Every project goes more smoothly when you plan ahead. As you plan, you will find out which stages require professional topographic survey services, and which steps may be avoided due to regulations. You will also prevent major problems by doing all your research before your shovel even hits the ground.
The best plans all start off on paper. An organized diagram with planned out dimensions and placement will make all the steps of getting your project done much easier.
Talk to your council office about permits, and see what the zoning regulations are when it comes to size and location of your building. It’s better to find out what you can and can’t do right at the start to save on having to redo any of your planning. They can let you know what size your shed can be, whether you need permits for sheds of that size, whether your fence can be so close to the boundary or whether you can have a deck near that stream.
They may require a drawing before discussing your plans, so have a rough sketch with some measurements ready. A professional survey shouldn’t be necessary until you are actually at the permit application stage. Doing a true survey too soon means you end up doing it again (and paying for the service again) when you have to make changes for your actual application.
Get the Permits
Once you find out what sizes and locations are allowed (with or without needed permits), you should be thorough and get the paperwork in order. There is nothing wrong with adjusting your project so that permits aren’t necessary when you can, but trying to avoid the paperwork can lead to more serious problems later. You can run afoul of your insurance company and you may be forced to remove the building altogether if the council or municipal office finds out you’ve built “illegally”.
Talk to Utilities
Unless your building project doesn’t involve any digging, you should talk to all your local utilities to make sure there aren’t any lines running through your site. Phone, cable, gas, Internet, water and sewage may all have something to say about where you are digging. The potential damage if you accidentally cut a fiber-optic line or nick a sewage pipe is considerable, and worth a little delay as you discuss your location with each service.
Most will offer a no-cost inspection to ensure there aren’t any hidden obstacles underground. At least with regards to their own services. In other words, don’t expect the phone company to have any information on the gas lines. Many areas have a single number you can call (programs known as Call Before You Dig, or Dig Safely) to help get your inspections planned out. They can connect you with the various agencies you need to talk to. In some areas, this is the law and you can be in legal trouble if you try to skip this step.by