What Determines the Cost of a Land Survey?

There are many factors that determine the cost of a land survey. The land’s location and the type of survey are important factors when estimating the costs of a survey. There are many steps involved that you may not be aware of, but they are all are a necessary part of the process. In general, for any survey conducted by a Manitoba Land Surveyor the surveyor must:

  1. Research the title to be surveyed and the surrounding titles of the property. (from $25 and up depending on the title)
  2. Research the current and past surveys in the area. (from $50 and up)
  3. Research previous surveys of his/her office in the area. (from $25 dollars and up depending on the system)
  4. Schedule and coordinate a survey crew with the proper information to conduct the survey. ($20 and up)
  5. Conduct survey of land parcel using calibrated and adjusted conventional or high accuracy GPS equipment. ($200 and up)
  6. Analyze the work completed by the survey crew, prepare documentation of the survey for the client and maintain these records. ($150 and up)

During the course of the survey and analysis the Manitoba Land Surveyor may have to:

  1. Ensure any encroachments onto a property or any encroachments onto an adjoining property are noted.
  2. Report any defects in title or need for survey monument restoration to the appropriate agencies.
  3. Notify other Manitoba Land Surveyors about concerns found, ask for responses and detail and maintain those records.
  4. Ensure all equipment used has been calibrated and checked regularly using provincial baseline standards.

These are just some of the general steps involved, there are many more. Often when we tell people about what was all involved in a particular survey, they are shocked and do not realize the extent of our work. One client was shocked to learn that to perform a “routine” survey in Winnipeg, our crews had to dig a three foot deep hole to look for and find evidence of a wood survey post planted in the 1920s that was no where near his lot. The wood post was the starting point of the retracement required to determine the front limits of his property. This is not easy, especially in winter.

There is no magic to determining where property boundaries are, just a series of steps, hard work and the experience that comes with it. The results are the safest, most reliable and least expensive land survey system in Canada.

Questions Save You Money

When people inquire about a land survey, we almost always ask why they’re doing the survey. The answer may lead us to provide advice that can save you money in the long run. A survey is always for another end. It is very rare to do a land survey for no other reason. So the question of “what are you doing the survey for?” helps us best determine what advice to give you, which can lead to cost savings because the same steps are not repeated or you don’t end up paying twice to have similar services provided by different professionals.

For example, if the survey you require is for an eventual subdivision of land, knowing this up front can save you hundreds of dollars in survey costs and may reduce the cost of any engineering required later. It pays you to know, that is why we ask.

Winter Land Surveying is Colder

We are often asked if we work in the winter and if we do, is a survey more expensive. The answers are yes and generally yes. One of the bonuses of our line of work is that our crews work outside all year round. Yes I said bonuses, even in winter. Sure it’s cold but our guys prefer that to an office and that’s good news for you, because we don’t stop.

In general surveys in winter are slightly more expensive depending on the type of survey. In some cases we advise our clients to plan ahead and have a survey done before the snow falls, but this isn’t always possible. But the cold has some benefits, as some areas are more accessible to us by our snowmobiles and sleighs.

Phillips & Stevens is an active industry supporter of:

Professional Surveyors Canada
Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors
Association of Canada Lands Surveyors
The National COR Standard Certificate of Recognition
Consulting Surveyors Manitoba