What is a Land Boundary Survey?

This type of survey is made in order to recover boundary lines of an existing parcel of land according to a valid legal description or to create a new boundary line or lines.

When do you need a land survey?

  • When buying land, to protect the investment you are about to make.

  • When selling land, to insure that you are selling just the part intended.

  • When land is not clearly defined by a plat or legal description.

  • Before land is divided by deed, will or by a court.

  • When a money-lending agency requires a survey for mortgage purposes.

  • Before a building, house or fence is built close to an indefinite property line.

  • Before a lot is conveyed from a larger tract and the lot has not been surveyed.

  • Before timber is to be cut near a doubtful line.

  • When purchasing title insurance.

  • When a line or corner location is unknown or in dispute.

  • When you believe someone is encroaching on your land.

  • When purchasing flood insurance.

  • When clearing land or doing construction in wetland areas under the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers or the Division of the LA Department of Natural Resources.

How much will a survey cost?

Surveyors’ fees, like those of other professionals, are dependent on the types of services required and the amount if information in his records. The following factors help determine the final cost of a survey:

  • The type of survey, personnel, and equipment required.

  • The amount of courthouse research required.

  • The number of unknown property corners.

  • The existence of buildings, fences, and other structures.

  • The clarity (or vagueness) of the legal description.

  • The amount of land involved.

  • The kind of terrain.

  • The accessibility of the land and the amount of vegetation on it.

  • Disputes over lines.

  • Whether the surveyor has made other surveys in the immediate area.

  • The rates charged by the surveyor for personnel, travel time, and mileage, as well as the cost of required materials: corner

  • monuments, survey stakes (flats, laths, etc.).

  • A well-prepared land survey will be the least expensive part of the total land investment cost.

What can a surveyor do for me?

  • Advise you whether or not you actually need a survey.

  • Find your property corners and mark them properly.

  • Establish new corners and markers.

  • Mark and paint property lines.

  • Prepare Route Surveys, Boundary Surveys, Subdivision and Court Surveys, Mortgage Inspections, and all phases of Construction Surveying, etc.

  • Make Topographic Contour Maps and determine elevations.

  • Locate oil and gas wells, buildings, fences, rights-of-way, easements, encroachments, and evidence of possession.

  • Inform interested parties of progress and results of surveys currently being conducted.

  • Advise and cooperate with your attorney, title insurance company, realtor, broker, engineer, or architect.

  • Appear in court as an expert witness in a lawsuit.

What information does the surveyor require?

  • The exact purpose of the survey.

  • A legal description of your property or the book and page where it is recorded in the Clerk of Court’s Office.

  • Copies of plats of adjacent parcels showing your common boundaries and any additional information you may have about

  • The locations of your corners and property lines.

  • Any information about disagreements over the location of corners and/or lines.

  • An agreement as to who is to pay the cost of the survey and when.

  • A copy of all available title examination notes.

How can I obtain the services of a registered land surveyor?

  • Ask someone who has employed a competent surveyor.

  • Look in the yellow pages of the telephone book under SURVEYORS-LAND.

  • Ask the Register of Deeds or an attorney.

  • Contact the Louisiana Society of Professional Surveyors office for a list of its members in your area.

  • Obtain a list of Registered Professional Land Surveyors from the Louisiana State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

What should you receive from the surveyor?

  • A plat (or plats) showing all necessary information, suitable for recording.

  • A legal description of the survey that can be used in the preparation of a deed (optional)

  • A certificate of survey, if required, or surveyor’s inspection report that tells how the survey was made and other important details about the survey.

  • Be certain that all corners have been found or set by the surveyor and are indicated on the plat.

Some valuable tips for the responsible landowner

  • Ask the surveyor to show you proof that he is a Registered Professional Land Surveyor licensed in the State of Louisiana.

  • Louisiana state law prohibits removing or disturbing corner markers without a Court order.

  • Don’t mistake preliminary traverse lines for your property lines.

  • Don’t move or relocate markers.

  • Have your survey plat and the description recorded even if the land is not conveyed.

  • Inspect your property lines occasionally.

  • Retighten pipes and stone markers, do not relocate them.

  • Repaint marked trees, pipes or stone markers every ten years.

  • Allow adequate time to research and plan the project by contacting your surveyor well before the survey is needed.

  • Don’t seek the cheapest surveyor; select one who will do a satisfactory job for you.

  • Remember – The services of a Registered Professional Land Surveyor will cost you less in time and money than the worry and cost of moving a fence and/or building.

Courses for Bearings

  • All courses or bearings are calculated from North or South. They will be ‘so many’ degrees, minutes and seconds, East or West of North or South.

    • The bearings of the lines above are:

    • Line OA – North 25° (degrees) East or N 25° E

    • Line OB – South 30° (degrees) East or S 30° E

    • Line OC – South 80° (degrees) West or S 80° W

    • Line OD – North 45° (degrees) West or N 45° W

Ideal Section Format

Equivalent Measures

1 inch = 0833 ft. 144sq.in.= l sq. ft.
7.92 in. = 1 link 9sq.ft.= 1 sq. yard
12 in.= l foot 30.25 sq. yd.= 1 sq. rod
1 vara = 33-1/3 in. 16 sq. rods = 1 sq. chain
2-3/4 ft. = 1 vara 1 sq. rod = 272.25 sq. ft.
3 feet = l yard 1 sq. ch. = 4356 sq. ft.
25 links = 16.5 ft. 10 sq. chs. = 1 acre
5.5 yards = 1 rod 160 sq. rods = 1 acre
100 links = 1 chain 4840 sq. yds. = 1 acre
25 links = 1 rod 1 acre = 208.71 ft.- sq.
4 rods = 100 links l acre= 43560 sq. ft.
66 feet = 1 chain 1 section 1 sq. mi.
80 chains = 1 mile 1 Twp. = 36 sq. mi.
320 rods = 1 mile 1 Twp. = 6 mi – sq.
5280 feet = 1 mile 36800.67 sq. ft. = 1 arpent**
1 arpent = 191.835 ft. 1 arpent = 0.8448 acre**
1 smoot = 5′ 7″ 1 rod = 16.5 ft.


Metric Conversions (Factors are rounded & based on U.S. Survey Foot)

Feet 30.48 Centimeters
Feet 0.3048 Meters
Hectares 10000 Sq. Meters
Hectares 107639 Sq. Feet
Kilometers 3280.83 Feet
Kilometers 0.621 Miles
Meters 3.280833 Feet