Saturday, 28 July 2012

What are the costs of a Land Survey?

It's the forgotten element of construction, but the bedrock of all developments (sorry not trying to offend anyone - we just start the ball rolling from a design and development process, everyone else keeps pushing long after we're gone).  You generally can't start without it but the cost of it is a risk since the development may never get off the ground, and any funds invested will never be recouped.  Hence no one wants to pay over the odds for a survey, yet they expect a good product at a low price.  But what does the price include - and no it's not just a full English at the local greasy spoon!
  • Equipment Hire & Maintenance
  • Cost of Processing Software (on going & one off)
  • Salaries
  • Insurances
  • Travel to and from site
  • A completed digital survey plan in either 2D or 3D
  • If you've paid for it paper plots.
  • Office Maintenance
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Ordnance Survey mapping and/or Land Registry plans
  • This is not an exhaustive list ( I didn't even utter the word 'profit', but a good overview)
The largest determining factors in the cost of a Land or Measured Building Survey come from distance between site & office, and the length of site time required.  The first can be computed down to the mile (assuming we don't get lost), but the second is a personal perception based on years of experience.  But we do endeavour to provide an honest & competitive quote, and not add in cover for the 'just-in-case' scenario also know in professional circles as the buggeration factor.

Some of these costs are specific to certain jobs, other costs are those which must be spread out across a year and therefore are segmented down to each job - sadly this is more an educated guess than anything else but as with everything in life there will be some jobs which bare more of the cost than others.

A lot of clients have complained about the cost of a Land Survey in the past (with a former employer though).  We are now trying to work with our clients to offer a more tailored approach for pricing to avoid paying for unnecessary detail.  As a company we can set up our surveys to target any level of detail to find a price that is more in keeping with the speculative nature of Land Surveying.

For more details of the services we offer, and examples of our work, please visit, or you can keep in touch with us on LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter (@RLSurveys).

Monday, 16 July 2012

One year on

Well that's it R L Surveys has now completed one complete year of trading with relative success - we're still in business!!  Over the past year we have come from small back gardens through to larger by-pass projects & property refurbishments.  Whilst the first months we're tentative steps into a new world we have grown in confidence and are gradually positioning ourselves in the local market, of Kent, Sussex, Essex & London, as providers of high quality yet affordable Land & Measured Building Surveys.

All areas of our business have developed, & will continue to develop.  Most of these changes have been behind the scenes but our final product is something we are proud of and will continue to evolve to keep up with an ever changing market.

The biggest surprise to me has been the number of 'independent' Land Surveyors who are practising out there - you won't find these people on the internet they live off their own group of contacts & have no need to advertise to the wider market.  From time to time I come across these people & there is a real sense of a support network in trying economic times, there is no hesitation to pass work on if the capacity isn't there with their own business. We ourselves have been able to pass a number of jobs on to third parties, and it is no secret that the more grateful parties have been the smaller companies - no prizes for guessing where the work will go in future!  The flow of this work is literally nationwide, so maybe there is potential of a mini Survey Association.  A group of companies who work alone but when necessary can be stronger for thought.

To avoid more inane waffle I thought perhaps a snap sot of some of our projects to bring a bit of life - no one likes endless blocks of text (this doesn't define my reading level!!)

From humble beginnings with hired kit........

to larger jobs with our own kit, on a sunny day......

to the impending drenching!!!!

Some higher profile clients.....

...and giving something back with the KCFG Team preparing for the 75mile Pilgrims Hospice Bike Ride
Ella Brocklebank (Morgan Sindall), Ben Trott (Mr Brocklebank!), Albert Walton (Epps Construction), Davina Walton (Alberts boss!).

What next for R L Surveys - branching out our marketing in the realms of Youtube with some imaginative videos, pushing the business further afield through a central office but perhaps establishing a satellite office?  Pushing the local business more through Networking & my personal favourite cold calling.  Introducing new, and growing our fringe, activities through Boundary Work, Setting Out & Laser Scanning.

As this is to be a long term business then I need to consider moving away from site, and learning to trust others with this responsibility to allow me to develop the business - it's a massive step letting go of the reigns, and I much prefer the site life than being in the office all day long - I could employ someone to be my boss....scratch that one boss is enough.

The facts from our first year:  Quotes: 95  Won: 40 Lost: 16 Unknown/Cancelled: 39
The financial facts: Like I'm going to put that on here, but needless to say it's above expectation.

Year one over, lets hit year two running.  If you'd like to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter please click this link & enter your details.  Don't worry it's not going to take hours to read it and we won't duplicate the blog.  And as always for more details of the services we offer, and examples of our work, can be found at, or you can keep in touch with us on LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter (@RLSurveys).

R L Surveys Ltd - Setting the Benchmark in Geomatics, for another year.