Factors That Could Affect Land Clearing Costs When You Build a New Home

Land clearing is an important part of the home building process. You cannot pour a concrete slab for the foundation unless the land is completely ready to support the house’s weight.

The first question you might have is about the cost. How much will it cost you to clear the land where your home will be built? It’s understandable that you want a straight answer to that, but first, you need to understand what factors can contribute to the cost of residential land clearing services:

Five Factors That Can Affect the Pricing of Land Clearing Services

Land Survey and Soil Testing

Land survey for new construction homes is required in most states. It’s one of the very first steps in the land clearing process. By marking and staking the property’s boundaries, you’ll know exactly the scope of your land and give the builders an idea where exactly the house can be built and where the fences will stand, for instance.

A topographic land survey will also be conducted to determine the size, location, and height of your land’s features.

Soil testing on the other hand may be done so a geotechnical report can be submitted if required in your state. This report will show the soil type, its strength, density, organic composition, and whether or not it can support the home.


Before doing anything related to building your home, you first need to secure permits from your city or county. Doing so enforces compliance with construction code laws. The cost of building permits varies, but they usually cost hundreds of dollars. This could change, though, especially if you need additional permits.

Labor and Equipment

Different types of equipment are necessary for land clearing. These include mowers, chainsaw, mulchers, and stump grinders, among others, and they cost thousands of dollars. Bulldozers will also be used to even the soil for the foundation to be laid properly. Excavators and dump trucks are also necessary for the hauling of huge rocks, trees, and other debris from the site.

The Clearing Process

Clearing should be done with careful planning. Will there be trees that can be saved? Will a demolition be necessary? The house itself, as well as the driveway, septic tank, and yard should also be considered.

There are three things that have to be done during the clearing process:

  • Preservation of trees, rocks, or other elements that need to be saved or couldn’t be taken down due to potential hazard.
  • Removal of trees and debris.
  • Demolition of any existing structure.

All of these can affect the pricing of land clearing, especially if the location is wooded land or if there are lots of tree stumps and large rocks to remove.

Building Site Prep Work

Once the property is cleared, the land can then be prepared for the building of your home. This also involves several steps, including:

  • Excavation
  • Filling
  • Grading


As you can see, land clearing is not as simple as you might initially think. A lot of factors contribute to the price that contractors ask for the job. Many different tasks are included in land clearing services and for each task, different equipment and skills are necessary. That’s why clearing companies cannot give you a speedy answer when you ask for a quote for the job. Expect for the contractor to ask questions like the location, the size of the land, and others, that could help them come up with a ballpark figure.

If you are in need of land clearing services or forest management in Western NY, you can count on Future Forest Inc. to bring experience and expertise to the table. Contact us today to find out more about what we do!

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