If you own a piece of property and your thinking of having a new home built on it, you’re going to want to know the costs. There are certainly multiple variables, but we’ve tried to break it all down for you here by answering the burning question – What are the costs to build on my lot? Well, we have your answers!
Preparing your land
If you want to purchase land, the average cost for one acre in South Carolina could cost around $3500 (according to USDA report in 2019). The actual price will depend heavily on the popularity of where you want to buy and the purpose of the land. If the property is in a sought after neighborhood with amenities, waterfront, or otherwise preferable views; the costs could be much higher.
Once you have the plot of land, you’re going to need to have it surveyed. A land survey will identify the boundaries of your property, and it will cost between $500 to $1,000. Of course, that price tag depends on the property size and condition.
Clearing the land
After the land has been surveyed, it is going to need to be cleared. Clearing the land means debris, rocks, and vegetation will be removed from the area. The property will then be leveled or regraded so that it will be ready for construction.
The cost to clear your land is going to depend on the size of the lot, what kind of machinery is needed, how much work needs to be done, and labor costs. The price of clearing a single acre of land can range from $200 to $6,875 according to Fixr.com. If the property is pretty level with some large open areas, you should fall on the lower side of that range. You might not need more than one acre cleared for the house itself, but don’t forget about access! You’ll need a road or driveway cleared, too, to get to and from your house.
See also Build On Your Lot
Pouring the foundation
Although it may not feel like the ground is moving under our feet, the earth is always settling and shifting — that is why you need to pour a foundation when you want to build a house. It will protect the structure from damage or cracking due to the shifting ground.
Pouring a concrete foundation could cost between $4 to $7 per square foot. Keep in mind that there are factors that go into the cost of a foundation. These factors are:
Before you can start building on your property, you will have to get it ready for utility hookups. These hookups include water, waste disposal, and energy.
Water and waste disposal
Do you think about where your water goes when you wash your dishes or flush the toilet? No? Don’t worry — not many people do. But, if you’re building a new house on a vacant piece of land, you’ll need to to have it done beforehand.
There are two options available: sewer hookup, or installing a septic tank and well. Deciding which system you’d like to use is dependent on where you’re building; you may not have a choice. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, a septic system with a well will most likely be your only option.
The cost to connect to a sewer system
Connecting your home to a sewage system isn’t going to be cheap. The cost to connect your home to the city’s system can range from $5,000 to more than $20,000.
The installation cost includes:
- Cost per foot for sewer line: On average, the cost to install a sewer line is measured by linear foot, ranging from $50 to $250 per foot. Installing new pipes will cost somewhere between $3 to $20 per foot, with an additional charge for labor. Labor can run between $30 to $247 per foot.
- Trenching costs: The cost for trenching (when pipes are installed underground for drainage) will depend on the length and depth needed to dig the trench. The price to do this is $800 per linear foot on average.
- Backflow prevention: A backflow preventer is necessary to keep the wastewater flowing into the sewer system and not back into your home. The cost for this will range from $125 to $900 per linear foot. Don’t forget the cost of labor, which ranges between $25 to $250.
- Sewer cleanout installation: A sewer cleanout is an access point for plumbers when they need to remove any clogs that may be in the line. The price to have one of these installed is going to be around $2,000, including materials, equipment, and labor.
If you connect to the sewer system, you’ll have to pay a monthly bill for usage. The monthly cost will vary from town to town, so you’ll want to check with your local municipality to work it into your budget.
Septic and well
Unlike a sewer system, you own and are responsible for your septic system, which consists of a septic tank and a leach field.
Waste will enter the septic tank that runs from the house to the tank. Then, the waste is separated from the water, allowing solids to sink to the bottom and clean water to rise to the top. The freshwater then goes to the leach field where any remaining solids are removed, and the water seeps back into the ground.
To get water to your house, you’re going to need a well drilled to about 150 feet or deeper.
The benefits of septic and well
Unlike sewer systems, you aren’t going to have an extra monthly bill. Some say that having a septic tank is eco-friendly because they don’t contribute to groundwater contamination, as there aren’t any leaky or aging sewer lines to worry about. On top of that, if there are any problems with the system, only one area (your property) will be affected, unlike the amount of damage a faulty sewer system could cause.
With a well, you’ll have a source of fresh water that you never have to pay for. Your water supply isn’t going to be controlled by the municipality, and it can be more reliable than city water.
The downside of septic and well
Unfortunately, the downside of a septic system is that it will require much more maintenance because you’ll need to have the solids pumped to prevent plumbing blockages or overflow. If the system fails, you could experience septic overflow, which leads to a massive, stinky mess that you’ll have to have professionals come out and clean up.
The downside of having a well is that it will require electricity to run (we’ll go more into electricity installation shortly). If there is a power outage, you aren’t going to have any water. Also, since your water comes straight out of the ground, there isn’t going to be any chlorine in it to kill off any bacteria that may be swimming about. With no chlorine, your water isn’t going to have any fluoride in it, which could be a problem for your dental health.
Installation costs for septic and well
Installing a septic tank depends on a variety of things, such as the system’s size, the location, the type of tank and pipes needed, and the terrain. A small septic system can cost between $3,000 and $5,000, whereas an extensive network can range between $5,000 and $10,000.
Digging a well can cost between $1,500 and $12,000, but the average cost is around $5,500.
Now, you’re going to need to budget the cost of installing an energy source. The most common options are connecting to a power grid (electric lines) or running a gas line — both of which require a licensed contractor to install.
Connecting to a power grid
In most situations, you’ll be able to get energy by connecting to a power grid. With that said, it’s not going to be easy, nor will it be cheap.
The first step to connecting to a power grid is to call the local power company. The power company will walk you through the requirements to determine the cost of service and the type of service you’ll need.
In most cases, the power company will charge a flat fee to run wires from your home to the nearest electric pole, and then they will charge you for every 100 feet. The cost of a new overhead connection service can range from $799 to $1,560. For an underground new connection service, it can range from $900 to $2,700.
The extra charge can range from $5 to $15 per 100 feet. Just be aware that this cost can add up quickly, especially if your house will be far away from an electric pole.
Running a gas line
If you prefer not to connect to a power grid, you can use either propane or natural gas. This option is much cheaper to install, as it can cost anywhere between $120 and $2,500, or $20 per linear foot for a simple installation.
Keep in mind; if you choose to use gas or propane for your energy needs, you are going to factor in the gas company you are using, how far your home will be from the mainline, local building codes, and whether there’s a clear path from the mainline to the house.
You’ll also have to decide if you want to purchase a tank (a 1,000-gallon tank can cost between $800 and $3,000) or lease a tank (depending on the company, it could cost as much as $150 per year to rent a tank).
Regardless of which energy source you choose, the company you go with will send out a licensed technician to do the installations and connections. However, we recommend that you ask the energy provider a few questions before choosing which energy source you’d like to use.
Questions you should ask:
- What services do you provide, and how does it compare to what I need?
- What do I need to have before beginning the installation process?
- Where will the connection be? Overhead or underground?
- What is included in the cost to hook up to your energy supply?
See also Build A Custom Home
If you were hoping to learn what the costs are for building on your lot, you should now be more enlightened. If you’d like to speak with Tony about building your own custom home, call on Lady Street Builders. We have a terrific array of plans to inspire you, we could build from your existing plans, or we can build your home from the bottom up. Contact us today.