When building a new house or putting an addition on to an existing building, it is essential to go into the process with all of the necessary information.
Site Survey (Topographic Survey)
A topographic survey of your site forms the foundation on which all other work is built. This could be a full site survey, or a localised survey of a particular area of interest on your site.
Site surveys show major existing features of your site (natural and built), ground levels over the site and along the boundary lines and contours covering the site. This means your architect will know exactly what they have to work with which could save time and money in costly re-designs of your new home or alteration. Knowing what the boundary levels are will help your architect design your new house to be within the height limits set by the Local Authority (Council).
These surveys also help your engineer when designing drainage, flood levels, overland flowpaths, driveways (maximum grades) and retaining walls and when working out the quantity of earthworks required to get your ideal building platform. For more information click here
Redefinition/Site Pegging Survey:
Sometimes this sort of survey is necessary when building to identify where the boundary actually is. This is generally more important on rural or bush sites where the boundaries are not easily located. You do have to be careful if trying to measure off fences as not all fences are on the boundary. See here for information on what you can do to find your own pegs
Height in Relation to Boundary Checks
This is something that Councils have been getting more and more stringent with. It is quite regularly a condition of the Building Consent to get the height of the building, in relation to the boundary of the property, checked by a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor prior to the commencement of construction. Not completing this check prior to construction can turn into a frustrating and often expensive undertaking if the building is completed to the wrong height. To ensure this does not happen to you visit this page.
Building work and alterations usually require a Building Consent. A Building Consent may also be required for services, drainage and plumbing work. This includes sanitary sewer, storm water, water supply and other services such as power and phone.
The information required by Council with any application for a Building Consent is comprehensive and includes a lot of precise detail. The larger the building project, the more complicated the application process becomes, sometimes requiring specialist reports from Surveyors, Town Planners, Engineers, Architects, Geologists, Arborists and Landscapers. With most building projects it can be worthwhile engaging a Project Manager. The Project Manager would collate the information required in the application, follow through at Council, oversee construction and organise and supervise all of the inspections and certificates required to receive a final completion and signoff.
Boundary Consultants provide project management services. For more information please click here.
Building (Construction) Setout:
As building sites are getting smaller and buildings are being built closer to the boundaries, Councils are increasingly requiring building setout positions to be signed off by a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor. Mostly this is to ensure that buildings are far enough away from the boundary to comply with fire rating requirements and to ensure the building still complies with relevant height in relation to boundary envelopes. Most Councils require this to be done by a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor if the proposed building is within 200mm of the Height to Boundary envelope or within 1.2m of a boundary.
If it is not a condition of the Building Consent, your builder can Setout the building position. It would be a good idea to find the old boundary pegs (see the “Find your Boundary Pegs” section for details) rather than measure off a fenceline, as not all fences are built on, or anywhere near, the actual boundary line.
Building (Construction) Setout surveys involve the placing of pegs in the ground, on site, in the same position as shown on your Architect’s design plan, maintaining the approved location in relation to the site boundaries. Most houses can be Setout with only four points marked, but some buildings are more complex and therefore require more points to be identified.