Do you have a major construction project coming up? Then you’ll need to know just what to expect from land clearing services.
Lot clearing is typically the first step in any construction project. Before construction can actually begin, the land needs to be prepared, which means paying to have it cleared and graded.
What exactly happens in this process? In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before you hire land clearing services. Keep reading to learn what the clearing and grading process really looks like!
What Do Land Clearing Services Do?
Most of the time, lot clearing basically involves the same thing, although the amount of time it will take varies depending on the project. In short, the process includes surveying the land against the blueprints for the construction to figure out what needs to be done. Then, the land clearing services will get the land to a point where it’s ready to be built on.
This process often begins with clearing away any vegetation or large rocks on the land. Bushes and trees offer major obstacles for most construction projects. Even if a tree isn’t really in the way, its roots can become an issue years down the line.
The next step involves grading the property. Again, the process depends somewhat on exactly what the land is like. Things like erosion prevention and drainage control may be necessary to ensure the land will hold up over the years. Installation of wells or septic systems may also be part of this process.
Other grading tasks might include:
- Building an access road
- Connecting the site to utilities like electricity and water
- Digging a basement or foundation
- Demolishing current buildings
This process can sometimes be slowed down by the need for building or construction permits. These permits can also add new fees to the building site preparation costs.
The Cost to Clear Land
How much does all this work cost? It depends on the nature of the land and exactly what you’re having done.
Land grading costs generally fall around a dollar or two per square foot. If you need to have trees removed on a wooded lot, you can expect to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars an acre, depending on how heavily wooded it is.
Many properties need to have at least some trees removed. The cost of removal also varies depending on the size and condition of the trees.
Clearing brush is a bit cheaper but can cost up to $200 per acre if the brush is thick.
Don’t forget that you’ll also be paying for the hourly labor to do all this work. About two or three acres of land can usually be cleared in a single eight-hour workday. Expect to spend about $100-$250 in labor for this work.
You might also be paying equipment fees to the land clearing services. These fees depend on the kind of equipment they’re using: heavy-duty things like excavators and backhoes can cost more than $100 per hour.
If this all sounds like a lot, don’t worry – lots of companies offer a package deal that factors in the cost of labor and equipment. Still, there are a few factors to be aware of that can make things more expensive. If there’s an existing building that will need asbestos removal, prepare to pay upwards of $1,000.
If utilities are far away from the construction site, that will cost more, too. And if the previous land survey is out of date, you’ll need to pay about $500 for a new survey.
In short, there are a lot of variables when it comes to the cost of land clearing services. These services aren’t cheap, but they are necessary before you can take the next step in construction.
Do You Need Excavation?
Excavation is one more major factor in getting land ready to build. You won’t always need excavation, but it’s necessary before starting a lot of construction projects. If you do excavate, keep in mind that erosion control will be even more necessary afterward.
If you plan to build a structure that has a foundation or basement, you’ll definitely need to excavate. But even if not, most homes and other structures require excavation to get started. Sometimes, excavation is even necessary to turn the land into a garden, pasture, or farmland.
With excavation, the cost also varies depending on a lot of factors, but you’ll generally be spending about a couple thousand dollars.
How to Save Money on Land Clearing Services
These services don’t come cheap, but there are a few ways you can cut back on the costs of getting your land ready to build.
Buy Property That’s Ready
The main thing you can do to cut down costs is to buy a piece of property that doesn’t need much work. The fewer services needed, the less expensive the clearing and grading is. Level property that doesn’t have trees or existing structures is generally ideal.
Of course, that’s not always possible to find. No matter what kind of property you get, be sure to get a few bids on it so you can get a good price for your services. However, the cheapest company isn’t always the best – make sure you pick one with good reviews from former clearing jobs.
Reuse and Recycle
Some of the debris created in the clearing process can be reused, netting you some extra money. You might sell the trees that were cut down as firewood or timber, or sell the good soil that was removed to a nearby garden center.
See If It’s Tax Deductible
In a few states, land clearing services are tax deductible. If it’s a business expense, or if you’re making the land more sustainable, you might get a significant portion of your land clearing expenses back in the form of a tax refund.
Do You Need Lot Clearing Services?
If you’re planning to build a house, a new business, or any construction project, you’ll need land clearing services.
For experienced land grading and clearing services that can work with any property, look no further. Contact us today to find out how to get started.