Site Preparation Costs are on everyone’s mind in 2023. With the rise in construction costs over the past couple of years, it’s no surprise that site preparation costs have skyrocketed as well. Before any construction work can begin, the site must be prepared.

Site preparation is a crucial step in the construction process, as it lays the groundwork for everything that follows.

In this blog post, we will discuss the various site preparation costs associated with new construction projects including:


Home Demolition for Site Preparation

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If there are existing structures on the site, they must be demolished to make way for the new construction. Demolition can involve using heavy machinery like excavators to tear down the structures.

Demolition can be costly depending on the square footage, type, age, and access to the structure.

The process of removing a structure can be quite a cumbersome process and therefore, generally comes with a hefty price tag. Demolition can cost between $6,500 and $45,000 for a single-family project and is predicated on the size of the structure. Check out our Demolition Services!

Construction Entrances

Construction entrances are often overlooked as a part of general conditions. Temporary driveways are created to provide access to a construction site for heavy equipment and vehicles. Therefore, a construction entrance should be installed before any clearing activities take place.

They are typically made from gravel or other durable materials and are designed to withstand the weight of large trucks and machinery. Construction entrances typically add $3,000 to $5,000 to the overall site preparation cost of a project.

Land Clearing

Land Clearing for Home Site Preparation

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The process of removing trees, vegetation, and other obstacles from a piece of land to prepare it for development or agricultural use. Site Preparation costs associated with tree removal increase as the number of trees removed from a property increases.

The cost of land clearing varies widely depending on factors such as the size of the land, the density of vegetation, the accessibility of the site, and the equipment and labor required.

However, there may be savings on your project if you have marketable timber on the lot. Marketable timber can be used to offset site preparation costs if sold to a local wood mill. It is extremely important to work with a reputable contractor when attempting to maximize your savings.

Land Clearing can range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more on a larger-scale construction project and an average of $6,000 per acre without stump removal.


The process of removing roots, stumps, and other underground debris from a site after the vegetation has been cleared. This activity comes after clearing the parcel.

Grubbing is a critical aspect of site preparation as you want to remove all organic material from any backfill you may use on-site. It is often missed by inexperienced contractors when estimating the cost of site preparation.

The cost of grubbing can vary depending on the size of the lot, stumps and complexity of the site, the type and density of vegetation, and the equipment and labor required but can range from $5,000 to $25,000 for a single-family construction project.


Grading Contractor for Site Preparation

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Grading is the process of leveling the ground to create a flat surface for construction. This involves removing any bumps, hills, or depressions and filling in low areas with soil or gravel to create a smooth, even surface.

To get an accurate bid for your project, it is wise to have a civil engineer create a grading plan for your project.

It’s not always necessary to have a grading plan on smaller, less extensive excavation projects. Grading can add $10,000 to $30,000, or more to your overall site preparation cost.

Erosion Control

During construction, the site is vulnerable to erosion due to soil disturbance and the removal of vegetation. Erosion control measures such as silt fences, sediment basins, covering stockpiles, and straw mulch are put in place to prevent soil from washing away.

Generally, erosion control is necessary for virtually every project. It’s a good practice as the lack of soil protection can and will get your site shut down quickly with fines to follow.

You can expect erosion control to add $2,500 to $10,000 to the overall cost of your project depending on the size and scope of your excavation.

Soil Stabilization

If the soil is weak or unstable, it may need to be stabilized to ensure that it can support the weight of the building.

This can involve adding a layer of gravel, sand, or geotextile to improve soil strength. Soil stabilization techniques are used to improve the strength and durability of soil, making it suitable for construction activities such as building foundations, roads, and other infrastructure.

The goal of soil stabilization is to ensure that the soil can support the weight and load of the structures built on it and to prevent soil erosion and other forms of damage. The added cost will vary greatly, and most sites never require stabilization.

However, it is important to illustrate the necessity of a Geotechnical report to help prevent unforeseen issues as it will dramatically increase site preparation costs if not conducted before construction activities begin.

Utility Installation

Utility Installation Contractor for Site Preparation

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Utility installations are often a part of site preparation. Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and sewer lines may need to be installed on a construction site to provide necessary services to the buildings or infrastructure being constructed.

The cost of utility installations can vary widely depending on several factors such as the location and size of the site, the type of utility being installed, the distance to the nearest utility connection point, and local labor and material costs. The cost can also depend on whether the utilities are being installed as part of a new development or retrofitting an existing property.

It’s difficult to provide a specific cost estimate for utility installations as it can vary widely based on the specific project requirements. However, it’s important to budget for utility installations early in the site preparation process and to work closely with utility providers and contractors to ensure that the installations are completed safely and efficiently.

Generally, if all utilities are located at the street and the house is not located more than 50’ back on the site the cost to connect should be minimal. Somewhere in the $10,000 to $25,000 range.

However, if you need to extend infrastructure such as primary power, storm, sewer, and water mains the costs can quickly skyrocket. Most infrastructure extensions require cutting into the street at the nearest connection point and extending the facility to your property costing $30,000 to $50,000 or even more depending on the length of the extensions.

Final Words

In conclusion, site preparation cost is a critical aspect of any construction project, as it lays the foundation for everything that follows. It involves a range of activities, from clearing and grading the land to installing utilities and drainage systems.

While site preparation costs can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the project, the location of the site, and the complexity of the work required, it is essential to budget adequately for this phase of the construction process.

To ensure that your site preparation costs remain within budget, it is essential to work with an experienced contractor who can provide a detailed cost estimate and help you identify any potential cost-saving measures.

By carefully planning and budgeting for site preparation cost, you can set your construction project up for success and help ensure that it is completed on time and on budget.

Considering the site preparation cost is an indispensable step in any construction project, as it can prevent future issues such as drainage problems or structural instability. Therefore, it is crucial to allocate sufficient resources for site preparation cost and to understand the costs and tasks associated with it.

In summary, planning and budgeting for site preparation cost is an essential part of any construction project, regardless of its size or complexity. By partnering with a knowledgeable contractor and carefully considering the costs and tasks associated with site preparation, you can ensure that your construction project is set up for success and completed on time, on budget, and to your satisfaction.

Ultimately, investing in site preparation cost can save time and money in the long run by ensuring the quality of the foundation and preventing future issues.

If you’d like to speak to our Excavation and Demolition experts, give us a call at (360) 801-0195 or send us an Online Request. We’re happy to help!


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