When is a topographic survey needed?

While there are many reasons you might need a boundary survey, few homeowners ever require a topographic survey. Topographic surveys are generally only required for new construction or new development. Building your own home on a piece of land is one instance where a topographic survey could be required. Installation of a new septic system is another time a topographic survey might be required.

A look at the differences between boundary surveys and topographic surveys

While boundary surveys look at the boundaries of the property and generally include buildings and any possible encroachments, topographic surveys take a deeper look at the elevation contours and different elevation points of the land. Topographic surveys are performed before new construction to help ensure the project’s success. Knowing the different elevations can be key to proper drainage. The amount of land and dirt that will be required to move adds thousands of dollars in expenses.

What does a topographic survey include?

Topographic surveys include not only the elevations of the land, but also examine the buildings on the land and anything above or slightly below the surface such as streets, trees, utility poles, underground utilities, drainage, etc., thus assisting the decision making process of placing buildings, streets, parking lots, utilities, and drainage. The finished product will show the contours of the land, as well as the position of surface and underground utilities and required setbacks.


While homeowners rarely need topographic surveys, there are times when one may be required. Whether you are planning new construction or installing a new septic system, Realsearch of Texas can help. Having an accurate survey is essential, and Realsearch of Texas guarantees a good product at reasonable rates. No surprises. Call us today!