Land Surveying

  • Surveys are used to determine ownership and property lines.
  • A survey discloses what portion of the property is being purchased and the scope of improvements on that property.
  • An accurate and updated survey ensures your protection in your real estate transaction.  

Land Surveying is the science and technology of precisely determining and recording areas of land. Surveying is an essential element in property development and is a requirement in the planning and execution of nearly every form of construction.

Clapsaddle-Garber Associates is a full service surveying and engineering firm with a goal to establish a lasting relationship with our clients. CGA is committed to excellence.  We know that your project has strict time requirements and depends on a solid foundation of information and control. Our professional and experienced staff is proficient in all types of land surveying projects and we take pride in completing each project accurately, on time, and at a competitive price.

Land surveying and engineering design demand the ultimate in measurement accuracy.  CGA's survey crews utilize state-of-the-art electronic measurement systems, including Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, to provide that accuracy. The collection and production systems work seamlessly for fast, accurate application in the field on construction staking and other surveying and engineering projects.

CGA deploys experienced field crews state-wide, daily. Our licensed professionals are trained and expert in the State of Iowa requirements and standards, and also comply with IDOT requirements in the office and field. The survey field crews and office support are experts in handling many varied state and municipal projects, and private development surveying needs.

Our services include a wide array of surveys for both commercial and residential land and construction projects.

Boundary Surveys

Vital to any construction project or land sale transaction is the accurate location and documentation of property boundaries developed by a professional land surveyor. Boundary Surveys are undertaken to determine the location of property lines and the actual physical extent of property ownership, typically witnessed by monuments or markers. They can also reveal potential problems including encroachments, right-of-way and easements, and gaps or overlaps between adjacent parcels.  The surveyor performs courthouse research to obtain deeds and other vital information for the subject and adjoining properties which represent ownership, easements and other interests. The surveyor then performs fieldwork to locate property monuments as called for on subdivision plats. A plat is then drawn from the data showing all property lines and dimensions. Property is valuable. Our experienced team prepares boundary surveys on tracts of all area sizes, in a timely manner, with quality results.

ALTA ACSM Land Title Surveys

An ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey is a detailed survey performed to standards set forth by the American Land and Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. They are often required for real estate transactions involving high value properties. The standards specify accuracy and what is to be included in the survey. The ALTA/ACSM survey addresses additional issues such as reviewing the title commitments, depicting current zoning conditions, and providing accurate measurements between boundary corners. The surveyor will review the commitment and provide an accurate description on the face of the survey as to how the exceptions and other matters affect the property. The surveyor will also certify that the survey was performed in conformance with the minimum standards. CGA has successfully completed ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys for numerous large-scale projects.

Topographic Surveys

The successful planning and engineering of any land development relies on quality topographic data. A Topographic Survey determines the positions of natural & man-made features and configuration of the terrain on a particular piece of land. The elevations of the measured points are presented as a three dimensional shape and represented as contours and spot elevations on a drawing. The finished drawing shows the location of all visible improvements such as roads, driveways, buildings, walls, fences and sidewalks. The survey also shows any above or below ground evidence of utilities such as manholes, valves and fire hydrants. The scope can be broadened to include a more intensive Utility Survey.

Subdivision Platting

Subdivision Platting is undertaken when an existing parcel is subdivided into smaller lots or multiple tracts and conversely when multiple parcels are combined into a larger tract. The process varies considerably with jurisdiction but often involves a multiple step process of reviews, hearings and approvals by multiple governmental entities.

Site Plans

A Site Plan is a pre-construction survey that shows the location of the proposed building, parking or driveway, and other improvements. It is composed of a Boundary Survey, Topographical Survey, and a Grading and Utility Plan according to county requirements.

Construction Layout

Construction Staking is the process of interpreting an engineer's or architect's design drawings and locating the proposed improvements on the ground with stakes for contractors to use for construction. Surveyors typically lay out buildings, walls, roads, utilities and any other proposed structure whose location or elevation is critical. We provide complete construction layout services for residential and commercial development projects, as well as IDOT construction.

As-Built Surveys

An As-built or Record Survey is the location and measurement of improvements on site as constructed. They are often required by municipalities or lenders to confirm that new construction conforms substantially to the design drawings and specifications.

Flood Study/Flood Elevation Certificate

A Flood Study includes performing survey work necessary to determine if land or buildings lay in a SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area) as determined by FEMA and shown on FIRMS (Flood Insurance Rate Maps).  An elevation certificate is an official form of the National Flood Insurance Program. A survey for a Flood Elevation Certificate provides verification of the elevation data of a structure on a given property relative to the ground level. This information is used in the flood insurance rating process and could lower insurance costs.  CGA has experts on staff to navigate the floodwater processes.

GIS Services

CGA provides assistance to government agencies and utility companies by providing Geographic Information System (GIS) support. We are also experienced in GIS data collection for stormwater, water distribution, utility distribution and sanitary sewer inventory projects.

Aerial Mapping Coordination

CGA provides full coordination of all aerial mapping needs. This includes digital orthometric photos, cost effective aerial topographic mapping, and black and white photos for planning purposes. The survey team and mapping partners use only the best equipment and processes to provide optimum results.   Cellular Tower Surveys CGA prepares surveys for telecommunication tower sites. We provide topographic surveys, boundary plats, latitude and longitude for the sites meeting FAA requirements, and legal descriptions for future easements and lease areas.


  • Land Developers
  • Federal, State, and Local Government agencies
  • Home Owners
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • General Contractors
  • Title Companies
  • Realtors

Land Surveying Services:

  • Types of Surveys
    • commercial property
    • residential property
    • farm surveys
    • subdivisions
    • topography
    • preliminary design for new construction
    • retracement survey of existing parcels
    • plat of survey for new parcels
    • aeronautical
    • government right of way/acquisition plats
    • flood studies
  • Drawings
    • plats and reviews
    • subdivision plats
    • maps
    • record drawings
    • legal descriptions
    • preliminary designs
  • Staking/Locates
    • setback lines
    • utilities
    • construction staking and management for public and private clients
    • easements
    • property boundaries
    • topography and elevations of land

Call to request a quote for your project.  We look forward to working with you.

Transmission Line Survey