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Standard Land Surveys

 Request Land Survey Services from B and B Surveying of Houston Texas

Below are specifications for a Standard Land Survey by the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors. This type of survey is typically needed for purposes other than a Land Title transaction. This type of survey would be performed for the purpose of building a fence, locating protrusions or intrusions of the subject tract and adjoining tracts of land, locating improvements on the subject tract relative to the boundary or simply locating the subject tract on the ground. This type of survey is performed without the benefit of a Title Insurance policy or commitment. Easements, setback lines and other matters concerning the subject tract may or may not appear on the survey.


SEC. 1

TYPE: Standard Land Survey

DEFINITION: A Standard Land Survey is defined as a study,investigation and evaluation of major factors affecting and influencing the location of the boundaries, ownership lines, and may include rights of way and easements within or surrounding a certain lot, parcel or quantity of real estate. Such study and evaluation will culminate in the deliberate location or relocation on the ground of the perimeters,division lines or boundaries and the determination of area on the certain lot, parcel or quantity or real estate. A Standard Land Survey is not for title insuring purposes, but is suitable for most any other purpose. This survey will not normally locate improvements, rights of way or easements within the surveyed site unless requested by the client or where such items appear to the surveyor in his professional judgement to indicate an encumbrance on the real estate. The practice of locating land boundaries requires the expert skill of a Registered Professional Land Surveyor well-versed in the science and art of boundary law and long-practiced in the mechanics of measuring and computing values pertaining to such surveys.

SEC. 3

PURPOSES: The purpose of a Standard Land Survey is to establish or reestablish on the ground the physical or theoretical location and extent of real property lines, political boundaries or lines defining the perimeters of public or private ownership

of exteriors or centerlines of record easements and the evidence indicating 

This includes the possibility of prescriptive or limitation rights. A Standard Land Survey is a means of marking such lines or boundaries for definition and identification
 Thereby it uniquely locates each plot, parcel, lot, or other specific land area in relation to well recognized and established points of reference, adjoining properties and rights of way.

3.1 Purposes of this Specification: This specification shall be

used for the location of real property, for determining boundaries,

quantity or area, for preparing a written description or for

platting or mapping real estate as a professional service for the


public where title insurance is not the purpose of the survey.

3.2 Standard Land Surveys may include, but are not limited to the

proper location, monumentation, description or platting of the

following real estate:

3.2.1 Residential, commercial and industrial lots, tracts,

plots, blocks, sites or subdivisions.

3.2.2 Acreage tracts for homesites, farms and ranches.

3.2.3 Investment or commercial lands for production of

timber, crops, livestock, oil, gas, coal, or quarries, mines

or other excavations.

3.2.4 Public properties such as parks, beaches, lakes,

roads, streets, waterways, highways, and building sites.

3.2.5 Leases for commercial

, agricultural, or industrial


3.2.6 Improved properties for the purpose of locating

buildings, utilities or other facilities in relation to the

property lines.

SEC. 4

PRODUCT: A Standard Land Survey will produce but will not be

limited to:

4.1 Monuments set for all corners, points of curves or references

to property lines of the involved land (see Section 6 herein).

4.2 A signed, sealed and dated written description depicting the

new survey, as required (see Section l2 herein).

4.3 A signed, sealed, dated and certified map or plat depicting

the survey as made on the ground (see Section 10 herein).


4.4 As required, a written report of the surveyor's findings and


SEC. 5

INFORMATION REQUIRED: Sufficient information to perform the

survey should be furnished by the client, his agent or acquired for the

client by the surveyor at an agreeable fee. Necessity of the following

data must be considered and evaluated by the surveyor: Copies of

documents relied upon should be maintained in the surveyors records.

Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.

5.1 The most recent record instruments which define the location

of the subject, real property (including owners name or names and

recording references).

5.2 The most recent recorded instruments which define the

location of the surrounding, or adjoining, real property

(including owner’s name and recording references).

5.3 The recorded easement or instrument (or unrecorded documents

of which the surveyor has knowledge) which define the location of

adjoining severing rights of way, particularly highways, roadways,

pipelines, or utility corridors and drainage or flood control

waterways (including grantees' names and recording references).

5.4 Surface leases. (Mineral leases when appropriate).

5.5 Permission to enter and survey on the land, preferably


5.6 Relevant data regarding special circumstances, such as

unrecorded easements, affidavits to ownership, judgments or court

decrees that may influence the property or ownership lines.

5.7 Claims against the property that may influence the location

of property or ownership lines such as possible limitation,

prescriptive rights, apparent intrusions or protrusions of

improvements or other parties in possession.


5.8 Names of tenants or parties in charge of the site.

5.9 Any grant, patent, subdivision plat, historical data,

covenants or other recorded data that will reference or influence

the position of the property lines.

5.10 In areas prone to flood, areas in flood plains or floodways

certain additional information may be required. (Note however,

inherent inaccuracies of FEMA or Flood Insurance Rate Maps prelude

a surveyor from certifying to the accuracies of locations based on

such maps. Certification to elevations derived from appropriate

benchmarks is not prohibited.)

SEC. 6

MONUMENTS: Monuments set or called for, whether artificial or

natural, references or witnesses, shall represent the footsteps of the

surveyor and his professional opinion as to the proper location of the

point or corner. Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.

6.1 Artificial monuments: An artificial monument considered

permanent shall be construed as any mark or marker of relative

permanence that if left undisturbed will remain in place for a

period of at least 25 years. Monuments must be set at sufficient

depth to retain a stable and distinctive location and be of

sufficient size to withstand the deteriorating forces of nature.

Monuments shall be set in such fashion as to remain stable.

6.1.1 Monument material: Material for monuments shall be

chosen in regard to the terrain and situation that exists at

the site of the survey. Consideration should be given to the

following guidelines and the natural erosive forces that will

work against the monument for decades to come. Wooden stakes should only be used with

discretion. Iron or steel bars or rods for monuments shall

be a minimum size of 1/2" in diameter by 24" long.

Longer bars or rods should be used in soft soil to


insure stability of the monument. Where rocky or caliche

soils prevent specified lengths, the rod should be driven

to refusal at such depths where it will remain stable. Iron pipes for monuments should be a minimum of

1/2" inside diameter and 24" long. Longer pipes shall be

used in soft soil to insure stability of the monument.

All iron pipes should be sized by the inside diameter.

Where rocky or caliche soils prevent the use of the

specified lengths, the shorter pipe should be driven to

refusal at such depths where it will remain stable. Non-ferrous metal monuments shall be equal to

requirements for iron rods or iron pipes. Precast reinforced concrete monuments shall have

a precise station mark such as a center punch or cross

embedded in the cap. Poured in place concrete monuments shall contain

a precise station mark (as in and be reinforced

with at least 1/4" or larger iron rods or pipe. Other monumentation such as drill holes,

chiselled marks in stone, concrete or steel, punch marks,

precast bronze discs, etc., shall be of sufficient size,

diameter or depth to be definitive, stable, and readily

identified as a survey marker. Objects upon which such

marks or makers are placed shall be of a stable and

permanent nature greater than equal those of iron pipes

or iron rods.

6.1.2 Monument placement: All monuments for corners, for

witness points, points of curve, etc., shall be set vertically

whenever possible and shall be reasonably flush with the earth

or ground surface. Monuments subject to construction damage


or total destruction shall be referenced to objects that will

survive or buried deep enough to offer protection from earth

grading or destructive machinery.

6.1.3 Monument identification: Consideration should be given

to the following guidelines: Monuments may be identified by code numbers or

letters for brevity and easy recognition. Monuments may

be identified by names of specific corners. Monuments shall be identified by appropriate

caps, imprinted with surveyor's registration number or

company/firm name. The size, shape and substance or construction

material of each monument shall be duly recorded in the

field notes and recited in the survey description and

noted on the map, plat, or drawing. When possible, monuments shall be referenced

to prominent nearby objects and the information recorded

in the description of the survey. Where permissible and

feasible, witness trees should be marked facing the

corner. Before marking any tree, the surveyor must

consider the probability of his liability for defacing

valuable private property

. Only healthy witness trees,

a minimum of 6" diameter, breast high (D.B.H.)should be

used. Each witness tree shall be described by species,

diameter, and type of markings.

6.2 Natural or physical monuments: Natural monuments are the

permanent objects which are the works of nature, such as streams,

rivers, ponds, lakes, bays, trees, ledges, rock outcrops and other

definitive terrestrial features.

6.2.1 Tree for corner: A tree standing at a corner may be

marked only when permissible and then shall be marked with


care to be reasonably certain of creating only superficial

damage to the tree. Such blazing shall penetrate the bark and

leave an open vertical cut no wider than three inches and no

longer than ten inches. Tree for corner will be marked with

4-way blazes (Blazed on all 4 sides).

6.2.2 Mark boundary line trees only when permission is

received from appropriate authority. Trees on boundary line (line trees) will be

face-blazed with one hack above and one hack below, on

opposite sides of the tree. Trees on each side of the boundary line (within

about three feet)will be hacked with three hacks facing

the line and face-blazed on opposite sides of the tree.

SEC. 7

CONDITIONS: Surveys under this Category shall be termed a

Standard Land Survey; see Section III E of Standards for appropriate


SEC. 8

TOLERANCES FOR CONDITIONS: See Section III O of the Standards

and in addition refer to the tolerance chart for this Category.

SEC. 9

FIELD PROCEDURES: Field work shall be performed in accordance

with accepted technical methods as expressed in standard textbooks on

surveying theory, practice and procedures. Any textbook used for the

purpose of surveying instruction by an accredited university, college,

or junior college in the state of Texas will be considered a satisfactory

text for this purpose. Any person in charge of a survey field party

shall be well-trained in these technical aspects of surveying. The

Registered Professional Land Surveyor is additionally charged with the

responsibility of adhering to the following requirements: Also see

applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.

9.1 Surveying instruments shall be kept in close adjustment

according to manufacturers

specifications or in compliance to

textbook standards.


9.2 Steel tapes (chains) used for boundary measurements shall be

calibrated at intervals sufficient to obtain the tolerance

required. Such calibration shall be traceable to the U.S. Bureau

of Standards National Institute for Standards and Technology

through appropriate certificates or documentation.

9.3 Electronic distance measuring devices shall be calibrated at

intervals sufficient to obtain the tolerances required. Such

calibration shall be traceable to the U.S. Bureau of Standards

National Institute for Standards and Technology through appropriate

prisms, and accessories be maintained as a matched set.

9.4 Field measurements of angles and distances shall be done in

such fashion as to satisfy the closures and tolerances expressed

in Section 8, herein.

9.5 Where special surveys for vertical or horizontal control are

required as a base for a land boundary survey, refer to Categories

7 and 8 of these specifications or to relevant, special

publications from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Department

of Interior or the Department of the Army on the special subject

matter. These are considered as satisfactory texts to define

acceptable field methods. Control by remote sensing or other

indirect methods may be employed, provided:

9.5.1 Aerial Photogrammetry shall be field checked to

sufficiently verify values for any incorporated data;

9.5.2 Satellite reliant or global positioning system (GPS)

control should be performed in accordance with special

publications on the subject and appropriate rules of boundary


9.6 Special consideration shall be afforded the rules of evidence


footsteps of the original surveyor

, and "dignity of calls" before

a decision is made as to locating on the ground any property,

tract, survey, or grant line. The best evidence and intentions of


the parties shall be sought out according to accepted surveying

procedures and as documented in standard textbooks on the legal

aspects of surveying. Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this


9.7 Corners or monuments called for in the relevant deeds to the

land to be surveyed, including those of adjoining property

affecting the location of the boundaries of the land to be surveyed

shall, be physically searched for in a methodical and meticulous

fashion. The use of magnetic or electronic locators is encouraged

and strongly recommended. Each corner or monument recovered shall

be evaluated as to its agreement by description and location with

the calls in the relevant deeds.

9.8 Easements of record or indications of possible easements that

are visible without meticulous searching shall be physically

located during the survey. Such items may include, not limited to,

overhead power, telephone or signal lines, roadbeds, car trails,

or pipe line routes through timber or pipeline markers, buried

cable markers or signs, new excavations. Any additional searching

for non-visible easements such as pipelines in open fields should

be negotiated with the client for the additional work and use of

special equipment.

9.9 Apparent conflicts, protrusions and evidence of prescriptive

or limitation rights along the perimeter boundaries of the tract

shall be physically located.

9.10 Field data shall be gathered to satisfy or exceed the

requirements for Section 8, and Section 10, herein.

SEC. 10

PLATS, MAPS, AND DRAWINGS: Land Title Surveys shall be

represented by a reproducible plat, map or drawing at a suitable scale

to depict the results and details of the field work, computation,

research, and record information, as compiled and checked. Also see

applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.


10.1 Any reasonably stable-base

, standard drawing paper, linen or

film of reproducible quality is considered as suitable material for

Standard Land Survey plats, maps or drawings.

10.2 No plat, map or drawing shall be made on a sheet size smaller

than 8 1/2" x 11".

10.3 Dimensions, bearings or angles, including curve lengths, (see

Section 12.8) radii and delta angles shall be neatly and legibly

shown in respect to each property or boundary line.

10.4 Monuments found shall be labeled as "found", with a brief

definitive description of the monument as to size, type of

material, condition and what it represents.

10.5 Monuments set shall be so labeled as "set" with a brief

definitive description of the monument as to size and type of

material and what it represents.

10.6 Relevant terrain features, streets, confined watercourses,

utilities, and other similar data shall be labeled and dimensioned

as to size, height or width and referenced to the nearest property

line or represented by symbol on the map in its proper, dimensioned

location. Symbols should be clear as to what is represented or

should be labeled for identification, individually or in a separate

key to symbols.

10.7 Maps, plats or drawings shall show a north arrow

. Drawing

shall be oriented as nearly as possible so that north is toward the

top of the sheet unless otherwise directed by the client or the

client’s representative.

10.8 A statement as to the origin of the bearings or angles shall

be made on each plat, map or drawing. All bearings or angles shall

refer to a line monumented on the ground and one of the following:

10.8.1 The Geodetic meridian as observed within one mile of

the surveyed site.


10.8.2 The Texas Coordinate System of 1983 (or 1927), with

proper zone, theta angle and traverse or triangulation station


10.8.3 A record bearing, or relation thereto, as called for

in said record. Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this


10.9 Where the new survey differs materially from prior deed

information in regard to course, distance or quantity, the client

or employer should be advised of such. The existing deed-call

bearings and dimensions should be shown in parenthesis beside or

on the opposite side of the boundary or property line and

designated as "call". The deed acreage or quantity should be

designated “call” and shown in parenthesis beneath the surveyed

acreage or square footage. In this case the deed calls should be

plainly referenced by a prominent note as to volume and page or

file where the deed is recorded. Unrecorded deeds should be

identified by the grantor, grantee and date of execution or

delivery. As an alternate to this procedure, or where complications

occur, the discrepancies, problems, conflicts or difference in call

distances and bearings should be explained in a written surveyor's

report issued to the client along with the plat or drawing. Also

see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.

10.10 Where separate intricate details, blowups or inserts are

required for clarity, they shall be properly referenced to the

portion of the map where they apply. This applies particularly to

overlaps, gores, hiatuses or nonconformity of boundary or property


10.11 Perimeter limits of cemeteries and burial grounds known or

found within the premises being surveyed shall be shown by actual


10.12 Properties, confined watercourses, and rights-of-way

surrounding, adjoining, penetrating or severing the surveyed site


shall be identified and labeled with the recording references.

Such reference shall be one which describes and defines the

adjoining lines.

10.13 Original subdivision, survey, league, or land grant lines

shall be shown in proper location with pertinent labeling.

Sufficient measurement by course and distance must be shown to the

nearest parent tract corner, block corner, subdivision, survey,

league or land grant corner. Approximate distance to nearest street

or road intersection shall be shown.

10.14 If a coordinate system is used on the map, it shall be

identified as to the origin such as:

10.14.1 All coordinates refer to site datum.

10.14.2 All coordinates refer to the Texas Coordinate System

of 1983 (or 1927), (specifying the proper zone, the

reference traverse or triangulation station(s) and the

published coordinates of the station(s)).

10.15 Where the Texas Coordinate System is used for both bearings

and coordinates, a statement similar to item 10.14.2 (herein) shall

be shown on the map, but should begin, "All bearings and

coordinates refer---".

l0.15.1 The appropriate scale or grid factor(s) for the site

should be shown on the map.

10.16 Line weights, or width of drawn lines, should be chosen to

distinguish the surveyed site from other surrounding real estate,

county, original grant or survey lines.

10.17 Any elevations shown on the map in the form of spot

elevations or contours must be in reference to some datum or

specific benchmarks even though the elevation was assumed. A

statement as to basis of elevations shall be made on the map

similar to one of the following examples:


Example #1.

Elevations refer to a BM (LOCATION)- set near the N.E. corner of

the intersection of First St. and Ave. B, (DESCRIPTION)- on the

north rim of the manhole. Elevation is assumed as 200.00 feet.

Example #2.

Elevations and contours are based upon N.G.S. bench mark A142, mean

sea level (NAVD 88). Published elevation = 326.042 feet.

10.18 Each plat, map or drawing shall show the name

, firm name and

address of the Registered Professional Land Surveyor responsible

for the survey, separate or as a part of the title block. The title

block shall show:

10.18.1 Standard Land Survey (Caption).

10.18.2 General description of the property.

10.18.3 The date of the survey.

The date on the survey should be the date field work is

complete, the date research is complete, the date of the

surveyor’s signature, (any or all dates) shall be used.

10.18.4 The stated scale of the drawing with a graphic scale

displayed whenever feasible.

10.18.5 The street address of the site if known.

10.19 The original or reproducible copy of the survey map, plat

or drawing shall be retained by the surveyor in his files. The

client shall be furnished an agreed number of copies of the survey

map, plat or drawing.

10.20 A reproducible copy of the original may be furnished at the

Surveyor’s discretion for an addition fee.


SEC. 11

CERTIFICATION: See applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.

The certification for each map, plat or drawing must be signed and

sealed by the Registered Professional Land Surveyor responsible for the

Land Title Survey. Rubber stamps of signatures are not to be used.

Rubber stamps of seals are acceptable. The certification may be in any

form desired but shall contain the following sentence and minimum


This survey substantially complies with the current Texas Society of

Professional Surveyors Standards and Specifications for a Category 1B,

Condition _______ Survey.

(Surveyor's Seal)

______________________________ (Surveyor's signature)

______________________________ (Registration Number)

Date: _____________________

SEC. 12

DESCRIPTIONS: A description written to describe a surveyed

lot, parcel or quantity of land must provide the information to properly

locate the land on the ground and distinctly set it aside from all other

lands: Also see applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.

12.1 When the surveyed property's dimensions, boundaries and area

are in close agreement with the existing recorded deed or platted

calls, the aliquot method regarding subdivisions of rectangular

surveys or the plat method, involving lot, block and subdivision

may be used to describe the property.

12.2 Where any significant difference appears between the recorded

description and the new survey, a metes and bounds description

shall be made.

12.3 Basic information to be conveyed in any description will

consist of the general location of the property in relation to the

parent tract, established and recorded subdivisions, surveys,

leagues or other original land divisions, the abstract number or

numbers of such original land divisions, and the name of the county


in which the surveyed land is situated. Street addresses for small

tracts or lots shall be used when reasonably available.

12.4 A metes and bounds description is to be written in two parts.

The first part, called the general description, will logically

compile all the requirements of item 12.3

, above. The second part,

called the particular description, shall logically compile and

incorporate calls for the following:

12.4.1 Monuments, including descriptions as to the type,

nature, size, substance or construction material, and as to

whether set or found.

12.4.2 Adjoining property or rights-of-way.

12.4.3 Courses and distances of the new survey.

12.4.4 Appropriate passing calls.

12.4.5 Parenthetical deed calls where the deed calls

significantly differ from the new survey may be used. (Or

explain differences in a written report).

12.4.6 The area stated in acres, square feet or metric units

within the specified tolerances in Section 8, herein.

12.4.7 The source of bearings.

12.5 The point of beginning of any description shall be carefully

chosen and described so as to distinguish the point from any other

point. Any other point used to locate the point of beginning shall

be known as a "commencing" point.

12.5.1 The point of beginning should be the property corner

that is most easily recognized or found by any interested



12.5.2 When the new point of beginning is not the same as the

old point of beginning called for in the current and valid

deed, the old point of beginning should be identified or

acknowledged by suitable language when passed or located.

12.5.3 The point of beginning must be located by course and

distance or other locatable methods in relation to established

and recognized record monuments.

12.6 It is recommended, for uniformity, that any metes and bounds

description be written so that the progression of courses is in a

clockwise direction.

12.7 The subsequent written courses in the description shall be

as brief and yet as explanatory as the author can construct.

Brevity shall not cause important locative information to be

omitted and explanatory phrases shall not enlarge the description

to the extent of confusion.

12.8 Curved boundaries shall be identified as tangent or nontangent

curves and sufficient data to locate the curve shall be

recited. In all cases the radius and length of the curve must be

given as well as the general direction the curve takes. Additional

data to assist in locating the curve is desirable, such as bearing

and length of the long chord, central angle, degree of curve by arc

or chord definition, tangent lengths, etc.

12.9 Each metes and bounds description must close and return to

the point of beginning and recite the area enclosed within the

specified tolerances stated in Section 8, herein.

12.10 A statement at the end of the description shall connect

the description to the date of the Standard Land Survey, and the

map or plat representing that survey. Such statement may be

phrased, "This description is based on the Standard Land Survey

and plat made by ___________(Name) #____________ Registered

Professional Surveyor on _______.(Date)"

Also see Applicable TBPLS rules for this subject.


Deward Bowles,
Apr 19, 2011, 6:56 AM