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By : Brian Carlin

How Much Does Site Development Cost in North Texas?

Site development in North Texas can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $65,000. The cost can vary widely depending on the lot and your preferences. Do you want those trees on the lot? Are you particular about where you place your home on the lot? Do you want to build on or off a slope?

Below are some common cost examples for developing Texas land for a custom home:


What Factors into the Cost of Site Development?

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There are a lot of different things that can factor into the cost of site development. We’ll talk about each one below and how much you might expect to pay for land in North Texas.

As you read about each possible area for site development, remember that you likely will not need every item on this list. If your lot is already developed, you probably will not need a well and septic system, water softeners, site clearing, etc. If your lot is on a large acreage, you might not need fencing or much landscaping.

Your builder will be able to best assess the needed site development for your lot, but hopefully this list gives you a better idea of what each item could be and why your builder might be recommending it.



Site Clearing & Tree Removal

The cost to clear your land of trees to make room for your home could cost you anywhere from $1,200 to $6,000. This cost will vary based on the side of your lot and the number of trees and brush we need to clear.

This part is important because you don’t want to leave trees too close to the house or their roots may start to grow beneath or into the foundation causing you to have foundation problems in the future.



Pad Site Grading & Fill

This part of the process is very important for the future of your home. The purpose of pad site grading and fill in the process is to make sure your home’s slab will be placed on a solid, compact area that will not shift or allow water to enter your home.

Pad site grading and fill usually costs anywhere from $500 to $6,000 depending on the amount of work needed on your particular lot.



Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are not usually needed unless you are building your home on a slope, in which case you will want retaining walls for added support so your house will not move downhill as the hill erodes over time.

The cost of retaining walls varies by how much wall is needed but can cost anywhere from $5,000 to up to $14,000 depending on the size and complexity of the walls.




Well & Septic System

If your home does not have water hookups - most homes within or closer to the city will not - you’ll want to budget anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to install a well and septic system for your home.




Concrete Drive

Installing a concrete driveway on your property can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000 depending on the amount of square feet you want for it.




Culvert & Drive Approach

If you have a basic rectangular lot then you likely will not need to worry about a culvert drive. However, if there are dips and slopes on your lot that will make it difficult to access, your builder will recommend adding a culvert (drainage pipe) under your driveway so it makes access to the lot easier and can more easily divert water from building up on your driveway.

A culvert itself can cost about $1,000 or more depending on the size needed. Some culvert driveways, when it’s all said and done, can cost up to $8,000 depending on the complexity of the project.

If you think you’ll need a culvert drive for your lot, talk to your builder about projected costs.




Utility Hookups & Service Lateral Line

We’ll often leave this up to our builders to arrange. Once you reach out to your city about the utility hookups and service lateral line, just let us (or the builder you’re working with) know the costs so they can include that in your overall site development budget allotment.




Water Softener & Filtration

If you have hard water at your home - usually from installing a well and septic system - you’ll want to install a water softener and filtration system to soften the water for your pipes and clean the water for your consumption.

Water softener and filtration can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on the system you want.




Gutters & Soil Drains

When building a new home on a lot, you want to make sure that you are diverting any water that comes away from the home so it will not affect the soil and foundation. To do that, we install gutters and soil drains to divert the water away. It can also help divert the water away from building up in your yard.

The price will vary depending on the size of your lot and the type of drainage system you choose to install.




Propane Tank & Lateral Line

Residential propane tanks can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 to install on your property. These tanks can be used for heating your home, pools, fireplaces, etc.





Fencing usually costs anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000. The cost will vary based on the price of lumber, type of fencing you’re using, and the size of the yard you’re looking to fence in. This part usually comes in at the end of the building process once the home is complete.




Landscaping, Sod & Irrigation

This is another step that often comes in at the end of the homebuilding process and can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $25,000. The price for landscaping, sod and irrigation can vary based on what you’re wanting for your lawn and how big the area is that you’re landscaping.




Temporary Gravel Drive

Gravel driveways usually cost between $300 and $4,000 depending on how thick you want the drive to be and how much space is needed for it.

When Does Site Development Happen?

You will need to pay for site development before your builder can begin building your home. This falls into the pre-construction face of the home building process and is something your builder will help with.

How Can I Make Sure the Land I Buy Has Minimal Site Development Requirements?

Choosing where to build your home is an important first step and one that is often done with or without your builder’s help. To help you make the best decision for your home site, consider some of these city laws and conditions that may affect site development.

  • Lot restrictions
  • Lot dimensions
  • Lot grade
  • Utilities
  • Soil conditions
  • Siting the home
  • Surveys and plats
  • Deed restrictions
  • Grading and drainage
  • Sun orientation

Learn more about each consideration.

What If the Land I Bought Is Going to be Too Expensive to Develop?

While we always recommend getting the advice of a trusted builder before you purchase your lot, if you already purchased your lot and found out it’s going to be too expensive to develop, you have a couple of options.

  1. Look to resell the lot to another buyer who would be willing to invest more into the property.
  2. Talk to your builder about how you can save money on site development.
  3. Discuss floor plan options with your builder. It’s possible a different floor plan may be more suited for the lot you purchased that will require less development costs.

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