clients will appreciate your haste. 3D scanners are helpful in this arena. In fact, they can actually cut down on turnaround times by up to 50%, saving you time and money and ultimately making your clients happy.

Property Lien Guide


Topics: Surveying

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