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what is construction staking?

The most popular type of construction survey is staking. Construction staking is done, often in conjunction with a topo survey, to make sure a project is built according to engineering plans. We interpret the plans to mark the measurements of proposed elements with stakes. This includes not only proposed structures but also roads, walkways, curbs, plumbing, and drainage grades. The staked points guide onsite construction and ensure that all is completed on schedule, on budget, and as intended. Only a licensed and experienced surveyor should perform construction staking, and ALS fills that role, delivering accurate results, on time, and within budget.

construction staking


Construction staking plays a critical role in ensuring project success and the safety of all those involved in the project process. 

commercial contractors/engineers

Accuracy is crucial in translating plans to structures to avoid costly mistakes in commercial construction projects. A wall or pipe displacement by a few centimeters can cause time delays and expensive corrections. Construction staking prevents errors by showing the exact placement of each element, reducing the risk and facilitating successful completion of the project.

residential landowners

When building or remodeling a residential structure, accurately placing its foundation, driveway, site improvements and utilities is vital. Also, construction staking is useful when ensuring that structures and improvements reside within the property boundaries and setbacks.

types of

construction staking

Construction staking surveys vary in type and each has unique benefits according to individual needs. It is crucial to comprehend these differences to make an informed decision.

rough grade

Defines the location of the site improvements with their respective reference to the location and final grade elevation. This is done for the construction of slopes, building outlines, parking lots and roadways, and enables the contractor to grade and prepare the site for the next subcontractor to commence their work.

site layout

After receiving approval from a local agency, the contractor can start building staked underground utilities, retaining walls, buildings, lighting, and paving. Starting with installing underground features such as sewer and electrical lines, the above-ground features are staked and constructed next. Throughout the construction process, building corners, interior grid lines, and onsite items are staked out.

construction surveys

additional use-cases

While construction staking is the most common type of construction survey, there are multiple others that are used, often in conjunction with staking, during the course of a larger-scale commercial or residential project.


Site snapshots at various stages of the project serve as close-out documents to verify compliance with standards and regulations and ensure proper payment.


Document conditions before construction. Observe adjacent structures through visual observations, photos, notes, and other devices as needed.


Locate underground utilities and other objects crucial to operations. Planned + current aboveground utilities are marked.


Benchmarks determine elevation for construction projects such as water systems, highways, and bridges. Accuracy is necessary and they serve as a reference point for other surveys.


Coordinate data is used to create a ground point network for control surveys. This helps replace lost monuments and reduce project costs by connecting horizontals to the control network.

settlement monitoring

Monitoring is done on structures (i.e., bridges, dams, buildings, retaining walls, roads) to detect any movement. If found, a plan can then be made to fix it.