One of the first steps in a building design is analyzing the existing site to understand its opportunities and its challenges. This necessitates having a survey of the site. Therefore I will usually suggest that clients get a survey immediately after our first meeting. Once I have a survey in hand I can begin a site analysis and get a better idea of what makes the most sense, what can be done within the lot restrictions and what may require a variance. The site survey typically needs to include:
A legal description for the site.
Property lines, including easements and setbacks.
Existing structures, sidewalks, driveways on site. In some municipalities, like Denver, we also need the locations of structures on adjacent lots.
Topographic information, typically we need topo lines on large sites and spot elevations on in town lots.
Utility information, both above and below ground.
Tree locations and any other significant site features.
The items like topography and tree locates don’t have to be over the entire site, but should include any area that could possibly be altered. 99% of surveyors do their surveys in CAD and they can email them to us so that we have an accurate background to start from.