Raw land often requires the addition of a well if you want any type of water. A lot of people forget to consider this before purchasing land.
Well installation can range from around $2000 to $15,000 depending on a number of factors. For the digging or drilling, you can expect to pay $15 to $25 per square foot. For a complete installation, it usually lands somewhere between $25 and $55 per square foot.
This article includes all the information you need to know about well costs including the different types of wells and pumps as well as the factors that can affect the amount you pay. It also includes information about how a well can affect the value of the land.
Our personal and professional experience in the land industry has taught us a lot of valuable information about raw land that we want to share with you. You can also check out this spreadsheet we made of the average well drilling costs in every state.
Table of Contents
Well Cost Breakdown
There are a lot of different factors that can affect the price of a well. This is why the cost range is so large. Let’s look at some of the most important factors when determining the cost of a well with a pump.
The cost of a well installation depends greatly on the depth of the drilling or digging. Digging can be used for shallow wells, but if the well needs to be 100 feet or more, you will have to have to go with drilling.
An expert can determine how deep your well will have to be. You never want a well that is too shallow because then the water can become contaminated easily. However, some land will still be able to effectively use a shallow depth for a well.
As you can see in this spreadsheet, the average cost of drilling a well can greatly vary depending on geographical location. Not only does the cost differ between states, but it could change a lot within a state. This is because of soil types, water levels, development, and more.
The amount of permit fees depends on the county. Typically, they will start at as little as $5, but can increase to $500 or more. Never begin a drilling project without the proper permits. Doing so could lead to legal troubles.
A contractor will probably help you through the process of getting the right permits. The permits may even differ between residential and irrigation drilling projects. Some counties also require more than one permit for certain well-related projects.
Distance and Accessibility
The distance to the home where you want to pump the water can add to the cost. This is because the lines will be shorter when you drill close to the home. Not only that, but it will not require as powerful of a pump motor. In fact, each foot closer that you can drill could save you $50 to $150 per foot in piping.
Also, if the location of the well is hard to get to, then it will likely take more time and effort to complete the drilling. This could add to the costs some as well.
Water testing is usually not too expensive, but it is important that you have it completed to make sure the water is safe and clean. This is an essential part of the process if you plan on drinking or cooking with the water, but should also be done for other water purposes.
A DIY water test will usually cost less than $100 and a professional can cost anywhere from $100 to $500. Most professional contractors incorporate this cost into their fees and inspections.
A lot of people who are drilling wells also want a septic system. This can cost $3000 to $8000. The installation of a septic system can help you clean and dispose of the wastewater. This is necessary for those who will not be connected to the municipality’s grid.
Types of Wells
There are a few different types of wells and the type you need will also influence the cost that you will have to pay. Let’s look at the main types of methods used to set up a well.
This is a dug well and is created through digging. They are shallow, usually somewhere between 10 and 30 feet. Then, the walls can be reinforced using heavy, durable materials. These are usually quite affordable, but some locations cannot use them for various reasons.
This type is made by pushing a pipe into the ground. These are very inexpensive, but can only be used for areas with shallow waters less than 25 feet deep. Then, the well can go down up to around 50 feet.
This is the most common type of well and they are also the deepest going up to 1000 feet or even more in some cases. To properly drill, it requires powerful equipment like rotary and cable drilling machines.
Well Pump Cost Breakdown
If you want a well with a pump, then it is good to know how much you may have to pay for the installation of the pump itself. The cost depends on a number of factors. However, in general a well pump will cost between $200 and $600 before installation.
Shallow Well Jet Pumps
These sit directly within the well house and are quite affordable. Usually, they will cost less than $250. You can also add additional protection for additional costs.
Deep Well Jet Pumps
These are a little more expensive and will cost around $300 on average. They are more affordable than submersible pumps, but may not last as long or be as reliable.
Deep Well Submersible Well Pumps
This is the most expensive type and the price of the pump will depend on the horsepower of the motor. Lower horsepower models will be around $400. More powerful models can cost $500 or more. You may also have to pay for other parts that can ensure that it functions well for longer.
The installation costs for a pump can range a lot from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The depth of the well, the type of pump, the geographical location, the required equipment, and the soil all factor into the cost. A contractor should be able to offer you a free estimate or quote.
How Does a Well Increase Property Value?
Adding a new well to a property can add value for anyone wanting to use the land for personal use, including you. How much value it adds can depend on a number of different variables and factors. The type of well and the power of the pump can influence the value that the well adds to the land. This is because a well is essential to use a property that is not on the grid.
The type of well and the quality of the water will influence the amount of added value. A well that provides the area with water that is safe to drink and use for showers, washing clothes, and other home uses will add a significant amount of value for someone looking to buy land for a primary or secondary residence. Since they would have to do it anyway, having one saves them time and the value will likely increase more than the amount paid to install the well and the pump. Irrigation-based wells may add value to raw land if the land is later used for farming or other uses that require irrigation.
In addition, a private well can save the land owner money in the long run. While the investment is higher than using the municipal water system, you will only have to pay to operate the pump. You can also expect some amount of maintenance on the pump or other components.
A private well could potentially save you hundreds of dollars each and every year. While you will have to replace the water pump and tank at some point, the savings often make up for that and more to add to your pocket.
Finally, some people decide to look into DIY installation for their well. However, you will have to pay a significant amount of money to rent the equipment and you will still have to pay for casing, pipes, tubing, and the pump. When you hire a professional, you will not have to worry about doing it correctly and many professional contractors will also deal with the permits for you.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down because of COVID-19. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling