Engineering Surveying


Engineering surveying covers a broad range of surveying fields. At SMK Land Surveyors we are committed to our clients – tailoring our services to their specific requirements as every job is unique.

What is a Set-Out Survey

Roles of a Surveyor

Building Designs begin as lines on paper.  One of the roles of a surveyor to transfer the critical design of a building/structure from the plan to ground so a builder or construction worker has accurate and precise points of reference to work from.  

Each builder has their own style of construction methods and as the surveyor we must tailor set-out to meet individual builder’s requirements.  Marks are placed in the ground not only for the builder’s requirements but also taking into account property boundaries, other structures and natural features accumulating to comply with current building permits/codes.

A set-out survey generally undertaken for the construction of:

  • New house
  • Extension/renovation
  • Garage/shed
  • New fencing

Larger Surveying Projects

On larger projects, set-out surveys are required to aid in the construction of roads, bridges and any structure that requires precise measurements to be made.  Precise set-out techniques from surveyor’s aid builders/contractors in achieving construction results as close too or exactly as the structures are designed to be.

It provides builders the reassurance and the confidence that any structure can be built as per an approved design providing accuracies to minimise construction errors.  Consulting with a surveyor can achieve beneficial and time saving results if the right questions are asked by the surveyor at critical points in the construction process.  If the right questions can be asked time saving can be achieved and potential disputes and delays between contractors and builder can be avoided.

On complex and large projects, set-out surveys may occur at multiple times through the construction phase ensuring the project remains consistent with design and on time for scheduling of future construction processes.

Why Choose a Surveyor for Set-Out?

It’s highly recommended you should consider using the services of a surveyor for a building set-out survey.

For a relatively small financial investment at the start of any project you will have assurances that any set-out undertaken by a surveyor will be in accordance with a building design approved by the local authority.  Current building and fire codes require certification that any structure comply with building setback requirements.

To erect any structure not in accordance with an approved plan will not only evoke a show cause notice from council to explain and or removal of the structure but potentially have major issues with the current fire code.  Erecting a structure close to or on a property boundary where the boundary is fenced only presumes the fence to be erected in the correct alignment.  If a structure is erected over a property boundary that is not fenced or current fencing is erected in an incorrect location or alignment, this is called an encroachment and has the potential to create a legal dispute with an adjoining neighbour which could be a private owner, the local authority or state government owned land.

To avoid any misguided or uncertain construction always seek guidance from a surveyor before undertaking a time-consuming and expensive construction project.

Critical Surveying Steps

The process can be broken down into a number of small but critical steps, including but not limited to the following;

Consultation with a surveyor prior to any building/engineering design to ensure there is sufficient land area available for the particular design concept.

In most cases, identifying the property boundaries will need to be undertaken prior to any design.

Provide electronic data in industry standard formats to form base layer information for any building designer/engineer to accurately design structure with the knowledge that the design will not only fit on the land but will meet building and fire codes.

Critical information captured during the survey will highlight critical elements that may affect design or approval upon further site inspection by designer/engineers and the local authority.

Standard Set-Out Surveying Processes

Standard processes considered and undertaken by the surveyor;

  • Accuracy of supplied and surveyed data,
  • Providing a service specifically to meet the builder’s needs,
  • Using calibrated survey equipment,
  • Providing set-out plans to the in-site foreman (builder) so there is no mis-interpretation of the set-out marks.   
  • Having company registration to comply with building code certification – issue of ‘form 16’ – building set-back requirements,
  • Certification verifies that the building is in the correct approved location as per the approved plan by the local authority.

Taking all this information into account, it is strongly advised that a surveyor be involved from the start of any project to ensure not only that the structure is built as per the design/approved plans but also that the structure is position on the land in the correct position.

Call SMK Land Surveyors Today

We currently provide service that encompasses all facets of the surveying industry for our many and varied clients including local Government and State Government departmentsOur consulting services are tailored to meet the requirements of our client's projects and we rely on our expertise and professionalism to meet our client's needs.

Dan Lawless

Mobile: 0427 713 508
Email: HERE

Kristine Lawless

Office Email: HERE