Types of Surveys


We are happy to speak to you about your surveying needs. Here are some typical surveys that may be of interest:

ALTA/ NSPS Land Title Survey (ALTA Survey):   ALTA surveys are detailed surveys typically used by lending institutions, title companies and property owners.  ALTA surveys are often a requirement of lenders to help identify encroachments, encumbrances, or potential liability that may affect a property. ALTA surveys are based on the ALTA / NSPS minimum requirements (jointly established by the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors) and any additional features requested by the client.  Because ALTA Surveys are performed to nationally published standards they are very useful in inter-state transactions.

Boundary Surveys: Boundary Surveys are performed to locate property lines, set property corners, determine property area, and to locate physical features in relation to property lines such as buildings, fences, retaining walls etc.. Boundary Surveys require researching recorded and sometimes unrecorded maps and title documents such as title reports, deeds, agreements etc. In certain situations surveyors are required to file a Record of Survey in the County in which the survey is performed.

The State of Colorado and the Board of Registration for Professional Land Surveyors recognizes several types of boundary surveys:

  • Improvement Location Certificate (ILC): An ILC is not a survey and is performed to the lowest standard of care required for a boundary survey related document.  ILCs are typically performed for banks and title companies during the transfer of title to property.  An ILC will show the relationship of visible improvements in relation to boundary lines.  Minimal boundary evidence is required for an ILC, and there is no requirement that the parcel or lot corners be recovered or established.  Landmark Consultants, Inc. will often recommend that a higher order survey be performed in order to provide a greater degree of confidence in the survey product and to be sure that parcel or lot corners are established for future reference in the field.
  • Land Survey Plat (LSP): An LSP is typically performed for vacant parcels or lots or where it is not necessary to locate site improvements.  This type of survey is also known as a Monumented Land Survey.  An LSP will show boundary lines and easements known to the Surveyor together with any improvements within 5’ of the boundary.  Property corner monuments will be recovered or established.  In most cases any time property corner monuments are recovered or set and shown on a survey, that survey will need to be filed with the county in which the parcel is located.
  • Improvement Survey Plat (ISP): An ISP includes the recovery and/or establishment of property corners together with all items required for an LSP.  In addition an ISP will show all visible improvements on the parcel.  As with an LSP, ISPs are typically required to be filed with the county.

Existing Conditions Mapping and Topographic Surveys are used by designers, architects, engineers and builders to get a thorough understanding of a parcel of land or piece of property. Existing conditions such as buildings, roads, utilities, trees etc. are surveyed and mapped. Contours, spot elevations, existing easements and property boundary information can also be shown. These maps often serve as a base map for proposed designs or to aid in obtaining a building permit.

Plats and Subdivisions:  A plat is a drawing that defines the limits of a particular property. It graphically depicts a property, provides dimensions and tells you the acreage. A Subdivision creates individual lots or parcels and allows the sale of pieces of an overall parcel. Subdivisions typically require approvals through the City or County governing agencies.

Easements/Property Descriptions: Easement and property (aka legal) descriptions can be prepared for a multitude of reasons. These define a specific portion of a property that may be encumbered or restricted by an easement (a permitted use of a property by someone other than the property owner). These descriptions typically accompany another legal document that spells out the terms and binds the parties.

Lot Line Adjustments: A lot line adjustment is the process of changing existing property lines. The lot line adjustment can be used to either existing parcels into one parcel, or to adjust the shape of parcels. Lot line adjustments cannot be used to create additional parcels. Additional parcels can be created by a final plat through a subdivision process.

Construction Surveying: Construction Surveying is the layout of the design professionals plans on the ground. The surveyor is typically provided with a set of plans and will set reference points or offsets as requested by the contractor. The plans tell him what to build…the surveyor tells him where it goes.