Do you live in Cairns and you’re not sure if you need a surveyor or not?

surveying theodolite

What do Surveyors do?

Surveyors (a.k.a. land surveyors) map boundaries and locations with regards to land. The QLD Titles Registry Office holds records of all the boundaries in QLD. Surveyors map out boundaries and check them with the data held at the Titles Registry Office. Councils, including Cairns Regional Council have their own rules for distances within those parcels of land, i.e. set back from the kerb, building set back from the boundary etc. Surveyors use high level technical tools such as total stations (theodolites) and GPS scanners in the field and CAD programs in the office to ensure a high level of accuracy.

Who uses Surveyors?

  • Builders
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Councils
  • Home owners when building or extending
  • Owner builders
  • Home buyers
  • Home sellers


How do I know if I need a Surveyor?

Are you building a house or getting extensions?

Your architect and whoever else is involved in designing your home or extensions will need to work off a survey. They will need to know the ground levels, the boundaries, roof height, positioning of neighbouring buildings amongst other things so they can create their designs within Cairns Regional Council guidelines. Your architect or builder will advise you to go get a Detail Survey (also known as a Contour Survey, Level Survey or Level and Feature Survey). Click here for information about a Detail Survey.

The Detail Survey will typically see you through the construction process. The architect, builder and engineers will all use it and at the end of the construction you will submit it to the Council as part of the application for a Occupation Certificate.

Are you an Owner Builder?

An Owner Builder means you are project managing the construction yourself (as opposed to a registered builder). You’ll need one and you’ll have to get a little bit more involved because you’ll have to make sure the slab and walls are set out in the correct positions.

Are you buying a property?

While it’s not a legal requirement, often financial institutions will require an identification report as part of the mortgage conditions. If they require one they will let you know. When buying property it’s also a good idea to make sure you are getting what you are paying for. A detail Survey will show all features including easements, an Identification Report (also known as an Identification Survey or Survey Report) will show the boundary. Click here for more information on a Detail Survey, click here for more information on an Identification Report.

Are you selling property?

If there’s potential for a dispute over boundaries it may be worth while getting a survey before you sell.

Need a Surveyor in Cairns?

Now that you have determined that you need a surveyor, Surveyors Cairns have over 20 years experience in and around Cairns and with the Cairns Regional Council.