Should you wish to request a survey or cost proposal, please review the following provided by the “Florida Surveying and Mapping Society” to assist you in understanding the need for a survey and the information required when ordering a survey.

When do you need a Survey?

Frequently people need the services of a Professional Surveyor and Mapper, although many only require this service once or twice in their lifetime.  This is usually in connection with the acquisition of real estate, primarily the purchase of a home.  Some examples of when a survey would be needed are: 

  • BEFORE Land title is transferred
  • BEFORE Land is subdivided
  • BEFORE Land is developed by construction of roads, buildings, fences, etc.
  • BEFORE A boundary dispute arises

Who is Qualified?

By Florida Law, only those persons licensed by the State of Florida pursuant to Chapter 472 Florida Statutes, may practice Surveying and Mapping.

Florida Statutes

472.001 Purpose 
The Legislature deems it necessary to regulate surveyors and mappers as provided in ss.472.001-472.037

History – ss.20,42,ch.79-243; ss.2,3ch.81-318; ss.5,7,ch.89-137; s.4,ch.91-429; s.83,ch.94-119; s.6,ch.2000-332; s.3,ch.2001-63.

472.005  Definitions
(4)(a)  “Practice of surveying and mapping” means, among other things, any professional service or work, the adequate performance of which involves the application of special knowledge of the principles of mathematics, the related physical and applied sciences, and the relevant requirements of law for adequate evidence of the act of measuring, locating, establishing, or reestablished lines, angles, elevations, natural and manmade features in the air, on the surface and immediate subsurface of the earth, within underground workings, and on the beds or surface of bodies of water, for the purpose of determining, establishing, describing, displaying, or interpreting the facts of size, shape, topography, tidal datum planes, legal or geodetic location or relocation, and orientation of improved or unimproved real property and appurtenances thereto, including acreage and condominiums.
(b)  The practice of surveying and mapping also includes, but is not limited to, photogrammetric control; the monumentation and remonumentation of property boundaries and subdivisions; the measurement of and preparation of plans showing existing improvements after construction; the layout of proposed improvements; the preparation of descriptions for use in legal instruments of conveyance of real property and property rights; the preparation of subdivision planning maps and record plats, as provided for in chapter 177; the determination of, but not the design of, grades and elevations of roads and land in connection with subdivisions or divisions of land; and the creation and perpetuation of alignments related to maps, record plats, field note records, reports, property descriptions, and plans and drawings that represent them.

How Much Will A Survey Cost?

Professional surveying and mapping costs are dependent upon many factors such as the type of survey required, availability of existing records and monuments, the type of terrain and location of the work to be performed.

Competitive bidding for the lowest cost does not necessarily assure the best interest of the client of the professional surveyor and mapper.

In addition to salary costs, surveying and mapping fees include allowance for business overhead, such as taxes, office rent, telephone, postage, electricity and other items of cost essential for the conduct of a professional surveying and mapping business.  The costs for monuments, travel time, copying and recording fees and other direct expenses must be calculated and are often charges in addition to the normal per diem fee.

Because of these variables, it is often difficult to determine an exact fee; however, based on general experience, the professional surveyor and mapper you contact can usually furnish an approximate estimate of cost.

Minimum Technical Standards

Effective September 1, 1981, under the authority of Chapter 472.027, Florida Statutes, the Department of Professional Regulation, Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers adopted the Minimum Technical Standards for Survey and Mapping in Florida.

Chapter 5J-17, Florida Administrative Code

Surveying and Mapping must be performed in accordance to the minimum technical standards as defined in Chapter 5J-17 F.A.C. Survey Drawings, maps or reports prepared under these minimum requirements are “not valid without the signature and original raised seal of a Florida licensed surveyor and mappers.”

Types of Surveys

  • As-Built Survey: a survey performed to obtain horizontal and/or vertical dimensional data so that constructed improvements may be located and delineated; also known as a Record Survey.
  • Boundary Survey: a survey, the primary purpose of which is to document the perimeters, or any one of them, of a parcel or tract of land by establishing or re-establishing corners, monuments, and boundary lines for the purpose of describing the parcel, locating fixed improvements on the parcel, dividing the parcel, or platting.
  • Condominium Survey: a survey performed pursuant to Chapter 718, F.S.; includes a Boundary Survey.
  • Construction Layout Survey: the measurements made, prior to or while construction is in progress, to control elevation, configuration, and horizontal position and dimensions.
  • Control Survey: a survey which provides horizontal or vertical position data for the support or control of subordinate surveys or for mapping.
  • Hydrographic Survey: a survey having as its principal purpose the determination of data relating to bodies of water, and which may consist of the determination of one or several of the following classes of data: depth of water and configuration of bottom; directions and force of current; heights and times of water stages; and location of fixed objects for survey and navigation purposes.
  • Mean High Water Line Survey: a survey to document the mean high water line as defined in Part II, Chapter 177 F.S.
  • Quantity Survey: a survey to obtain measurements of quantity.
  • Record Survey: a survey performed to obtain horizontal and/or vertical dimensional data so that constructed improvements may be located and delineated; also known as an As-Built Survey.
  • Survey and Map Report: a written document, sometimes referred to as “a report” or “the report,” detailing methods used, measurements and computations made, accuracies obtained, and information obtained or developed by surveying and mapping techniques.
  • Topographic Survey: a survey of selected natural and artificial features of a part of the earth’s surface to determine horizontal and vertical spatial relations.
  • Specific or Special Purpose Survey: a survey performed for a purpose other than the purposes detailed in paragraphs (10)(a)-(i) or (k) of this rule.

Selecting a Surveyor & Mapper

Only a professional surveyor and mapper licensed by the Department of Professional Regulation is legally permitted to offer and provide surveying and mapping services in the State of Florida.

Surveyors are listed in the yellow pages of the telephone book or a listing may be obtained from the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society.

Protect Your Interest

Enlisting the services of the professional surveyor and mapper will cost you much less than the time, worry and expense of moving a building, relocation improvements or defending a lawsuit in court due to a land boundary controversy.  Retain a professional surveyor and mapper before planning your development and investing your funds as a protection of your interest.

The Professional Surveyor and Mapper renders a highly technical and complex service.  No one other than he or she can assume responsibility for the correctness and accuracy of his or her work.

The best protection a property owner can have is knowledge, enabling you to know your rights.  When you purchase your home or property, make certain that a survey is performed by a licensed Professional Surveyor and Mapper.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions bout your property or what will be provided.  Whenever possible provide our surveyor with all information at your disposal (i.e.; previous surveys, deeds, title opinions, etc.)

Members of the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society subscribe to the laws of Florida and a code of ethics which sets forth standards of responsibility for the protection of the public welfare.

Consumer Information


Leo Mills and Associates, Inc.

Surveying - Land Planning - Environmental Consulting