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In most cities and towns in this area, if you plan on adding on an addition, garage, deck, breezeway or porch to your house, the Building Inspectors Department requires a plan known as a Proposed Addition Plan. This plan is certified by a Massachusetts Registered Professional Land Surveyor(R.P.L.S.) which normally contains the following:


a.) The dimensioned property lines of the site.

b.) The existing structures located by instrument survey.

c.) Street data, including frontage dimensions

d.) Abutting property data.

e.) North direction in relation to plan

f.) Easement(s) and/or right of way(s) if any.

g.) Deed, plan and assessors information.

h.) Area of site.

i.) Location and dimension of Proposed Addition

j.) Offset dimensions from Proposed Addition and existing structure to the property line.


In order to produce the plan, several steps are required. The first step is to collect data from the client. If available, this includes the following:

a.) A copy of the deed (legal Description).

b.) A copy of the recorded plan in which the deed refers, if any. If the client does not have a copy of the plan and we do not also, we normally obtain it through a paralegal service. The average cost is $35.00(+-).

c.) A copy of the Architect plans or a sketch of the proposed addition along with any overhangs, stoops, decks and porches.

d.) The location of the septic system if in the area of construction.


The second step is to collect data from within our own office and possibly the Registry of Deeds. Because W.T. Whalen Engineering Co. has been in business serving the Attleboro areas since 1935, our own records archive has grown rather large. This aids us in tying down the clients property more efficiently and effectively because of our history with the surrounding area.


Next, we send a field crew with equipment out to locate monuments in the area of concern and from there locate the clients structures by instrument, not tape. There is a significant difference between the two methods, too lengthy to discuss here, but if you require an explanation, feel free to ask.


Usually, this type of survey requires that we have three monuments tied together in what is called a traverse (dashed lines) which is checked for distances and angles against recorded information. Most of the time monuments can not be seen directly due to obstructions and/or change in elevations and we must add additional traverse points to locate the monuments. These points are temporary in nature and may be either a wooden stake with a tack in or a nail in the asphalt. This is illustrated in the diagram below.