Land clearing is a big job. Before pouring the concrete slab for the foundation, the land has to be fully prepared in order to make room and support the weight of the house.
The first question anyone asks about land clearing cost is “How much of an investment will this become?” While you always want to get the best value available, the price is worth knowing that a professional company can get the job done properly.
What’s the Average Land Clearing Cost?
The costs that go into building a home can quickly add up. There’s a great deal that goes into the project even before construction begins, especially if you’re building on new land. To determine the land-clearing cost, contacting an experienced professional land clearing company such as Marks Clearing & Grading will be the first step towards getting an accurate quote.
Here are the six factors that help determine residential land clearing prices.
1. Land Survey & Soil Testing
A land survey for a new home build is required by most states and it is one of the first steps in the clearing process. Marking and staking the boundaries of the property will not only show you exactly what is owned, but it will be good to know when it comes to where the house can be built, fence placement, and the location of the driveway.
Another survey that will need to be done is a topographic land survey. This will show the location, size, and height of land features. The average cost of a land survey for new construction can vary depending on lot size and terrain.
A geotechnical report of the site location may be required to examine the soil. This test will include:
- Soil type.
- Test the soil for strength, density, organic material, compaction, and contamination.
- If the soil can support your home.
- Technical and safety reports required for permits.
You will need to apply for permits through your city or county before building. This enforces compliance with state construction code law.
Building permits can average several hundred dollars, but it’s important to check with your local planning department to see if additional permits are needed. There may be environmental requirements for building permits as well.
3. Labor & Equipment
A professional land clearing company will have all of the necessary equipment to get the job done, as they invest thousands of dollars into professional-grade equipment.
Mowers, mulchers, and chainsaws are needed to clear and break down trees, underbrush, saplings, and overgrowth. If trees are being removed, a stump grinder will remove the stump with a rotating cutting disc.
Bulldozers will need to even the soil in order for a foundation to be laid down. Excavators can remove large rocks and dig trenches and dump trucks are needed to haul away materials from the site.
Each of these machines needs an experienced operator for several hours of labor.
Before you even begin clearing, there needs to be a laid out plan. Are any trees being saved? Does there need to be any demolition? How wooded is the area? The building site will need space for the house, driveway, yard, septic tank, well, and the heavy equipment needed to get the job done.
If anything is being preserved, the first step is to mark the trees, rocks, and natural growth to be saved. You’ll want to be sure to take down anything that could cause a potential hazard or cause damage in the future. Taking down trees after construction will be much more expensive than if you do it beforehand.
Trees that are too close to the house could come down on the roof during a storm or the root system of a large tree could disrupt the foundation. These are problems that could run into the thousands to fix.
To ensure the preservation of trees, it’s important to know what can harm them. The three main causes of death for a tree at a new home construction site are:
- Cutting into the roots.
- Compacted soil over the root system.
- Changing the ground level around the tree.
Temporary fencing can be placed around trees to make sure construction equipment and materials don’t get too close and wells constructed around the base to avoid changing the ground level and compacted soil.
Tree preservation can be fairly inexpensive; however, if you decide to hire a professional arborist, consider how that will factor in to your final cost.
The cost of removal for trees and other debris depends on how wooded the land is, whether stump removal is required, and if large rocks are being moved. Clearing land of trees and brush is usually charged by the acre.
Demolition of an existing structure can add a few thousand onto the total or into the tens of thousands for the complete demolition of a large building. Marks Demolition Group can assist with all of your demolition needs.
Underground utilities need to be set up before laying down the groundwork for the house. This includes gas line installation, the water line, underground electric, and CAT-6 cables.
6. Building Site Preparation
After the property is cleared, preparations can be made for the structure to be built. Building site preparation includes:
Excavation and Filling
Removing dirt from the construction site is always less expensive if the machinery has easy access to enter and exit the location.
Filling can be done for grading purposes. Factors that affect this price are:
- Erosion and environmental requirements
Land grading levels the site after the site has been excavated and prepared for building. The purpose is to create a smooth landscape that doesn’t have variations in its elevation, which is vital for laying down the foundation.
This is also when the site is prepared for drainage by sloping land away from the construction area.
Leave it to the Professionals
Leaving the job to the professionals will guarantee the job is being done correctly and professionally, all safety precautions are being taken, and the work is guaranteed. In the long run, work that’s done correctly the first time saves you time and money. Contact Marks Clearing and Grading, Inc. for your clearing, grading, or demolition project in the Augusta, GA area.