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There are many reasons to clear land. For example, you might want to build a house on an undeveloped site or finish clearing that last bit on a partially developed property. Likewise, sections of the yard might have become overgrown during the years, and you wish to clean it up. Regardless of your needs, land-clearing projects can be highly beneficial.

Whether you have a heavily forested area or a lightly forested land, it’s important to understand the land clearing prices you might pay and what goes into the estimate you’ll likely get from the professional.

The average cost to clear land can be anywhere from $11,800 to $100, and most people spend roughly $3,100. However, you’ll get a full breakdown and the explanation of various factors that might influence the cost to prepare for your project in this guide. Let’s dive in!

Average Cost to Clear Land

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In most cases, the average cost to clear land is about $3,100, but people could pay $1,300 to $5,200. Small and lightly wooded land will often be less, but dense or more wooded properties might be $11,800 or more.

Though the numbers can vary slightly, knowing the average cost to have land cleared is the first step.

What’s Land Clearing?

Land clearing requires someone to remove all the obstacles and vegetation on the property to prepare land for use. It’s generally done on developed, undeveloped, and partially developed spaces that have unwanted vegetation.

Here are just a few of the land elements you could remove during the land-clearing process:

  • Shrubs
  • Tree stumps
  • Trees
  • Boulders
  • Grass
  • Sloped land
  • Rocks
  • Heavily wooded land

Breakdown of Cost for a Land Clearing Project

The costs of clearing land can significantly vary based on many factors. However, you can narrow down the expenses you expect to pay by focusing on your land’s condition and property size.

By Land Size

The cost to clear land equaling about 1 acre is anywhere from $700 to $5,900. If you clear 1 square foot, it would cost about $1 to $2. If the land is in good condition and only needs a light clearing, you will generally pay the lesser amount. However, dense land will require more work, so it will be at the high end of the price range.

  • 1/8 Acre – $100 to $750
  • 1/4 Acre – $175 to $1,500
  • 1/2 Acre – $350 to $2,900
  • 1 Acre – $700 to $5,900
  • 2 Acres – $1,400 to $11,800

By Condition of Land

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Your land’s condition can also make the prices change significantly. That $600 to $5,800 range is pretty significant. However, light clearing will have an average cost of $600 to $2,100, but dense land clearing would cost about $3,200 to $5,800.

Factors That Could Affect Your Cost to Clear Land

Many homeowners find it overwhelming to calculate the cost of clearing land. They’re not sure what’s all involved, which is why they hire a professional. However, it’s still important to know the averages you could pay to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of.

Here are a few of the most important factors that might raise the cost of the project:

Debris Removal

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Junk removal could cost anywhere from $100 to $600 on average. If you only have a small bit of debris, you’ll generally pay less. However, a truckload of waste will put you at the top of that price range. It’s also important to remember that if you must rent a dumpster to store the junk in before it’s hauled away, you might have to add anywhere from $100 to $850 per week to those expenses.

Land Survey

In most cases, you will have to hire a land surveyor to determine where the property lines are before you can clear away land. This can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,900. The prices vary significantly based on the complexity of the job and the size of your land.

Land Clearing Permits

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Before you can clear away land, you require a land clearing permit. These can cost an average of about $175 to $500. If you must demolish, regrade, or excavate the land, you will pay more for the permit.

Your location also impacts the price of the permit. In Texas, you won’t need a permit if you’re only using hand tools and have no grading requirements. However, if you must use machinery, you’ll need one. Likewise, some municipalities have varying rules, which is why it’s best to work with a professional who understands these things and will ensure you’re compliant.


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It costs about $120 to $250 per hour to hire a professional land-clearing service. Generally, clearing 1 acre of land will take three to four hours, so you can determine that an expert will cost about $350 to $1,000 total.

Land Grading and Leveling

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Land grading or leveling will cost about $1 to $4 per square foot, but that’s just the average. You may require grading and leveling for unlevel land if you wish to build a stable foundation, such as for a house.

Likewise, you will pay more if you must regrade a big slope that requires more fill dirt, but it will cost less if you’re leveling a smaller slope and will reuse that topsoil. In this case, you may not need any extra dirt at all!

Tree Removal or Mulching

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The price for tree removal can be anywhere from $200 to $2,000, but it all depends on the size of your tree. Young trees are the easiest to remove than established pine or maples. Likewise, you’ll save money while cleaning up the site if you shred and mulch the tree waste with a wood chipper. It costs about $75 to $125 per hour to use the machine and offers free organic mulch for your landscaping projects.

However, forestry mulching is often more expensive because there is more tree clearing to be done.


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If you must excavate the land, it will cost about $1,400 to $5,700, but this is just the average. Overall, the land slope, soil type, and property size determine what you’ll pay. Typically, sandy soil is easier to dig, so it’s less expensive than rocky soil, which may require the use of a jackhammer to break it up.


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The equipment you will need will make the price go up, and it could be anywhere from $100 to $5,000 each day. If you have a small yard and want to remove grass and shrubs, you can do it manually to save money. You likely have a shovel, gloves, and pruning shears in the shed. Therefore, you simply need physical strength, patience, and a waste disposal bin. Just note that it takes a lot of elbow grease.

Bigger jobs will require more than a simple shovel. You will need tree removal and excavation equipment. Therefore, you’d have to rent it, which could be upwards of $5,000 each day.


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Accessibility concerns are also something to consider. For example, you might have existing structures, trees, or boulders on the property. Likewise, it might be heavily sloped or in a rural area. These things could easily double or triple your project’s cost compared to an area with easy access.

What’s the Land Clearing Process Include?

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A land clearing job involves removing things from your property, such as vegetation (grass, shrubs, and trees), old structures, rocks, and boulders. While it overlaps, land grading/leveling isn’t actually part of the land preparation procedure. It often goes hand-in-hand with the land clearing to help with removing obstacles.

Likewise, land grading will help to even the land out and offer erosion control. This will make it easier for a future construction project.

Here’s a breakdown of the process for land clearing:

  • Survey the land.
  • Get the appropriate permits.
  • Decide what to clear away.
  • Clear the old structures, obstacles, and vegetation.
  • Regrade and level the land as needed.

Hiring Professional Land Clearing Services vs. DIY Land Clearing

It is, in most cases, possible to clear the land by yourself, which could save you anywhere from $120 to $250 each hour in labor. The cheapest way is likely DIY, but that’s not always the case. For example, you might have to rent tree stump removal machinery, an excavator, a tree shredder, or tree removal equipment and haul the debris away yourself. Therefore, the cost for clearing land could add up fast.

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If you have a large property, it’s in poor condition, or you simply don’t have the ability or time to get the land cleared yourself, it might be wise to hire a professional. Though you might save a little bit of money, you’ll have to deal with all the trouble it would cause.

When the property requires more than a day or so of light clearing or is in poor condition, you’d do well to hire a professional. They can do the job with ease and get you ready for your project.

Final Thoughts on Land Clearing Cost

The price you’ll pay to clear land can be pretty high, and most homeowners shy away from it. However, hiring a land clearing company is often the best solution, and ACE Construction Texas is the best option. Request your free estimate today!

FAQs About Land Clearing Costs

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