How to Find Your Land Survey Pins

J. Taylor Ludwig

If you have plans to build a wall or fence around your property, you must know exactly where your property ends and your neighbor’s property begins so that you can build the construction on your own property.

When you purchased your property, a land survey should have been performed to determine the boundaries of the property. The land surveyor places stakes or pins along the property line to map out the dimensions and shape of the property. You can sometimes find your survey pins by following the survey drawing or by walking your property and looking for the pins.


Most, but not all, survey pins are yellow to make them easier to spot. The pins are generally of a higher quality when you pay more for the survey. With some inexpensive surveys, or what are called "spot" surveys, the land surveyor will merely stick a wood stake or peg in the ground to mark boundaries.

  1. Examine the survey of your property to familiarize yourself with the boundaries of your property.

  2. Go to the area on the survey where you believe your property's southern boundary might begin.

  3. Look for survey pins sticking out of the ground. The pins are six inches long, 1/2 inch in diameter, made from metal and are usually painted yellow. If you find a survey pin, stick a flag in the ground to mark it so you can easily find it again.

  4. Put on gloves, and use a spade to move weeds and obstacles out of the way as you search for pins.

  5. Measure from buildings and roads with a tape measure to locate your property line. Use your survey as a guide.

  6. Work a metal detector around the area to find survey pins that may have been buried.

  7. Repeat this process to locate the survey pins on the north, east and west sides of your property.