How can we determine property lines?

by | Feb 14, 2023 | Boundary survey, Common Ground, Encroachment, Property Lines, Surveying Related

If you are getting ready to install a fence or add landscaping, you may be interested in knowing where your property lines are located so that you can ensure that you are staying on your own property. The professional who is most associated with property lines is a land surveyor.

Land surveyors are licensed by state and follow state statutes when performing surveys. There are various types of surveys that can be formed but the most commonly requested survey is a boundary survey.

The purpose of a boundary survey is to locate property corners. Those corners are typically marked by survey monuments such as an iron pipe or a rebar. Those survey monuments are then used to establish the property line.

It’s worth noting that in most instances the property line is the straight line between the two survey monuments, however there are always exceptions to the rule. A judge has the authority to name the property line to be something other than the straight line between the two survey monuments. An example where you may see this would be on a large tract of land where an old fence has been erected and used by property owners to establish ownership over the years. That fence may meander back and forth over the property line as it was built around trees, creeks, etc. The judge may determine that that fence is indeed the property line and not the straight line between the two survey monuments. However, in urban and suburban areas you are not likely to see this scenario.

A word of caution to homeowners is to be aware that fences, utility boxes, hedgerows, etc. do not create or establish property ownership. According to state statute the survey monuments are indicators of property ownership.

Licensed land surveyors perform boundary surveys to help property owners establish their property lines so that they can ensure to build on their own property. Make it known what you own by having a boundary survey performed.


Cardinal Surveying would like the opportunity to earn your business. They service the greater St Louis Metro area, have been rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau since 2003, have surveyed over 35,000 properties and are a family-owned company who prides themselves on producing accurate results with exceptional customer service. They can be contacted via email at [email protected] or phone at 636.922.1001. They look forward to working with you for all your land surveying needs.