Types of Surveys

Improvement Location Certificate (ILC):

A basic survey provided to title companies for the purchase of a house, building or raw land showing the improvements to a specific lot or parcel and any obvious encroachments onto or off the lot or parcel. This is not a “survey” by definition but more of a picture provided by a trained professional who should be able to recognize anything obvious which would deem any given property to be uninsurable or to have possible conflicts with the adjacent lots or parcels. This survey enables title companies to insure any given lot or parcel knowing the lot or parcel has been inspected by an impartial professional third party.

Land Survey Plat:

A survey of a lot or parcel establishing the exact boundary lines by locating or reestablishing the property corners of the surveyed lot or parcel. The final product will be a Land Survey Plat, a drawing of the lot or parcel, to be filed with the appropriate county to be on record forever and all the lot corners marked and verified. This survey does not include the location of any lot improvements.

The purposes of recording this information is to provide survey data for subsequent land surveys as well as make the results of the monumented land survey a matter of public record, which may help to protect the property owner’s interests in the property.

The LSP includes several items laid out in the Colorado Revised Statutes 38-51-106.

Improvement Survey Plat:

Same as the Survey Plat, but also including all improvements (fences, structures, driveways, wells, etc…) to the lot or parcel.


Same as the Improvement Survey Plat but intended for commercial properties to gain or maintain title insurance and has to adhere to regulations as set forth by ALTA/ACSM committee. A regulatory agency formed by land title officers and surveyors, cartographers, geodesist, and other

spatial data information related professionals to create minimum standards accepted to maintain a certain level of accuracy for the surveying of commercial properties.

Topographic Site Plan:

A survey depicting the lay of the land used for design purposes. Data is collected to provide drawing showing ground contours, existing features (roads, trails, trees, structures, etc…). This survey doesn’t usually include any boundary determinations; it will be tied to the property boundaries for reference and to provide a general location within the property. This is not to be said that it is not an accurate survey, it is as accurate as the property monuments it is tied to. This is not a Plat. However contours can be included on an Improvement Survey Plat but the client incurs the extra cost of having a plat completed.

With most surveys the final product is in the form of a printed CAD drawing depicting the field locations and with a surveyors stamped seal certifying the survey.

However some folks just want to know where their property lines are and a field survey will be performed to mark the lines to the accuracy required by the client with no drawing produced.

FEMA Elevation Certificate

This survey establishes an elevation at and around a structure to determine it’s relevance to the floodplain as depicted on the FEMA FIRM Maps. It is used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to determine proper insurance premium rates and in turn used by individual insurance companies to determine property insurance rates.

The Certificate can also be provided and used to drop flood insurance. As communities grow and building, roads, parks, houses, etc… are built the flood plane limits change and a structure which once was in the floodplain may no longer be, therefore enabling the owner to drop the insurance they no longer need.