top of page

SITE SURVEYS save you from bad days!

... Plain and simple, if you aren’t incorporating site surveys into your projects, you are taking unnecessary risks, with the possibility of endless ripple effects! Don’t leave the door wide open for problems to walk right in. Make taking a site survey a regular part of your projects.


Basically, a site survey is an inspection of an area where work is proposed, to gather information for a design or an estimate. It is also a method of determining if there are any variables that might affect the final outcome of the project. A proper survey typically includes taking great photos, notes, measurements, checking access, safety inspections, and other things depending on the nature of the project. Let’s break some of these down for a better understanding.


A picture speaks a thousand words, so taking great photos can help paint the whole picture. Photos taken should be clear and of high quality, as photos are often also used in the design process. Photos are also used to document problematic areas, such as broken windows, obstructions, high traffic areas, safety issues, etc. It is best to take lots of photos, some from a distance, from multiple angles, and others up close. The person taking the photos is essentially the eyes on the jobsite. You can never take too many photos!


The next-best-thing to having great pictures is having great notes. Notes are used to elaborate on what is seen in the photos taken. For example, if there was a slope in the surface of the sidewalk or street, notes would be taken to make sure that that is not missed when examining the photos. This would be particularly important if heavy equipment is needed for the project, such as a scissor lift. Notes should also be used to track details such as, site contact name & phone number, store hours and access, issues or challenges, or other details that the photos may not fully capture.


Accurate measurements can never be over-emphasized! Many customers like to take measurements themselves to save on survey costs. This can be a recipe for disaster, especially without a proper understanding of what a proper site survey consists of! To successfully complete a project on the first attempt requires accurate measurements at the start. Just like taking photos and notes, one should also endeavor to take as many measurements as possible. Graphic design and material usage rely on accurate measurements supplied by the site survey.


Access to the project site can sometimes be challenging when it comes to working with heavy machinery such as scissor lifts and booms. Did you know that the weight of an aerial lift can easily outweigh the average weight of a regular vehicle? Knowing the limitations of the site can help determine what type of machinery is suitable for the project. When surveying for access, one must check for a minimum of 3 very important aspects… weight, size, and reach. Some aerial lift companies offer this service, sometimes free of charge. Regardless of whether they do or don't, it is a very important responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly… pun intended.


Have you considered that you may not be the only person working on a job site? The more people you have working in the same place, the more important safety inspections become. Are you completing a proper safety survey when conducting your audits? This information can be very beneficial to the well-being of your team and those around you. Look for unfinished areas, and hazards, and don't forget to put a plan together for your team when it comes to completing the project later. They will thank you for the extra effort you took to make sure that they are being kept safe.

There are a number of other things that can be added to your surveys to save you from bad days. We will be talking about these in greater detail in future posts. Make sure you are subscribed to continue to get our PRO tips over the coming weeks!

To learn more or simply schedule your survey with the Canadian Graphic Contractors, please email us at:

28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page