If you're planning on putting a fence around your backyard, the first thing you need to do is have your land surveyed. You may think you know where your property line is located, but if you're wrong, you could have to tear down your fence and move it to a new location. Getting a survey first will save time, money, and arguments with your neighbors.

Locate Property Corners

You may be able to find your property corners if it was surveyed in recent years. There should be a stone or iron stake at each corner, although it may be buried under soil and grass now. However, if your property hasn't been surveyed for decades, there may not be any stakes to find. The property could have been marked off by a natural formation, such as a creek or tree that no longer exists.

When you have your property surveyed, the proper boundaries are identified and marked for you. A permanent stake is placed at each corner and the connecting lines are marked with wooden stakes, so you know exactly where your property line runs.

Work With Your Neighbors

It's a good idea to let your neighbors know you will be hiring a land surveyor, and that you plan to install a new fence. It's best to iron out any problems and concerns early on. For instance, there may be a tree growing on the property line. A surveyor can determine who actually owns the tree and is responsible for its removal. You have the right to remove any limbs and branches that hang over your property, but if the trunk is on your neighbor's side of the line, your neighbor gets to decide if the tree stays or goes. A land survey is the only way to prove where your property line is located, so you can avoid lawsuits and arguments with your neighbors.

Learn About Easements

When you find out where your property lines are, that doesn't mean you can build your fence on them and use the land right up to the line. You may have easements on your property, and a land surveyor can help you find them. If you live in the city, you may have a utility easement that allows utility companies to work on the lines that run behind your home. That means you won't be able to fence in the last several feet of your land. So in addition to locating your property lines, the surveyor can help you figure out where your fence line should go.

Once you know where you fence can safely go, you can have it installed without worrying about it causing you problems in the future. If one of your neighbors should ever have a concern, you will have official documents and recent markers in place to prove where your property ends. For more help and information, speak with experts like DC Gohn Associates Inc Surveyors & Engineers.