Photo: Land being surveyed

Even if you’re a landowner, you may not be familiar with what a plat survey is. A plat survey is the means used to make a plat, or an official, drawn up map of a piece of land, accurately.

To make a plat, a system that employs geographic features, distances between clearly identified points and different directions is often used to identify a parcel’s boundaries. The parcel is sometimes divided into sections that are discussed in metes and bounds. The boundaries of the piece of land are then visually described from a designated starting point, from which the description circles around the property until it returns to its original starting point.

Also known as a “boundary survey” or a “plat of survey,” a plat survey must be completed by a licensed surveyor. When completing a plat survey, a surveyor will locate and measure various things on the parcel, such as existing property corner monuments like iron rods or drill holes, fence lines and lines of occupation, among others.

While a plat is obviously a visual re-creation of a parcel of land, a plat survey does more than create a visible map of the area. It also provides a written description of the land that begins at the same starting point that the visual description did and circles in the same manner until it returns to the starting point.

Plat surveys are helpful in a variety of instances. They’re quite useful when you’re trying to identify individual parcels of land in a large area, such as a farmstead or suburban subdivision, for example. They’re also helpful for homeowners who want to know the precise boundaries of their property. The measurements recorded in a plat can be compared to a homeowner’s deed, making it possible to calculate the property’s exact boundaries.

Kinds of Plats

While you now have a basic understanding of plats and the surveys used to make them, there’s still more to learn. Several different kinds of plats are used for various purposes. Here are some of the plats you may want to have created depending on your needs:

  • Plat of Consolidation: If you assume ownership of multiple parcels of land and want to combine them to make one bigger area, you’ll typically have to have a plat of consolidation created for each parcel involved. It’s likely that you’ll then need to submit your plats of consolidation to your local municipality to see if it’s possible to combine the parcels.
  • Plat of Subdivision: As its name implies, a plat of subdivision is necessary when a landowner wants to divide his or her property into smaller pieces of real estate. When a plat of subdivision is completed, it will have to be submitted to your local government for approval.
  • Correction Plats: Also known as “amending plats,” these plats are made to correct inaccurate details recorded on a pre-existing plat. This kind of plat is often used to relocate features on a piece of property or the parcel’s boundaries.

Contact Advance Surveying & Engineering

While we welcomed new owners who used to be our long-term employees in April 2017, Advance Surveying & Engineering still performs plat surveys just like we have since our company was founded way back in 1972. If you need a plat survey of any sort, contact Advance Survey & Engineering in Minnetonka today.

October 15, 2017 Advance Surveying