Tyler Land Surveying

Welcome to Tyler Land Surveying

CLICK TO CALL (903) 525-6404 ON MOBILE!

Land surveyor with equipment

Welcome to SMW Engineering Group’s Tyler Land Surveying website.  We are Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers providing services to the general public, contractors, and companies in the City of Tyler, and Smith County, Texas area. If you have any land surveying needs (see the list above in the menu bar) in the Tyler area, you’ve come to the right place. We are eager to meet your land surveying needs in Texas.

Our Company

Tyler Land Surveying is a marketing website for SMW Engineering. At SMW you’ll find all of the technical experience you need and so much more. Our local Tyler office has the leadership and team members for any size projects. With over 100,000 in the City of Tyler and growing, and over 200,000 in the Tyler Metro area, SMW is please to call Tyler Texas home. We have a fully staffed land surveying office in Tyler with Blue McCoy, a local registered land surveyor, in charge of the office. We have 3 survey field crews in order to meet any of your land surveying needs in the Tyler and surrounding area. If you need any help with Tyler land surveying, call us at (903) 525-6404 or see our Contact Page.

Land Surveyors in Tyler, TX

Land Surveyors are professionals who investigate, and make precise measurements to determine the size and boundaries of a piece of real estate.  While this is a simplistic definition, this is one of the most common types of surveying related to home and land owners. Land Surveyors are trained and educated to deal with all types of property line issues that may arise on a parcel of land. The first recorded history of land surveyors was in ancient Egypt, where “rope stretchers” replaced the property lines of farms along the Nile River after each flood of the area. We still find property lines to this day for land owners. To know more about what a land surveyor does, click here.

What you can expect from Tyler Land Surveying

phoca_thumb_l_david-mckinney-plsIf you need assistance with any land surveying services in the Smith County Texas area, we can help you out.

We strive to be responsive to your time schedule and to provide quality land surveying services. We emphasize collaboration and total communication at every phase of the project.

How to contact Tyler Land Surveying?

CALL Blue McCoy at Tyler Land Surveying TODAY at (903) 525-6404 to discuss your land survey needs. You can also send us a message by going to our contact page.

What is Property Encroachment and How to Deal with It

What exactly is property encroachment? Encroachment happens when a certain property improvement crosses onto and over the boundary of a neighboring property.

One of the most common types of encroachment is structural encroachment – this is when a part of a building has been constructed over the property line. However, gardening beds, retaining walls, and fences over the line can be considered an encroachment as well.

Why do encroachments happen? More often than not, an encroachment is an honest mistake. It might be that the previous surveyor miscalculated and thought it was still a part of the neighboring property, or it could also be a misunderstanding between homeowners and contractors building the improvements.

There are several ways to deal with encroachments. The easiest way is to politely ask your neighbor to remove the encroachment. This is not usually a big problem if it’s only a flower bed or something else that can easily be removed.

If it’s a fence or a part of a structure, you can have an agreement drawn up by an attorney and either allow the other party to use the area, or pay rent for the part of your property that was encroached upon. Again, this should be in writing and recorded to prevent subsequent owners from having issues with the very same problem. Another option is to sell the “encroached” property to the other party so they’re free to use it.

If you would rather use your property, and your neighbor won’t remove the improvement, you can go to court and try to reach an agreement or judgement from this process. You should enlist the services of an attorney for this. More than likely the attorneys first request is going to be a survey of the encroachment by a licensed land surveyor.

land dispute | encroachmentThis is exactly why land surveying is very important if you’re going to buy a property. When it comes to encroachment, the earlier you address the problem, the better. This is because of the Adverse Possession laws.

It is possible, with some additional requirements, that if someone openly uses a piece of property for a certain period of time and pays taxes for it, they could claim possession of the property, especially when no one complains about it.

Please note though that each state has different property encroachment laws so it’s best that you talk to a lawyer and a land surveyor in your area.

For property encroachment problems or questions about it, call Tyler Land Surveying at 903-525-6404 or send us a message through our contact form here or on the right side of the page.

How Important is Land Surveying in Today’s World?

Most of you have probably never thought about land surveying until you needed it at some point. Many of us hear about land surveying all the time but never really give it much thought.

Since an investment in land and/or a home will likely be the largest investment you will ever make in your lifetime, knowing where your property lines are becomes very important indeed.

The art of land surveying was developed centuries ago. In fact, it’s one of the oldest professions in the world. The fact that it was used by man at such an early time and is still being used now shows how important surveying is to our survival.

The Many Uses of Land Surveying

Surveying land has many uses. Boundary surveying, for instance, allows you to know where your property corners or property lines are. This is especially helpful when disputes with a neighbour or with other people arise in terms of where your property ends.

If your family wants to divide a tract of land and transfer ownership to other family members, a boundary survey is the first step to do so. If you’re having a building constructed, it is very important that you have the land surveyed to make sure that you are not encroaching onto other peoples’ property.

A mistaken building location is very expensive to fix so you might as well invest in a boundary survey to prevent this.

A topographic survey, or topo survey for short, is another important type of land surveying. A topo survey is done to locate natural and man-made features on a particular parcel of land.

A topographic survey is different in that the elevation of the land is surveyed which means it can show man-made underground features, retaining walls, utility lines and etc.

Before you start any kind of construction activity, it’s important to have a topo survey done in the area so they’ll have an accurate record of the land’s existing conditions. Yes, that spot with the new mall in the neighbourhood had to have a topo survey done first.

Now, a flood survey or flood determination – this is very important too. It isn’t evident just looking at a property whether you are at risk of flooding or not. And, in some cases, even looking at the flood maps doesn’t give you an accurate answer.

The flood survey determines the elevation of the home and compares that to the base flood elevation. This is the only way to be sure you’re not in a flood hazard zone. If you’ve just been told that you live in a flood-prone area, having that confirmed by a professional land surveyor would let you know how to best proceed.

When getting flood insurance, insurance companies would require an elevation certificate from you. A land surveyor would be able to assist you with this.

If a company wants to invest in another state, or if there is a national lender on a commercial project, they will likely need an ALTA Land Title Survey done before anything is constructed.

An ALTA Land Title Survey is a lot like a regular boundary survey except that nationally accepted ALTA Standards are used to guide the surveying effort.

Land surveying standards vary widely from state to state and an ALTA Land Title Survey is used to cut down on this variation. Also, an ALTA Land Title Survey typically is more involved than the state standards variety.

Because of this, an ALTA survey can be more anywhere from 50% to 200% more expensive than using the state standards only. If you need this type of survey, I suggest seeking an experienced land surveying company who is familiar with these additional requirements.

In summary, there are many uses for a land survey and for seeking the services of a land surveyor. If you’re unsure of your situation, consult Tyler Land Surveying at (903) 525-6404 today or go to the Contact page and send us an email.

What is a Flood Study?

In the article “Study could lower or nix local flood insurance costs” we see a familiar situation that was finally resolved by ONE citizen paying for a flood study to help his neighbors. The situation was that…

Residents along Wolf Creek used to see more flooding until two dams along the waterway at North Street in Pine and East Main Street in Grove City were removed 11 and 12 years ago, respectively, and the waters have receded significantly. Since that time, the residents believe their insurance is no longer justified – or could at least be reduced.

Flood Zones Explained

FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) determine the flood insurance rates that FEMA charges landowners who are located in a Special Flood Hazard Zone. This is also known as the 1% Chance Storm Flood Zone and is typically designated as Zone AE. The “E” means there is a Base Flood Elevation that has been established.

There are 3 situations you may find yourself in on a flood map:

  1. Out of the flood hazard zone completely, the best situation. This is usually designated as “X Outside the 0.2% Chance Flood Zone.” In this case you are not required to purchase flood insurance, though you may consider doing so if you have a wet weather drain close to your house.
  2. Your lot and/or house is shown in Zone “X Within the 0.2% Chance Flood Zone.” In this case you are also not required to purchase flood insurance but it is highly advisable. The 1% storm event is exceeded in many cases. (The water doesn’t know that it’s supposed to stop at that elevation.)
  3. A portion of your lot and/or home is shown in the flood hazard zone on the Flood Maps. This requires flood insurance, or proof that the maps are inaccurate. At this point your home may or may not be actually below the Base Flood Elevation, the 1% chance flood elevation.
    1. Your lot is IN the flood zone, but your house and the Lowest Adjacent Grade (LAG) next to it is OUT, or ABOVE the Base Flood Elevation. This has to be determined by a land surveyor. If so, you may qualify for a LOMA to remove the requirements for flood insurance.
    2. Your house and/or the Lowest Adjacent Grade (LAG) are BELOW the Base Flood Elevation. You won’t qualify for a LOMA. Get an Elevation Certificate by a land surveyor in order to determine your flood insurance premium.

FEMA FLOOD MAP LEGENDA Fourth Flood Map Situation

In this article, a FOURTH situation is given; you are shown IN the flood hazard zone on the current maps but something has changed since the map was published that would show you to actually be OUT of that hazard zone. In this case, a flood study has to be undertaken to prove to FEMA that something has changed. Unfortunately this flood study has to be paid for by someone. If your City and/or County won’t do it, then it is up to you or your neighbors to undertake this study.

A Flood Study

A flood study is done by engineers who are trained and licensed to undertake these tasks. A flood study involves calculating the height which the 1% chance storm will rise to as it flows through the stream. You do this by taking measurements of the shape of the stream at various locations and determining the amount of water that will runoff the overall drainage area, and how fast it will get to that segment of the stream. Honestly, there’s a LOT of estimating done for this kind of work, but it’s at least educated estimating. (I refrained from saying educated guess because that would diminish my Auburn education. War Eagle!)

Flood Study Costs & Facts of Life

The flood study in this article ultimately costs over $35,000. In my experience, the minimum flood study cost I’ve seen is in the $5000 range. It could run much higher, but that would usually involve a large area.

Unfortunately when most people are in this Fourth Situation, neighbors won’t cooperate and share the cost. I believe personally that the city or county should incur these costs, but in most cases, there aren’t funds available for this. And, since it involves a small segment of the people, it is usually not justified by people who were voted into office.

Another possible way to fund a flood study is through a Tax Assessment from the jurisdiction involved. This would require the individuals who are helped by the flood study to pay up when and if they sell their home. The idea is that being out of the flood zone would mean they get a higher price for their home than if it was still in the flood hazard zone.

If you need help with an elevation certificate, please call Tyler Land Surveying today at (903) 525-6404 to speak to a Registered Professional Land Surveyor.

Land Surveying: Estimating the Cost

subdivide your propertyLand surveying, in a nutshell, is the art and science of establishing or re-establishing property corners, property lines and/or boundaries. There can be different reasons why someone needs a lot surveyed.

One of the common would be to see whether a piece of land is vulnerable to flooding, to subdivide a property to sell or deed to relatives or to determine if there are any encroachments. This may happen when a neighbour disputes that you are using a piece of his lot or viceversa (for more on this, read this page).

How much does land surveying cost?

If you need to have a piece of land surveyed, first thing that may come to mind is “how much does it cost?”

There are many factors determining how much land surveying on your land would cost. The fact that this sort of service should be done by an expert contributes a lot to the overall cost of the service, but choosing a non-professional to survey your land is dangerous, and possibly illegal for the non-professional.

For this reason you should to take a good look around before settling with a surveying company. If you must work inside a particular budget, discuss this with the surveyor up-front. Many times he might manage to offer cost saving steps to get the work you need done within these cost limits.

The shape of the land should also be considered. A square or even a rectangle piece of land is somewhat easier to survey than an odd shaped parcel, or one with many different sides.

With the latter, the surveyor is required to spend more time in surveying the curves and the bends which means the cost of the service would increase. The overall measurements the land is also key factor here.

Remember that the cost of land surveying is usually proportionate to the time and effort that the land surveyor would spend on the project. If the land that you’re having surveyed isn’t accessible, or has thick vegetation, then the total price of the survey might go higher.

This is true of the weather conditions which might impact the work. Surveying in hot weather is somewhat slower to keep from putting the crew members at risk. Also, most surveying can’t be done in the rain.

When asking for a quote, bear in mind surveyors base the estimate on expected conditions at the site. These conditions could change, bringing about additional costs. Always ask about these potential additional cost scenarios.

All that being said, competitive prices are also to be expected, which is why we recommend choosing a surveyor according to his experience and reputation instead of on the price he writes on a piece of paper. Mostly it is far better to spend a good amount of money on a survey that’s well-done rather than select a company with a very “affordable” price but have the survey repeated because the results were wrong.

To sum up, it is best to discuss the expenses of the survey prior to ask the surveyor to begin with his work. It’s also advisable to receive a contract that lets you understand what is expected of the land surveyor. This is one of the most important steps in getting your land surveyed.

For a free land surveying quote, call Tyler Land Surveying at (903) 525-6404 or send us a message by going here.