The finest, most comprehensive construction plans in the whole world are of no use if no one can point to a particular spot on the earth and say "this corner goes here." Surveyors translate the plan information from the paper to the ground. We place markers (wooden stakes, usually) in the ground to inform the contractor where various items on the plans should be built.

"Show me where to dig!"

In most cases, the site design has been based on a topographic survey either by us or conducted by another surveyor. In the course of that survey something called "control" is used as the framework of the work (benchmarks, etc.) and that framework is used by us during the construction phase to keep everything aligned.

Construction Layout

For all but the smallest sites, we make multiple site visits as the construction progresses to stay just ahead (but not too far ahead!) of the contractor. Placing more markers than are immediately needed puts them at risk of being hit or disturbed by equipment prior to their being used. And disturbing a marker is tantamount to destroying it, because it is the location of the marker that is important. Disturbing it generally means moving it, and the original location is then in doubt. When that happens, we must make another visit to the site to confirm the location.

After the construction is complete or substantially complete, we will ususally be asked for a final survey depicting the as-constructed improvements. This survey acts as a report card of sorts to ensure to the owner (and probably the bank) that no improvements were built in the wrong spot and no violations (encroachments, etc.) with respect to location have been created.

Copyright © 2015 S.J. Martenet & Co., Inc.