Land Clearing Basics: Getting Your Land Ready to Build

By LandCentral

tractor clearing land


Land clearing is something most home owners fail to consider, yet it’s a crucial step in the building process. It typically comes after you’ve purchased your raw land but before you bring in the construction crew. While pricing and process vary, there are universal tasks that need to happen to get your land ready for your dream home. Check out LandCentral’s Land Clearing Basics: Getting Your Land Ready to Build:

Step 1: Prepare the site

Before you begin the arduous task of land clearing, the first step you’ll want to take is to survey the land. This step matches your construction blue print with the overall landscape to determine just what trees, shrubs and rocks need to go. Depending on the area you choose for your homestead, you may need to apply for building and zoning permits, so it’s worth waiting for approval before you begin clearing anything off your land.

Once you’re approved with the proper paperwork, you’ll want to:

  • Stake the area for construction
  • Determine location for septic/well
  • Establish an access road
  • Connect construction site with electrical grid and/or utilities

From clearing large rocks to digging out overgrown tree roots, clearing your land quite literally means clearing it from all major obstacles.

Step 2: Know your pricing

While pricing is entirely dependent on the job, the average cost for land clearing ranges between $1,000 – $5,000. The national average sits around $2,500. Understanding the typical price for services will help you navigate the next step.

Averages include:

  • Land grading per acre- $.47 – $2.28 per sq. ft.
  • Tree removal – $500 – $6,000 per acre (depending on lightly wooded to heavily wooded land)
    •             Single tree cut and removal – $650 per tree
    •             Removal of fallen trees – $75 – $150 per tree
  • Brush removal – $20 – $200 per acre
  • Labor costs – $110 – $245 per hour (8 hrs. to clear 2-3 acres of land)
  • Equipment costs – $160 – $230 per hour

NOTE: Most companies will included labor and equipment costs in the price of the bid as a package deal.

Step 3: Hire a Professional

Land clearing may have been done by the homeowner back in the day, but today there are experienced professionals to do the dirty work. Depending on the condition of the land and what needs to be done, large excavators may be needed to get the job done.

When shopping for a professional, make sure to:

  • Get competitive bids from a number of contractors
  • Ensure the one you choose is licensed, bonded and insured
  • Check references from other customers who’ve gone with them
  • Have the contractor out to the job site before giving you a solid bid

NOTE: A quote is only credible after the contractor has visited the site in person.

Hire a Land Clearing Contractor.


  1. Hire a land clearing professional during the off season (fall and winter) for lower costs.
  2. Purchase a property with minimal clearing needs.
  3. Purchase a property with a septic and well already installed.
  4. Re-use old materials like selling the trees you cut down for timber or firewood.
  5. Research whether your land clearing is tax deductible.
  6. Rent the heavy equipment and do it yourself (useful if you only have one or two trees to clear).

So there you have it. LandCentral’s Land Clearing Basics: Getting Your Land Ready to Build. These basics will help you on your way to a clear land ready for your dream home. Speaking of cleared land, check out these amazing properties, most of them cleared and ready to build. You’re welcome.


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