Most people assume that if they require a survey they can just ask for it. But if you just ask for a ‘utility survey’, for example, you may also, unknowingly, require utility mapping. Understanding these terms will help you to receive the correct type of survey. The most common surveys required are Utility Detection and Utility Mapping, Statutory Plan Collation, Measured Building Survey, Topographical Survey, Archaeological Survey and Geophysical Survey.

Utility Detection and Utility Mapping. Using the latest detection technology your provider should have the skills and equipment to locate just about any buried utility, including pipes, cables and drainage systems, without digging any holes. Ask whether your provider will be carrying out the utility detection survey using invasive or non-invasive methods. In utility detection surveyors will usually paint the location of their findings on the ground surface in paint which will biodegrade. If you require a permanent copy of the utility detection survey you should ask for utility mapping: a colour coded detailed drawing of the detected utilities. Utility mapping is useful for future reference so is ideal during construction.

Statutory Plan Collation. A plans surveyor will carry out a statutory plans search to create a report of the below surface utility infrastructure, using existing surveys and documentation. This may, however, not be up-to-date, so this is ideally carried out in addition to Utility Detection (and, if you require it, Utility Mapping).

Measured Building Survey. These are created to produce plans of a building or a building under construction. Measured building surveyors can create floor plans, elevations and 3D models of a structure, so understand how you want the findings presented.

Topographical Survey. The contour of a piece of land is measured in a topographical survey. Your surveyor should be able to have these incorporated into a full topographical survey colour-coded drawing if you require.

Archaeological Survey. If you need to locate archaeological sites on a landscape, or archaeological findings on a site, you will require an archaeological survey.

Geophysical Survey. A geophysical survey can identify and locate a huge range of buried features, including air voids and cavities, mineshafts, fuel tanks, air raid shelters, UXOs and badger sets. A geophysical survey can also illustrate the characterisation of land forms, geomorphology and waterfronts.

When choosing a surveyor look for a company with an expansive (and relevant) portfolio of experience. Ensure your surveyor is Chartered; ask if they are a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, as they will have qualified to the high standards required. Ask about the surveying company’s speed of response, and ensure that the time frame which they give you will suit your needs.

Author's Bio: 

The SUMO Group are a leading RICS qualified surveying company offering a comprehensive range of surveys. They provide all of the surveys mentioned in this article using the latest surveying technology and techniques.SUMO Services