The need to drill a well is one of the most common issues we get asked about when buying and selling vacant land. Most of our land is remote and not connected to municipal services. This, of course, appeals to our wide audience who are desperate to get away from high costs of energy and water companies or get away from traffic, pollution and noise.
However that does come with a price- you need to sort out your own water and energy supplies. Especially if you are looking to embrace a "live off the grid" lifestyle. Read about how to create an off-grid lifestyle HERE.
Luckily this is a challenge that is not difficult to overcome. There are 2 choices: pay a company to drill a well for you, Or take the time to learn how to do it yourself. And it is prudent to remember that even though there is a cost to drilling a well, you are buying the land far cheaper than buying in or near a city and will still be way ahead financially on your quest to get your dream home or peaceful retreat.
If you just plan to camp for a weekend here or there, there is no need to do this. You will bring in your own water enough to last you 2-3 nights.
Here is a great video from howtodrillawell.com showing you how it is possible to drill your own well. They have a ton of instructional videos and how-to information available.
To have a professional company do it for you will generally cost in the range of $15/ft- $30/ft.
Note that the cost can vary widely depending on where you live, the soil composition and the depth of available water.
Seek out the opinion of a local water expert who can give you an estimate of the depth of the water table.
If you have neighbours with existing wells, they will be able to tell you the depth where they struck water. This does not mean this will be the same for you, but in most cases, it will be a good estimate. You can also request well logs from your local water authority.
Depending on your county laws, you may need a professional and a well permit to drill a well because of the specialized equipment needed. The actual cost to drill the well includes drilling the hole and adding 4- to 6-inch casing. If the driller does not find water, you will still be required to pay for the hole in the ground.
To drill a 100-foot well for example, the cost to drill a well and add casing averages around $1,500 to $3,000 -- not including permit fees. To drill a well 400 feet deep, the cost may run $6,000 to $12,000.
These figures don't include the well pump, the piping for water delivery, pressure switch, the storage tank or any plumbing from the well to the house site. It also doesn't include any water conditioning equipment for water that requires treatment. Water conditioning can add from $1,500 to $3,000 or more to the well's cost.
Yes drilling a well yourself it certainly possible. There will be some learning and it will take time. But it will be a lot cheaper. In some states you will not require a permit if you do the work yourself. In other states a permit is still required. Make sure you check this out first.
Drilling your own 100 foot well will cost you around $1200, not including the cost of the well pump. You can check out this site if you are keen to understand all the steps in drilling your own well.
Another helpful resource when you want to drill your own well is this one.
We suggest that if you want a domestic well for your own drinking water, that you do hire a professional, licensed contractor. There are a lot of health risks if you get it wrong. Though if you know you will strike water at 30-40 feet and want some water for the gardens, you should be able to do this yourself. Check out this in depth article on the viability of water well for rural living.
This site explains how to drill a well, the equipment needed and provides instructional videos to do it yourself. A great resource to start with. It is good to understand the process yourself, even if you do end up outsourcing it to an external company.
You can locate the well anywhere on your land. A local expert may be able to guide you as to the best location the strike water quickly. You also need to stay at least 50 feet away from septic systems or field lines. You can contaminate ground water with a poorly located well. This means you can contaminate your neighbors well if they are tapped into the same water source. Not advised!
Shallow wells are less than 30 feet, deep wells are over 70 feet deep. Deeper wells provide better quality water. At first your well water will be muddy, but it should not take long to get clear, clean water. Have your water tested before using.
Well, you know the answer will be "it depends". It is always a good idea to understand the basics of a project even if you outsource it to a company so you understand the basic language and terms they use, so you can compare quotes accurately and make sure they know what they are talking about.
It is certainly possible to drill a well yourself, so it really depends on whether you are quite handy, whether you enjoy some research & learning. If you have more money than time and just want it done quickly and efficiently get a well drilled professionally.
Hopefully this article gave you the basics to get started on your journey. Do not let having to drill a well stop you buying vacant land. Simply start the DIY journey, or seek out some local experts, get a few quotes and get it done.
If you are looking for vacant land, check out our current listings HERE