Land Surveying Services in NH, Maine, and Massachusetts

Click survey type to read details.
Lot line survey Conservation easement Right of way determination
Standard boundary survey Subdivision design and approvals Set right of way monumentation
Probate/estate planning Family division plans Easement survey for sewer, water,
driveway, encroachments, access, utilities
Condominium conversions View easement Approval not required plan
Land Court survey Land boundary research Lot line adjustment
Boundary line agreement As-built survey Road detail/utility survey
Aerial photo control survey Wetland Mapping Survey Topographic survey
Construction Layout Foundation Layout Foundation Certification Plan
FEMA Elevation Certificate Survey LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) Millpond Lot Line Survey
NH Subdivision Applications   Contamination Survey and Plan
Standard Land Survey Procedure Methodologies
Land Surveyor for NH, Maine, and MA

Lot line survey

Prescribed to physically monument and delineate a lot line. Lot lines are usually monumented with iron pins with surveyor's cap. I print out a copy of the worksheet and certify what monuments were set and the date at the completion of the job. Methodologies: #1-9, 14

Standard boundary survey

Objective is to produce a plan showing the subject lot deed and plan references, bearings, distances, areas, improvements, lot corner monument descriptions, encroachments, abutter names with deed references, and easements. Plan is drawn to State requirements ink on mylar for recording. It is not mandatory to record the plan but recommended. When the plan is recorded a copy is sent to the municipal tax assessing record department. Methodologies: #1-9, 12, 14, (17)

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Probate/estate planning

Probate/estate planning is popular in Massachusetts to determine the most valued use of property and estate taxes. This normally requires a plan showing subject lot boundary details, easements, wetlands, topography and municipal setbacks. This info can be used to develop a conceptual site plan or subdivision plan to determine potential highest value of property for client and lawyer to use. Methodologies: #1-6, 10, (11), 14

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Condominium conversions

A condominium site plan (or conversion) is a standard boundary survey formatted plan showing existing conditions. The units/buildings become privately owned. The plan shows the submitted land that is appurtenant to the particular unit/building. This submitted land includes “convertible land” known as common areas to be used and enjoyed by owners of the submitted land and units. This common area can be land for which additional units/buildings may be created or it may be used as limited common area that is land reserved for use by a designated unit such as for a parking space or deck. The plan may provide for future development/submitted land with land labeled “expandable land”. The plans also must show elevation views and floor plans. The set gets recorded. Methodologies: #1-9 (10, 11), 12, 14, (17)

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Conservation easement

Conservation easement is typically a standard boundary survey format with land from which building/development rights are extinguished to preserve areas of land in its natural state or perhaps to be used for farming. Normally a portion of the land is excluded keeping buildings and appurtenant land out of the easement. The plan is recorded. Methodologies: #1-9, 12, 14, (17)

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Subdivision design and approvals

Subdivision design and approvals requires a standard boundary survey format. Wetlands, soil types and topography are mapped as necessary to meet municipal and state setback requirements. With this information the finest lot configurations and building sites can be determined subject to planning board and state approvals. Monuments are set. Final approved plan is recorded. Methodologies: #1-12, 14, 17

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Family division plans

Family division plan (allowed in Maine) is a Maine procedure creating one lot every five years if the subject land remains in the same ownership, subject to zoning ordinance and State requirements. Two divisions are allowed. Plan and deed is recorded. Methodologies #1-9, (10, 11), 12, 13, 14, (17)

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View easement

View easement is normally added to a standard boundary survey format. This is to keep a certain area on the abutting land clear of obstructions to keep the spectacular view open. Plan and deed is recorded. Methodologies #1-9 (11), 12, (17)

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Right of way determination

Right of way determination survey with plan is a standard boundary survey format with the adjoining right of way or a right of way easement within subject property delineated and monumented. A plan is normally drawn and recorded. Methodologies: #1-9, (12), 14

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Set right of way monumentation

Set right of way monumentation is normally done prior to town acceptance of a road. Granite and/or concrete bounds are normally set to mark the angle points. Plans are not usually for recording just a certified plot plan is completed. Methodologies: #1-9

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Easement survey for sewer, water, driveway, encroachments, access, utilities

Easement survey for sewer, water, driveway, encroachments, access, utilities to name a few is basically a standard boundary survey format with existing utilities and site details mapped. Existing easements are delineated and proposed easements are shown. Deed and plan is normally recorded. Methodologies: #1-9, (10, 11) 12, 14, 15, 17

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Land Court survey

Land Court survey is a Massachusetts standard boundary survey or subdivision conducted and drafted according to the stringent Mass. land court rules and procedures. Generally, an attorney is the liaison to the land court. These surveys are generally more expensive than normal. The accepted plan is recorded/registered in the land court part of the registry of deeds and in their main office in Boston. Methodologies: #1-9, 12, 14, 16, 17

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Approval not required plan

Approval not required plan (ANR) is allowed in Massachusetts to show a subdivision if you have the required frontage(s). The planning board signs a block entitled “Approval Not Required”, subject of course to municipal ordinances and state and federal requirements. Plan is recorded. Methodologies: #1-9, (10, 11), 12, 14, (17)

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Land boundary research

Land boundary research usually starts at the town or city municipal tax assessor's office on the internet, if available. If not, at the tax assessor. Essential information is subject lot owner and abutters usually within 200 ft of subject lot lines and also tax map and lot numbers. Other vital information if available is the roadway right of way width and location documents, the town/city clerk may have reference to or city engineer/planning department might have on file including utility and easement data that might effect the lot. Generally run chain of title back to lot creation to understand its history and easements affecting the site. Methodologies: #1

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Lot line adjustment

Lot line adjustment is generally a standard boundary survey format of two adjoining properties. The plan depicts a lot line shift between the two properties. Monuments are set. Plan must be approved by the planning board prior to recording and in New Hampshire may have to go through state subdivision approval. Methodologies: #1-9, 12, (14, 17)

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Boundary line agreement

Boundary line agreement requires a standard boundary survey format for recording that shows existing details adjacent to the accepted agreed upon boundary line. Boundary line agreements are only necessary when the deeds are vague and the original boundary cannot be ascertained. The procedure requires monuments set as required by state rules. Plan and deeds are recorded. Methodologies: #1-9, 12, (14, 17)

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As-built survey

As-built survey necessitates standard boundary format with all the site details located from an actual instrument field survey and shown on the plan. Any easements, encroachments and utilities are also shown on the plan. These plans are rarely formatted for recording. Methodologies: #1-9, (10, 11, 12), 14, 17

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Road detail/utility survey

Road detail/utility survey usually shows approximate right of way lines and lot lines. Existing roadway and structure details are field located and drafted into a plan. Normally, sewer and drainage structure rim and invert elevations are noted on the plan. Elevation contours are computed and shown. The elevation datum is normally NGVD29 or a specific city elevation datum common in Massachusetts along rivers. Plan is rarely formatted for recording. Methodologies: #1-6, (10, 11, 14), 15, 17

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Aerial photo control survey

Aerial photo control survey requires running a field survey traverse loop to locate, elevate and coordinate certain items required by the aerial mappers. The mappers use the coordinate/elevation data to set up their drawing scale and datum. State plane coordinates and the NGVD29 elevation datum are sometimes required for this contour mapping process. Methodologies:#3-6

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Topographic survey

Topographic surveys are sometimes needed in conjunction with as-built surveys to depict elevation data and contours on a certified as-built plan. There should be two topographic elevation benchmarks (such as spike in pole) set per site or more depending on parcel size. Certain elevation datum such as NGVD29 are required for FEMA work. An elevation level loop is necessary to transfer a published known elevation benchmark to a temporary benchmark (TBM) on subject property. The 2-man survey crew then surveys the elevations on the property by obtaining spot grades sometimes on a 50' grid or less as required. This field data is then downloaded into the AutoCAD drawing and contours are office-calculated and labeled on whatever particular style plan is required. Plan is certified for presentation. Methodologies: #1-6, (7, 8, 9, 10), 11, 14, 17

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Wetland Mapping Survey

Wetland mapping survey mandates a soils scientist flag up the edge of wetlands from soils auger probe examinations. Then we field survey locate the flags and plot locations on a boundary worksheet. Setbacks are added to plan for a site design process. Methodologies: #1, 3-6, 9, 10

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Construction Layout

Construction layout is required to stake out proposed centerline of road, building corners, curbing, utilities, and the like. Necessitates first establishing survey control traverse to tie into limits of project prior to office calculating layout coordinate points. Methodologies: #1-9

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Foundation Layout

Foundation layout is required to assure foundation is placed outside of any setback requirements and inside the town specified building envelope area. Methodologies: #(1), 3-9

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Foundation Certification Plan

Foundation certification plan shows the new foundation located from an actual field survey on a certified plot plan. This assures the municipal building inspector the concrete placement meets proper setbacks. Quite often elevation spot grades are obtained to prove the foundation is not in a flood plane zone. Methodologies: #(1), 3-6

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FEMA Elevation Certificate Survey

FEMA elevation certificate requires tying into a national vertical geodetic elevation datum in order to fill in the requested existing elevation information data required on the particular government form. The form also requires North American datum latitude and longitude for the building location and pictures of each side of the building. Land surveyor certifies form that is then normally used with the flood plane determinations associated with flood plane insurance. Methodologies: #11

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LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment)

LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) is a government form process to prove a building or land area is out of the flood plane. A simple form can be used to remove a foundation from the flood plane location status and a more involved topographic survey plan is required to remove a land area out of the flood plane status. Normally also requires a FEMA elevation certificate. Methodologies: #1-6, 11

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Millpond Lot Line Survey

Millpond lot line. Sometimes deeded property lines along ponds require establishing an elevation contour along the pond boundary. Usually a level loop is necessary to transfer the deeded elevation reference to your site. Then the survey requires the top and toe elevation of the pond bank in order to office-calculate the elevation based lot line. Lot line is monumented with iron pins and caps on meander lines and a plan is drawn usually for recording as a standard boundary survey. Methodologies: #1-6, 11, 12

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NH Subdivision Applications

New Hampshire State Subdivision Applications for lots under 5 acres or in the shore land protection zone requires a topographic plan illustrating a 4,000 sq. ft septic reserve area, test pit location profile, soil types, perk test data, proposed well location, ledge outcrops and proposed lot lines. Any dredge and fill permitting must be completed first. New Hampshire State Subdivision application is $300 per lot and may take 30 days for the State to review providing the application is satisfactory. This process is normally done in conjunction with municipal subdivision plans requiring planning board approval and subsequent recording. Methodologies: #1, 3-9, 10, 11, (17)

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Contamination Survey and Plan

Contamination Survey and Plan is a standard boundary survey format that shows areas contaminated (quite often by home heating oil) labeled “activity use limitation boundary” (AUL). That AUL boundary is typically labeled with bearings and distances so a legal description can be written. These plans are done for environmental service companies. Methodologies: #1-10, (11), 12, 14, 17

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NH, Maine, and Massachusetts Standard Land Survey Procedure Methodologies

1 Obtain information from the town or city, municipality tax assessor on the internet site if available, if not at tax assessor. Essential information is subject lot owner and abutters usually within 200 ft of subject lot lines and also need tax map and lot number. Other vital info if available is the roadway right of way width and location documents the town/city clerk may have reference to or city engineer/planning department might have on file. Generally run chain of title back to lot creation to understand its history and easements affecting the site.

2 Sending out an abutter's notice of the impending field survey is done when determined obligatory. This explains the road nails and/or hub and tacks we set are merely survey reference points (not boundary markers) used to measure angles and distances (from convenient spots) to monuments and site details. This notice also weeds out hostile abutters who do not wish the survey crew on their property, by asking any abutter to give the office a call and let us know your wishes and also to let us know if you have any unrecorded plans and deeds necessary for a successful boundary line determination.

3 The field crew is sent out to do boundary monument reconnaissance. It is imperative to do a thorough patient search for controlling monumentation.

4 The field survey hubs and lines are set up before turning angles to monuments and details. In the woods, lines of site are cut out giving sight distance to each hub and tack set up point for the instrument to collect data from. The survey lines form a closed loop so an error of closure can be calculated as required.

5 Two-man field crew runs a field survey around the traverse loop spinning angles and measuring distances electronically absorbed by the data collector to locate and map boundary/site details or simply locate a new foundation to produce a foundation certification plan for the building inspector.

6 The field data is then downloaded in the office into an AutoCAD computer drawing. This field data is analyzed against the controlling deed and plan data. Property lines are then calculated into a certifiable boundary worksheet drawing and if necessary coordinates to do a radial stakeout are calculated. The field crew will return to site and use their radial stakeout data to search for important record monuments not found, by setting up and turning calculated angles and measure distance to search for a suspect monument(s).

7 Once all existing monuments are found then the determined lot lines are shown on the AutoCAD drawing boundary worksheet. Lot corner coordinates are calculated and uploaded into the data collector to set missing monuments.

8 The field crew returns to site and sets required monuments including 3/4 inch iron pin with surveyor's cap or concrete or granite bounds or railroad spike in pavement and/or drill hole marks in stone walls.

9 Field layout is then downloaded into AutoCAD drawing to verify accurate layout. The monuments are labeled in the drawing worksheet with type and date set. The boundary worksheet is plotted and certified for office file and copied to client. The computer drawing is then backed up and archived.

10 To find the most valued use of the property the edge of wetlands are flagged by wetland scientists and field located by a 2-man survey crew. This data is added to the boundary worksheet. The municipal setback lines are added. A plausible use of the property is then determined such as residential or commercial lots. The surveyor can then commence with subdivision proposal plan and/or this information could be used by an attorney for estate value planning.

11 A topographic survey shows elevation contours. This elevation information may be necessary to determine the most valuable use of the property as in subdivision design. An elevation datum can be assumed unless municipal zoning or project coordinator requires a specific datum or for government FEMA work. FEMA work usually requires the elevation datum to be (NGVD29) National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 29 is usually required for FEMA Elevation Certificates or (LOMA) Letter of Map Amendment to show subject property or just the building does not lie in the flood plane. The (BFE) Base Flood Elevation on (FIRM) Flood Insurance Rate Maps stipulates the height of the water which causes flood insurance to be necessary.

An elevation level loop is necessary to transfer a published NGVD29 or known elevation/benchmark to a (TBM) temporary benchmark on subject property, such as a spike in a utility pole. This work is carried out by a 2-man field crew. There must be at least two TBMs per site or more depending on size of subject lot.

A two-man field crew then surveys the varying elevations on the subject property (and usually overlapping about 100 ft depending on slope) by obtaining spot grades. The site is peppered with spot grades some times on a 50 ft grid or less as required. This field data is then downloaded into the AutoCAD drawing. Contours are then office calculated and labeled on the boundary worksheet creating a contour map to be modified into a particular style plan for certification and presentation.

12 A full-blown standard boundary survey plan is always recommended to be recorded at the appropriate register of deeds. It is not mandatory to record the plan but by recording it the information can be used by other surveyors to help prevent overlaps and gaps. In New Hampshire when a boundary plan is recorded a copy must be sent to the municipal record department.

A recordable plan is an ink on mylar drawing drafted to municipal and state standards. Plans which must be recorded include subdivision, lot line adjustment, condominium, family division, boundary line agreement, conservation easement, view easement, land court, (ANR) approval not required to name a few. These plans should include all the abutter data and subject property bearings, distances, areas, easements and legal documents relevant to the subject property and usually site details depending upon type of plan.

13 Maine allows property divisions (2) through land use laws 30A SS 4401. This allows the land owner to divide out a lot after five years and one more after an additional five years. The lot must meet zoning and State rules to build on. In Maine subdivision means the division of land or buildings into three or more lot/units within a five year period. (see State Statute for specific details).

14 Right of way determination is required to establish a property line location along a road or the location of a right of way for a specific purpose within the subject lot.

15 Utility and/or road easement surveys are usually required by civil engineers before designing any new utility projects to be aware of impediments such as existing easement rights or to understand obstructions prior to creating an easement for a specific utility or road.

16 Massachusetts has a land court. Once a property has been put into the land court system, no adverse claims can be made against the property. Any further subdivision or sales are controlled by the land court and their rules. Normally, an attorney will act as the liaison agent between the surveyor and the land court. The field survey has to be conducted and drafted for registration under their stringent rule procedures. Land court plans of record usually make adjoining property surveys easier than ordinary.

17 As-built surveys are done to show existing conditions including record boundaries, existing utilities, easements, elevation data and on-site details. This information is normally required for engineering design on proposed projects or subdivisions. Utility research must be conducted in town/city engineering records office, department of transportation, water department, sewer department, electric and gas utility offices to name a few as required.

(ALTA) American Land Title Surveys are as-built surveys to the strict 2011 ALTA/ACSM rules. ALTA surveys are usually required for lending institutions attorneys prior to any kind of mortgage.

Road detail/utility surveys are basically as-built surveys as well but may not require accurate property line delineation. This as-built data is then formatted into a particular plan type.

Please send me an email ( with your survey request with whatever information you have or just give me a call (603-436-1330) for a free estimate and proposal. Our physical location is at 34 Old Post Road, Newington, NH 03801

Serving landowners, land buyers, civil engineers, architects, and municipalities in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Protect your land investments, prevent costly mistakes, and avoid boundary disputes with a professional title search and land survey.