Giving your garden a makeover can be an expensive job and many people are motivated to do the bulk of the work themselves to save money. For a majority of garden makeover jobs, this doesn't present a problem if you're prepared for some hard work. However, if your garden requires a large amount of excavation, then it's a good idea to accept the cost and enlist the services of a professional excavation contractor. Although it is possible to hire a mini-excavator from an earth-moving equipment hire company, there are two main reasons why this could be a very bad idea.
1. Underground services
Many services such as water, electricity, sewage, and telephone lines reach your home through underground pipes and cables. Doing your own excavating means you risk damaging these underground services as you excavate. At best, this can mean you will need to pay to have them repaired by the relevant contractor or utility company. At worst, it could result in injury or death, especially when it comes to electricity cables.
A professional excavator will have experience in detecting and avoiding underground services. They are also skilled at reading the council paperwork which details the location of the relevant services on your property. In the unlikely event that a professional excavator damages one of the service conduits, the repair costs will be covered by the contractor's insurance, meaning you won't be liable for any hefty bills.
2. Structural issues
Excavating near to a dwelling can be a delicate procedure. It can be very easy to undermine the structural integrity of your home if you don't know what you're doing. Even slight movement of the footings of a home can result in land slippage or a weakening of your home's frame. This can cause something as simple yet unsightly as cracks in the plasterboard or brickwork, but can also cause your home to be unsafe to live in without expensive repairs.
It's not just the house you need to be concerned about. Out-buildings, garages, fences, and large trees can all be undermined by inexperienced excavating. Using a professional excavator means you'll have their knowledge and experience of safety margins and an understanding of how earth behaves as it is excavated to rely on.
Although it may seem tempting to save yourself some money and attempt the excavation for your garden makeover yourself, it's a smart move to employ a professional for the job. If not, your money saving tactic may result in a massive repair bill that could easily have been avoided.