Suppose you have just bought a new home, and are interested in redoing the lawn so that it has more aesthetic appeal. How should you go about it? In many cases, this is a process that has to be handled in a certain way for you to see the results you desire in the shortest time possible. It also pays to think about the number of things that could go wrong during the landscaping process, so that you can then avoid them. One that many people don’t think about is the risk of damaging utility lines such as those for plumbing and electricity.
The scope of the problem
In many homes, the lines used to supply gas, electricity and plumbing to a house are normally underground. This is because this is a convenient way to handle such services. However, it also means that during the process of landscaping, there is a risk that they might end up being damaged. This is particularly so if you intend to implement a very aggressive landscaping plan that might include getting rid of large tracts of earth so that you can replace them with fresher soil. In such cases, the fact that you might damage such utilities should be at the forefront.
Why should you worry about such potential accidents? For one, it might turn out to be very expensive. In many parts of the world, things such as the pipes that supply gas to a home are the property of the utility company providing the service. If they are damaged, you are likely to be charged heavy fines to replace them.
In addition to that, it can also turn out to be outright dangerous. For instance, if you end up damaging a gas line and a power line, electrical sparks from the damaged power line could ignite the gas line leading to a huge fire. This can lead to loss of property and even life. If you have just bought the building, having to spend more money fixing such damage can stretch your finances, especially if you had to get a mortgage to facilitate the purchase.
Lastly, damaging such lines can also be inconvenient to your neighbors. This is especially so if the lines supply not only your house, but theirs as well. Fixing a problem that arises from landscaping-related damage might take long, which means having to prolong their suffering.
What you can do to avoid the problem
The only way to avoid these numerous problems is by having a smart approach towards landscaping, particularly if it will involve a lot of digging up. Some of the things you need to keep in mind include:
• Find out where the supply lines are: If you are going to do this type of landscaping, first try to find information regarding the location of the supply lines to the building. The easiest way to do this is by looking up the building plans for the home.
• Consult the relevant utilities firms: If you are getting services such as fiber optic internet, gas and electricity from specific companies, you can consult them before starting the landscaping. You can tell them your plans as well as what concerns you have, and they will then do all they can do ensure that you don’t damage the lines. For instance, they can get the data regarding how they supply the property, and then use this to determine where the infrastructure lies.
• Work in consultation with the local authorities: If you need plans for the home to determine the location of facilities such as plumbing lines, the civil engineering department in your local government is likely to be a great source of information.
• Use visual cues: In some parts of the world, the presence of the utility infrastructure is marked. Looking for some of these marks around the compound will give you an idea of where the lines are so that you can then isolate them and protect them from damage during the landscaping.
Why a high quality landscaper is important
In doing all this, the one party that will come in very handy is the landscaper. If you work with a very good one, they will do all the above as part of their mandate. This means that you only need to tell them what you need to get done, and they will then figure out how to do it without risking damage to some of the supply lines. Some will even offer guarantees so that in case they damage such infrastructure, they will do the repairs on their own. You might spend a bit more on a high quality landscaper. However, they will save you tons of money, which makes them well worth it.
In summary, you should not forget to account for the presence of items such as pipes and wiring when doing landscaping. Not doing so can make the entire process very complicated.