How many of you have seen that “tag-line” before? Call before you dig! The utility companies have it all over their media and trucks.
Essentially what it means is, if you’re planning on doing any digging on your property, call this universal number (811) from anywhere in the country (US…but no doubt other countries have a similar service).
The utility companies will send someone out to locate and “mark-out” where their underground utilities are on the property. There is no charge for this service.
This is the best free deal around and it not only helps protect you from getting electrocuted and/or blown-up, but it could also help your position (liability) in the event an accident should happen.
Know too that you can be fined and charged for repairs in some instances.
On this project there was an existing maple tree near the utility boxes. And there were numerous stumps from old junipers that someone had cut flush to the ground. The goal: to install new plants to screen the utility boxes.
This experienced landscape company knew from the beginning what was involved. The estimate for the job reflected the extra care and time this project would take.
This was not the time to bring out the backhoe and bang this job out.
After the utility companies had marked-out their underground lines with paint and flags, the landscape contractor positioned the new plants on the ground.
One by one each hole was worked on. Only conventional hand tools were used.
Slowly and carefully roots and stumps were exposed, cut and removed.
This, as you would expect, was the most time consuming aspect of the job.
Eventually all four plants were installed, the area graded with top soil, and mulch was spread throughout the planting bed. A shade blend of seed was sown to renovate the nearby lawn.
You have to laugh when you think about the amount of plants you could have installed in that time on another site where roots, stumps and utilities were not part of the equation.
Every project has its own unique and often unknown characteristics. Don’t let underground utilities be one of them…call 811 before you dig.
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Landscapes are complex, and shortcomings anywhere in the process can affect the project… and your peace of mind.
My approach is process-oriented. I break things down from planning to implementation — and make sure everyone is kept informed.
My goal is to alleviate concerns such as design decisions, costs, workmanship and material quality. I want folks to stress less and actually enjoy the process.
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