Your Guide to Land Clearing

your guide to land clearing

One of the first steps to any construction project is land clearing. Whether it’s getting rid of old, unwanted landscaping from a previous building or clearing overgrowth from a new site, you need a fresh slate for your project.

Land-clearing services are needed on about every construction site. But what does the process entail, and how much can you expect to pay for commercial land-clearing services? In this blog, we’ll share the ins and outs of clearing land, so you know what to expect and what to look for in a land-clearing contractor.

What Is Land Clearing?

Land clearing is oftentimes the first step in the project process. It sets the stage for all future construction work, transforming a plot of land into a blank slate ready for development.

Your land-clearing service contractor will bring in specialized equipment and skilled operators to remove any obstructions on and below ground level. They’ll cut down trees and vegetation and take care of the refuse. The remaining stumps and roots are removed or left to decay in a way that impedes future growth and encourages soil stability.

The Land Clearing Process

aerial shot of land developmentIf you’re ready to transform your plot of land into a construction-ready site, there are a few different steps you’ll need to take.

  • Conduct a Site Walk-Through: To get an accurate estimate for land-clearing services, you’ll want contractors to look at the site. They’ll take note of important information like the type and density of vegetation and any other visible obstructions that need to be cleared.
  • Select a Contractor: When selecting a team, look for contractors with access to the equipment and talent needed. They should also have knowledge of local soil erosion rules to ensure guidelines and regulations are followed.
  • Confirm Zoning & Permitting: Before work begins, you’ll need to ensure the site is zoned for your intended use and that all permits are in place. Your contractor should be able to help you navigate this process.
  • Land Clearing Begins: Once everything is in place, your contractor can start clearing the site. The duration of this will vary based on the time of year, the density of vegetation, the size of the site, and the size of their crew.
  • Land Development Continues: Land clearing is just the first step in the sitework process. Once it’s completed, sitework will continue with necessary excavating, grading, drainage work, paving, and more.In most cases, it’ll be easier to partner with a full-service excavating contractor that will take care of all your sitework from the start of the project to the end. In some cases, they may contract with other companies to take care of specific tasks. But they’ll take that on, leaving you less to contend with.To learn more about the land development process, check out this article.

Your Site After Land Clearing

Depending on the needs of your specific site, further development is needed after or during the land-clearing process. This can include grading, rock removal services, and soil remediation.

Grading transforms the contours of your site’s elevation to meet aesthetic and regulatory requirements. If needed, rock removal will get rid of any large below-grade rocks that impede construction, and soil remediation will replace contaminated earth with safe soil.

Other sitework services continue well into the construction project and include services like utility installations, stormwater management, roads and parking lot creation, and landscaping.

It’s important to partner with an experienced excavating contractor that offers the sitework services your project needs. At Horst Excavating, we have experience in a wide variety of sitework services. We’re team players and like to get involved early in the process to help you and your team plan the project in the most efficient way possible.

How Much Does Land Clearing Cost?

dirt road in wooded areaLike everything construction-related, the cost of commercial land clearing will depend on your specific property. Your cost estimate will depend on how long the land-clearing contractor expects the project to take, the type of equipment needed, and the handling of the material once it’s removed. Here are a few things to consider for your site that will impact the cost:

  • Project Size: The larger the site, the more time and labor needed to clear it. This means overall project prices will increase with the property’s size. However, clearing costs per acre will decrease with larger projects, as the fixed costs are spread out across several acres.
  • Density of Vegetation: The type of vegetation on the property will also impact the price. Small plants and shrubs take less time to clear away than a dense patch of mature trees.
  • Property’s Topography: The natural grade of the property will impact how much you pay for land clearing services. Steep hills, waterways, soil type, and more can all complicate the clearing process.
  • Time of Year: In some cases, the time of year can impact land clearing costs. Depending on the type of vegetation and your local climate, brush will be less dense during the winter months, which can quicken the clearing process. Winter clearing comes with the added benefits of minimizing damage to the soil.

Preservation in Clearing Land

In years past, it was standard practice to remove most, if not all vegetation and trees. As construction wrapped up, new plants and trees were landscaped in. However, these days, more and more property owners and developers are focusing on preservation.

Specific mature plants and trees are preserved and worked into the new site. Not only does this cut back on landscaping costs, but it can look great, increase the amount of shade, and is good for our environment. Preserving our old-growth and native plants supports the local ecosystem.

What You Need from a Land-Clearing Service Contractor

The contractor you entrust with your land clearing has a vital role in your project’s process. They’re responsible for creating the site upon which the rest of the project will sit. If things go well in this stage, it’ll help to set the rest of your project up for success.

Set up a partnership with an experienced excavating firm that will take care of all your sitework needs from start to finish. Tell us about your project today!

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