4 Things You Need To Do Before Clearing Land

Land clearing is a job that can seem deceptively simple, especially if you've hired a professional crew to handle it. There are some considerations you'll have to deal with, though, before your project gets rolling. Let's look at four of the biggest issues you should address at the start of a land clearing effort.

Surveying the Property

It's wise to determine exactly what land is yours to clear before you get too involved with a project. Ask a surveyor to visit the site and place stakes in the ground. These will help you and your team of pros identify the limits of the property. Likewise, a surveyor will help you steer clear of anything underground that could be problematic. For example, you don't want to discover an underground electric line while trying to remove a large rock that's buried halfway in the dirt.

Talking With the Neighbors

You should also notify the neighbors about the work you're planning, especially if the job will run to the property line. Also, the vehicles and machinery used for land clearing can be a bit of a nuisance.

The crew will likely need somewhere to park their vehicles and equipment, particularly if the job is more than a one-day affair. You may also need to set aside a spot for debris and a dumpster. If any of these items might interfere with nearby traffic or your neighbor's enjoyment of their properties, you'll want to talk with everyone to make sure it won't be an extreme inconvenience. Never assume you have an easement to access areas that are blocked by your neighbors' properties.


Aside from being a good neighbor, you may have to deal with notifications in a more official capacity. Contact your municipal or county code compliance office and ask for guidance on permits for the project. If permits are required, you should also ask what the posting rules are for displaying your permit.

Arrangements With the Clearance Crew

Depending on what's on the land that you're preparing to clear, you might be able to defray some or all of the cost of the job. Many companies will consider clearing a location in exchange for whatever is there. Obviously, there has to be something valuable on the property. Quality timber is the preferred compensation for most businesses in the land clearing industry. However, some properties have such poor-quality timber that a contractor may insist on being paid.

For more information on preparing for land clearing, talk to a landscaping professional in your area.