How much does a soil test cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a soil test cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a soil test cost?

$10 – $40Basic garden soil test cost
$10 – $500Soil profile and composition tests cost
$1,000 – $5,000Pre-construction geotechnical soil testing cost

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

$10 – $40 Basic garden soil test cost

$10 – $500 Soil profile and composition tests cost

$1,000 – $5,000 Pre-construction geotechnical soil testing cost

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

Soil test cost

A soil test costs $10 to $40 per sample for basic garden soil testing or $1,000 to $5,000 for pre-construction testing. Agriculture or farm soil testing costs $10 to $70 per sample or $0.50 to $14.00 per acre. A soil test comes with a soil report, while additional analysis costs extra.

Soil test cost
Test reason Average cost (per sample)
Garden soil or basic composition test $10 – $40
Lawn soil profile or contaminant test $5 – $200
Advanced soil profile or oil tank test $100 – $550
Pre-construction or geotechnical soil tests $1,000 – $5,000

Get free estimates from soil testing companies near you.

Cost of soil testing by type

Soil testing costs $5 to $3,400, depending on type and number of samples. Most soil testing companies accept mail-in samples from home gardens, lawns, and farms.

Soil testing cost by type
Testing type Average cost Purpose / details
Organic soil testing $5 – $40 Measure decayed plant/animal matter
Specific contaminant soil testing $5 – $50 A la carte, targeted tests
Sulfur and boron soil testing $10 – $30 Increase crop/garden yields
Garden soil testing $10 – $40 Measure basic minerals, pH
Basic soil composition and profile testing $10 – $40 Overview of nutrients, organic matter
Soil texture / ribbon testing $10 – $70 Measure ratio of sand, clay, or silt
Soil compaction testing $10 – $100 Measure soil density and air pockets
Lawn soil testing $20 – $50 Increase grass/turf health
Soil fertility testing $20 – $100 Measure minerals and growth potential
Heavy metal / lead soil testing $25 – $200 Detect metals, increase plant health
Soil gravity testing $50 – $90 Measure water retention
Advanced soil profile testing $100 – $500 Nutrients, organics, contaminants
Percolation testing $250 – $700 Measure water absorption rate
Oil tank soil testing $250 – $550 Detect oil contamination
Geotechnical testing $1,000 – $5,000 Pre-construction safety testing

Lawn and garden soil testing costs

A garden soil test costs $10 to $40 per sample, while a lawn or professional turf test costs $20 to $50 per sample. DIY garden test kits cost $10 to $30. These tests focus on the soil’s mineral content and determine if the soil needs fertilizer to produce healthy plants or grass.

  • Basic tests – Most tests measure the soil’s nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) levels and pH.

  • Sulfur and boron testing – Testing sulfur and boron levels costs $10 to $30 per sample. Correcting low levels may increase crop yields and produce healthy vegetation.

  • Soil texture / ribbon – Texture or ribbon testing costs $10 to $70 per sample and determines the ratio of sand, clay, silt, chalk, or peat in the soil. The ideal mixture is loam, or an equal mix of sand, silt, and clay.

  • Gravity soil testing – A gravity test costs $50 to $90 per sample and shows how well the soil retains and drains water.

  • Soil fertility testing – A soil fertility test costs $20 to $100 per sample and determines the mineral content and growing capabilities of the soil.

Testing garden soil for composition, heavy metals, and contaminants.
Testing garden soil for composition, heavy metals, and contaminants.

Pre-construction soil testing cost

Pre-construction geotechnical testing costs $1,000 to $5,000 and is done before major building projects to determine the stability of the ground. Soil engineers measure soil compaction, percolation, and composition before high-budget construction projects:

Agriculture and farm soil sample testing costs

Agricultural soil testing costs $10 to $70 per sample or $0.50 to $14.00 per acre. One sample is needed for every 5 to 20 acres, depending on the farm's size and content. An agricultural soil test is also called a Haney test.

Soil profile and composition testing

Basic soil testing costs $10 to $40 per sample and measures the levels of organic matter and specific nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, copper, and iron.

Advanced soil profiles cost $100 to $500 and measure the minerals listed above as well as harmful toxins like zinc, lead, mercury, arsenic, and copper.

Soil contamination testing cost

Soil contamination testing costs $25 to $200 per sample for heavy metals and $5 to $50 per sample for a specific contaminant. Most labs can test for lead, zinc, arsenic, mercury, copper, selenium, zinc, cadmium, nickel, E. coli, petroleum, or pesticides.

Oil tank contamination soil testing cost

Testing soil for oil tank contamination costs $250 to $550 and makes sure oil from an underground oil tank has not leaked into the surrounding soil. Oil contamination can cause serious health issues if undetected and untreated. Underground oil tank removal costs $800 to $3,400.

Soil analysis and lab report costs

Soil tests from commercial laboratories or local universities come with a report explaining the test results. The following factors increase the cost of soil testing and analysis:

  • Multiple samples

  • Additional analysis or advice from a lab technician

  • Tests that require landscapers or soil engineers to collect samples

On-site soil technician labor costs

Homeowners can collect basic home and garden soil samples. Advanced profile, percolation, or pre-construction tests may require a professional soil engineer or lab technician to collect samples and interpret the results.

Soil sampling and analysis labor costs
Professional Average cost per hour
Soil technician $40 – $110
Chemist or lab professional $80 – $200

The following factors affect labor costs:

  • Test type and technique – Some tests require advanced machinery, technical analysis, or professional soil collection.

    • EquipmentBoring costs $10 to $30 per linear foot and is required for pre-construction tests.

  • Size of area – A small garden requires only one sample, while larger farms or construction projects may need more.

  • Professional labor – Labor costs increase if a landscaper or soil engineer must be on-site for collection or sample transportation. Landscapers charge $50 to $100 per hour on average.

  • Permits / licenses – Homeowners need a permit when drilling or boring bur not for a basic garden or lawn test. Call a local zoning office or 811 to verify.

  • Reports and recommendations – Some labs offer additional support, recommendations based on the results, or expedited results for an extra fee.

Soil remediation cost

Soil remediation costs $2,500 to $17,000 on average and removes oil and other contaminants from the ground. Common contaminants include oil, pesticides, lead, or other heavy metals. Professionals use the following techniques to clean the soil:

Get free estimates from soil testing companies near you.
  • Excavation – Contractors remove the soil and transport it to another site to treat or dispose.

  • Thermal desorption – Special machinery uses heat to evaporate and separate contaminated water and organic matter.

  • Soil washing – A water-based system separates contaminated soil and dissolves pollutants in a cleaning solution.

  • Soil stabilization – Soil engineers add lime or concrete to soil to increase its load-bearing capability and weather resistance.

DIY soil testing kit prices

DIY soil testing kit prices are $10 to $30 on average, depending on what the kit can detect. A basic garden test typically measures pH and NPK and can be found at most garden centers or home improvement stores. Lead or heavy metal test kits cost more than other types.

What is soil testing?

Soil testing examines and measures the elements in the ground. Different tests measure different soil qualities, such as pH, nutrient levels, heavy metals, and texture. Garden and agricultural tests determine whether the soil needs fertilizer to produce healthy crops.

When and why should I get my soil tested?

Gardeners should test soil during a dry time in early spring or fall before planting. Homeowners should test soil before any new construction to make sure the foundation will not shift or settle after construction.

Get free estimates from soil testing companies near you.

How long is a soil test valid for?

Garden soil tests are valid for 3 to 5 years, or less if plant health starts to decline. Pre-construction soil testing is valid for 5 years.

Getting quotes for soil testing

Before hiring a soil testing company near you, be sure to:

  • Read company reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

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

  • Get three or more quotes to compare.

  • Verify that the company has experience with your soil test type.

  • 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?

  • What type of soil test do I need?

  • Which laboratory will test the 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?

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