What Is a Land Survey and How Is It Relevant to A House Extension?

If you are undergoing a home extension, you may have been advised that you need a land survey and wonder how that is relevant to your renovation. To help, here's an outline of what a land survey is and how it relates to building work.

What Information Does a Land Survey Contain?

A land survey will show the features of a property and precisely define its boundary. To create the report, land surveyors research historical documents, including previous land surveys. Plus, they physically measure the property using various GPS and electronic equipment.

The survey report will describe any hills and features like trees and streams and clarify where the precise boundary lies. If the terrain is complex and has creeks or bushland, then the survey may cost more as it will naturally take longer.

A Land Survey Will Clarify the Property Boundary

A land survey is crucial if you are building an extension on your property. If you don't get a survey, which is a legal document, you are assuming that the current boundary is correct. However, this is a dangerous assumption because state and local governments have regulations about how close you can build to a property's edge. So it matters where your extension ends.

If a building turns out to be too close because the assumed boundary is incorrect, you may have to pull it down and rebuild. A land survey will provide certainty.

In any case, when you apply for the relevant approvals with the council, they will want you to prove that the building is legal and that it falls within the guidelines. To do this, you will probably need a land survey.

A Survey Provides Information That Is Used by the Architects and Builders

The distances measured by the survey are also important within your property. If your yard has a protected tree, for example, the council will typically have rules on how much surrounding space it needs. The survey will map the tree's location, and your building plans will show that the rules are being followed.

The architects, engineers, and builders also depend on the information in the survey about the slope and features of the land. The survey will also report on natural hazards that the land may be subject to, such as flooding. The experts who are designing and building the extension need this information to create a structure that is most resilient if flooding does occur.

Talk to local land surveyors to learn more.