Which survey do you need? We often get calls from people who are confused about which type of survey they need. If you are planning an alteration or an addition to an Existing Building Structure, you will most likely require BOTH types of Surveys, which are generally provided by different professionals. Here’s the Difference:
A land survey is a legal document which describes the physical limits of a property or a plot of land, and includes a simple footprint of any buildings or structures erected on the property.
Land Surveys are also referred to as: Property Surveys, Boundary Surveys or Architectural Surveys).
At a minimum, a land survey will show (to scale) the property lines and any physical structures on the property. It may also contain information about the public streets, sidewalks, adjacent properties, public utilities like gas, sewer and water, and topographical information describing the rise and fall of the property in relation to sea level.
A land survey is also a vital “LEGAL Document” used to verify the size and extent of a property for purchase or sale, and can only be produced and certified, by a licensed NY State “Professional Land Surveyor” (PLS).
A land Survey usually DOES NOT contain any information about the interior of a building (such as walls, doors, windows or stairs etc).
Samples of LAND SURVEY drawings:
The BUILDING SURVEY Corp. does NOT perform land survey work.
If you need detailed information about the Existing Building itself, then you need a Building Survey.
A Building Survey describes the physical characteristics of a given building or structure in Plan, Section and Elevation, as well as 3D Models.
The purpose of a building survey is to document the physical conditions of the physical structure itself. Building surveys are used by industry professionals for many reasons including design, marketing, sales, planning and Area and Rent/:Loss calculations.
Usually when we speak of a Building Survey, we’re referring to a “Set of Plans” or drawings showing the existing conditions (or as-built conditions) of the building at each level. Quite often a client will also require Exterior Elevations, Building Sections and other “Survey Drawings” to more clearly understand the conditions and details within the building. Building Survey drawings often include:
- Floor Plans
- Exterior Elevations
- Building Sections
- Reflected Ceiling Plans
- Telephone/Power/Electric Plans
- Mechanical plans
- Structural plans
- Interior Elevations
- 3D Revit or BIM Model
Samples of BUILDING SURVEY drawings:
Download a PDF of this article: Land Survey vs Building Survey