Stephen J. Hubertus
Land Surveyor

Professional Land Surveyor

The rates for survey work vary greatly from project to project and somewhat from surveyor to surveyor.  Most surveyors would prefer to work on an hourly basis.  This assures the standards of quality will not be undermined by unforeseeable problems. Most clients what to know what the survey will cost negating the hourly basis.

To determine the cost for your project, the only way to assure a proper estimate is to speak with the surveyor.  The survey will ask you a number of questions in the preparation of the estimate unless it is in an area that they are familiar with or have worked in that area before.  Some of the things the surveyor may ask are.

    1.       Do you have an abstract of title that can be used for the   survey?
    2.        Where is the property? (Address, village, town, county and state)
    3.       What is the terrain like? Flat, hilly, very hill, cliff like, etc.
    4.       What is the ground cover? Open, wooded
    (hardwoods orevergreens) brush , fences, buildings
    5.       Is there a boundary dispute at this time?
    It is helpful to know if when you are going into a survey with a boundary dispute to know that in advance. Often I will contact the other side of the dispute to explain that we are going to be out there to perform our work, which may help in resolving the problem.  I can not remember being denied access to anyone’s property when I have done this.
    6.       What is the time frame you are expecting the work to be done in?  Is there a specific closing date?
    This will help in determining if our schedule will permit us to meet your needs. If we can’t I will recommend another surveyor that may be able to help you.  My philosophy on fee estimation is to try to take into consideration all the problems that may arise and base my estimate on how much time it will take me to do the survey under those conditions.  Should problems arise they can be dealt with immediately without having to go back to the client with an explanation of why the survey is going to cost more.  Usually when I ask for a price to have something done and in the middle of the project I am told it is going to cost more, my first thought is that the person doing this work did not plan very well or they are taking advantage of me.  When an estimate is given the client determines if they want the work done based on that price.  Most people do not anticipate additional costs to be added.  I have seen many competitors pitch a “Lowball Estimate” to a client to get the job then adds on expenses when they are into the project. This gives a bad name to the profession and causes hard feelings with the clients. 


     Some projects receiving money from state and federal agencies fall under the prevailing wage laws. This law establishes rates that the survey crew will be paid for fieldwork.  Some firms try to skirt this issue by using the principles of the firm in the field thinking that as owners they are not subject to the wage law. Should they be audited, they may find that this is not true.

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Stephhen J. Hubertus Land Surveyor