DIY: Survey

6 Replies

I am under contract on a 20 acre parcel of land and was interested in doing a self survey. I don't really know what I am doing, though through search and rescue and obtaining private pilots license I did have to map coordinates and locate them. Is a similar type knowledge used in surveying? I would really like to walk the 20 acre parcel and mark out the boundary lines if there is a way to do it. I realize I may not get it perfect, but I would love to get it somewhat correct. Any thoughts or idea's others have used would be appreciated. Thanks!

I should mention this is not part of my feasibility - this is just for fun. I am going to buy (or not buy) the land regardless of if I can do a survey myself or not.

@Zach Schwarzmiller being a fireman on wildland fires I understand your premise.  they do not normally use UTM in real estate, they use the meridian, township, range, section etc.  Your GPS may be able to convert it especially if it has all the local maps downloaded.  20 acres is about 1/2 1/4 1/4 of a section.  Hope that helps.

Try to follow the "metes & bounds" of the original survey. Using a compass & chain (tape). This will prove to be quite difficult depending on the terrain. And the fact that it's 20 acres....
If you really want to know where the prop lines are. Hire a surveyor. Otherwise you could get WAY off....
A total station with TDS would be very efficient. But you still need somewhere to start and at least one other point to get going in the right direction.
Good luck.

Thanks, @Scott Anderson  @Jerry W.  - makes sense it would be difficult, but I figured I would inquire. I can see a lot of the properties boundary lines as there is house, barn, several outbuildings wit gated entry and large creek running through middle. On the other side of the river is about 1/3 of the property that backs up to state land. For fun I wanted to be able to cross the creek and go over and mark my land but it doesn't really matter. Appreciate the replies! 

right on. Sounds like an AWSOME property.

I was a surveyor for many years and I kkow first hand how difficult it can be to locate prop lines with little info. Even with state of the art equipment it can go wrong...

Enjoy your land.!!!

Happy holidays.

@Zach Schwarzmiller,

There should be at least one recorded survey or plat held at your county clerk & recorders office.  It should be pretty easy to look up by address. I'd try to find some easily visible indicators (eg fence corners, fence intersections, fence lines extended to a ROW, etc.). If you can orient yourself on a couple of corners, you'd be able to associate that to your plat. In CO our corners are placed using rebar, so a metal detector is the best way to find them. Don't know if that's the case in WA, but could help you in your endeavor. There are also coordinate converter websites out there if you do happen to have a lat-long or something similar. Just type coordinate converter into search bar.

As far as marking out the line, that will be pretty tough, especially if you don't have a clean line of sight. Maybe just stick to flagging up the corners you find first. Store it on a handheld GPS. Then create a line between them & stake it out from that. Hope that provides a smidgen of assistance. If you need any more help or tips, don't hesitate to shoot me a PM.

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