Before I put a fence up for Roxy, I need to get the property surveyed. When I spoke to the surveyor he told me there are 3 steps in the process. The first step to do research on the property. This involves:

  • a search of title of the subject lands
  • a search of title of the abutting properties
  • a search of all pertinent encumbrances registered against the title of the subject property
  • a search of all pertinent encumbrances registered against the title of the abutting properties
  • a search of other surveyor’s offices to obtain all plans relating to location of boundaries of the subject property


The second step is the physical survey of the property, or the “field inspection”. He does this from a specified point near my home but not necessarily on the property. From there he finds the 4 corners of the land and flags them.

Here is a part of my survey map. The bottom has a signature of the surveyor along with an official seal.

Once the physical survey is done, the final step is to put everything into a topographical map. Often times this step will include an analysis of the field data along with a “written opinion” of the surveyor, going over any issues that may have been found during the survey.

The process is not cheap, but well worth it if you own a home. It’s easy to see a fence and assume that is your property line. The truth is, most fences are well within the property line – i plan to put mine about 6″ to 1′ from the border, just to be safe.

The survey showed that most of my neighbor’s driveway is on my property. And the other neighbor’s garden is split between her yard and mine. I’m obviously making them move those things, but now they know that I know the boundaries. Don’t trust a fence or a shrub line, it’s definitely something you should have done when you buy a home. You never know who will move in next door a few years from now, and the information can come in handy.


The pink marker here is partially on my neighbor's driveway. It's good to know these things.


If the survey marks are on a hard surface, the surveyor will usually mark them with spray paint. If they are in the grass, he will paint the spot, too, or may flag the original post if he finds it as in the next photo.


Update: This is a survey marker... a photo I took after the fence was put in. As you can see, the fence is about a foot in from the pink flag.


Another post-fence update photo: my fence is well within the surveyed property line.


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