How to Build Your Own Cell Tower

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Cost Of Cell Tower

If You’re Serious About Building Your Own Cell Tower, Here’s What You’ll Need:

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    Do you currently have one or more cell towers or cell sites on your property?

    How can we help?

    1. $150,000

      – This is the average cost of a cell phone tower, more or less, but you’ll need at least this much to complete the project. If you don’t have that kind of money, you’ll need to secure a loan that you personally guarantee with other collateral. Don’t make the mistake of expecting the bank to finance a tower construction project like a commercial building or residential home.
    2. A Unique Piece of Property

      – If one of your neighbors has property that is similar to yours in size and zoning classification, don’t waste your time. If you don’t have the only parcel within ½ mile or more that is suitable for a tower, the wireless carrier will simply lease space from your neighbor or negotiate a lower lease rate with you. You must also make certain the property is large enough to meet the “fall zone” criteria for placement of a cell phone tower.
    3. Knowledge of Where the Wireless Carriers Need a Cell Phone Tower

      – You might believe you have the perfect property for a cell phone tower. We hate to burst your bubble, but chances are less than 2.5% that’s true. Trying to develop a cell phone tower on a specific piece of property without knowing where the wireless carriers need to be is pure folly. No cell phone tower company finds the property first and then tries to determine where they need a cell phone tower. Don’t assume just because coverage in your area is poor that a cell phone tower is needed — you could be miles off. Please don’t contact us to ask where towers are needed (if we knew — we would build them ourselves). If you’ve been approached, then there is probably a need.
    4. Letter of Intent from a Wireless Carrier

      – In most jurisdictions, you need a Letter of Intent from a wireless carrier to get approval for building a cell phone tower. If there is no zoning in your area, we strongly discourage you from attempting to build one. Getting a Letter of Intent requires that you show either ownership of the land or have permission from the landowner.
    5. Zoning Approval

      from your local zoning office.

    Either Knowledge of How to Build a Cell Tower or a Good Tower Contractor

    1. If you meet all these criteria, the rest is fairly easy.
    2. We can point you in the direction of several reputable general contractors who can assist you with the development process.
    3. We can also review the financial viability of your project and estimate future lease-up potential for the cell phone tower.

    We respectfully request that you not contact us for assistance finding a wireless carrier to lease your cell phone tower, once built. Nor can we assist you if you have a property you’d like to market to wireless carriers.


    From the time that a building permit is issued for the tower, it typically takes one to two months until it is operational.
    The cost to build a cell tower varies from $100,000 to over $1,000,000 depending upon the location, height, and type of tower. The location of the tower influences how much wind and ice the tower is designed to withstand. The taller the tower, the more steel is required for the tower and the more concrete is required for the foundation. Guyed towers are typically the cheapest (for similar heights), followed by monopole, followed by lattice or self-support towers, followed by stealth or concealed towers.

    Technically yes- anyone can build a cell tower on their property provided that the local zoning and permitting regulations allow for the tower.  However, you would need to work with a wireless service provider to have the tower actually function as a cell site.  Landowners are not able to purchase cellular equipment and broadcast cellular signals using that equipment.  If you want to know how to lease your land for a cell tower or how to contact the wireless carriers, please see our page on how to get a tower on your property.

    It depends upon the type of cell tower. A monopole cell tower and associated ground equipment can be installed in as little as 20’x30’. A lattice tower will take up slightly more but can be installed in 30’x30’. A guyed tower though will take up between 1 and 20 acres depending upon the height of the tower.
    Any cell site or cell tower has to comply with the FCC and ANSI regulations regarding radio frequency emissions. The FCC/ANSI set the allowable limits for human exposure to radio frequency emissions. The distance for what is considered safe varies depending upon a number of factors including height of the tower, how much power is routed through the antennas, the orientation and direction of the antennas on the tower. When we previously worked for a tower company, I remember one situation where the tower was 10’ from the landowners house as that was the only location on the property where a tower could be situated and meet local zoning requirements. New 5G small cells are frequently placed within 50’ of houses and meet the FCC/ANSI requirements for human exposure.
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