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  • Tim Kraemer

5 Things To Do Before Digging

5 Things To Do Before Digging

Starting a new building project, addition or yard project can be very exciting! You may be so excited that you want to jump right in and start digging. But there are 5 important things you need to do before you start your digging project.

Some of these items may be completed by your builder, but it is important to know everything that should be done prior to excavation. Be sure to follow along with your builder as preparations are made before you begin digging.

1. Visit Your Site

You may be thinking that this is an obvious step. You have land that you plan to build on, you’ve likely been there a time or two! But it is important to walk through your site with your builder. This way you are both on the same page about where things will go and you can address any concerns like slopes or water run-off.

2. Get a Survey

Have a qualified surveyor come to your property and measure out exactly where your property lines are. This will ensure whatever digging you are doing lands within your property lines. Be cautious when using plat maps as they are often outdated and inaccurate. A new survey will ensure you are building where you are allowed.

3. Utilities Check

You’ll want to make sure there are utilities in place on your lot before breaking ground. If you are building within an existing development you probably do not need to worry about utilities. However, if you are in an undeveloped lot you’ll need to know where the utilities enter the home before pouring a foundation.

4. Check the Code

Your designer and builder should be familiar with the rules and regulations regarding your build. However, small details can get glanced over. Being aware of the city’s building codes beforehand to ensure you won’t be building too close to a neighbor’s home which could result in costly fixes.

5. Call 811

Calling Diggers Hotline will allow for underground lines to be properly located and marked before a digging project begins. This step is crucial to protect your safety as well as the safety of neighbors and the general public. It is required by law in Wisconsin to call diggers hotline before any digging. Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 requires you to notify Diggers Hotline before you excavate, grade, trench, dig, drill, augur, tunnel, scrape, plow cable or pipe. Excavation, according to the law, means anything that moves, removes or displaces earth rock or other material in or on the ground.

To contact Diggers Hotline dial 811 or visit their website at

That first ground breaking in a project can be a very exciting day. But do not let the excitement cloud your judgment and cause costly mistakes. Make sure to work with your builder and get all of these items checked off your to-do list before breaking ground.

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