Lot Clearing
Things to Consider

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What You Need to Know Before You Clear Land to Build Your Home

67A custom home provides an ample number of benefits; you can select the exact area to build, design the plans and then steadily watch the vision in your head become a reality. Being able to select a precise location and design the house plan provides the opportunity to maximize privacy and customize your utilities, too.There are many aspects of the building process that are easier when building custom homes, but one of the unique additional tasks is clearing land to build a house. Enough land needs to be cleared for your yard, house, driveway, well and septic system. There are several steps that are necessary, so keep the below tips in mind when preparing land to be cleared for custom home development.Clearing Land to Build a HouseCheck with Zoning and Building DepartmentsThe last thing you’ll want to happen is to clear land and then be told it was illegal due to violating some zoning law unbeknownst to you. This would result in a messy fight with your town and plenty of unnecessary expenses. To avoid this, consult early on with your town’s departments of building and zoning to ensure the exact space you’re clearing is within bounds of the town ordinance or other laws.Get the Right Equipment for the JobLand clearing varies project by project, with the size of the land plot being different for most people. Before investing in equipment for the job, make a note of specific property aspects, like a certain tree or area, that you’d like to keep intact. Then make sure any logger, forester or other contractor understands and is respectful of your wishes. With size specifications and the homeowner’s desires clearly communicated, it will be much easier to identify the proper equipment for the specific job at hand.Well and Septic One of the biggest issues we came across when clearing land to build our home was finding water. We were clearing the land right next to a pond so we though for sure digging a well would not be an issue. But it was and cost us several thousand dollars and delayed building the house. Don’t assume anything when building your home! Get a knowledgeable professional you trust to make sure you can get your well and septic set up with how you want to position your home on the land. This will impact clearing your land so it’s important to do this early in the game.Mark the Territory Using bright tape or paint, mark the house footprint and locations for the driveway, well, etc., in addition to the property boundaries. This will be very helpful for the clearing crew, in addition to lowering the chances of a mistake. With your excavator or contractor, be sure to clarify several times which trees need to remain preserved. Ideally, only cut down the trees that interfere with the house’s construction. If saving trees is particularly important to you, consider hiring an arborist or a contractor that specializes in excavation.Other Important Questions on How to Clear Land for Building a HouseOnce the territory is marked and the right individuals are hired, it’s important to ask very specific questions relevant to the building process. For one, it’s important to know specifically where the well will be dug. Also, it’s important to test for water on the property; if anything is wrong, it will be easier to take care of prior to construction, instead of after it. Other questions to ask yourself and anyone involved in overseeing the house’s construction include:Is the area prone to flooding or other natural disasters? If so, what precautions can we make?Is a public water system on the lot? If so, is there is a water connection fee? Are all water hookups ready to go?Is access to gas, telephone, electric, cable, trash pick-up available? If not, what is the cost for each?Does the homeowners association have any control over the lot?When was the lot last surveyed? Try to get a copy of the most recent survey as well, in addition to getting your own survey done.What building permits are required to build?When acknowledging the tips above, in addition to asking the aforementioned questions during the building process, owners of custom homes will be able to enjoy their property without the stress of violating laws or not having access to basic services.

Did you know the average price to clear land is over $2,000 and can cost over $8,000?

No wonder people looking to clear land do a little research to stay on the lower end of the price spectrum.

Clearing land may seem straightforward, but there are many factors you need to consider.

Keep reading to learn some crucial steps you’ll need to take.


Clearing land can be a big job but having an idea of what it entails will make it a smoother project. When building on any property having a solid foundation is key. This is where clearing land correctly plays a major role it’s essential to clear correctly to have a solid foundation when construction begins.



First, you want to inspect the land you’re clearing to see if there’s anything that will make it more difficult to clear. Look out for steep hillsides or extra large trees. If you’re clearing a large land it can take a lot of time.

If you feel that it will take more time than you have or you don’t have the tools then contacting an expert might be the best way to go. You might need help once you have cleared the land either renting a dumpster or hiring someone to come dump everything for you.

Clearing land might sound simple but if you don’t know how to do it this project can turn out to be a disaster. You might only need a professional to take care of some of the land clearing. Maybe you have the tools and feel comfortable clearing small trees and hire a professional to take care of the larger trees.



Some areas are have protected land and vegetation, soil erosion concerns or something else that will affect clearing the land. Before starting your project contact your local land planning agency to determine if your land will need permits. Find your local zoning and building department to see what ordinances are in place where your land is.

Not checking local requirements can be a headache in the future. The last thing you want is to be liable for any damages if you destroy protected vegetation or protected land.


When you have figured out if you need help and learned if you need any permits it’s time to get rid of anything on the land you need removed. If there are any old buildings or structures start by knocking these down. To get the removal done quickly use a bulldozer, wrecker or hire a professional with the tools.

After you remove all the structures, remove rocks, brush limbs, and trees. If there are large trees you can’t do yourself contact a local professional to take them down for you. If you have large boulders that need to be removed and have a heavy duty chain you can wrap it around the boulder and drag them out with a tractor.

Grub Tree Stumps


If you have any remaining tree stumps removing them is called grubbing. You start by digging down to the roots around it with a shovel. Attached a heavy duty chain and pull it out with a tractor.

After removing the tree stump fill in the land and grade it. Keep in mind if you hire a professional they will handle all of this for you.

Clear Remaining Brush


To clear our vegetation you can use hand-held trimmers to cut the vegetation if it’s not a large piece of land. If it’s larger you will want to rent a brush machine to make the job quicker. Once you remove the brush you have the option to either shred the debris, burn it, or compost it.

Some areas rent grazing animals to clear the land. Sheep and goats are great to clear low ground vegetation. They also work quickly and give you one less thing to think about.

Goats are able to eat poison ivy without it harming them.

Fill in the Holes


Once you clear and remove everything it’s time to fill any holes left behind. You can shovel loose dirt into the holes and pack the dirt down until it’s compact. Repeat this until the surface is level with the rest of the ground.

If your plan is to construct something once the land is cleared a contractor will more than likely use a professional.

Plough the land


Once everything is cleared, and holes are filled you can turn the soil with a plough to make sure the ground is even. Any grass or leaves that are on top of the soil will mix into the land as it’s ploughed. This will add extra nutrients back into the land.

If you’re ploughing on your own instead of hiring an expert make sure you avoid wet or steep land. Let the vegetation that’s native to the area cover that area. This will help prevent soil erosion.



As you can see there are a few steps involved in clearing land. Although it’s a massive undertaking taking the steps above will make your project more enjoyable and smoother. The key is to do your homework and be prepared for the amount of work you will need to do.

Finding a professional that’s been there, done that will make your life a bit easier because they will know what the laws are, and what permits you need in your area. They will also have all of the equipment needed to clear the land.

If you prefer to hand it over to an expert contact us today to come to take a look at your property and give you our professional advice. We can work with any property!