If you plan to build a house or add an extension, you’ll need a residential land surveyor in Cairns. Your architect or draftsperson is going to need a survey to work off in order to accurately draw their plans. The survey they will use is called a Detail Survey – a term interchangeable with Contour Survey, Topographical Survey, and Feature Survey.

Your architect/draftsperson will need to know the ground levels so they can design the slab keeping in mind the roof pitch can’t exceed the limit. They will need to know where the boundaries are so that can set back the building according to the latest Cairns Regional Council’s planning guidelines (CairnsPlan). ¬†They will need to know the roof pitch heights of neighbouring properties, particularly ones on the North so they can design shadow plans. They will need to know the location of all windows and doors facing the property so they can design a home that minimises impact on neighbouring properties. They need to know where any easements and if there are, consider how this will affect the house design.

Your hydraulic engineer will also need access to the Detail Survey. They will need to know the contour heights so they can design the drainage. Your builder will also need a copy of the Detail Survey. They will use their own surveyor to set out where the slab goes as well as internal measurements such as wall, door, and window positions.

surveyor doing survey on a house

So the process for using a residential surveyor for building a house or extension is typically as follows;

  • Find an experienced surveyor who has local knowledge as well as an in depth and up to date understanding of CairnsPlan
  • Get a Detail Survey
  • Commission an architect or draftsperson to draw up plans for your house and provide them a copy of the Detail Survey
  • Once your plans are drawn up, apply for a DA (Development Application) with Cairns Regional Council. You will usually have to provide a copy of your Detail Survey with the application.
  • Once your DA is approved, find an experienced builder. Give the builder a copy of your Detail Survey
  • At some stage there will likely be a need for a hydraulic engineer to design the drainage. The builder or architect will probably provide them with a copy of the detail survey. Once you hire a builder you typically don’t have to worry about your Detail Survey – the people who need it will typically access it from the builder or architect
  • Once you have finished building you will need to get an occupation certificate. An occupation certificate means the Council has approved the building and giving you permission start living in your new home. When you apply for your occupation certificate you usually have to provide another copy of your Detail Survey (along with your original plans and approved DA)

Now that you have a basic understanding of how a surveyor and a detail survey fit into your construction process, you need to find a surveyor in Cairns. The team at Cairns Surveying are experienced and highly skilled. You can reach out to us by giving us a call or via our QUOTE form.