Surveys and Descriptions

Property Boundary

This survey determines the boundary of a lot in a subdivision, a property that is described by a deed or is created with a new description out of a larger property. The survey shows ownership and possession but does not show improvements or easements on the property unless the surveyor is requested to do so or there appears to be a possible encroachment on the property boundary. All corners of the property will be monumented with iron rods. A survey drawing must be provided to the client if the property creates a new parcel is if the surveyor resets any missing iron monuments on the property corners.

Missouri Survey Checklist

Property Lines

This survey is for the purpose of marking part of a property boundary. This is commonly done for clients who want to install a fence or just know where a specific line between properties is located. The property line is marked with spikes and laths and a drawing is provided.


An ALTA/NSPS survey is used to meet the requirements of a lending institution, a title company or a purchaser for transferring title, financing or refinancing of commercial property but can be done for residential use also. An ALTA survey is very detailed survey that combines property boundary, topographic, easements, utilities, flood and encroachment information all into one survey. The survey also reflects information from a title commitment. The survey is usually costly and time consuming due to the detail required to be shown.

ALTA Standards Table A


A subdivision survey divides a larger property into lots, streets and easements. It can be for a little as one lot to many lots. This survey is typically done for house development projects and is subject to review and approval by the appropriate city or county government and state agencies such as DNR and/or the Corps of Engineers.

Cole County Subdivision Checklist

Topographic Surveys (Topo)

This survey develops contours and elevations of the property. It is often required by engineers and architects for the design of improvements to be constructed on the property. The “topo” survey shows the elevation of the ground and other features of the property such as overhead and underground utilities, drainage areas and flood areas based of FEMA data.

Parcel Divisions (City of Jefferson)

This survey is required within the city limits of Jefferson City for the transfer of small pieces of property from one owner to an adjoining owner. The survey is submitted to the city for review and approval prior to transferring ownership. The city has a checklist the survey must complete which is available here:

Parcel Division Checklist

Exempt Surveys (County of Cole)

This survey is required in Cole County for the transfer of a small amount of property, usually under 5 acres, from one property owner to an adjoining property owner. The survey is reviewed by the Cole County Public Works Department and it required to be stamped “Exempt” along with the deed, prior to recording or each.


An easement is generally the right of one to use property of another. This survey creates a description for roadways, utilities or for allowing use due to encroachments.


An As-built survey shows improvements as they exist on a property at the time of the survey. This survey is sometimes used to check that improvements are within a property boundary.

Utilities and Right-of-way

Construction Staking