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How to find your lot corners?

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  • How to find your lot corners?

    Been reading about remote living on this forum for years. Been pretty impressed with everyone's ingenuity and creative ideas. So the wife and I just pulled the trigger on a lot on a remote island. We know the location of the lot but it hasn't been surveyed since 1980. Before I start making plans on building a cabin I want to know my approximate lot dimensions. Problem in getting surveyor out there is next to impossible/expensive!!! I'm pretty good with a GPS, but can't really figure out what to be looking for when it comes to coordinates. We purchased lot 29 in the map with the red circle. i also included the plat pages that came from the DNR website. Any suggestions on how to proceed or how to figure this out without paying out the nose?

  • #2
    There should be more detailed plat maps that show compass bearings. If you can find one corner, use your compass and a tape measure. I have located lots of them this way. Perhaps check with your neighbors to see if they know where their corners are. Also look for signs from past surveying. Trees that have been cut. A line through the woods that looks a little more open than the rest of the property.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.


    • #3
      Once you find them, mark them with those fiberglass driveway markers from HD.
      Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.


      • #4

        If there is any bearing trees even on lots close to your lot that might help . You can look up other property owners and make contact for info.


        • #5
          Thanks for the info! The DNR website didn't have much more than the map I shared. I didn't see anything with compass bearings. Here is the DNR direct link to the plat i'm purchasing.

          Plat image button in top right corner where the red bar is



          • #6
            I got my most detailed plat maps from the Borough.
            Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.


            • #7
              Originally posted by w1a9c8k5 View Post
              I didn't see anything with compass bearings.
              Look again, I see some compass bearings.


              • #8
                Originally posted by daveybug View Post

                Look again, I see some compass bearings.
                Or are they lon and lat? The picture quality is so bad i can’t really tell.

                If you want to use your GPS i would look up a local monument and find it with the GPS to make sure it is set up correctly.


                • #9
                  If you have a metal detector sometimes there will be a peice of rebar on the corners. There should be an actual marker at the section line and you could use the gps off of that point.
                  I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. Physicist ― Richard Feynman


                  • #10
                    Yep, you'll have compass bearings and distances. You might have to work off of a datum point that is close by though, and I agree that you should be able to find a rebar or pipe on at least one corner. You might need a metal detector to find it though. There are ways to find a relatively approximate location by plugging the image into google earth, but it gets complicated at that point. Georeferencing images and such.

                    What I'd do is get the plat image, use the borough online lot information system, look at the most recent aerial pic in the layers, zoom in until you have a good amount of detail, print it out and take it into the woods to see if you can find any corner markers. Then work off them.


                    • #11
                      Good advice so far, and if you already know where the lot is located with enough certainty to walk to it you should be able to find a starting point and find your corners with a compass and surveyors tape. But one thing I notice is the second pic you posted looks to be a cut/paste composition you put together, yes? So, doing some reading between the lines... You should be aware that the #29 line item of survey data you've added to the top of that pic has nothing to do with your lot. That numbered list in the lower-left corner of your plat is descriptive survey data for various radiuses at road curves/corners. On the plat, you should find a small circle at each of those points with a number in it which corresponds to a line item in that list. Unless you're a surveyor trying to exactly locate a given road curve you can ignore that list.

                      As far as your lot is concerned, there may be a note, either on the plat you have pictured, or on an associated addendum page which describes how the corners were staked. (Not a notation specific to your lot, mind you, but a note stating what material was used to stake every corner in the subdivision. It will indicate, for example, all corners staked with 1/2" or #5 re-bar 18" long, flagged with blue and yellow tape. And if/where caps are used, it will describe them, too). Lacking that notation, you should be able to contact the original surveyor, and ask them. They should be able to tell you what was used. Re-bar is most common, (often backed up by a wooden stake) in that case either the note or the surveyor should say what diameter and what length re-bar was used. Typically, each pin would have been wrapped/flagged with survey tape, and either the plat notation or the surveyor should tell be able to tell you what color or colors were used. Even decades later, you'll be able to find/confirm remnants of that tape wrapped on the pins when you find them. If you're really aware, you may be able to find little faded remnants of tape on trees and brush too. It typically fades within a year or so, but little bits may persist for decades.

                      If you know where your lot's at, you should be able to use your wood sense to find evidence of the brushed-out survey lines and eventually find your corners. Lacking that, you'll need to find a known starting point, such as a benchmark and survey from there.

                      I'm aware of numerous instances where a person thought he knew where his lot was and built a cabin, only to find he was actually on his neighbors if you're really not sure what you're doing/where you are, it may be worth it in the long run to drag a surveyor out there to help you do a quick locate. You needn't necessarily pay them him/her to do a full survey or produce any drawings, just have her/him help you locate your corners.
                      Last edited by iofthetaiga; 4 weeks ago.
                      ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                      I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                      The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It


                      • #12

                        It looks like the surveyor is Warren Fiscus from Palmer 907-745-3410


                        • #13
                          Those rebar markers I have found are only 3 or 4 inches above the surface and were hidden by grass, etc. You'll be lucky if all the plastic tape and wooden markers have not rotted away by now. Keep an eye out for a marker on your neighbor's property. If you can find ANY marker, you can run a tape to get you pretty close to where your marker is. Continue the process from there.

                          Good luck.


                          • #14
                            Is a surveyor more expensive than moving a cabin?
                            " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg


                            • #15
                              great intel so far! i called the survey office and am waiting a reply, but i know originally in the 80s the wooden staked them. Here are two more pictures i cam across that surround my area. I'm hoping the survey office can locate a map like this with my actual lot shown with the land makers. Both of the images below show lots around me, but 34 literally looks like its across the road from my property. i dont know why they didn't map out the lots lines here


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