A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing a Land Clearing Contractor

If you have a huge area of land that has to be cleared, chances are you'll have to hire a land clearing contractor. Land clearing is a huge task and requires a skilled professional contractor to have the job done. If it's not handled properly, the job could be dangerous and also potentially cause damage to your land.

Because of this, you need to be really careful when selecting a land clearing contractor. Never select the cheapest option because, as in a lot of other things, you usually get what you pay for.

What Does a Land Clearing Contractor Do

Mostly, lot clearing basically involves the same thing, though the amount of time it would take varies based on the project. In short, the process includes land surveying against the blueprints for the construction to know what needs to be done. Then, the land clearing services would get the land to a point where it is ready to be built on.

This process usually begins with clearing away any large rocks or vegetation on the land. Bushes and trees offer major hurdles for most construction projects. Even if a tree is not really in the way, its roots can become a problem a few years down the line.

The next step involves property grading. Once more, the process depends somewhat on precisely what the land is like. Things such as erosion prevention and drainage control might be necessary to ensure the land would hold up through the years. Installation of wells or septic systems could also be included in this process.

Other grading tasks may include:

A land preparation company should show professionalism and quality service.

This process could sometimes be slowed down by the need for construction or building permits. These permits could also add new fees to the costs of the building site preparation.

What to Ask Before Hiring a Land Clearing Contractor

Below are a few questions you should always ask when you hire a land clearing contractor:

Do You Have the Proper Registration and Licenses?

Clearing a lot may seem like a simple, albeit huge, task, but several variables are at play. First, you'll have to take different steps based on what you are removing. The process for handling trees is different from the one for handling brush and debris.

Heavy equipment might be needed, and the remnants of mulched plants and brush may have to be burned. Because of heavy machinery and potentially fire at play, it is no wonder that land clearing contractors are expected to have licenses to perform the job they do.

You'll want to ask if your potential land clearing contractor has all the necessary forms, such as workers' compensation, insurance, and other required paperwork. And a professional land clearing contractor would be able to furnish these forms effortlessly; if they hesitate in doing so, they're not the people you wish to pay to clear your land.

What Safety Precautions Do You Take?

Because land clearing involves a huge undertaking, usually involving numerous types of heavy machinery, you'll want to be fully aware of any safety protocols that the contractor will be following. Ensure whoever you're considering takes safety very seriously! 

Check to ensure the workers wear hard hats, for instance, and protective eyewear when they're using heavy equipment for mulching trees and other projects of the same nature. Always hire people who prioritize their safety.

Do You Have References?

A proper land clearing contractor would also have references they can give upon request. They should be able to easily point you toward satisfied clients that have used their services in the past.

Moreover, you should be able to get online and browse customer reviews regarding the company you are looking to get the services of. Check Yelp and other related sites to ensure that previous customers have positive things to say about the business you're thinking of hiring.

You should also look into all social media presences. Often, customers put comments on Facebook and Google informing you of the service they paid for. A reliable, established business should have numerous references and good reviews to boast of.

Will You Be Using Subcontractors?

Several contractors use subcontractors for big jobs like land clearing. While that's fine, you will want to ensure you know about it and you're aware of who is working on your land. If the land clearing contractor tells you they do, in fact, use subcontractors, they should be able to furnish paperwork and references for them as well. There's no point in vetting only the land clearing contractor if you do not vet the subcontractors too!

How Much Do You Charge?

While it isn't always recommended to go for the cheapest option when choosing a land clearing contractor, it does not hurt to ask for many estimates. If you find several businesses that seem to have everything in order and many positive reviews and references, there is no reason you can not contact all of them and explain the job you're thinking of.

While a company that says to do the job for too little is probably not reputable, there's no reason you have to go for the most expensive option, either. Keep prices competitive by asking for multiple estimates from a couple of various companies.

Have You Done Jobs Like Mine Before?

Every job is unique, and just because you've found a reputable land clearing contractor does not mean they have experience doing the same type of work you need to be done. In fact, you might discover that your particular project has a few unique challenges that might baffle less experienced contractors.

The only way to know this is to ask, so make sure to describe the project type you have and everything involved. Inform your potential land clearing contractor of any unusual hazards within the area and any unusual challenges they may encounter. Chances are, they've handled similar issues in the past. If they seem familiar with the work type you are offering, that is a good sign.

What Do I Need to Do?

The land clearing contractor should also be able to inform you how you could prepare for them to start work. This, of course, is likewise based on the type of work that's being done. Do you need to shut off any power or water? Make arrangements for any trees to be moved or cut down? You might need to contact other services too. There may be plenty of preparations you need to make, so ensure you know them before letting the contractors in.

And any other questions!

Of course, you do not need to limit your queries to those on this list. If you're dealing with a professional land clearing agency, chances are they have heard them all before. Don't hesitate to ask questions that pop into your mind, and don't be afraid of coming across as ignorant or silly. It's better to leave as informed as you could possibly be. That's when you know you have found that right company to hire.


Can I do land clearing by myself? 

Land clearing is a complicated process that involves heavy machinery and advanced equipment that might not always be available to a regular homeowner. Thus, while you can clear land by yourself, it could be dangerous and more expensive. 

How much does land clearing cost?

Land clearing could cost per acre ranges between $1,500 to $3,000 on just lightly wooded lots and could range from $3,790 to $6,710 for a heavily wooded area.

5 Reasons to Work with Professional Site Preparation Contractors

Site preparation contractors are essential since site preparation is a vital component for ensuring the success of a construction project. If the land is not properly prepared for building, there could be significant safety or quality issues with the construction process, likely leading to lengthy delays and additional expenses.

Let's look at the significance of this process, how it is done, and why working with professional site preparation contractors is of utmost importance.

Why Is Site Preparation Important?

Site prep is the preparation and conditioning of a construction site, and that happens after the design of a construction project and before the construction.

The range of activities and processes involved in this first phase ensures a stable foundation for your structure. It guarantees that the site conditions enable the construction project's successful development.  

Ultimately, this affects the factors that influence the overall safety of the site and the project's affordability.  

Any contractor, builder, or engineer will know that the site prep phase is critical. It can often determine the safety of your workers or the success or failure of construction.  

A land preparation company should show professionalism and quality service.

Proper land clearing and site prep are indispensable and not something you should leave up to chance.

Due to this, basic site preparation by site preparation contractors is an essential preliminary measure for the construction of any building. Nevertheless, the specifics of some project developments make them need more work than others.

Site Prep Services  

There are many different processes involved in preparing the site. At Shilling Excavation, we could do them all effectively and efficiently.

Tree Clearing

Tree clearing is an essential step, especially on greenfield sites with no previous development. We get rid of all tree stumps, debris, timber, and other vegetation on the construction site to make a clear space for the construction and earthworks.  

Removing trees sometimes requires skills that vary from brownfield sites. All tree roots left behind in the ground might continue to grow and risk the integrity and costs of the development down the road. So, it's important to find these during site preparation.

Sometimes, you might have to leave specific greenery on the site for aesthetic or conservation reasons. As such, this step needs a lot of attention to detail.  

Land Clearing

Land clearing is often the final step before proceeding with excavation.

Besides removing trees, the site preparation involves demolishing underground infrastructure and existing buildings on site.  

You never know what you'll find when it comes to land clearing. Existing buildings and infrastructure onsite can often produce unexpected obstacles. That could easily push the construction project above budget or behind schedule. We at Shilling Excavating are expert site preparation contractors, and we have the know-how to develop creative solutions to prevent delays from unforeseen events.  

Structural Fill & Import fill

When leveling a parcel of land for construction, we at Shilling Excavation fill any depressions present in the project land using earth. Sometimes, excavations are easily balanced by bulk earthworks where we can use excess soil from another section to get the depressions filled.

When this isn't the case, we would have to import fill to obtain the required site gradient.  

If the soil on the site is not strong enough to support a structure, it needs replacing with compacted structural fill. That will ensure a solid and good foundation for development. 

Drainage Site Access

Flooding of the roadways and site property can cause complications in the construction project. The best way to stop this is by ensuring the right installation of onsite drainage systems and pipes. It's crucial to have enough access to these systems to maintain them properly and mitigate risks of flooding.

Our team comprises hard workers who know all the ins and outs of site clearing, preparation, and excavation. We know exactly how to deal with these elements to make sure that the land is excellently primed for construction.  

Why Go to Professional Site Preparation Contractors?

The first part of all new construction projects is clearing and preparing the site once the ground is broken.

Preparation of a land area by a seasoned site preparation service is vital to the building project's success, as mistakes made with this important initial step could leave you with serious issues throughout the construction project and even down the road.

Before you assume anyone with a backhoe could clear and ready your building site, understand why hiring expert site preparation contractors for the project is vital.

Proper land clearing

There is more to land clearing than just removing trees and vegetation.

Professional site preparation contractors have the knowledge and equipment to do a thorough and complete stump and tree removals. Afterward, there's nothing left to interfere with foundation construction or lay a stable and flat building pad.

Objects such as old structures, large rocks, and anything else on the construction site are properly cleared to leave a clean slate for a new building.

Easier and Faster Excavation

When a construction site is properly cleared, excavation is a breeze, which means fewer problems digging for pad installation and foundation construction, plus the ability to stick to a project schedule.

Timely, professional site preparation contractors reduce the cost of preparing to build, so your construction project stays within the designated budget because no excessive excavation time is spent because of poorly removed stumps and other objects.

accurate Land Grading

Land grading is one of the more extensive processes involved in proper construction site preparation. You must hire only professional site preparation contractors to deal with it.

Site preparation contractors know the ins and out of excavation and preparation.

Proper grading and soil preparation are vital for ensuring the site have sufficient drainage and support for the coming infrastructure.

Improperly done, the construction site could suffer from major issues in the future that jeopardizes the structure's stability.

Better Site Access

Expert site preparation contractors would also clear and prepare a stable accessway to the construction site.

A prepared access way gives passage to and from your site by heavy equipment and machinery easier and less destructive, leaving little site damage to repair and clean up when the project is complete.

A Stable Construction Site

Most importantly, expert site preparation contractors guarantee that you can start a new project with a stable, expertly-readied construction site that could provide a good, safe foundation for the building.

With meticulously done land clearing, grading, and excavating, the project is protected against common serious issues when you build on a construction site that hasn't been correctly prepared.


What are site preparation contractors?

Site preparation contractors prepare sites for construction and perform tasks such as grading, demolition, excavating, and septic system installation.

What is site preparation in construction?

 The first phase of any major construction is called site preparation. This process involves leveling the ground for building, and clearing the land of debris and trees.