A bit about surveys…

Posted on in Technical


There is a lot to learn about building and renovating.  So many processes and procedures before you get to the fun stuff like picking out the lighting fixtures , plumbing fixtures and paint!  In a past blog, I’ve touched on permits,but what about surveys?   They are mandatory and essential to the building / renovating development, here’s why!

When do you need a survey?

If you are planning on renovating or building.  The city of North and West Vancouver will accept a survey that is no more than three years old otherwise they will nab you for a new one.  (Please check your own cities website for their rules and regulations).

Why do you need a survey?

A survey is  a map of your property, that will include the structures on your land from the house to the sheds in the backyard, creeks and even trees .  The city will insist on seeing a survey of your property before you can submit building plans.  The architect or designer will need the survey to assist in staying within the district’s building codes as well as the BC building codes and building bylaws that are specific to the municipality.

What will the city look for?

The city will be looking for easements on the property like creeks, paths,etc…They will be interested in seeing trees that are of a certain height that might not fit in with the building requirement. Storm water and sewer catchments will also be of interest to the city as well as any setbacks.  A setback is the distance from the top of a bank ( like a creek) to the house.  There are two setbacks, one of 5 meters and one of 15 meters. There are restriction of height when you build or renovate so the survey will show the elevations of the new building or existing house.  By having the survey the city will tell us builders what we are clearly able to do or not  with your property.

How many surveys do you need?

At least two.  You have to have a survey done before building or renovating and then another one at completion of the project.

How much do they cost?

Depending on the size of the structure to be built or renovated, it will be anywhere from $1200.00 to $5000.00 each survey, not cheap!

How do you get a survey done?

There are many survey companies that are reputable that one can phone and more often than not the building contractor arranges it.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call us!




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