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What You Need to Know About Property Surveying in Australia

Land surveyors in Victoria can support a number of property surveying projects – not just and only construction work, which is often the assumption that people make. If you are looking to buy a new property or to undertake a renovation project on your existing home or business, here’s what you need to know about property surveying in Australia.

Employing the right professionals

As with any major project involving legal or technical expertise, you need to know that you are choosing the best survey company to suit your needs. There are some key questions that you need to ask when it comes to determining if you have chosen the right urban planning services provider:

  • What experience do you have working with similar projects?
  • What type of survey services do you provide?
  • What is your experience working with planning departments and councils in Victoria?
  • What qualifications do your surveyors hold and are they licenced to practise as a surveyor?
  • What are your costs and what constitutes as additional charges?
  • Who else have you carried out work for on similar projects that can give a testimonial for your work?

What is the difference between land and building surveyors?

Building surveyors in Australia have to ensure that any building plans must comply with the Building Code of Australia, along with any other relevant legislation in the state or territory the project is undertaken in. Land surveyors will use equipment such as theodolites or GPS to map and photograph the area so that they can measure and draft plans.

A land surveyor would therefore establish the exact boundaries of the land and can legally define the dimensions of the property both new and existing. In this way they are invaluable to the building and construction teams. They work on a range of projects from major construction to tunnel building, mine exploration, and land subdivision. It is their expert opinion that guides architects, developers, and engineers.

What are the different types of surveys?

There are several different types of land surveys that could be carried out:

  • Topographical
  • Cadastral
  • Hydrographic
  • Environmental
  • Aerial
  • Mining

A topographic survey focuses on defining made or natural structures on the land such as areas of sloping land, creeks, trees and hedges, as well as man-made structures. These are important for the property developer or engineer to have information on as they need to be factored into the build or renovation.

A cadastral survey is one that people may be more familiar with because it establishes the dimensions and boundaries of the property. They are particularly important especially to avoid or to inform boundary disputes with neighbours.

Hydrographic surveys measure any kind of waterway such as creeks and rivers, offering important information to landowners or government agencies. Environmental planning surveys focus on monitoring aspects of wildlife or native plants and aerial surveys using drones or aircraft are normally used for large scale projects.

Mining surveys focus on measuring and mapping below ground and are normally associated with the mining industry. In order to choose the right survey for your project, it is important to speak to established land surveying experts.

Preparations prior to a survey

You will need to ensure that a surveyor has full access to the land or property they are coming to survey. This covers the basement, lofts, outside areas, rooms, and so on. Cut back overgrown bushes and clear away any obstacles that will restrict their work to save them time and reduce any costs to yourself.

Help with boundary disputes and planning disputes

No one wants to get into a land or boundary dispute with a neighbour and this is where having a proper survey of the land and existing fence line is invaluable. Urban planning services use experienced and qualified surveyors to ensure that parcels of land are mapped out showing exactly where the boundary lines lie. They will also be able to support any discussions with neighbours prior to any building work or renovation project; otherwise planning disputes can be costly. They can also make sure that you are compliant with The Fences Act and Fences Amendment Act 2014 in relation to the construction of a divided fence along with maintenance and report of an existing dividing fence – for example by checking the fence is part of the boundary.

Prior to planning your project, a surveyor who has experience of supporting similar builds or renovations can be a source of information and advice when it comes to local planning applications. Speaking with them and sharing your plans at an early stage can help save both time and money because they will have had experience with the planning authorities refusing similar builds. If your plans have been refused or there are objections from the local community or neighbours, then urban planners who are experienced in supporting a planning appeal are invaluable.

A land survey will save you time and money and give peace of mind, so contact the experts today.

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