Clear property lines allow you to identify the land belonging to your property. These property markings, such as stakes in the ground, may also be known as "lot" lines or "boundary" lines and they protect owners and investors who are interested in buying or selling land. They are also important to anyone who is planning to add a building, subdivide a plot of land or develop it for residential or commercial use.

House with white picket fence
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Ways to Mark Property Lines

Survey Boundaries

A survey is basically a drawing which defines property lines. Every landowner should have a registered survey with an official lot number. The survey will show the exact dimensions of the land, as well as existing structures, bodies of water, and adjacent roads. It's important to make sure your survey is on file with the Land Registry Office in the place where the land is owned.

When you are considering purchasing a plot of land, request to see the survey so that you can identify the exact boundaries of the property. If the survey is old, it may be outdated, so it might be necessary to pay a surveyor to develop a new survey for the property.

Underground Property Markings

Whether you are building a structure, planting trees or considering erecting a fence on your property, you will need to know the exact boundaries so that you do not encroach on your neighbor's property. Some landowners choose to drive metal pegs into the ground about 4 to 5 feet down at the corners of the lot. Rent or buy a metal detector to scan the ground to locate these underground stakes.

Above Ground Pegs/Stakes

Property boundaries are often identified above ground with the use of stakes to mark the corner points. Years ago, wooden stakes were often used to mark property lines. More recently, long metal posts that are visible about 1 to 2 feet above ground have been used. You can request an orange piece of cloth be attached so that they are easily seen. A surveyor may also mark property lines with orange spray paint or orange tape where trees are located along the property boundary.

If you'd like to create your own boundary markers, consider stacking old tires that are filled with rock and spray painted, using rebar topped with a PVC pipe, planting Iris tubers next to stakes so they are clearly visible, installing tall pressure-treated wooden posts, or planting spruce pine trees or a hedge at least 4 feet high to outline the edge of the property.

Tips

If your neighbors have identified their property lines, you could request property line information from them directly or from their surveyor. Some Google Maps and MapQuest maps will also have aerial maps that clearly define boundary lines, however, for accuracy's sake, it would be better to go to the local Land Registry Office for recent maps that indicate property lines.

It is against the law to purposely move or remove an official survey marker, and you may incur a fine for doing so. Only a licensed land surveyor is qualified to produce a survey plan, and in the event of a legal matter, only the surveyor's marks will be taken into account.