Setting Out Surveys

Setting out surveys are essential to ensure building work is accurate and completed in the correct area and position. This will avoid boundary disputes and save you time and money.

Midland Survey can complete setting out anywhere in the UK.

Setting Out Surveys

What is a setting out survey?

A setting out survey involves transferring the design of a building or other structure onto the physical land. This is done by marking out key points and guiding markers on the ground so that the construction team can build the structure in the correct position and to the correct dimensions.

Setting Out Surveys

When do I need a setting out survey?

Setting out is required for all construction projects that need to lie within a boundary such as:

  • Extensions on existing buildings
  • New buildings and structures (of all sizes and locations)
  • Roads, bridges, and tunnels


Setting Out Surveys

Setting out ensures that the structure is built in the correct position, and is the correct dimension.

Setting Out Surveys

If the structure was built in the wrong place or was the wrong size, it would be costly to rectify this.

Setting Out Surveys

Having clear and accurate guidelines enables construction work to also be accurate and finished to a high standard.

Setting Out Surveys

A final approved plan will reduce the risk of disputes between the client, the architect, and the builder.

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Setting Out Surveys

The Process

Firstly, we will need the architect’s plans of the land that highlight the position, extent, angle and level of new buildings and their foundations. The distance between the buildings and other structures and roads is also considered.

Our setting out engineer will visit the site and place physical markers in the areas identified in the plans. These physical markers are usually timber stakes, drill holes or cut-and-fill notations.

We use specialist technology such as Total Stations and GPS technology for complete accuracy. This ensures you are covered from a legal perspective and can avoid boundary disputes.

The construction team can then begin their building work.

Contact us today to see how we can help with your monitoring survey project. Call us on 01926 810 811, or fill out our online contact form.

Setting Out Surveys

Why Midland Survey?

Our expert team has over 30 years of experience conducting setting out surveys. We use the latest technology to produce reliable results and get subsequent drawings to you quickly so your project can run smoothly.

Midland Survey has offices in Southam, Stroud, Leeds, Horsham and Milton Keynes and we provide our services anywhere in the UK.

Case Studies

Over the last year, we have been involved with a restoration project in Oldbury, Birmingham for a council-owned 1960s tower block. Our senior Engineer has been involved with many aspects of this development including the setting out of the surrounding houses, the position of new staircases and steel work in the roof to facilitate a couple more floors!


A setting out survey usually costs between £550 and £700. Setting out projects for domestic buildings generally takes a day to complete, including the preparation office work beforehand.

The time taken to set out the position of a building depends on how many points are needed. A square house would only need four points and would be quite straightforward for the engineer – a good morning’s work on site. A more complicated industrial site or road layout would take many days.

Our Survey engineers use robotic leica TS16 total stations. They can store precise coordinates and position the required points. A GPS receiver can also be used to position or confirm any information.

Accurate setting out is essential before construction works begin. Any inaccuracies can be expensive, time-consuming and risk legal battles in the event of boundary disputes. Any infrastructure or services that may have been included in the designs may be severely compromised if the building or structure is poorly positioned.

We will complete setting out once the site has cleared any debris or obstructions. This includes any work to level the foundations of the site.

Contact us today to see how we can help with your monitoring survey project. Call us on 01926 810 811, or fill out our online contact form.