How much does a geotechnical report cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a geotechnical report cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a geotechnical report cost?

$1,000 – $5,000average cost of a geotechnical report

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$1,000 – $5,000 average cost of a geotechnical report

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
Edited by
Kristen Cramer

Geotechnical report cost

A geotechnical survey costs $1,000 to $5,000 on average. A geotechnical report confirms the safety and stability of the ground before building a foundation for a home or commercial structure. Geotechnical engineers charge $30 to $100 per hour to perform pre-construction soil testing and boring.

Average cost of a geotechnical report
National Average Cost  $2,900 
Minimum Cost  $100
Maximum Cost  $5,800 
Average Range  $1,000 to $5,000

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Pre-construction soil testing costs

Pre-construction soil testing helps determine the stability and safety of the ground. Geotechnical engineers typically measure compaction, percolation, and composition before construction. 

Pre-construction soil testing cost by type
Test type Average cost
Soil compaction testing  $10 – $100
Soil percolation testing  $250 – $700
Advanced soil composition testing  $100 – $500
Soil boring testing  $700 – $1,500

Soil compaction test cost

A soil compaction test costs $10 to $100 per sample and measures the soil density. Compaction testing is necessary because it detects air pockets and potential weaknesses in the ground. 

Soil boring test cost

A soil boring test costs $700 to $1,500 for two holes and $300 to $900 for each additional bore. A soil boring test allows geotechnical engineers to collect samples from 15 to 20 feet in the ground. Boring requires special equipment to drill into the soil. 

Soil boring test cost
Number of bore holes Average cost
2 holes $700 – $1,500
Each additional bore  $300 – $900

Soil sampling involves vertical boring to dig deep into the ground. In comparison, directional boring costs $10 to $30 per linear foot and involves drilling horizontally or on a curved path instead.

Soil percolation assessment

A soil percolation test costs $250 to $700 and measures the water absorption rate, which helps builders decide how much drainage is needed.

Septic system installation costs $3,280 to $5,040 and requires a perc test.

Geotechnical survey showing a cross-section of a residential yard.
Geotechnical survey showing a cross-section of a residential yard.

Geotechnical soil report cost factors

Geotechnical report cost factors
Factor Average cost per hour
Soil engineer  $30 – $100
Lab analysis  $80 – $200

The following factors affect the cost of a geotechnical soil report: 

  • Labor cost – Geotechnical engineers charge $30 to $100 per hour to collect samples and work on-site. Lab technicians charge $80 to $200 per hour to process soil tests and reports.  

  • Size / location – The number of samples and local rates influence the total cost. Urban areas typically cost more to test than suburban or rural neighborhoods.

  • Equipment / additional bore holes – Boring equipment operators charge $700 to $1,500 to take two 15’ to 20’ samples. Additional bore holes cost $300 to $900 each

  • Type of structure – Commercial building projects may need more bores and samples, which cost more than simple residential testing. 

  • Permits / inspection – Geotechnical soil testing and inspection is typically required in order to get a building permit. 

  • Recommendations – Geotechnical testing is required or recommended for major projects, including: 

What is a geotechnical report?

A geotechnical report is an assessment of soil and ground characteristics used in building. This type of survey is necessary before laying a foundation for a residential or commercial building. 

What is the difference between a geotechnical report and a soil report?

A geotechnical report includes information about soil, groundwater, earthquake safety, and overall structure. A soil report focuses only on soil composition.

Soil testing costs $10 to $500, depending on the test. Basic soil profile and composition testing costs $10 to $40 per sample, while soil contamination testing costs $5 to $50 per sample.

How long does a geotechnical report take to complete?

A geotechnical report takes 2 to 8 weeks on average. Complex or large-scale projects may take longer. 

Getting quotes for a geotechnical survey

Before hiring a geotechnical surveyor near you, be sure to: 

  • Read company reviews on HomeGuide and Google. 

  • Choose a licensed, insured, bonded company with 5+ years’ experience. 

  • Get three or more quotes to compare. 

  • Verify that the company has experience with pre-construction soil testing. 

  • Remember that the lowest bods often signal low-quality work. 

  • Confirm that the estimate includes all material, labor, and equipment costs for the geotechnical report. 

  • Get copies of project estimates, permits, contracts, and warranties. 

  • Create a payment schedule instead of making a full payment upfront. 

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business? 

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured? 

  • What certifications do you have? 

  • Can I see references from pervious jobs? 

  • Does the estimate include labor, equipment, and lab fees? 

  • Which laboratory will test the soil samples? 

  • How long will it take to get the test results? 

  • How will the report be sent to me? 

  • What is the payment schedule for this project? 

  • What financing options do you offer? 

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