What Surveys Do I Need for a Home Addition?

When purchasing a new property or building a home or structure from the ground up, the need for a survey is clear. Determining your property boundaries and other relevant information is vital from the very beginning of land ownership. Even when a survey does exist, it is recommended to have a current pre-purchase survey completed to confirm all data. The knowledge gleaned from a land survey ensures you fully understand the legal boundaries of the property and that your buildings are compliant with council setbacks. An identification survey can be the first step towards planning for potential construction or future development, too—without encroaching on a neighbours’ land or public grounds.

Yet after time has passed, many property owners decide to make alterations to their homes. Perhaps your family is growing and you intend to add additional bedrooms for your offspring. Maybe your original kitchen lacks the space and fluid design you had hoped for, and you’ve opted to renovate it completely. In these cases, do you need an additional land survey? And if so, what types of surveys will be required? In any situation, make sure you only entrust such tasks to experienced, professional land surveyors in your region.

Determine the Scope of Work

Whether or not you need a land survey will depend on what type of home addition or home renovation is being completed. With simple interior works that don’t change the overall structure of your property you may be able to forego surveying services. This might include overhauling your bathrooms, installing new windows on the home, or even knocking down an interior wall to expand a room. Larger projects that will alter the overall shape, area, or position of the property structures—or will create additional structures on the land—may necessitate a land survey.

When planning for excessive home additions or when adding a garage, carport, or other significant structure, you will probably hire a professional architect. He or she will need a residential survey that provides the information necessary for drafting compliant, safe, and legal designs. If you have an accurate up-to-date identification survey, this might be enough, but in some cases, additional surveying will still be needed.

Time for a New Survey

An existing survey may be detailed enough for the basics of your home addition or renovation, but there are some situations in which a fresh land survey is still highly recommended. Is your home addition coming quite close to the property line or to an easement? Builds near to the property line may require extra planning or even council approval. It is in these cases that a professional surveyor can help ensure your intended addition fully meets the legal and spatial standards. Building too close to an easement could potentially be a particularly costly mistake, should you be asked to remove an impinging structure at some future date.

Want to place a fence on your property? A land survey is highly recommended to confirm property boundaries and prevent encroachments onto a neighbour’s land. It’s also wise to get a survey if you require any council approval to remove vegetation or perform other work in order to erect the fence.

Demolishing and rebuilding on a property also necessitates a full professional land survey. In this circumstance, the situation is essentially starting a brand new home build. Plans will need to be created in line with the current survey designations.

Ask a Shoalhaven Surveyor

If you’re still unsure whether or not you need a survey for your home addition, give us a call. The team at Leslie & Thompson are friendly, expert land surveyors who have been in the industry for many years. We’ll be happy to discuss your renovation or addition plans and provide our professional recommendations.