If you own land you have earmarked for development, you should be wary that architects, designers or engineers may ask for a comprehensive overview of what the land in question looks like before agreeing to help you with this project.

A conventional map might not quite capture enough of the site’s intricacies for the professionals’ liking. So, it would be beneficial for you to arrange a topographical survey that takes in both natural and man-made features of the land.

However, since conducting a topo survey is a specialist service requiring the right equipment, you may be wondering: “How much does a topographical survey cost?”

What is a topographical survey?

With a topo survey, a given land area’s physical features are measured and represented on a detailed visual plan. This plan displays the site’s boundaries as well as any fences, kerbs, trees, vegetation and contours.
After carrying out measurements at the site, surveyors will draw up the plan. The topographical surveyors here at Midland Survey then provide the client with the finished plan in CAD and PDF formats.

Could you simply opt to forgo a topo survey?

That would certainly be one way for you to chop the topographical survey cost off your list of looming outgoings. Technically, a landowner could oversee a project that never throws up any nasty surprises.

However, the more sophisticated and extensive the project, the larger the risk the landowner takes by deciding against a topo survey. If you are struggling to judge the balance of risk in your case, this article about topo surveys could help.

Skipping a topographical survey can prove a false economy  

As we have established, a topo survey is not always a cast-iron requirement. A project as basic as assembling a shed may not warrant a topo survey. Besides, a similar kind of assessment might have recently been conducted on the site to include the data you need.

In practice, development work done without a topographical survey can encounter issues that a survey could have prevented or mitigated. Hence, a topo survey’s upfront cost can be more than made up for later down the line.

How much is a topographical survey usually?

Typically, a UK land surveying company will charge between £300 and £1,000 per day, and £300 and £600 for topographical drawings.

As the majority of sites we survey are residential, offices or small lots of land, Midland Survey’s topographical surveyors usually only need a day to inspect a client’s land and then one additional day to complete the drawings.

What if your topo survey needs aren’t ‘typical’?

This could be your situation if, say, the land area you require the survey for is significantly larger than the examples above. Alternatively, the site could be heavily textured in its features, making it trickier for members of our team to record.

Either of these scenarios would likely add to the typographical survey cost. Also, the higher the level of detail you demand, the higher the resulting cost can be.

Is there anything you can do to cut this cost?

You might be overestimating how much of the land actually needs surveying, at least in a high level of detail. So, using a tool like Google Earth, you could produce a satellite image indicating what should be prioritised for surveying.

You could then attach this image to an application you send us when seeking a quote for a topographical survey. Just hit the link to access our Quick Quote online form and clarify what you need from a topo survey. 

What else could you do to prepare the land?

Generally, a flat, open space is easier — and less expensive — to survey than land with large amounts of varied foliage. Therefore, if your own site is more like the latter, you could — before booking a topo survey — investigate potentially reducing this greenery.

Once you have done everything possible and left the site visibly open, taking photos is wise so that you can clearly show what our surveyors will be working with. This insight will feed into the quote that we offer you.

Contact us for more details about topo survey pricing 

When looking for a topographical surveying service that satisfies your needs, you should not be driven by price alone. Through incorporating traditional methods with high-end tech, our topo surveyors achieve precise results.
Nonetheless, by factoring in the size and nature of the land you intend to develop, you can easily budget for a topo survey. You can also contact our topo surveyors directly for tailored advice.