How Are Construction Surveys Different From Land Surveys?

29 November 2022
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Surveying is a critical part of nearly all construction projects. People often assume this process is similar to land surveying. However, there are some notable differences when it comes to construction surveys.

Locating Structures

A land survey is quite a bit different because it usually focuses on finding boundaries and perhaps mapping a few key features of a property. This leaves several major issues unaddressed. Particularly, you may need a construction surveyor to help you locate the best spots for building new structures.

Especially when companies are planning commercial or industrial complexes, it's critical to know where they can or can't place buildings. A multi-story concrete building, for example, is going to exert massive pressure on the soil. Construction surveys have to account for whether the land is suitable for a particular objective.

Protecting Infrastructure

The concerns during construction surveys extend to what's underground, too. If you need to install drainage systems, gas lines, water pipes, and underground electrical conduits, you need to be confident about their placement. This gets tricky when you also need something above the surface. If you install a road above a gas line, for example, you need to be confident that heavy vehicles won't damage the pipes.

Similarly, climate matters a lot during construction surveys. You don't want to place a water line above the frost line for your region, for example.

Post-Construction Surveying

Land surveys are usually one-and-done deals. A construction surveyor will likely have to revisit a location for a post-project assessment. For example, you'll want to be sure that a large building isn't sinking into the soil faster than expected. Likewise, you'll want to verify that every floor of each building meets your specifications. It is also wise to confirm that the layout of the property matches the plans.


Reporting often factors into construction surveys. Numerous stakeholders will want to see the survey data. Likewise, many will want to know the condition of the property. Government agencies, banks, shareholders, and insurers will all have various interests in knowing what the condition of the property is before and after construction. Also, they will want an independent third party to do the surveying work.

A construction surveyor can develop their findings into detailed reports. These can identify potential problems, and then you can work with engineers to solve them. The reports will also serve to document your efforts to make the property as safe as possible. These may have value if there's litigation over construction quality or safety.