What is the difference between a land surveyor and a building surveyor?

If you have ever owned a property and have undertaken any sort of development on that property, you’ve probably been told, “you need to talk to a surveyor”.

The key question is always, “what type of surveyor do you really need?”

Many people will confuse land surveyors and building surveyors, given we work in the same industry. But the roles and functions of land and building surveyors are distinctly different.

We’re happy to explain the difference below.

Building Surveyors

A building surveyor’s primary role is to provide independent oversight to the building and construction process. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that construction, from the planning stage through to completion, meets all legal requirements and results in safe, compliant and energy efficient builds.

A building surveyor can be involved all stages of the construction process. In Victoria, their functions may include:

  • Issuing building permits.
  • Carrying out inspections of construction and building works.
  • Completing final inspections and issuing occupancy certificates.
  • Enforcing building and safety standards through a range of powers and authorities.

Land (Cadastral) Surveyors

The profession of Land Surveying has been in existence for a very long time. In fact, many say it is the second oldest profession in the world! Records show that the practice actually dates back to ancient civilisations such as Egypt, Greece and Rome.

The primary role of a land surveyor is to measure and map the natural and man-made features of the earth’s surface, including property boundaries, topography, and other physical features.

Most commonly, land surveyors use specialised technology and equipment to measure and map the land for a range of purposes, including:

  • Defining ownership over land and property.
  • Determining and managing legal boundaries.
  • Assessing the land for development purposes.
  • Assisting with precise measurements for building and civil construction.
  • Assessing changes to natural features and monitoring environment changes.

Land surveyors will conduct field work, using technology such as Total Stations and GPS, to capture accurate data and then represent that data in detailed maps and plans.

Land surveyors can carry out many services to assist in your land or property development project. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Title Re-establishment Surveys
  • Feature & Level Surveys
  • Site Analysis Surveys
  • Subdivision
  • Application Surveys
  • Construction & Building Set-outs
  • Drone Surveying & Aerial Photography
  • Flood Level Surveys (AHD Surveys)
  • GPS Surveys
  • Quarry Surveys
  • Lease Area Surveys
  • School & Park Surveys.

How can we help?

Give Sam and team at Linear Land Surveying(Melbourne land surveyors) a call on 9873 8888, or email survey@linearlandsurveying.com.au, for more information and help with your land surveying needs.

The information on this website is intended to be general in nature and is not personalised land development advice. It does not take into account your specific objectives, land development site or financial situation. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and seek more specific advice from the professional team at Linear Land Surveying.



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