What you need to know before hiring a survey company.
Are all the costs included in the quote? The quote should include the land surveyors fee for services as well as an approximate cost for disbursements (such as Land Title Office search fees, printing costs, field supplies). If disbursements are not listed, confirm if they are included in the surveyor’s fees or not.
Does the quote breakdown what is included in the cost? The more detailed the quotation is, the easier it is to see what is included in the quote and to compare it to other quotes.
Is the quote a fixed price or is it an estimate? An estimate only may be given in some circumstances where the amount of field survey required is not known until the field survey has started. An example is when the Land Title plan is really old, there haven’t been any newer surveys since the original plan and there is the question as to how many survey monuments are still remaining. The farther we have to survey to find legal boundary monuments, the more time it takes and the higher the cost.
Does the quote include all the survey services required to complete the project? Review of municipal or provincial requirements (depending on who is the approving authority) and communication with the municipal planning departments is helpful in determining what the scope of surveying required will be. Many municipalities have a standard list of requirements that are provided to the homeowner or developer on request. On larger projects or developments, the scope of requirements may not be known until consultants review the project and initial survey plans to determine more specific needs.
When can you expect completion of the field survey and plan preparation? If your project is on a tight timeline, it will be important to know when the plan to be prepared by the surveyor is expected to be completed (some months can be busier than other months in the year).
What is the surveyor providing to you at the completion of their work? It is typical to provide a PDF file of the survey plan for your records via email and possibly an AutoCAD drawing for consultants to use along with paper prints as required.
When is payment required for the survey services and by what method are you able to pay? It is typical to expect to pay for the work performed when the surveyor has completed the plan. On a larger project that exceeds a month, the surveyor may invoice on a monthly basis. Common payment methods are by cheque, cash or charge cards.
Darryl Mitchell, BCLS, CLS
AXIS Land Surveying Ltd.
#101, 32885 Ventura Avenue
Abbotsford, B.C. V2S 6A3