Adding an additional room or storey to your home can significantly increase its value, especially in a booming market.

For homeowners with a medium-term plan to sell and move up the property ladder, this is a high investment strategy that promises a sensational return.

But you’re going to need planning permission, or a building permit, from your local council or planning authority to begin the project.

Coordinating this work is tricky, and one of the many professionals and tradies who will arrive on your doorstep is the surveyor. And you wouldn’t be alone in asking, what do these guys actually do?

Their role is essential in marking boundaries and measuring land contours that are required as part of any application for planning permission. You can hire their services separately, or they will work as a service provider to your building contractor or architect.

Here’s a short list of the essential services they offer:

Boundary lines. Locating and marking the boundary lines of a property is vital before a property purchase. Effectively, it marks the land that is to be bought. It is equally important if you’re planning an extension that is near or on the fence line. Councils have rules about how close any construction can encroach on the boundary line.

Sub-divisions. If you have land you wish to subdivide, you will need a surveyor to plot each land parcel precisely. This is essential in any subdivision application to be considered by a planning authority.

Contour studies. These are undertaken before building begins so a designer and builder understand the precise dimensions of the terrain on which they plan to build as this can affect many of the design elements that may need to take the topography into account.  It’s also an essential part of the planning application for council consideration.

Structural movement. In cases where there is suspected land movement causing structural damage, a survey will be called in to ascertain the precise nature and degree of the problem.