Why a Homeowner Wants a Construction Survey Before Renovating

3 June 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


If your plans for a home renovation include adding anything onto your home or any type of outbuilding such as a garage or shed, you'll want to have a construction survey done. This is a little bit different than a land survey as the construction survey marks off guides for the construction project rather than just testing soil and the like. If you haven't thought about having a construction survey done before your renovation and building project, note a few reasons why it's so important and what it can accomplish.

1. Ensuring level construction

A construction survey doesn't just mark off boundaries for when you build but will also mark off the lines you need to follow to ensure a level construction. If you've ever been in a building that slopes slightly or where walls are cracked, this may be because of an improper construction survey. The survey will take into account the slope of the land according to the addition you want to construct or the overall height and construction of the new outbuilding. This will ensure that floors and roofs are level and even. This can be needed even after you've compacted the soil and graded the land as soil can shift and there may be slopes to the property that you didn't account for, so that home additions might otherwise be built unevenly.

2. Underground infrastructure

When planning any construction project, you need to ensure you know of any underground infrastructure. This can mean buried sewer pipes, manholes, abandoned wells, and the like. These can mean that you need to adjust your plans to build around this underground infrastructure if your construction would cover those pipes or that you may need to underpin the foundation if the soil is soft and not compacted around an old well. Don't rely on your city to come out and mark off where there are buried cables and lines but have the construction survey do a thorough check of these things before your project begins.

3. Staking boundaries according to other structures

A construction surveyor is skilled at working around other boundaries that are in proximity to your property and noting needed clearance. For example, you might need to have your garage or outbuilding set back a certain distance from a road or can only build an addition so large before it encroaches on a neighbor's boundary. A construction surveyor can mark these boundaries to ensure your construction project falls within them and you don't face fines or even need to tear down your construction after it's completed.