Call 811 & Dig Safe plus Patio Progress

Call 811 to have utilities marked and dig safe before any exterior home improvement project that requires digging. Get a breakdown of the process and an update on my new patio!

*This is a paid partnership with Columbia Gas of Ohio. All opinions and photographs are my own. 

daylilies around cement patio

Last fall, we discovered that our existing deck was rotting and that it had to go. After getting estimates for a new composite deck, and being stunned at the cost, we put the project on hold. In early spring of this year, we got a few estimates for a poured patio and decided that was the route we would take. Not only was the cost more reasonable, but maintaining a patio is so much easier than maintaining a deck…and I’m all for easy these days!

cement patio before

In order to install the patio, the deck had to be removed, along with an old poured patio that was original to the house. We installed the deck, 25 years ago, right over the old patio. You can see the remnants of the deck in the image above. Since I knew digging was going to be involved, I was curious about any gas and water lines that could possibly be located under the old patio.

Just as I was mulling all of this around in my head, Columbia Gas of Ohio reached out to me to help promote the importance of calling 811 before you dig to stay safe. We have been customers of Columbia Gas for over 30 years, so I am happy to partner with them, and walk you through the very simple process. Any successful yard or home improvement project, big or small, that involves digging starts with the same step – calling 811 before you dig. 

To give you some perspective, here is a shot of our house taken from the street. 

dig safe call 811 yellow flags on front lawn

In the image below, you can see the yellow flags coming from the house, leading out to the street. That’s where our gas line is. 

call 811 dig safe line from street

Call 811 & Dig Safe: Everything You Need to Know

  • Before you put a shovel in the ground, call 811 at least two business days before you plan to dig, so your local utilities can mark your lines. If you aren’t doing the digging yourself, it’s important to make sure your contractor makes the call. My contractor took care of calling for me, and a local utilities representative arrived the next day. He walked around our property and marked the line with yellow flags. He finished in about five minutes and I had peace of mind knowing that our project could proceed safely. 
  • Utility lines can be buried at any depth, sometimes even just a few inches below the ground. Hitting a gas line could be costly, could cause project delays, and could create huge issues for your yard.
  • Calling 811 is not only necessary for the success of your project, it’s critical for your safety. It’s so easy, it’s absolutely 100% free, and it’s the law. 
  • Nearly half of American homeowners will complete a project that requires a call to 811, but more than 40% of homeowners who plan to dig this year will not call. The most common projects include planting a tree or shrub, building a deck or patio, putting in a fence, or installing a mailbox. 
  • Keep your family, friends, and neighbors safe by calling 811 before you dig!
  • For more information on staying safe while digging and working, click {HERE.}

call 811 safe line coming out from house

I was relieved to find out that our gas line was not in the same area as our patio project, which is in the rear of our house, and that the work could proceed without issue. 

And proceed it did! 

Progress has been slow, but I feel like this project is finally moving forward. The old deck has been removed, the old cement patio has been demolished, and a new patio has been poured. These are not beautiful images, but you will definitely be able to see improvement.

cement patio in progress

The image above shows the patio prep work. When the deck was installed, siding from the house was removed. The concrete crew repaired that before they poured the patio. Repairs and painting are next. After that, landscaping and grass seed will be added.

1cement patio in back yard

I know everything looks unfinished and sort of sad right now, but give me a few weeks…it will be clean, cozy, and above all else, easy to maintain. Are you planning a digging project this summer? Maybe a garden pond or a fire pit? Let me know in the comments how it’s going!

Thank you so much for stopping by…

Update 8/19/2019: It’s finished! See the completed and decorated patio {HERE.}

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