Michigan Surveying, Inc. Land Developing Consulting Michigan Surveying, Inc. Land Developing Consulting
Changing Land
to Landmarks

Services we offer

  1. ALTA/NSPS Survey (formerly ALTA/ASCM)
  2. Boundary Survey
  3. Topo Survey
  4. Boundary & Topo Survey
  5. Mortgage Certificate
  6. Boundary Survey for Split/Combination
  7. Boundary, TOPO Survey & Plot Plan
  8. Building Envelope
  9. Plot Plan
  10. Construction Staking
  11. As-Built Survey
  12. Site Plan
  13. Subdivision/Condominium Design
  14. Engineering Design

ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey

Also called: ALTA Survey, ALTA...

Title Insurance plays an important role in protecting lenders’ and purchasers’ land investment. To be able to evaluate the property and the risks associated with issuing a title insurance policy on the property, a title insurance company must, in part, rely upon an up-to-date and accurate Survey of the property.

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) have jointly developed the ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey standards to use in preparation of these Surveys.

An ALTA Survey verifies a legal description and possible easements of subject property. Additional items like planimetric and topographic data, utilities and site improvements, zoning and hazard land information could be requested as outlined in Table A.

ALTA Surveys are almost exclusively performed for multi family residential, commercial or industrial properties.

Drawing comment

The ALTA Survey pictured above was a part of a multi-site transaction of heavy industrial manufacturing facilities along with associated office/technical complexes.

A number of errors and ambiguities in the recorded Legal Description were discovered (see Surveyor’s Notes).

Two original parcels were then combined into one parcel and a concise Description of Survey was prepared. All issues relating to the interpretation of faulty Legal Descriptions and creation of Description of Survey were discussed with title company and attorney teams of seller and buyer parties.

Boundary Survey

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Also called: Stake Survey, Lot Survey, Lot Stake, Property Line Survey, Physical Survey.

Boundary Survey is a survey to establish the boundaries of a land parcel using its legal description. It typically involves the setting or restoration of markers at the property corners and sometimes along the property lines.

Michigan Surveying, Inc. will mark the corners of the property with 1/2"x18" steel bars set flush with the ground along with wooden stakes set beside as witnesses.

We can also provide a Certificate of Survey, which is a detailed drawing depicting the surveyed property for legal matters and future reference.

Drawing comment

The Certificate of Survey pictured above represents a survey of land described by meets and bounds. Two section corners were located along with one property iron. Three remaining property corners were marked with steel bars 1/2"x18". No encroachments were found.

Resulting Description of Survey was simplified.

TOPO Survey

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Also called: Topographic Survey, TOPO.

When developing or redeveloping a property the architect/engineer/planner requires an accurate and comprehensive map of the site, indicating a wide array of relevant information. Exact ground elevations, roads, buildings, utility services, trees and significant landscape and drainage features are all indicated on a Topographic Survey. The map is produced according to strict requirements outlined by the municipal, county and other regulations.

Drawing comment

The TOPO Survey pictured above was performed for the redevelopment of a single family residential parcel.

The client’s intention was to demolish an existing house and build a new, larger, house with a walkout basement closer to the water’s edge. Extensive landscaping was also planned along with a boat launch.

Boundary & TOPO Survey

It is a TOPO Survey along with all the requirements of Boundary Survey e.g. property corners recovered or established, legal description confirmed, corrected or written.

Drawing comment

The TOPO Survey pictured above was performed for the redevelopment of a single family residential parcel.

The client’s intention was to demolish the existing house and built a new, larger house with a walkout basement closer to the water’s edge. The client also intended to do extensive landscaping and construct a boat launch.

A Boundary Survey was also performed because the lot is relatively small, and client’s intention was to build the biggest house allowed by the Zoning Ordinance and the set-back lines.

Mortgage Certificate

Also called: Mortgage Inspection, Mortgage Report, Mortgage Survey...

A Mortgage Survey is a simple survey that generally determines land boundaries and building locations. Mortgage Survey is usually required by title insurance companies and lending institutions when providing financing. Certificate shows that there are no structures encroaching onto the property, and that the position of structures is generally within zoning and building code requirements.

A Mortgage Certificate (Survey) is not a Boundary Survey or Property Line Survey and it shall not be used to establish property lines, easements, etc. Property markers are not set.

Drawing comment

The Mortgage Certificate pictured above was performed for the lake side property consisting of two subdivision lots. A Flood Note was also provided.

Boundary Survey for Split/Combination

Also called: Split/Combo Survey, Split Survey, Combo Survey...

A Split/Combo Survey is a Boundary Survey required when:

  • splitting an existing parcel into two or more new legal parcels,
  • combining two or more existing parcels into one legal parcel, or
  • exchanging land between two or more adjacent parcels to change its configuration.

The property corners of newly created parcels are marked with 1/2”x18” steel bars set flush with the ground along with wooden stakes as witnesses. A Split/Combo Survey includes a Certificate of Survey (a drawing depicting the surveyed property) and the new Legal Descriptions prepared for the municipality approval, registration at register of deeds and for personal records.

Drawing comment

The Certificate of Survey pictured above was prepared for an exchange of land between two adjacent legal properties, and the creation of two new ones of different configurations.

Boundary, TOPO Survey & Plot Plan

This combines all three services for a comprehensive map and plan for a single-family residential construction project. A Plot Plan is a drawing or map, which is required by a municipality for approval of planned construction.

A Plot Plan may include information about elevations, setbacks, adjacent structures, location and dimensions of proposed construction, and/or utility services information.

Requirements for proposed single-family residential construction projects vary widely among municipalities, a TOPO and Boundary Surveys are usually required as well.

All multi-family residential and nonresidential projects require a Site Plan rather than a Plot Plan.

Drawing comment

The Plot Plan pictured above was prepared for the redevelopment of a single-family residential parcel.

The client’s intention was to demolish an existing house and built new bigger house with a walkout basement closer to the waters edge. Two septic fields were also designed as required by Oakland County Health Department.

Building Envelope

Also called: Draw Lot, Lot Fit Study, Check for Fit...

A Building Envelope is a drawing of a parcel of land with the setbacks and easements that may be on it. Each proposed property development must meet setback, zoning and other requirements, so a footprint of the house is overlaid onto the Building Envelope. This drawing may also be used to design the footprint of any planned improvements such as a house, garage, swimming pool, etc.

No field survey is performed.

Drawing comment

The drawing pictured above shows a Building Envelope on cul-de-sac subdivision lot with three easements. The proposed house has to be positioned within setback lines and cannot encroach into easements.

Plot Plan

A Plot Plan is a drawing or map, which is required by a municipality for approval of planned construction on single-family residential parcel.

A Plot Plan may include information about elevations, setbacks, adjacent structures, location and dimensions of proposed construction, and/or utility services information.

Requirements vary widely among municipalities, a TOPO and Boundary Surveys are usually required as well.

All multi-family residential and nonresidential projects require a Site Plan rather than a Plot Plan.

Drawing comment

The Plot Plan pictured above was prepared for the redevelopment of a single-family residential parcel.

The client’s intention was to demolish an existing house and build a new bigger house with a walkout basement closer to the water’s edge. Two septic fields were also designed as required by Oakland County Health Department.

Construction Staking

Also called: Lay-Out, Stake-Out, Set-Out, Staking, Stake...

You have received a complete set of approved architectural and/or engineering drawings for your project, and now you have to decide what to do next.

Every construction starts with Construction Staking. This entails the site preparation and grading, the determination of the foundation location within property boundaries, provisions for parking, as well as the location of roads and utilities.

Typically, a primary control network is established. The control network provides all the necessary information on the ground for building gridlines on suitable offsets. Reference points are checked and replaced as construction progresses.

You do not need to hire a Professional Surveyor for Construction Staking. However, Professional Surveyors are best qualified to perform such task and ONLY Professional Surveyors carry proper liability insurance. Also, ONLY As-Built Surveys certified by Professional Surveyor are recognized by governmental approving bodies.

Hiring one team of trained professionals to perform all surveying tasks throughout a construction project ensures the highest quality and continuity for the client.

As-Built Survey

Also called: As-Built, AB...

An As-Built Survey is a post-construction Survey verifying that construction has been completed according to the approved design plans. This Survey is usually required when seeking an occupancy permit.

It is important to note that the approval boards of governmental bodies only recognize As-Built Surveys certified by Professional Surveyor. ONLY Professional Surveyor carry proper liability insurance. Although hiring a Surveyor for construction staking is not necessary, it is HIGHLY recommended. Hiring one team of trained professionals to perform all surveying tasks throughout a construction project ensures the highest quality and continuity for the client.

Site Plan

A Site Plan is required for proposed development of multi-family residential and all nonresidential projects. It shows the existing and proposed conditions of the parcels, including topography, vegetation, drainage, floodplains, waterways, open spaces, walkways, means of ingress and egress, utility services, landscaping, structures and signs, lighting, screening devices, and other information that may be required by the approving authority to make an informed decision

Single-family residential projects require a Plot Plan rather than a Site Plan.

Drawing comment

The drawings pictured above were prepared for the improvement and expansion of a parking lot for a community super market in Royal Oak.

  • Sheet 1 - TOPO & Demo Plan shows existing conditions and what will be demolished/removed.
  • Sheet 2 - General Plan shows new asphalt pavement, proposed underground drainage system, new parking spot configuration and modified traffic flow patterns.
  • Sheet 3 - Grading & Paving Plan shows details of proposed drain water flow patterns, details & specification of proposed pavement, curbs, etc.
  • Sheet 4 - Utility Plan shows underground detention calculations/requirements, profiles of proposed storm sewer.

Subdivision/Condominium Design

Subdivision is the act of dividing land into pieces that are easier to sell or otherwise develop, via a plat. The former single piece as a whole is then known as a subdivision. If it is used for housing, it is typically known as a housing or residential subdivision.

A Subdivision may also be for commercial or industrial development; varying from retail malls, with independently owned parcels, to industrial parks.

Condominium refers to the common ownership of structures or land, including all of the inner walls of a multi unit apartment/office building.

Drawing comment

The Condominium Plan pictured above is a sample of "site" condominium project. It creates a space in which a Co-owner may construct a single-family residence. Each Co-owner of a unit also owns the land and air, which constitutes a building site in which the residence will be constructed. Although a site condominium is analogous to a subdivision platted in accordance with the Subdivision Control Act of 1967, as amended (the "Plat Act"), there are significant differences between a site condominium and a subdivision.

Co-owners of site condominium Units have certain statutory rights and obligations with respect to the maintenance and management of the Common Elements, which are not regulated by statute in subdivision developments. Moreover, purchasers of condominium Units enjoy statutory rights, which are not given to lot owners.

Engineering Design

Today land developers must obtain several permits and approvals prior to the construction of new buildings or the expansion of new facilities. Every project requires approval from both the municipal and the county agencies. Additional approvals may be required from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Transportation and other state agencies.

Engineering Design drawings are the basis for applications to obtain those approvals.

Drawing comment

The drawings pictured above were prepared for the improvement and expansion of parking lot for a community super market.

  • Sheet 1 - TOPO & Demo Plan shows existing conditions and what will be demolished/removed.
  • Sheet 2 - General Plan shows new asphalt pavement, proposed underground drainage system, new parking spots configuration and modified traffic flow patterns.
  • Sheet 3 - Grading & Paving Plan shows details of proposed drain water flow patterns, details & specifications of proposed pavement, curbs, etc.
  • Sheet 4 - Utility Plan shows underground detention calculations/requirements, profiles of proposed storm sewer.