K&V Custom Homes
— Building in a Rural Location —
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K&V Homes strives to take a proactive approach regarding rural costs and always budget on the high end for these costs while at the same time placing them into an allowance. In this manner, if the costs come in below the allocated amount, you are able to recoup the difference from the allocated amount.

  1. Tree removal. The first element to consider is if the lot has any trees that need to be removed. We typically have the home staked in the location that you have selected and then meet our tree removal contractor to determine which trees need to be removed, which trees are recommended to be removed, and which additional trees the homeowner would like to be removed. A tiered pricing is affiliated with this cost:
    1. Heavily wooded area in the location of the home would be approximately $6,000 to $10,000.
    2. Lightly wooded area in the location of the home would be a few thousand dollars.
  2. Septic Systems. Septic systems typically have three tiers of pricing:
    1. Conventional: $8,000
    2. Peat: $14,000
    3. Sand Filter: $20,000
    The determination of the type of system is achieved after a soil analysis has been performed, which usually costs around $400. We use Jim Carroll, who can be reached at 515.225.3846 (work) or 515.250.2103 (cell).
  3. Water Service. Rural water is a two-step pricing:
    1. If the rural water line has not been extended to your lot frontage, the Rural Water Association will have to come out and provide an estimate to extend the line from its closest point of termination. From there, a meter pit will be installed on your property, which is similar to the stop box (round iron valve) that is typical with a city lot. The cost of the meter pit will be around $3,500. However, if the water line is on the opposite side of the road from your property, the Rural Water Association will have to bore under the road to connect to the water line and additional costs will be incurred. Otherwise, if the water line is on your side of the road, a standard connection will occur.
    2. Once the meter pit has been installed, standard connection to the house applies by the plumber. The first 40' are part of the proposal for the plumbing package associated with the house. $8 per lineal foot (LF) of trench is a common number to use thereafter. For example, if your home sits 300' from the road, the water trenching cost would be $2,080 (first 40' included,then 260' x $8/LF).
  4. Electric Service. Rural electric pricing is a case-by-case scenario due to the number of variables, such as overhead or buried electrical service along the road and location of the electric service (opposite side or your side of the road).
    1. The typical process is to contact the electric provider—MidAmerican Energy, REC, etc.—and they will come out to your property to provide a free estimate of what the cost will be. This cost can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $6,000 and is why we encourage the homeowner to obtain an estimate.
    2. Once the power has been installed to your property, you will see a standard green box (transformer) or green obelisk (pedestal) similar to what you would see on a city lot. Again, the first 40' are included in the electrical proposal after which the additional cost is $8/LF. which would equate to the same cost as the rural water connection to your home.
  5. Gas Service. Gas service is rarely installed in a rural setting, however, it is always good to check if it is present at your lot.
    1. If the gas service is present, the cost is also $8/LF to install to your home.
    2. If gas service is not present, a propane tank will be needed. We recommend that the homeowner contact their rural co-op as this also has tiered pricing variables as follows:
      • Purchase the tank.
      • Lease the tank.
      • Size of the tank (smaller if geothermal is used as the primary heating source).
      • If your lot is in a rural association, covenants may dictate that the tank needs to be buried.
  6. Driveway/Road Access. Another element in a rural build is the lane or driveway. The first item in question is whether a culvert will be needed in the roadside ditch for which the county will provide the sizing required and our excavation contractor will provide the affiliated cost of grading and installation. After the culvert is installed, or, if a culvert is not needed, the approximate cost for the lane is factored at $20/LF assuming a 12' lane width which includes the following:
    1. Road liner fabric (a heavy-duty perforated material that is placed on the sub-grade to allow water to pass through the rock driveway while at the same time preventing the rock from being compressed into the soil and alleviating the need to bring additional rock in throughout the year).
    2. 3" clean rock used during the construction process.
    3. 1" clean rock installed at the completion of the construction process.
    4. If paving of the lane (driveway) is preferred, a bid is obtained from the paving contractor, which has pricing of the following:
      • Concrete ($4/SF although will be reduced in proportion to the longer length of lane).
      • Asphalt ($3/SF also reduced with the length of lane, however, can increase if a thicker pavement is requested).
  7. Soil Analysis. The condition of the soil is very important to keep in mind when building a new home. Expansive soils are a condition in which the bearing capacity (a measurement of the ability of the soil to support the weight of your new home) is inadequate. When the engineer is hired to perform a soil analysis, the results will determine what remediation (additional work) will need to be performed to ensure that the soil has the ability to support the weight of your new home. Typically this involves what is referred to as "over-excavation" which means that the basement is excavated deeper and wider. Non-expansive soil or rock is installed, compacted and tested in the over-excavated area. In some instances, an engineered foundation is required as well which includes larger footings and thicker foundation walls. Costs for expansive soils can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $30,000. Having the soil tested prior to purchasing a lot can help determine if expansive soils are present which will help with the budgeting process of your new home.

If you have additional questions or concerns about building in a rural location, please feel free to call us at 515.252.9989 or email Colin or Dean.