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natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC

What can I use to shoot my grade.

I'm trying to draw up a house plan for a piece of property that has a sloping grade. The grade is not uniformly sloped else it would be easy. Is there some kind to tool I can use that can give me a somewhat accurate rendering of the terrain.

It would be nice if I can use something that would allow me to import the data in my PC ... but as the saying goes, beggars can't be choosers.
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements



StNickless

@tmodns.net

1 recommendation

A simple chalk line with a snap on level.....and more line...and more line.
You can get a bundle of stakes at homie de-pot for no more than about 5$ aqnd a spool of line for about the same...the clip on level is kind of hard to find, but they have them and are only 1-2$.

Don't be shy, run lines in every direction north/south/east/west.
Take measurements from line to ground everywhere...map a leveling map.

Paper and pencil...maybe even a hand held calculator.

It's not hard, but it is time consuming.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to natedj

Normally a transit level would be used for this. I imagine some of the surveyors may have them with GPS built in for importing into the PC. You definitely cannot rent one which does this with the accuracy needed. Rent a transit level and survey the property and then type it into the computer.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

1 recommendation

reply to natedj

I have a friend that use to work for a surveyor and they would just walk around a property with a specificity designed GPS device and would just click off data points. Then they would download them into a cad file and chart out the entire property. For larger properties, they also had one that mounted to a 4x4.

Are you just kicking around the idea of building or are you definitely going to be building? Is a survey going to be required? If so, it may not be all that much more to get a basic topo done in addition to a survey to go along with your building plans.



natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC

All good info guys.

Well I've already got the lot so I will be building on it. I did have a survey on it about (2) years ago but never thought about having them plot the topo of it.

Cdru, would you happen know the brand of the equipment that you friend used?
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

said by natedj:

Cdru, would you happen know the brand of the equipment that you friend used?
Not a clue. I can probably find out if you really really wanted it. I believe it was bright yellow but don't quote me on it.


SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
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reply to natedj

I used to do land surveying way back when (I apprenticed under G. Washington). Back then, and no reason not to do it now, is just a transit, rod and a lot of measurements (depending on the accuracy of the topo map you want) .

You can rent a transit and rod.



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

3 edits
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

Normally a transit level would be used for this. I imagine some of the surveyors may have them with GPS built in for importing into the PC. You definitely cannot rent one which does this with the accuracy needed. Rent a transit level and survey the property and then type it into the computer.
A transit and a level are two different things.

You sort of have to know what you are doing with an optical equipment. I would suggest, that instead of a string line, you use one of those laser levelers.

When I took surveying in college, the fist day we went out with a tiny sight with an integrated bubble level and a broomstick.

I've never seen a handheld GPS device that could determine survey grade elevations.


SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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said by AVD:

said by robbin:

Normally a transit level would be used for this. I imagine some of the surveyors may have them with GPS built in for importing into the PC. You definitely cannot rent one which does this with the accuracy needed. Rent a transit level and survey the property and then type it into the computer.
A transit and a level are two different things.

You sort of have to know what you are doing with an optical equipment. I would suggest, that instead of a string line, you use one of those laser levelers.

When I took surveying in college, the fist day we went out with a tiny sight with an integrated bubble level and a broomstick.

I've never seen a handheld GPS device that could determine survey grade elevations.
Yes but the transit (level-transit) can be used for levels and may be easier to rent.

»www.engineersupply.com/david-whi···4-1.aspx
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley



Ken
Premium,MVM
join:2003-06-16
Markle, IN
reply to AVD

said by AVD:

A transit and a level are two different things.
Could just be a regional difference in terminologies, but everyone around here refers to a transit as a transit level.
--
My Business website: MerrittConstruction.com | My Gaming Website: KensGaming.com


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
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join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

1 edit

I looked on line and see transit-level and level-transit used interchangeably. I dunno, over here a level won't measure the vertical angle while a transit will show the horizontal and vertical (and also has a compass). I'll have to check my old surveying text to see if I'm just going senile.



SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by AVD:

I looked on line and see transit-level and level-transit used interchangeably. I dunno, over here a level won't measure the vertical angle while a transit will show the horizontal and vertical (and also has a compass). I'll have to check my old surveying text to see if I'm just going senile.
If you want to know about senility just ask I'm becoming an expert at it.

You're right the level is fixed but the transit level although movable can be fixed and used as a level. On one job we ran levels for aprox 6 miles using the transit and were only out by about an inch.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to natedj

I just put a laser level on the highest point and walked around with a pole (scale marked on it), a tape measure and a clip board. Took a bit over an hour, maybe ten minutes to type in the data.



natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to natedj

Well, I went down to the local Home Depot and they have (2) different Transits kits for rent, one with a laser and one without. They are both made by Berger.
I'm trying to rent one for the shortest time available which is (4) hours. The thing is, I've never used one before and I'll like to get my mits on a manual first ... even the guy behind the desk didn't know how to operate it. So does anyone know where I can go to get a manual or a tutorial?
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements


Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to natedj

Wouldn't a laser level work for this?

EDIT:

A transit and a surveying rod could be used too.

Take a spot and use that as the reference. Put the rod at the other end, look at it using the transit. You'll either be above or below it, by X units of measure. Take the rod to another spot, measure it there, etc etc.

Differential GPS could be used too. DGPS systems can be rented but they are expensive. You can get within a few centimeters using a DGPS system by letting it acquire the signal and then let it sit for a good period of time. I've seen DGPS get very accurate in 5 minutes, and I've seen it take 50 minutes so it all depends. Measure multiple spots on the property and then do some trig and you should be able to figure out what the level is.

But I'm lazy, so I'd probably shoot it with a laser level and get it graded out.



SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
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said by Hahausuck:

Wouldn't a laser level work for this?
A laser level like as in level the pictures?

It depends on what you want or need. With the transit (and some trig) you can physically locate on a drawing the x, y, z, coordinates.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley


Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2

Yup. I figure if the OP is just wanting to level the terrain then a laser level would be all is needed.

Otherwise, you are correct. A transit and trig are needed to get an accurate survey.

Locating a nearby USGS monument would also be in order for this project, to get an accurate elevation measurement. Again, transit and trig would be useful.
--
"No job is so important, and no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely."
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--Safety One Tower Rescue Certified
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SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
reply to natedj

said by natedj:

Well, I went down to the local Home Depot and they have (2) different Transits kits for rent, one with a laser and one without. They are both made by Berger.
I'm trying to rent one for the shortest time available which is (4) hours. The thing is, I've never used one before and I'll like to get my mits on a manual first ... even the guy behind the desk didn't know how to operate it. So does anyone know where I can go to get a manual or a tutorial?
There must be some manual on the net. As stated in the previous post, it depends on what you want/need. If you are trying to fix the levels to a plot of your property you have to get the transit referenced to your property line. The easiest way is setting up on the line. Then level the transit and take readings of the topology (grid if that's what you want) or just the points of interest, with a rod. You also take an angle and distance reading to get the x,y.

Edit: I don't think he's interested in the exact elevation. If so, there is usually a point in the area that is tied into close enough to a USGS point.

--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley


Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
reply to natedj

A quick search on the Berger site didn't come up with any manuals that I could find, but maybe I'm not looking close enough.

Maybe the OP can find it better than I.


popper

join:2006-05-30
Baton Rouge,
kudos:1
reply to natedj

What Model?
I think you can locate the manual here >

»www.cstberger.com/index.html#

click the self-support button (under e-mail).



AVD
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Premium
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Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Hahausuck

said by Hahausuck:

A transit and trig are needed to get an accurate survey.
Unless you are following some sort of wacky alignment, or have inaccessible points this is overkill. All you need is an level and a rod and basic addition and subtraction.

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2

1 edit

said by AVD:

said by Hahausuck:

A transit and trig are needed to get an accurate survey.
Unless you are following some sort of wacky alignment, or have inaccessible points this is overkill. All you need is an level and a rod and basic addition and subtraction.
That's how I've done it. I guess there is more than one way to skin a cat, no?


--
"No job is so important, and no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely."
-- AT&T, Your World, Destroyed.
--Safety One Tower Rescue Certified
--LLigetfa:"Wimax is like teenage sex. Everyone talks about doing it."


StNickless

@tmodns.net
reply to natedj

It seems someone is trying to make things more difficult on themself ?

The laser level probably will not work.
They really aren't very useful in sunlight at distances of 10' or more, indoors they are great.

Why would you rent a high dollar item that you don't know how to use, cannot find the instructions, and have a veryvery limited time with ?

There is a reason construction sites are usually spider webbed with yellow line when the concrete and plumbing stub out happens.



SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
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reply to natedj

said by natedj:

I'm trying to draw up a house plan for a piece of property that has a sloping grade.
Just thought about this, natedj See Profile. Do you know where your utilities are. You should mark them on your plan. Also, you didn't say how the property is sloping. It be good to know the depth of any sewer if it is present. As you may have heard sh** runs downhill.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley



natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC

Click for full size
I found this Topo of the property from our County's website and I have no idea how old it is, but after walking the lot several times, I know the slope is not as severe as the County website depict them to be ... hence my need to shoot the grade.
Nevertheless I superimposed it in a CAD drawing as accurately as I can. The total property size is 130'x150'. As you can see, the property slops down and away from the road so it will be in a low-spot. There is a water line on the property about 15' from the curb. The house will be on city sewer and the tap for it is on the front left of the property.
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements


natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC

1 edit
reply to StNickless

said by StNickless :

The laser level probably will not work.
They really aren't very useful in sunlight at distances of 10' or more, indoors they are great.
It seems that there is some confusion with terminally as noted in earlier posts. We are talking about transits levels & transit laser levels, not to be confused with any indoor laser level for hanging pictures. From my research, the laser is picked up by its matching receiver so not being able to see it is not an issue.

said by StNickless :

Why would you rent a high dollar item that you don't know how to use, cannot find the instructions, and have a veryvery limited time with ?
I rent the high dollar equipment when I can't afford to pay to own one or will not use it enough to justify owning it. I can rent it for as long as i like, but i would like to read the manual first so that when I do rent it all my time will be spent in the field and not thumbing through the manual ... it makes a shorter rental time that way.

said by StNickless :

There is a reason construction sites are usually spider webbed with yellow line when the concrete and plumbing stub out happens.
Obviously you have nothing helpful to contribute .... I wish I had some of that spider webbed yellow line to keep trolls out.

--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements


SparkChaser
Premium
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Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to natedj

Other than the locations, the sewer is the one that depends on gravity. Your lot is very similar to our lot. Due to the slope downward from the street and the level of the sewer, we've been pumping our basement wash water up for 30 years

That's not a big deal and is easy to do. The problem comes if you expect to put a powder room in the basement. This, of course, depends on the style of the house, the sanitary sewer level, etc. etc. I just wanted to mention it, so you were aware.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley



StNickless

@tmodns.net
reply to natedj

The county map you posted shows 30 ft of slope, whether it is accurate or not ?

Consider a transit with a min. 4ft height.
Cross corner shoot would require a target height of near 35 ft. That would be the most important measurement to take.

Water and sewage will be near the top of the slope as that is the street edge.

I guess since I'm so unworthy to post in your thread....now I can laugh at your foolishness in trying to build a home on such a lot

Hope you have 500 cubc yards of soil or a sucker to dump the lot on.

Reality is a bitch, ain't it ?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

said by StNickless :

Water and sewage will be near the top of the slope as that is the street edge.

I guess since I'm so unworthy to post in your thread....now I can laugh at your foolishness in trying to build a home on such a lot
A multi-story home with a walk out basement, and perhaps a pump for the sewage. What is so hard about that? It is done all of the time. Perhaps you just need to invest in an imagination! Note -- the area between the two properties appears to be an alleyway. It could be easily have the sewer lines it it. Please don't pretend to know everything when you obviously don't.


SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to StNickless

said by StNickless :

Consider a transit with a min. 4ft height.Cross corner shoot would require a target height of near 35 ft. That would be the most important measurement to take.
Actually, you'd set up somewhere down the slope and shoot back and the swing around, not a big deal.

The sewer is going to depend on how deep it is at the tie in. I would think the county should have that on record. I don't remember exactly but I've seen them 15-20' below the street. It's probably between 10-15', guesstimate.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley