You may have been told you need to provide a Foundation Location Certificate and you’re wondering what that means. This can seem confusing and overwhelming at first, but a professional land surveyor should be able to provide what you need both efficiently and accurately.
The purpose of a foundation survey is to ensure there are no encroachments onto a zoning setback, an easement, or property lines. Foundation surveys are often required by city building codes during new construction, or when an addition to an existing home or structure, such as a shed or extra garage is being built. The survey is typically conducted just after the foundation is poured and before the builder resumes work on the structure. The survey will plot the location, elevation, and as-constructed dimensions of the foundation relative to property lines and setbacks.
After the survey is conducted, the land surveyor will produce a Foundation Location Certificate detailing the placement of your lot, the zoning setbacks, and all the new and existing features. It also gives the elevations in comparison to the original Plot Plan and existing grades. This certificate then allows the city, contractor, and homeowner to verify that the foundation has been poured in the correct location on the lot.
In our hometown of Gillette, Wyoming, the city requires both a Plot Plan and a Foundation Location Certificate for newer homes, and homeowners may obtain a copy of either document by calling or stopping by the Planning Division. Many cities, including Gillette, don’t have a professional land surveyor on staff, so it is the responsibility of the construction contractor or the homeowner to find a reputable surveyor to conduct the work.
Your best bet is to involve a land surveyor up front, at the beginning stages of your project. If there is going to be an encroachment, it’s better to make the city aware of the issue ahead of time, before the construction work progresses. Be sure to contact us, or a licensed and experienced land surveyor in your area, if you have more questions about Foundation Location Certificates and foundation surveys.