Understanding Property Benchmarks in Topographic Surveys

Understanding Property Benchmarks in Topographic Surveys

October 16, 2020

Anyone who has ever built a new construction project or overseen the development of a housing community has likely encountered a topographic survey. Of course, learning to read a topographic survey requires a bit of an education. If you’re new to the construction game, you may not be entirely sure what you’re looking at when a land surveyor presents you with a finished topographic map.

Not to worry! Deciphering a topographic map isn’t impossible—you just have to know what to look for. It all starts with property benchmarks in Guadalupe County, TX.

What is a topographic survey?

Let’s start by loosely defining a topographic survey. These extensive land appraisals identify a wide range of items on your property, including:

  • Improvements, like buildings and fences
  • Municipal items, like manholes and streets
  • Utilities, like power lines
  • Trees

Perhaps most importantly, a topographic survey will show you the elevation changes in your property. These elevation shifts are referred to as the contour lines of your property. In addition to marking the shifts in elevation, contour lines note the slope with which those changes are made. This information is crucial when you’re planning to build on a property for whatever purpose.

Ultimately, a comprehensive topographic survey can let you know if your construction plans are feasible, or if you will need to grade the land to proceed.

Foundation of a topographic survey

Property benchmarks are the basis of every topographic survey in Guadalupe County, TX. A property benchmark is a random but permanent item chosen on the property that serves as the metric used for vertical data collection. This object can be anything from a survey monument to a boulder on-site.

The benchmark on a topographic survey can be given an arbitrary vertical baseline (like 0), or its exact height above sea level can be assessed. The choice is up to the landowner, but it also depends on what type of building you’re doing. If your development is for personal use, then assigned elevation metrics should work just fine. If you’re developing a government or municipal building project, you’ll be best served by going with the actual elevation of your property benchmark.

Let the pros handle it

If you have more questions about property benchmarks in Guadalupe County, TX, there’s only one team to trust: Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. Since we opened our doors in 1953, we have offered a wide array of services to residential, commercial and industrial clients throughout the area. We’re the team to turn to when you require civil engineering, construction layout services, topographic surveys, boundary dispute mitigation, elevation certificates, staking, mortgage surveys and a whole lot more.

What makes us special is our unparalleled commitment to customer service. When you work with our seasoned experts, you can rest assured that we will act professionally at all times and tend to your needs in a timely, efficient manner. That’s the commitment to quality that has kept Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. in business for more than 65 years. Find out more by giving us a call today!

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