Are you considering an investment in undeveloped land? One of the biggest expenses in developing the property is bringing in utilities. When planning a commercial project on undeveloped land it is essential to consider if electricity, natural gas, municipal water, and sewer lines are accessible, and the costs related to moving these services onto the property. In this article, we discuss how to bring utilities to undeveloped land in rural and urban locations. The process can vary based on factors such as the location, local regulations, and the type of utilities you’re installing. Let’s take a look at the tasks and costs associated with the commercial real estate development project.
How to Bring Utilities to Undeveloped Land
Installing Power Services
Installing power on undeveloped land can cost upwards of $10,000, depending on the location and processes involved with the project. You’ll need to contact the local utility provider to find the closest power lines to the property.
Don’t depend on the agent or seller to give you an answer. However, some may have information on whether power is available on the site. If you get a reply of “close by,” take it with a pinch of salt because they probably have no idea.
Typically, local utility providers charge for every foot they must extend the power lines to the property. Your local power company can provide estimates for installation before you purchase the land, allowing you to assess the financial feasibility of your development project.
You’ll need to determine if the power lines originate from public properties like roadways or private properties. If that’s the case, you’ll need permission to extend the power lines. However, that’s not normally a problem.
Municipal or Well Water?
Local regulations and permits may dictate whether well water can be used for commercial purposes and what standards it must meet. Many undeveloped properties don’t have access to the municipal water system. In these cases, you’ll need to rely on well or borehole water to irrigate the land and bring water inside the building. Drilling is expensive, and equipment like holding tanks adds to your project costs.
Figure out how deep you will have to drill, and get an estimate of the cost of doing it on your property. You’ll also want to get an understanding of the depth of the groundwater table. If it’s a dry area, you might have to drill deeper than you expect- so provision for 10% extra on your pricing estimate.
If the area is experiencing drought conditions, you might have to drill deeper than expected to tap water reserves. Initially, digging a bit deeper is cheaper than extending the well in a few years.
If you have access to municipal water supplies, compare the installation cost and monthly water bills against pumping water from a well on your undeveloped property.
Sewer Lines or Septic Tank?
The feasibility of each option for wastewater management, sewer lines or septic tank, will be impacted by the size and nature of the commercial development.
You won’t have access to sewer lines if no municipal water line is available. In this case, you’ll need to install a septic tank and greywater system on the property. Factors like the size of the system, customizations, and installation depth for the septic tank influence the installation costs.
Installing a private septic system requires you to ensure the lines are away from traffic areas on the property where vehicles may drive over them and damage them. The septic system also needs a buffer from the water and well lines.
Additional utilities to consider in your project costs include internet connections and cell phone access. These services are usually available wirelessly. They’re readily available across the United States, even in remote, rural locations.
In some cases, you’ll find companies offering all these services in bundles, and you have several options, allowing you to select the most affordable option. However, cost isn’t always the final consideration for these services. Check on the service delivery they offer by reading through customer reviews.
Overall, utility installation will require checking the local zoning and land use regulations to ensure that the intended utility installations are allowed on the land and obtaining any necessary permits and approvals from local government agencies. When you’re ready, you’ll work with professionals such as engineers and architects to design the utility systems according to local codes and regulations and create detailed plans that include the layout, routes, and specifications for the utilities.
In the construction phase, underground utilities installation will begin with clearing the land of any obstacles or vegetation that might hinder construction, and then excavating trenches or laying conduits for utilities like water and sewer lines, gas lines, and electrical cables.
Finally, you’ll need a plan for regular maintenance and servicing of the utility systems to ensure their long-term functionality.
PSC Construction – Excavation Contractors Omaha, NE
Excavating | Site Development and Preparation | Underground Utilities | Location Mapping & Hydro-Excavation
PSC Construction in Omaha provides a full range of services, performed according to your specifications. Regardless of the complexity of the project, the scope, or the timeline, PSC Construction ensures you have the foundation you need to safely and successfully move forward. Contact PSC Construction today to see why we’re one of the most trusted resources for location mapping and hydro-excavation, underground utilities, site development and preparation, and excavation in Omaha.