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      Get the lay of the land with accurate and reliable surveying tools

      Perhaps you want to build on a fresh new piece of land or you are interested in knowing how to landscape your garden. The first step when looking at your property is to take a survey so you know the exact measurements of your yard and the elevation features of your property. While you might think surveying is best left to the city utilities man, it can actually be a useful tool to help you understand and maximize the use of your property. You can do a quick survey easily with just a few simple surveying tools that help you gain the detailed knowledge you need.

      Old-school surveying used to consist of three tools to determine the dimensions of your property. The first is a tape measure, which will measure out the basic length and width dimensions. You will probably need an extra-long tape measure to handle the larger outdoor space. If your property is very large, you may need a digital or laser tape measure that can handle longer distances. Likewise, properties that span super-large distances may need the assistance of GPS technology to get an estimate of dimensions.

      The second tool you will need is a couple of levels. Digital, laser or standard levels help you determine height or elevation changes. As your height and elevation changes, the bubble in the standard level will move, or your readout will indicate an angle of change. On extremely large wooded properties, this could be a hard measurement to get, but modern thermal and sonic imaging technology might be able to give you a hand if you need it. If you are trying to survey an underwater environment, such as a pond, depth gauges can help you get the lay of the land. Just log the depth of several points underwater and you should be able to map out the peaks and the valleys easily on the surface. This can be very helpful when you need to place a submersible pump for water features and irrigation systems.

      The last tool typically used for surveying is a theodolite, which measures angles so you can get an accurate triangulation point for your property. This can help confirm your location on a map and can verify the measurements that others have already taken. Most modern surveying machines combine the theodolite and the other two tools into a machine that takes readings and then transmits them to a computer program. This all-in-one device is called a total station, because it does everything.

      A good survey of your yard or water landscape can help you maximize your property to its full potential. Sears carries a variety of surveying tools to get you started, including easy-to-use total stations. Whether you choose to take the measurements by hand or take advantage of digital technology, we are here to help. Walk away with a surveying tool that saves you money by letting you do it all yourself.

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