Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Land Clearing

Land Clearing Cost


How Much Does Land Clearing Cost?

 
low costFlat Land with Light Vegetation: $20-$200 Per Acreaverage costSloping Land with Overgrown Brush: $500-$2,000 Per Acrehigh costHeavily Wooded or Forested Land: $3,000-$6,000+ Per Acre
post E-mail post Post   Comments (3)

Land clearing typically means using equipment ranging from chain saws to large bulldozers, excavators, backhoes or other heavy machinery to remove obstacles like trees, bushes, rocks, uneven dirt and other debris from a parcel of land. If the parcel is being cleared for fire safety, to make it possible to walk around the property or to restore overgrown views, then a selective clearing will remove all underbrush and debris but leave established and desirable trees intact. If the land is being cleared to become pasture or farmland most everything will be removed. And for new construction, often everything in the building footprint will be cleared, leaving an open area of bare dirt. Pensacola Land Clearing in Florida posts before and after photos[1] of selective and complete land clearing projects.

Typical costs:

  • Land clearing costs depend on whether the parcel is flat, sloped, grassy, brushy, lightly wooded, heavily forested or a combination of these conditions. Other factors affecting price include local rates, local regulations, the total amount of land being cleared and accessibility. Hiring an excavation or land clearing company to clear flat land with light vegetation and few trees might cost $20-$200 per acre; clearing more sloping land with overgrown brush and a few trees might cost $500-$2,000 per acre; and clearing heavily wooded or forested land can cost $3,000-$6,000 or more an acre, depending on conditions and whether the resulting debris will be burned (illegal in many areas and strictly limited in others), stacked in designated spots for later disposal or hauled away.
  • For example, a New Jersey landowner[2] paid $600 for about four hours of work clearing a 15'x100' area plus reopening a 70'x12' driveway on high, dry land with heavy shrubs and some medium-sized trees. A Georgia landowner[3] paid $2,000 to clear pine and brush from about 1.5 acres, including clearing a driveway and digging a culvert, and $2,500 to clear about three-fourths of an acre in Florida.
  • Do-it-yourself land clearing is possible but it's a lot of work and typically requires access to equipment or heavy machinery. A heavy-duty gas chain saw can cost $200-$500 or more. Renting a backhoe can cost $100-$350 or more a day, and buying a backhoe can cost $10,000-$100,000 or more. Landowner James Starbuck posts a 44-page booklet[4] and video segments[5] sharing his techniques for do-it-yourself land clearing by one man and a backhoe.
Related articles: Backhoe, Stump Removal, Landscape Design

What should be included:
  • There are many different land clearing methods, and the best one to use depends on the condition of the property and how it will be used after it's cleared. AskTheBuilder provides an overview of land clearing[6] and the Virginia Cooperative Extension describes the pros and cons[7] of different methods.
  • Land clearing methods also vary depending on the equipment used. Videos demonstrate land clearing techniques using a bulldozer with a root rake[8] , a backhoe[9] and a mulcher[10] .
  • If the property is being cleared in preparation for a construction project, land grading or leveling is the next phase in the preparation process, and might be done by the same crew and equipment or as a completely separate project.
Additional costs:
  • Check with the local zoning and planning departments; a land clearing permit may be required. This might be free or it can cost $50-$200 or more. (Typically a separate permit is not required if the clearing is part of an approved building permit.)
Discounts:
  • If the property contains trees, they might be sold as timber (to become lumber) or for firewood. Contact the state department of conservation or natural resources or the local cooperative extension program for advice on whether the trees might be valuable. Some small logging operations or firewood companies remove usable trees for free or even pay for the wood; get multiple estimates or bids, and ask detailed questions about what condition the land will be left in when the company is done. After the trees are cut down, stump removal can cost $2-$50 or more per stump.
  • Land clearing expenses for agricultural use may be tax deductible, according to the University of Missouri Outreach & Extension[11] .
Shopping for land clearing:
  • Ask neighbors, friends or at the local hardware or feed store for referrals to land clearing or excavation companies. Typically a company representative will visit the property before quoting a price for a land clearing project. If possible, get several estimates.
  • Verify that the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed[12] . Ask for and check references, and look for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[13] .
post E-mail post Post   Comments (3)
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Land clearing
Amount: $4,500.00
Posted by: Menace in Port Saint Lucie, FL.Posted: August 10th, 2014 12:08PM
Contractor: Aplus lawns & services
Great company and very professional n reliable
They dealt with many obstacles and took a little longer but completed project with ease and professionalism
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Underbrush mulching
Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: Zoltan in Spring, TX.Posted: July 21st, 2014 08:07PM
Acres: 1.00Vegetation: Heavy underbrush
Contractor: Fellco
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Clearing & Grading cost
Amount: $4,000.00
Posted by: Linda Jenkins in Murphy, NC.Posted: September 9th, 2013 07:09PM
Acres: half acreVegetation: heavy brush some trees
I have gotten a wide range of estimates and do not know which way to turn.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With Land Clearing
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Acres: Vegetation: 
Contractor:   
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  pensacolalandclearing.com/
  2.  www.trulia.com/voices/Tech_Tips/WHAT_IS_THE_LAND_CLEARING_COST_PER_SQUARE_FOOT_IN_-24313--
  3.  answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080612184755AANAdJc
  4.  howtoclearland.com/
  5.  howtoclearland.com/movies.html
  6.  www.askthebuilder.com/land-clearing/
  7.  pubs.ext.vt.edu/465/465-341/465-341.html
  8.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLNYewJnaSw
  9.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=28ODe7IaemA&feature=related
  10.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgvvxYA2Tnw
  11.  agebb.missouri.edu/agtax/issues/income/landclearing.pdf
  12.  www.contractors-license.org/
  13.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
More Home and Garden Topics
Check Out All Costs for Home and Garden How Much Does a Kitchen Remodeling Cost? How Much Does a Propane Tank Cost? How Much Does a Plumber Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Annual termite renewal
Paid: 313.93
A local company treated our 1948 era house for termites many years ago and we had an annual contract with them that transferred to Terminix when they bought the local company... [more]
-monicafaye
Termite Control Cost
OB Ultrasound Indiana University Health
Paid: 3699.00
I tested low on my biochemicals when I had a quad screen, which I think was taken a little too early anyway... [more]
-One Angry Momma
Ultrasound Cost
1st fill
Paid: 1.90
Just did a 400 gal fill at $1.899 which I didn't think was too bad considering some of the other prices I've heard about. This is my first house that has used propane and I am real nervous about costs... [more]
-Bluespicker
Propane Cost
Replace system with TRane XR13 coil and condensor
Paid: 6330.00
Replaced 15 year old 4ton system and gas/airflow condensor, whole system less duct work, new pans... [more]
-
Central Air Conditioner Cost
Filling
Paid: 75.00
Had to have 3 pin hole cavities filled. Two on top and one on the bottom.Total cost was $325, but after paying my deductible of $75, my dental insurance (BCBS of Texas Blue Care Dental) took care of the remaining balance of $250... [more]
-Morgan Davies
Cavity Filling Cost
Declawing
Paid: 160.00
All of our cats have been altered with sterilization. The latest cost $160. What I didn't know until too late was the adverse long-term effects ( endocrine complications) of sterilization... [more]
-AGracious
Cat Declawing Cost