Do I Need A Surveyor?

People occasionally need the services of a Professional Surveyor and Mapper (PSM)  although many only require this service once or twice in their lifetimes. This is usually in connection with the acquisition of real estate, the purchase of a home or preparation of a FEMA Flood Certificate for flood insurance. PSM’s also perform many functions for the development, engineering and construction industries, including topographic surveys, land divisions, road and utility construction layout, quantity surveys, hydrographic and geodetic surveys, photogrammetric mapping, geographic information system development, and other types of surveying and mapping services.


Surveying and mapping companies are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Professional liability insurance is not required but a PSM is required to be personally responsible for any damages caused by his/her survey. Other insurance may be required for vehicles, planes or boats. It is advisable to get written proof of insurance before work commences. Be sure to take notice of the amount of insurance and deductable. 

Only a Professional Surveyor and Mapper (PSM)  licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is legally permitted to offer and provide surveying and mapping  services in the State of Florida. When choosing a PSM you should consider the following information to help you choose the best candidate for the job.  Make sure the PSM has the insurance to cover any requirements for the job. Remember that cost is not the best way to pick a PSM. Qualifications, local knowledge, and experience should play a prominent role. The most qualified PSM may not  be the least expensive. Inquire whether the PSM has worked in the area or has other historical information that may help the PSM provide the service more efficiently and effectively. Make sure the PSM  uses qualified employees. Most crew chiefs should have several years of experience. CAD technicians should be employees, not contract laborers. 


Many PSM’s do not have predetermined costs for certain types of surveys and base their fee's on factors like terrain, foliage and amount of improvements. Boundary surveys typically require general knowledge of the area, an investigation of previous work in the area, and establishment of dependable control points.  Even though a parcel is small, the survey may require an extensive amount of work to determine the correct boundaries. Regardless of the size of the parcel the client and PSM should come to an agreement on the fee before work commences.

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