Frequently Asked Questions


At some point almost everyone who owns real estate requires the services of a Professional Land Surveyor. Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions that we receive from potential clients.


What kind of survey do I need?


There are several types of surveys, each appropriate for different situations.

  • Boundary Survey - This is the most common type of survey needed by our clients. A boundary survey is completed for the purpose of establishing or re-establishing property corners and boundary lines of a parcel of land. This type of survey includes everything needed to buy or sell a parcel of land.
  • Natural Gas or Oil Well Location Survey – A well location survey is used by those involved in the natural gas and oil industries for the development of new well locations or the mapping of existing well locations. Washburn Land Surveying is experienced in performing well location surveys that meet the requirements established by the NYSDEC.
  • Construction Survey - A construction survey is used to establish horizontal control and vertical benchmarks needed by builders to construct a project. This type of survey can be as simple as squaring up a garage or house foundation or as complicated as a new highway bridge or airport.
  • Topographic Survey - A topographic survey shows the elevations and contours of the land. It also shows both manmade and natural features such as streams, fences, buildings, ponds, pools, dirt lanes, tree lines, etc. This type of survey depicts all of the physical features of the land and is commonly used for planning or designing a future project.

  • How much does it cost to have my land surveyed?


    Washburn Land Surveying provides free, no obligation written price quotes to all of our potential clients. The cost to have a survey performed depends on many factors, every survey project is unique in its own way. These factors include:

  • Size and shape of the property - The size and shape of the property is the most important factor in how much a survey will cost. The most economical property to survey has four lines with four corners. An irregular shaped property has a larger perimeter distance that must be surveyed, and has more corners that need to be monumented.
  • Terrain and accessibility - The terrain and accessibility of a property determines how quickly the perimeter of the property can be surveyed. Flat is better than steep and fields are better than brush. Washburn Land Surveying utilizes ATVs and automobiles when practical to reduce the amount of time in the field.
  • Field evidence - The existence of iron pins, corner trees, fences and other evidence of boundaries aid the surveyor. The lack of field evidence will require the surveyor to go farther away to determine a reliable reference point to start from.
  • Adjoining properties - The number of properties adjoining the surveyed property may help or hinder how quickly a survey can be completed. To ensure that we establish the property lines correctly it is often necessary to enter your neighbors property to gather additional information and field evidence. Cooperative neighbors can be very helpful.
  • Complexity of legal records - The number of deeds that need to be researched are often complicated by vague, incomplete, or contradictory legal descriptions. Deeds for adjoining properties must be researched and unrecorded deeds and agreements must be resolved. If you have an abstract of title for your property, please let us know, it may save hours of research.
  • Time of year - Washburn Land Surveying performs surveys year round. Depending upon the type of terrain, in certain months a survey can be completed faster then others. Deep snow in the winter months hides much of the physical evidence that surveyors use to establish the boundary lines and it takes longer to find corner pins buried in snow. On small surveys such as city or village lots the difference is negligible, but on larger surveys the slower production may need to be accounted for.
  • Monumentation - Washburn Land Surveying uses 5/8” diameter green epoxy coated rebar with plastic survey caps and ribbon to monument the property corners that we set as part of our standard survey quote. Additional services are also offered such as blazing and painting property lines in wooded areas, hanging posted signs, and installation of high visibility fiberglass witness posts.

  • When should I have a survey done?


    A survey is an investment in your property, knowing and marking your property boundaries is the easiest way to prevent problems with neighbors. Many future problems can be prevented if a survey is completed before a problem arises. It is best to be proactive and have your land surveyed:

  • BEFORE title in land is transferred.
  • BEFORE land is subdivided
  • BEFORE land is developed by the construction of buildings, roads, fences, etc.
  • BEFORE an easement or right-of-way is created across the land.
  • BEFORE a boundary dispute arises or when you believe someone is encroaching on your land.
  • BEFORE timber is to be cut and removed.

  • What information do I need to provide?


    Below is a list of questions that you will be asked before Washburn Land Surveying can quote your survey project. If you don’t know all of the answers, it is OK, just tell us what you know.

  • Address of the property – Provide the street address of the property to be surveyed including the name of town it is located in. Sometimes the actual town is different than the town used on the mailing address.
  • Current owner – Provide the first and last name of the current owner of the property.
  • Tax map number – A tax map number is not necessary but it is helpful to locate the property for estimating purposes.
  • Approximate size of the property – Provide the approximate acreage of the property to be surveyed. If the property is small just let us know that it is a city or village lot.
  • Washburn Land Surveying
    5800 County Route 68
    Hornell, NY 14843
    585-808-5899
    ©2017 Washburn Land Surveying