Surveyor woes- any advice???

   #1  

Flatheadyoungin

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Long story short....(as possible)

Last Feb. we started dealing on our property. We didn't close until Oct. because of the surveyor delaying the deal. He, honestly, was doing some big projects; the nuclear enrichment plant, the multi-billion dollar Russian steel mill that was/is coming in, etc.

Now, right after we closed, I called him and asked him to go back out and place permanent, legal pins all around the perimeter. He was very helpful and answered a lot of other questions. He gave me a quote of about $1100. I asked him if I need to mail him the payment right away. He said we'd settle up after he completed the job and that it would take him about 3 weeks to get to the job.

This guy is VERY reputable around here and has been in business for years. Just about everyone I know, knows him and knows someone that has used him or has personally used him. He did the land north of mine, all of the other land from the guy I bought the property off of, one of my buddies used him for his 90 acre farm, etc., etc.

My problem is, I can't get him to even call me back after that first contact with him. I've left about 3 messages over a 3.5 month period.....nothing. I've contacted another surveyor that has been in business for quite a while and he has returned my call- rather promptly, I might add. I would rather the original surveyor do the pin placement. He knows the deal and details. The first guy quoted me around $1100 or $60 an hour for a two man crew. The second guy quoted me 75 an hour for a two man crew. Even then the price difference isn't that big a deal and I could probably call around to a few other surveyors. My question is, and I would think it would be obvious, but I'm assuming you get what you pay for in surveyors. However, being that the perimeter has been shot recently; the magnetic spikes, pins, ribbons and wooden stakes are still in place. Another one of my buddies used "someone that was real cheap." Will I get different results? I assume a licensed surveyor is a licensed surveyor? But, on the other hand, Dr.'s are different, teachers are different, etc. etc. I'm not in too big a hurry but I want it done pretty soon. What do you think?
 
   #2  

2manyrocks

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I would have a concern that the second surveyor would be duplicating some of the work already done by the first surveyor. If you got into a boundary dispute later, then you might have to drag both surveyors into it. One could say--he didn't survey it right. The other could say, he didn't pin what I surveyed.....

Does the first surveyor not have a secretary to answer the phone to at least let you know when you can get on his schedule?
 
   #3  

EddieWalker

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Several, all used and abused.
... I called him and asked him to go back out and place permanent, legal pins all around the perimeter...

Are you wanting just the corners done?

I can't speak for your area since I don't know if the laws are the same or not. Here, the surveyor's have to put in permanent pins when the do the survey if a pin is not already there. If they are unable to do so at the time of the survey, they can put in a temporary marker and then come back to drive the rebar or set the pin. A half inch piece of rebar driven into the ground is considered a permanent marker and is the legal boundary.

For allot more money, you can have them set concrete markers, but there's no real advantage to this that I'm aware of.

What is a permanent marker in your part of the country? and what is it that you have in your corners right now?

With their field notes, it should only take them half a day to come out and go to each corner. I'm curious why it's so much money?

Or are you wanting the fence line marked?

It would be faster and cheaper to get the original surveyor to do this, but with a copy of the survey and legal description, anybody can find the pins fairly easily. I know that I've always been able to do this with what I've owned. I had one piece of land that the guy couldn't find the corners and said the survey was never done. We went out there and found them pretty easily. He didn't know how to read I guess.

Good luck,
Eddie
 
  
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#4  
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Flatheadyoungin

Flatheadyoungin

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2 many rocks......i didn't think of that....good point.....this is why i asked...

eddie.......two corners are "stones found" and are pretty big.....all the adjoining neighbors use them so i feel comfortable with these, (this is a big slanted square of 43 acres, BTW), one corner they found a metal pin and the other corner they drove a permanent pin in the ground.....

i want my fence lines marked.........some sides are clearly marked from where other properties intersect.....on other sides of 1600ft, there isn't any markers.....they use a 5/8 rebar - i don't know how long- and place a plastic cap on the top of the pin with their name info on it.....i'd like to come in on my side about 6" and drive a T fence post in the ground......and about once a year go around and paint them bright orange....or whatever.....

both of you bring up some good points....
 
  
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#5  
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Flatheadyoungin

Flatheadyoungin

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I guess not....the first time I actually got him on the phone. After that the answering machine kicks on......

I tried early and I've tried in the afternoon......

Man, I'd just like to get this done, go pay him and be done with it!:(


Does the first surveyor not have a secretary to answer the phone to at least let you know when you can get on his schedule?
 
   #6  

ronlhar

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I am a Civil Engineer with experience in surveying. The rules may vary by state, but in Georgia when a surveyor performs a property survey he is normally obligated by law to mark the property corners with iron pins prior to placing his "stamp" on the survey plat. You should first review your written agreement to verify the scope of what you already paid for. Then I would that you call the original surveyor until he talks to you and visit his office if necessary. If that does not work, contact your state's "Board of registration for Professional Land Surveyors" - every state in the US has such a board with powers to enforce rules and regulate the profession. It is very important that you get the same surveyor who did the field work to also install the corner markers and provide you a stamped survey plat...otherwise you have no official survey.
 
   #7  

schmism

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surveying is like anything else.

you ask 3 different people you will get (possibly) three different answers.

For marking a boundary it shouldn't be a big deal especially if he comes up with what the surrounding owners basically agree as to what the lines are.

For that cheep bid should be fine, as long as he is a RLS.

If there is a property dispute your trying to settle with a surveyor i would NOT go cheep bid as title search its time consuming and lowest bid may not want to spend the extra hrs to dig ALL the way back. In addition interpretation of old or poorly written deeds is generally a "based on experience" and again takes time and effort to sit down with all the previous deeds and figure out were different people called out different items. Again a process that is time intensive were a low bid may just copy the last guy's and say its good enough.

As for why the other guy didnt call you back. My wife works for a surveying and engineering firm. When they started out small boundry survey was what they made a living on. but as they grew and got bigger projects the headach of dealing with "bitchy" customers and time consumeing property issues (as explaned above) ment he has basicly phased out all of his "small time stuff" because it wasnt worth his time or trouble.

The same issue seems to have hit you. If your working on a LARGE commercial job that can employ 3-4 crews 60hrs a week each and is worth 1.2 million, are you going to worry about a $1100 boundary survey? or let the next guy pick it up?
 
   #8  

DocHeb

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He said we'd settle up after he completed the job and that it would take him about 3 weeks to get to the job...

My problem is, I can't get him to even call me back after that first contact with him.

He doesn't want your business, and is letting you know in the classiest way he knows. I would get somebody else to do it, and leave one phone message on his machine that the job had been done and your oral contract has been cancelled.
 
   #9  

J_J

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I have a similar situation. My so called neighbor filed a neighborhood dispute with the State Attorneys office, and we had to go down town and mediate the situation. The whole point is I Had the survey of the 40 acre plot, that was broken up into 10 ac lots. My neighbor think his survey is most correct, even though my survey shows the pin with the surveyors cap and number. I put my fence up based on that pin, and he wants to put up his fence, and he thinks I am encroaching on his property by 4.5 ft. He dosen't realize that one of my fences that intersects another fence is 4.5 ft inside my property line. He can not find his original survetor, so he is going to pay for another survey. What then? This could go on and on, but I hope not.

From talking to others surveyors, there seems to be nothing etched in stone about the correct way to measure. I also found out that if you have to go to court to solve this kind of situation, it will get very expensive. I also found out that if you want to help the situation, and you don't have money, is to let him put up his fence, and fill out a form with a written statement including all the exceptions, and pictures, and have it notarized.

Next question is what do you do if the surveyor has passed away, who can re-certify his marker.

After talking to surveyors, and reading up on surveying on the Internet, it leaves one in doubt about the legality of any property. If this isn't true, why are they having to survey so many times and come up with different findings. I understand from talking to surveyors, that they can find any position with 1/2 in, using GPS. I am not talking about the portable auto ty GPS. but the ones that cost up-wards of $80,000 to $120,000 .
Now I am thinking that with an accuracy like that there should be no doubt. Most judges do not know anything about surveying.

I have talked to surveyors in the field surveying, and if they come up with a difference, they will split the difference. I have watched them put a pin 12 in, off a concrete marker with a stamp on top, go figure. Why is his tape measure different than the last person or the next person.

One interesting fact. I noted on the 40 ac broken down to 10 ac, my line of 1024 ft was a straight line, and when they finished with the adjoining property's, I pulled a line from one marker to last marker, and their markers made my line look like a zig zag. I ask how did that happen, and they replied that is just the way it is. I would assume, that if you get 10 surveyors to survey a property, that you would come up with at least 6 or 7 that are different. I am not saying that surveyors don't know their job, but they should all be going by the same standard. 100 ft, should be 100 ft, but don't count on it.
 

IXLR8

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I just went through a similar situation with our family property in Maine. I would suggest you keep trying to get the original surveyor. He has all the marks and pins located in a computer somewhere and it will be easy for him to come back and mark the lines. Any good surveyor you hire to mark the lines will not trust existing marks and will have to redo title searchs, redo locating the existing pins and only then be able mark the lines. An expensive way to go.
 
 
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