Commercial Construction Projects 

Land surveying and other related land services are crucial to the successful completion of commercial construction projects. A professional land surveyor plays an integral role, from mapping project areas, identifying potential risks, and verifying plans. After all, it is essential for every project to start with good information, as that is the basis for everything that goes forward with that development or construction. 

From pre-planning and commercial site transfers to a construction and completed project, McSteen can help to keep your commercial construction project on track, on time, and on budget.

Base Map / Site Plan

A site plan is a graphic representation of all existing and proposed improvements to a site. The site plan functions as a map for a development project, incorporating all aspects of landscaping, construction, paving, utilities, and terrain features in a single depiction. It’s critical that a site plan shows the relationship between what exists and what is being added.

According to McSteen’s Director of the Survey Department, Ryan Snezek, PS, “This allows the property owner, developer, architect, and engineer to know exactly what they are dealing with because it is much better to know upfront than to find out later once the project has already started.”

A site plan shows the intended development of a property related to the features of the parcel and its surrounding area. It typically requires a variety of surveys and utility locating to properly prepare a site plan or base map for commercial construction projects. 

  • Boundary Survey – A boundary survey is the highest and most accurate survey to establish boundary lines for residential, commercial, or industrial properties. When performing a boundary survey, a professional surveyor pieces together research and calculations in conjunction with in-field observations and data collection, looking not just at one set of boundary lines but also at all the adjoining property lines, to ensure boundary lines make sense.
  • Topographic Survey – A topographic survey ensures that the land’s features will be suitable for its intended use. In addition, a topographic survey can provide valuable insight into how a site’s previous or current use affected the land, enabling better planning for future use.
  • Utility Locating –  Below-ground utility locating is necessary to most accurately map what is underground. This allows the property owner, developer, architect, and engineer to know exactly what they are dealing with upfront rather than discovering an issue once the project has already started. 

Commercial Mortgage Locations

A commercial mortgage location is a product utilized for commercial property transfer and follows the same state standards as a residential mortgage location survey, so the lender must be willing to accept these standards in place of the ALTA standards. The benefit of a commercial mortgage location is the fact that it is a low-cost, quick-turnaround alternative to an ALTA Survey. It does, however, sacrifice some accuracy. 

ALTA Surveys

An ALTA Survey is also used for commercial property transfer but is essentially a boundary survey plus a detailed depiction of property improvements, easements, and anything else impacting the parcel. It adheres to a set of minimum standards established by the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors and is used for a variety of reasons, most notably securing title insurance at the closing of a deal.

Typically contracted by the title company, lender, or attorneys representing involved parties for commercial property purchases, refinances, or improvements, an ALTA Survey provides confidence that results are guaranteed. While these surveys are more expensive than the other types, they reveal much more extensive information about real property and help to protect a real property investment. 

Construction Draw Inspections

Draw inspections help to mitigate risks inherent to construction lenders through regular on-site inspections with experienced draw inspectors who become the eyes and ears for the lender on the job site.

In the commercial construction industry, draw inspections are a best practice used by most lenders to validate progress in conjunction with disbursing funds. This allows the construction lender to follow along with the builder and project owner to ensure the loan proceeds are going into the collateral on the loan, and to identify progress concerns as early as possible.

With more than 50 years of experience in all 88 counties of Ohio, and now expanding to surrounding counties in Michigan, Indiana Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, McSteen Land Surveyors is a leader in the industry. Contact us today and let our team of surveyors, inspectors, and utility locating professionals ensure your project is properly planned for now and in the future.


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