Excavating Your Backyard? Follow These DIY Yard Excavation Tips

Excavating Your Backyard

Excavating Your Backyard? Follow These DIY Yard Excavation Tips

With the summer in full swing many Greater Vancouver property owners are taking advantage of longer and drier days to complete major work in their backyards. Whether you are installing a new deck, walkway, fountain, garden, or swimming pool excavation is likely a part of the task ahead. Excavation, being one of the first steps, is thus among the most important. Before you attempt to tackle the backyard scene with nothing more than a shovel and a whole lot of gumption we suggest you take a look at the following tips.

5 Tips to Successfully Excavating Your Backyard

1. Be Aware of Buried Utilities

Before you do anything, you must be aware of the provincial and municipal law as it relates to utility safety regulation. In B.C. for instance, the Safety Standards Act’s section 39 regarding Procedures for Excavations states:

A person who intends to excavate must, at least 2 business days before the person intends to excavate, request from the gas company serving that area, or its agent, information on the location of all underground gas installations in the vicinity of the proposed excavation.

All points of concern must be electronically located and marked with paint or stakes which will be maintained until digging begins. Anyone excavating the property must first hand dig in many locations to expose pipes. Study the appropriate section within B.C.’s Gas Safety Regulation document in great detail before lifting a finger or blade of grass.

2. Excavate Around a Favorable Weather Forecast (but plan for rain delays)

Rainfall makes DIY excavating a nightmare. Watch your local forecast carefully and plan your excavation around a consistent string of dry summer days. However, if your property is in the Lower Mainland, you know that forecast can turn without a moment’s notice. Thus, also be sure to prepare for the worst. Measure the intended area of excavation and have enough tarp on hand to cover the area should rain fall midway through the project.

3. Clear Tough Terrain

With utility concerns in check and a favorable forecast on the horizon your next step is to clear away any tough terrain (common to more rural area backyards) before excavation can begin. This includes careful inspection of the yard to note especially rocky areas, tree stumps, and possible wildlife nesting. Follow these five tips to clearing tough terrain which will fully prepare you for excavation.

4. Make Sure You Have the Right Tools for the Job

No matter the size of your excavation the chances are that your tool shed or garage doesn’t have the right equipment for your project. To perform a proper yard excavation you will at least need a portable trencher and a mini-excavator in addition to a variety of other tools help you clear and prep the landscape, excavate, and backfill where needed. There are rentals options for all sorts of yard excavation equipment near you. But do you know how to operate them safely and efficiently without damage to your person or property?

5. Accept that a Professional Excavating Service May be Needed

After considering the above, you may simply come to terms with the fact that your backyard project is better suited to a professional service with dedicated excavation equipment and staff. In the end, this is the right direction. If your property is located in the Greater Vancouver area we encourage you to call us at 604.835.9521 with any questions or to get an estimate on your up and coming yard excavation.

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