What is Plat Survey? Importance of Plat Surveys

What is Plat Survey? Importance of Plat Surveys

What is a Plat Survey?

A plat is a scaled map that shows the division of a piece of land. Further, plats can legalize the dedication of land for highways and other rights-of-way/easements. It essentially shows your house on your lot, including lot lines, setbacks, and easements.

Even if you own property, you may not be aware of what a plat survey is. A plat survey is a method of precisely creating a plat, or an official, drawn-up map of a piece of property.

A plat is a scaled-down map of a land region that outlines the borders between several pieces of property.

To generate this map as exactly as possible, a plat survey is employed. In general, land divisions are described in metes and bounds.

This is a system for delineating distinct borders based on geographical characteristics, distances between places, and directions. These limits are specified by circling the region from a beginning point until they return to that same location.

A plat survey, also known as a “border survey” or a “plat of survey,” must be done by a professional surveyor.

A surveyor will find and measure several elements on the parcel when doing a plat survey, such as existing property corner monuments like iron rods or drill holes, fence lines, and lines of habitation, among other things.

A plat is obviously a visual representation of a piece of land, but a plat survey does more than just make a visible map of the area. It also includes a textual description of the area that begins at the same location as the visual description and revolves in the same direction until it returns to the beginning.

Importance of Plat Surveys

A plat survey is a map of a parcel of land that has been subdivided into lots, blocks, and streets. The plat survey is a public record and is used to show the ownership of each parcel of land.

A plat survey is also used to determine the legal boundaries of each parcel of land.

Here is why Plat surveys are important;

Property access-

A plat survey will assist in determining property access locations. You wouldn’t want someone driving across your yard every time they needed to get to their new house or office. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to drive through someone else’s property in order to access to important roads.


Everyone agrees that everyone should have access to public utilities such as power, water, and sewage. There is no certainty that would be the case without a plat survey. A plat survey guarantees that everyone has access to the amenities on which we have grown to rely.


The last thing you want is for your property to violate local zoning regulations. You may avoid this by having a border survey.

Assuring that all lots adhere to local government zoning regulations and limits, primarily in terms of size and geometry.

Creating public highways and other access routes.

Parcels are set aside for public use, such as parks, emergency shelters, and official monuments.

Types of Plat Surveys

When it comes to surveying plats, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all project. There are numerous varieties of plat surveys, each with its own set of goals. Here are a few examples of the different kinds:

Consolidation Plats

If you acquire ownership of many parcels of property and wish to combine them to form a larger area, you’ll normally need to have a plat of consolidation made for each lot involved.

You’ll probably need to submit your consolidation plats to your local municipality to check if the lots may be combined.

Subdivision Plats

A plat of subdivision is required when a landowner wishes to split his or her property into smaller pieces of real estate, as the name indicates. When a plat of subdivision is finalized, it must be presented for approval to your local government.

Correction plats

These plats, sometimes known as “amending plats,” are created to repair erroneous facts recorded on an existing plat. This type of plat is frequently used to move features on a parcel of land or to change the parcel’s borders.

Vacating Plats

In the viewpoint of the law, they render a plat or a portion of a plat invalid. They’re often formed when none of the lots have sold or when no new public or private projects have been completed since the initial plat was prepared.

Short Plats

Short plats are created when there is no more room on a plat for all the lots that need to be included.

A short plat can be a simple matter of erasing some lines, but it can also have complex requirements that require the results to be approved by different entities, such as zoning districts and the local government.

Boundary survey vs Plat Survey

Boundary surveys are used by the surveyor to define the real property boundaries of an existing parcel.

Boundaries can include the existing property boundaries, such as county lines or a street’s edges, along with future property lines and directions, such as future utility mains or other public facilities.

Plats are made to define the legal and administrative boundaries of lots, but they commonly include all kinds of additional information.

A boundary survey can be used to create a plat, but not the other way around.

Plat surveys are especially useful for determining property lines and accurately measuring the boundaries of parcels of land, which in turn makes it easy to ensure that these properties stay in compliance with local government regulations.

Aside from its legal applications, a plat survey is also essential for showing where important features are in relation to each other.

Without a border survey, there is no way to map out these features and make sure that they’re positioned appropriately.

Without a plat survey, there could be no land divisions at all.

For a particular parcel, the surveyor will begin at a designated starting point and move in the same direction until he or she returns to this same location.

When he or she reaches that location again, he or she will circle back in the same direction and continue making mentions until he or she returns to this starting point.

What a Plat Survey looks like

A plat survey consists of a series of documents that describe the property, either in total or in part. The first document is the title block. It gives the official name of the county and the plat’s township and range, which are usually abbreviated.

The second document is the legal description, which gives a physical description of the parcel. It doesn’t just give a brief list of measurements; instead, it gives descriptions along with additional information such as if there are public or private utilities located on this parcel and where they are located.

The third document is the map. This is often a large sheet of paper that shows which properties are located in which portion of the county.

Each small dot on the map represents a property, and each platted property results in a separate document that explains its characteristics.

Plats consist of rectangles displayed on a map with special symbols to illustrate what’s located inside each lot, such as houses, trees, roads, and other important details.

The surveyor uses a designated standard numbering system to identify properties. In the United States, most of the systems use a nine-digit number, but in other countries the numbers can be much longer. In England for instance, a zone number is used that consists of a two-letter code and a four-digit number.

Plat Survey Process

Before you begin a plat survey, it’s important to establish what your goal is, the timeline for completing it, and the exact steps to be taken.

Before starting a survey, make sure you know who will be involved and when they will need to be present. You should also decide on the number of people you’ll need and who will take part in the process.

Once you have determined the boundaries you wish to survey, it’s time to prepare your equipment, materials and staff. You’ll need to name the area you’re going to work with so that everyone can understand what they’re working on.

You should start by obtaining a copy of your subdivision or consolidation plat for each lot involved. Make sure to check that the parcel number is correct and that there are no holes in the plat’s borders.

In addition to the plat, you’ll need to have a copy of the map book that shows all of the public records available in your municipality. You can also have other maps at hand that show any physical details, such as streets and streams.

Appoint someone to be in charge and make sure everyone understands their responsibilities. Make sure they know what kind of tasks they must perform and what kind of information they should be looking for during the survey process.

Before commencing the survey, make sure that you have an idea of where you’ll be beginning and ending your survey, as well as the area you’ll be covering.

You should also take into consideration any property lines or boundaries that may affect your survey’s results.

The last step is to make sure everyone understands what the goals for this project are and how it will contribute to their work.

Plat Survey Applications

Plat surveys are commonly used for the following purposes:

Residential properties – when the property owner wants to divide their houses into smaller lots in order to sell them to real estate developers.

Boundary surveys – when one or more properties need to be surveyed in order to show the boundaries. This process can involve a number of different tasks, depending on what you need.

Topographic surveys – when you want to survey features from above, such as hills and valleys.

Soil maps – when you want to survey what’s found on the surface of the land.

Environmental surveys – when you want to know what’s located on the land, such as streams and wetlands.

Geodetic surveys – when you want to survey the location of natural phenomena or man-made features.

To perform a plat survey, you need to identify the property boundaries, measure their dimensions and record all other relevant information about them.


What is Plat Survey?

Plat surveys are typically maps that show property boundaries, the layout of lots and other important details about a particular piece of land.

A plat survey can be used for a number of different purposes, ranging from recreational to legal.

The plat survey process differs from other types of surveying in that it usually involves making detailed measurements using equipment like measuring wheels and transit levels.

Plat surveys can involve many different types of tools and equipment, including transit levels, chains, and measuring wheels.

Many plats are divided into sections or quadrants, each with a specific set of measurements. Each section is used to create a separate survey report.

What is the Difference Between Plat Survey & Plat Map?

Although plat surveys and plat maps are both used for the same purpose, that of creating a plan or drawing of a particular piece of land, they’re not the same thing.

A map looks like a drawing of a map but is actually an accurate representation of the earth’s surface. It shows how lakes, mountains and other geographic features are interconnected and are typically marked with lines to indicate boundaries and other physical details.

Plats, on the other hand, look more like maps but they’re actually official documents that include detailed records about property ownership.

How do I get a plat of survey?

In order to get a plat of survey, you’ll first need to contact the appropriate agency in your state. After that, you’ll need to explain your needs and what kind of information you require.

Beyond that, there are no set standards for obtaining a plat of survey. Many states have variations and exceptions that vary based on what you’re doing.

A plat of survey contains detailed information about property boundaries as well as other important features including buildings and major roads.

Is a plat as good as a survey?

A plat is not a survey, but it’s still considered a more reliable source of information about property boundaries than other types. In fact, in many parts of the country, plats are required by law to establish boundaries.

Plats were originally used to record ownership at the time when they were created. Even though they may not be used today for that same purpose, they still serve as an important reference tool.

How long is a plat of survey Good For?

Plats of survey aren’t good forever. In most cases, they’re good for 2 years from the date of creation.

Plats that are used to determine property boundaries are sometimes updated or replaced after a certain number of years.

Is a plat a legal document?

In some cases, a plat is valid in court. However, this is not the case everywhere. It’s important to ensure that you understand the rules and regulations that apply to your particular situation before you rely on plats as evidence in legal proceedings.

What is the difference between a base map and a plat?

A base map is used to show what the earth’s surface looks like without any artificial markings or other features included.

Plats are similar to base maps in that they show what the land looks like without any features or markings. However, plats include measurements and other important details about the earth’s surface.

The main difference is that plats are records of property boundaries and other information about a particular piece of land rather than a rendering of its features.

Are plat maps, correct?

Plat maps are precise enough to identify the legal owner of a piece of property. They’re fantastic for a broad tract of land in general, but they’re not realistic representations of individual lots.

What is the purpose of a plat?

Your plat map is frequently provided by your title firm and serves as a reference of vital information for you to review. It will show you how the tract of land is divided into home lots, the amount of the land on your property, roadways, rights of way, flood zones, and borders.

Who pays for plat of survey?

A land survey is not legally required to be paid for by either the buyer or the seller. In most cases, the party that requests the survey is the one who pays. For example, if the seller wants the survey, they must pay for it, and the buyer must do the same.

Does the government require a plat map?

No, the government doesn’t require a plat map. However, you may be required to provide one if you’re trying to sell your property or apply for certain types of permits.

What is the procedure for obtaining a plat?

The process for obtaining a plat varies from state to state. Some will require you to contact your county clerk’s office and explain what type of information you need. Other will have online forms that you can fill out and submit electronically.

What information is included on a plat?

A plat will include information about property boundaries and other geographic features. It will also show the name of the person who owns it, the date of creation, and sometimes details about previous owners and the names of people who approved it.

How can I tell if a plat is an accurate depiction of my property boundaries?

If you want to know whether your property (or someone else’s) is accurately depicted on a plat, you’ll need to check with your county clerk’s office.

How much does Replatting cost?

A replat must be procured and included with the application. To the County, a basic charge of $300.00 plus $25.00 per lot (if applicable) is needed. All fees are required upon submission of the application.

What is Replatting a property?

The process of modifying, or the map or plat that modifies, the borders of a registered subdivision plat or part thereof is referred to as replating. A replat is a revision in an approved or documented plat that necessitates adjustments to street layout, lot lines, or blocks.

What does it mean to subdivide a plat?

A subdivision is the division of a plot of land for the purpose of sale. Subdividing may also mean removing a parcel from one recorded plat and placing it on another recorded plat.

If a property is subdivided, it is necessary to replat the property in order to ensure the ownership information within its borders remains up-to-date.

How long does Replatting take?

Replating a property can take anywhere from several days to six months. This is often dependent on the amount of information that must be updated, as well as the way in which it’s necessary to draw new boundaries.

For example, plats that include large swaths of forest or are located in relatively remote areas may take longer to Replat than those found in urban areas.

What is the difference between Plats and Survey?

A survey will indicate the location of any residences, structures, or improvements (driveways, fences, and pools) on the land; a plat will often provide the measurements of the site prior to any modifications being made.

Often, a plat will encompass many lots or parcels of property. For instance, a developer may commission the creation of a plat for an entire subdivision; while, a survey typically depicts either one lot or a restricted number of lots.

Plats are frequently created in order to be documented at the courts for public access; surveys are typically created for the sole use of the property owner.

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