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What Is A Site Survey And When Do You Need One?

When embarking on a home renovation, extension, or even a house raise, there’s a crucial step that shouldn’t be overlooked: the Site Survey.


This process is not just a formality but a fundamental part of ensuring your project is built on solid ground—literally and figuratively. Here in Queensland, understanding the lay of the land before you build can save you from a multitude of headaches down the line, whch is why we will explain what a site survey involves and why it’s essential for homeowners and builders alike before any type of renovation, extension or construction takes place, and why it’s often required before you finalise your house plans.

Firstly, What Is A Site Survey?

At its core, a site survey is an exhaustive examination of your property’s existing conditions. This includes understanding the levels, noting the placement of existing structures like dwellings and outbuildings, identifying significant trees, and locating services and fencing. Why? Because knowledge of these elements is vital for accurately measuring how your property slopes, which in turn informs decisions on whether you need retaining walls, split levelling, or ramping to make your vision come to life.

A site survey also takes into account the specifics of adjoining properties. This means looking at the location of neighbouring dwellings, windows, private open spaces, and foliage. These details are critical in Brisbane and Ipswich for determining aspects such as setbacks, heights, site coverage, and how your project might impact privacy and sunlight for your neighbours. Ensuring your new addition complies with regulations or specific council property overlays, often hinges on the analysis that a site survey provides..

Why Do You Need A Site Survey?

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Imagine finding out mid-construction that your dream extension encroaches on a neighbour’s property or violates local building codes. A site survey will preempt these expensive errors by helping identify contours and lines accurately, which ensures your project remains within the correct confines.

Facilitating Smooth Approvals

For your renovation or extension to move from paper to reality, it will need the green light from local councils or certifiers. A detailed site survey provides the essential data these authorities require to approve your development plans confidently.

Assist Designers and Architects

Surveyors are the unsung heroes who make your building plans and architectural dreams feasible. By assessing the terrain and existing structures, they help designers and architects and builders plot out your project with precision, ensuring that the proposed construction is not only beautiful but structurally sound. Most local designers here in Briabane won’t finalise your construction plans without a completed detail site survey.

Soil Reports

While discussing site surveys, it’s worth mentioning the value of obtaining a soil report. This document reveals the type of soil your property sits on, which can drastically affect the foundation and construction methods of your project. Think of it as getting to know the character of the ground your home will rest on—a critical step in planning a build that stands the test of time.

When Do You Need a Site Survey?

The short answer is: more often than you might think. Whether you’re purchasing a new plot of land, subdividing, seeking development approval, or simply planning a significant renovation, a site survey is your first step towards success. It’s not just for major constructions, as they are often used for even smaller projects like decks, carports or installing a pool or building near a fence which might require a survey to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Organising a Site Survey

A site survey is much more than a bureaucratic hoop to jump through, and we view it as a foundational step in the construction process that ensures your project is built on a clear understanding of your property’s characteristics and constraints. By investing in a thorough site survey with Survey My Block, you’re not just complying with regulations; you’re setting the stage for a smooth, successful build that aligns with your vision and respects your community’s standards.

So whether you’re a homeowner dreaming of a new extension or a builder planning the next big project in Brisbane or Ipswich, remember: a site survey isn’t just important—it’s essential. Given the importance of a site survey, choosing the right surveyor is paramount. We recommend speaking with our Survey Manager, Levi Schulkins first, as Levi is a Registered Surveyor with a proven track record in residential projects with the latest technology avaiable to provide accurate, effecient and effective site surveys for your next project.

Request a quote today by contacting our team.

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