Surveying Consultants Blog

FEMA Flood Certificate - Importance of Updating

Surveying Consultants Admin - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

No one can predict the weather. Torrential rains and extreme flooding can occur when you least expect it. Although we can never fully be sure of these weather patterns, we can at least be sure that we are prepared and well-protected if some natural event should happen. There are certain factors you need to be aware of to not only protect your home and your assets, but also to make sure that you're not paying unnecessarily large amounts for this protection. Flood insurance is based on a complicated and constantly-changing set of rules and principles. But, you're in luck. In this post, we here at Surveying Consultants will tell you the basics of what you need to know when it comes to getting the most protection for the least amount of money.

The first thing you need to know about your home is: is it above or below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)? The Base Flood Elevation of your area is the potential water surface elevation in the event of a flood. FEMA recently released an interactive, online tool to help determine this factor for your home. Although this may be a good starting place, the information it provides is meant to be a general overview – for truly precise numbers, we recommend hiring a professional surveyor to examine your home; the process is fast, easy, and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

If you're thinking of buying a new home, or if you're considering renovating your current residence, here's a fun fact you'll want to hang onto: Under the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, you could save more than $90,000 over 10 years if you build three feet above Base Flood Elevation. Aside from these enormous savings, building so that the lowest floor of your home is above BFE equates to a lower risk of losing your valuables. Therefore, assuming your home is structured like this, here are some key points for lowering your flood insurance even further.

The enclosure beneath an elevated home must remain open and free of obstruction in order to achieve the cheapest insurance rates possible. We recommend using decorative lattice or insect screening for this area – this will give your home a good look while still meeting the necessary requirements. If the enclosure beneath the home must be partially or fully enclosed, that's alright as well, but keep these ideas in mind: rigid walls should be unfinished – don't use drywall or any other finishing material, and make sure the space is used only for parking, building access, and / or limited storage.

In these instances, the enclosure must still maintain proper flood openings, the criteria for which can be found on FEMA's website. Furthermore, you'll want to keep this area beneath the BFE clear of machinery and equipment, such as hot water heaters, ductwork, etc. Having items like these in the enclosure or crawlspace beneath an elevated home can result in greater insurance costs.

Knowing just how high to elevate can be a tricky task. However, Surveying Consultants is here to help. By Contacting Us, we'll be able to offer accurate information and precise insights when it comes to getting the most out of your flood insurance. We're well-versed with FEMA requirements, and can inform you directly of what you may or may not need to do. Furthermore, we can help connect you to the many programs in place that help people renovate and retrofit their homes, such as FEMA's Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant.

Having the right knowledge and the right professionals on your side can save you lots of money in the long run. For more detailed information on flood insurance, or to discuss your residential situation, please call or Contact Us today. 

Boundary Retracement

Surveying Consultants Admin - Thursday, August 01, 2013

When you own property, it's important to know just how much of it you own. Understanding the true reach of your territory can seem like a daunting undertaking at first. The process requires an expert use of delicate surveying equipment, but more than that, it also requires a fair amount of research. One must locate registered deeds, maps, plans, wills, and / or other documents that may help outline the specific territorial boundaries of your property. But rest assured, the professionals at Surveying Consultants have a way of making the process simple and hassle-free for you.

Whether looking into a commercial property, or a residential estate, we're equipped with all of the tools and know-how to get the job done quickly and easily. We conduct our research at local, county, and state agencies to locate all of the relevant documents that exist in accordance with your territory. These documents contain what are known as record boundaries. Essentially, the language creates a picture of just what the territory looks like, and where the boundaries of ownership begin and end.

After conducting research and obtaining all necessary boundary information, we then continue our survey by exploring the site to find boundary evidence. These are any physical landmarks, man-made or not, whether they be walls, fences, trees, etc., as they relate to the language in the record boundary. This part of the process requires experienced and diligent surveyors, as these landmarks can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint. At Surveying Consultants, our professionals work with tenacity to locate the exact corner at which the boundary reaches its limit.

Finally, after conducting research on the record boundaries, and then locating the relevant boundary evidence, we conduct our Boundary Retracement Survey. Following this procedure, we will be able to present you with a thorough, and extremely accurate representation of the depth and breadth of your ownership. When in possession of a piece of property, a Boundary Retracement Survey is vital to conduct, as it will ultimately allow you to establish legal principles and standards of care. Furthermore, by defining the exact dimensions of your land, you ensure that your property will not be minimized in the present, nor in any subsequent generations.

Here at Surveying Consultants, we pride ourselves on the accuracy we obtain through diligent research and on-site studies. To learn more about the effectiveness and ease of our process, please Call or Contact Us today.


Surveying Consultants Admin - Saturday, June 01, 2013

The world of surveying can be a complicated arena to enter into. However, knowing how they function, as well as when to take advantage of surveying services can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Furthermore, acting sooner rather than later will help you put your best foot forward when securing your property, and could keep you from great hassles later on.

One such survey we'd like to educate you on today is the ALTA/ACSM survey. You could recruit a surveying company for a multitude of reasons, but this particular service is special because of it's far-reaching and comprehensive attributes. Essentially, the ALTA/ACSM survey is a combination of boundary, title, and improvement location surveys.

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) joined to create and establish a set of nationally-recognized standards by which this particular survey must adhere to. The information provided following an ALTA/ACSM survey of your property will provide, most notably, information regarding improvements, easements, encumbrances, and rights-of-way, among other key items. When purchasing or refinancing real estate, this survey becomes an invaluable tool.

Although it is certainly encouraged to complete this type of survey for all of your properties, including residential estates, the ALTA/ACSM survey is primarily effective for commercial properties. If you are seeking title insurance for your land, or are considering it for any improvements you may carry out in the near future, this survey is vital. It is prepared and presented to your Title Company to assist in the issuance of insurance.

Furthermore, this item can be of great value to you when considering future plans for the property. This is why, when it comes to ALTA/ACSM surveys, 'the sooner, the better' is our recommendation. Once you have it, you'll be glad you do, and it will save you time with the insurance companies later on down the road when improvements become necessary.

If nothing else, it is imperative that this survey be completed prior to the closing of escrow in order for it to positively influence the issuance of title insurance. We recommend requesting an ALTA/ACSM survey at least a month before you apply for title insurance. This will give the surveyor an adequate amount of time to become familiar with the property and conduct the most thorough survey possible. When it comes to title insurance, you can never be too prepared, or too thorough. When purchasing a property, or making improvements on something you already own, we recommend calling as soon as possible.

Surveying Consultants are here to help you put your best foot forward. We want to make sure you're protected, and our professionals can help ensure that your property maintains the minimum requirements to be considered adequate by insurance companies. Surveying can be complicated, but with years of experience in the industry, we here at Surveying Consultants can tell you what you need to know, so that you don't end up losing an abundance of time or money later on. Call or Contact Us today to learn more about ALTA/ACSM surveys, and just how Surveying Consultants can help you.

As-Built Surveys

Surveying Consultants Admin - Friday, March 01, 2013

There's nothing quite like the thrill of constructing a new property. Whether commercial or residential, watching a structure come to life, arising from mere blueprints is a fully gratifying experience. There are many steps taken along the way to ensure that everything is going according to plan, and that the final outcome looks and feels exactly how it's supposed to. We're speaking of course, of As-Built Surveys. Here at Surveying Consultants, we take great pride in the speed and quality of our As-Built Surveys. By utilizing this resource, you are making the most of your construction process: it's an important tool for a number of reasons.

Every construction project begins with a site plan, which details the process from beginning to end. However, an As-Built Survey is taken periodically along the way, thus maintaining that the actual product remains congruent with the original plan. Furthermore, it helps to make the entire process smoother by showing that the project complies with all of the necessary regulations put in place by the city. Thus, a strong and thorough understanding of all city codes is imperative for high-quality construction projects, which is why Surveying Consultants makes the process so speedy and hassle-free.

Furthermore, the schedule of any construction process is ever-shifting throughout its duration. An As-Built Survey helps to assess the progress according to the original plan, and thus create the most accurate timetable possible for the project's completion. As-Built Surveys are an important bureaucratic tool, but ultimately, they ensure that thew new commercial or residential property is being completed as quickly and accurately as possible.

These things can get a little confusing, but they are absolutely necessary when making the most of your construction project. With years of experience in the industry, Surveying Consultants makes the process crystal clear, and easy to adhere to. When watching that new structure arise out of blueprints, As-Built Surveys are important milestones along the way. Call or Contact Us today to learn more about As-Built Surveys, how they can work for you, and why Surveying Consultants makes the process faster and easier than ever.

Build Back

Surveying Consultants Admin - Thursday, February 07, 2013

Thanks to the technological advancements of the 21st century, our homes keep us safer and more protected than ever from the elements. However, there are some things that are just out of our control. When disaster strikes, it's difficult to know how and where to begin picking up the pieces to repair your life. One can never truly be ready for a natural disaster to strike, but thanks to the efforts of Surveying Consultants, in accordance with Hilton Head, SC, it's now easier than ever to be prepared.

Whether your property is victim to fire, hurricane, flooding, or tornado, Surveying Consultants' Build Back recovery program helps to speed up the rebuilding process, so that you can ultimately restore what was lost in less time, and with fewer hassles. Here's how it works: by acting preemptively, and seeing us before damage occurs, we are able to precisely detail and document the various dimensions and properties of your home. This way, when rebuilding takes place, these documents can be referenced, and better yet, they are pre-approved, meaning the reconstruction process can start immediately without you having to wade through mountains of paperwork. By taking action now, you save yourself hours of headache later on down the road.

Furthermore, after a natural disaster, you will most likely be one among many in line to submit approval requests. Think of this as being able to skip the line entirely. You won't have to waste time replacing any destroyed documents, since Surveying Consultants will already have the registered details of your property on file. Finally, by having all of these things equipped and ready to go, you will have first access to contractors who want to get to work quickly rebuilding the community.

Losing your home to natural disasters is never fun to think about. But damage caused by the elements is a reality, and by being prepared from the get-go, you ensure the continuity of your property. When you contact us here at Surveying Consultants, we guarantee a fast and easy process, both before and after the event. Call or Contact Us today to learn just how simple it can be to protect yourself, and your home.

Boundary Surveying

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Monday, January 07, 2013
In addition to the many Surveying Services that we offer, we are also proud to extend our expertise to help you better define your boundaries. Whether you're looking to establish or re-establish the boundary on the ground, or simply obtain the proper data in order to create an accurate map, Surveying Consultants can help.

Over the past three decades, we've had the pleasure of working alongside property owners in helping them clearly define their estate. We've also worked with local governments to solidify territorial boundaries. Whatever your needs are, we're ready to assist you.

In furtherance of these endeavors, we have many options for you. We offer encroachments and fence placement for a more organized property. These also allow for tangible, visual boundary lines. Furthermore, our Boundary Surveying Service also includes home addition and landscaping. These tasks demand a professional surveying team, as misplaced fences and boundary lines could result in much headache and hassle later on. Fortunately, Surveying Consultants has been assisting the Lowcountry since 1983, and we're eager to lend our experience to whatever your situation demands.

Call or Contact Us today to learn more about the extent of our Boundary Surveying Services, and how they can help you.

Construction Surveying

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Monday, December 31, 2012
There's nothing quite like the excitement of a New Construction project. Whether you're building that dream home, creating a new commercial property, or paving a new road, the progress of Construction is certainly a thrilling process. However, as with anything, it's imperative to have a detailed plan in place. Whether you're a home builder, home owner, or municipality, Surveying Consultants wants to work with you to help guide the construction process.

With years of experience in the industry, we've managed to build up an extensive portfolio and rich history of Construction Surveying. Citizens of the beautiful Lowcountry will recognize some of the structures and landmarks to which we've lent our surveying knowledge. For example, we recently had the pleasure of surveying on a four-mile stretch of road, from Burnt Church Road to Buckingham Landing Road, for Bluffton Parkway Phase 5A, segments 1A & 1B.

We also worked alongside Sea Pines Company here in the Lowcountry. We were able to provide Asbuilt Tree & Topographic Surveys for them, to aid in their endeavor to construct a Harbour Town Clubhouse, as well as a Beach Club, and perform renovations on the Plantation Golf Club. Finally, Sterling Construction Corp is in the process of constructing a beautiful new apartment complex, called Savannah Highlands, phases 1 and 2. For them, we were able to provide Construction Surveys, as well as final Asbuilt Surveys.

Construction Surveying is an imperative part of the exciting New Construction process – it allows builders a reference guide to build upon, ensuring that the project is executed flawlessly. Call or Contact Us today to learn more about Construction Surveying, and just how Surveying Consultants can work for you.

FEMA Flood Certificates

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Sunday, December 23, 2012
Over the past decade alone, our nation has seen some incredible damage caused by the weather. In the midst of such turbulence, it's easy to let the proper insurance data slip through the cracks. However, given the intensely destructive nature of these storms, it's important to make sure your property is protected. In doing this, you can pursue a couple of avenues, and we'd like to help.

Although bad weather can take many forms, heavy rains, followed by flooding, is fairly common, and fully devastating to a home or building.  By obtaining a FEMA Flood Certificate, you are allowing yourself coverage in the event of damage to your property caused by flooding. The amount of coverage available to you depends on the data in these certificates, and that's where we come in.

While out-of-date surveys can lead to higher insurance premiums, up-to-date surveys can ultimately save you a lot of money. If you already have flood insurance, we recommend reassessing the price you're paying – if it seems excessive, it could mean that it's time to update your survey. Surveying Consultants is fast, easy, and effective, giving you all of the information & data you'll need to protect your property without spending too much. We guarantee a one-week turn around time.

Finally, you can also reduce costs by making sure your property has the right venting in place. Doing so shows preparedness for storms, and FEMA will reciprocate by saving you money. Furthermore, flood vents greatly reduce damage. Call or Contact Us today so that we can start you on your way to protecting yourself by updating your flood vents and updating your Flood Certificate.

Bluffton Land Surveyor

Surveying Consultants Admin - Friday, August 17, 2012

Do you need land surveyor services in Bluffton, South Carolina? If so, Surveying Consultants, is a leading land surveyor in Bluffton providing professional land surveying services. We provide quality work and will complete it on time and on budget, saving you money.

At Surveying Consultants we consult with our clients in determining their exact land survey needs, assuring them of the most cost-effective land survey required for their project. This aspect, combined with our strategically based offices with local staff, allow us to provide our clients with outstanding services, extensive expertise, and the high quality work.

Surveying Consultants has the technical surveying expertise with its very knowledgeable staff of Professional Land Surveyors, Project Managers, and Survey Technicians. Surveying Consultants' field survey crews can handle any type of survey project within Bluffton.

Contact us to make Surveying Consultants, your Bluffton Surveyor.

Disaster Recovery - Hilton Head Island, SC

Surveying Consultants Admin - Wednesday, August 01, 2012

In the event of a disaster, the Town of Hilton Head believes it is important that we are prepared to build back and re-establish our community as soon as possible. To this end, they have established a disaster recovery procedure to pre-approve building plans and documents for residental and commercial structures.

Surveying Consultants will gather, prepare and supply printed and digital documentation for your records and for your peace of mind.

In the event of a declared disaster, the Town of Hilton Head believes it is important that we are prepared to build back and establish our community as soon as possible. To facilitate this, they have established a disaster recovery procedure to pre-approve building plans and documents for residential and commercial structures.  These documents are required to expedite the rebuilding of structures damaged due to a declared disaster, such as, hurricane, flooding, etc.

The reasons for this disaster recovery program are twofold: first, to reduce the number of approval requests after a disaster and, second, to help owners quickly begin the recovery process. Surveying Consultants can help you secure these pre-approved documents.

Having disaster recovery documentation means your home or business will be top priority. The recovery process will be faster, with less red tape and down time. Plus, you will have first access to contractors who want to get to work quickly.

If disaster strikes your home or business -- where the things you value are kept --  it is crucial for you to be able to verify the state of your home or business before the event. Surveying Consultants can simplify this process for you. By having your property professionally documented and registered, rebuilding can occur more quickly. Otherwise, you must first search for your documents. You must then replace any destroyed documents. Finally, you may be waiting in long lines at overburdened town offices trying to obtain the permits necessary to get your life back to normal.
Surveying Consultants gathers and registers the following key components for your disaster recovery documentation:
·      As-built / site plan*
·      Building plans*
·      Deed and recorded plat, if available
·      Exterior photos showing construction and finishes

Additional services available:
·      Contents photos**
·      Mortgage information, tax records, insurance papers**
·Your data is scanned, registered with the Town of Hilton Head and then digitally stored on a CD or thumb drive for your records. Duplicate sets are stored at the offices of Surveying Consultants in Bluffton, on a secure offsite backup and with the town.
·*  As supplied by owner
·**You will  be asked to provide an inventory of lost or damaged items.
·This kind of detailed record is invaluable for insurance claims.

Build Back Disaster Recovery is a service of Surveying Consultants, a privately owned land surveying, documenting and mapping business headquartered in Bluffton, South Carolina, serving southeastern United States for over since 1983.