How To Find Property Lines When Installing a Fence In Your Minnesota Yard

Minnesota Fence Installation Company

No one wants to get into a dispute with the neighbors over whose property a new few is on. As a property owner who is putting up a fence, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s installed on your property. Locating your property lines is necessary to keep your fence out of your neighbor’s yard and off public land.

Unfortunately, you can’t decide where to erect your fence based on where your neighbor’s hedges are or where your old fence was. Since you don’t want to spend money moving a fence, finding your property lines is critical. Locating the official survey markers is the only reliable way to determine where your property lines are. 

What Are Survey Markers?

When your home was built, a land surveyor put survey markers, also known as property pins or ground pins, at the corners of your property. If there are places where your property boundary changes direction, markers also were set at those points. What your survey markers look like depends on how long go they were set. Most older property pins are iron stakes in the ground. Sometimes, there’s a metal disk or plastic cap on top of newer property pins. On the disk or cap, you’ll see the surveyor’s license number and the letters RLS, LS, or PLS. 

What If I Don’t See Them?

The markers could be buried. Property pins can get inadvertently covered during landscaping projects. You may still be able to find the markers with your property’s Certificate of Survey, plat survey, or survey drawing. One or more of these documents may be with the paperwork you received when you purchased your home.

You may be able to get a survey document from your county or city government if you don’t have one of these documents. In some Minnesota cities, the Office of the Building Inspector keeps records of survey drawings.

Every Minnesota county maintains records of plats. They’re usually available from the County Recorder or the County Surveyor. 

Once you have a survey document, chances are it will provide you with enough information to use measurements to find one of your survey markers. For example, a survey drawing typically includes the distance from different parts of the house to the property line.

Before you start digging to reveal your property pins, you need to contact Gopher State One Call (811 or 651-454-0002) for your safety. They mark where underground utilities are located. You need to call them at least 48 hours before you plan to dig. Weekends and holidays don’t count as part of the lead time.

Hopefully, your document had enough information to find one survey marker and measure from it to locate the rest. If not, consider using a metal detector to find your property pins. You can rent one if you don’t know anyone who has one.

If you still haven’t found your survey markers, they could be missing. They may have been removed when the yard was regraded or in the midst of utility work.

The only solution for replacing missing property pins is to hire a professional surveyor. By Minnesota law, a survey marker cannot be placed without the supervision of a licensed surveyor.

Most surveyors provide the homeowner with a survey drawing when they complete the property survey. It’s important to ask the surveyor if a drawing is included. Surveyors often put a piece of wood next to where they’ve set replacement property pins. 

Contact Our Minnesota Fence Company For A Free Estimate

At Security Fence & Construction, we have decades of experience serving property owners throughout Minnesota. We can help you find the right fencing solution for your home or business. Contact us for a free estimate.