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View Full Version : What a nightmare - utility company tearing up MY lawn!


DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-25-2009, 01:24 AM
Guys,

Talking my OWN lawn here - absolute nightmare.
Just topdressed and overseeded my front lawn this fall, to where next season she would be lookin good.

THEN, come to rudely find out that, due to the new home being built across the street from me, the gas utility will have to run a line from the house UNDER the street and 10 feet into my yard. I was so ticked about that, after I put $$ and sweat equity into the lawn this fall. Unfortunately, no way around it, utility company says I could get fined for 'obstructing' their work if I don't let them run the line. Good grief.....

At any rate, as any utility will do, they will tear the heck out of my lawn and leave a rock-laden dirt pile behind. What do you guys propose I do with that mess yet this fall? Should I level it and dormant seed so I will have something early next spring? Or just rake up as good as possible and re-sod next spring?

The utility company WILL re-seed the torn up area for me BUT you know what that means (throw some cheap seed on the dirt from Home Depot or something). So, I will probably be footing the bill myself because I am picky about the products used to restore my lawn.

Any thoughts.....?

Hanau
11-25-2009, 01:27 AM
Dig the hole yourself. Use a sod cutter to remove the sod. Rent a mini ex, put the dirt in your dump trailer. When they're done cover it back up and replace the sod.

Should be relatively simple for a landscape contractor.

Lay down 3/4 ply around the trench for them to work on.

punt66
11-25-2009, 01:33 AM
Guys,

Talking my OWN lawn here - absolute nightmare.
Just topdressed and overseeded my front lawn this fall, to where next season she would be lookin good.

THEN, come to rudely find out that, due to the new home being built across the street from me, the gas utility will have to run a line from the house UNDER the street and 10 feet into my yard. I was so ticked about that, after I put $$ and sweat equity into the lawn this fall. Unfortunately, no way around it, utility company says I could get fined for 'obstructing' their work if I don't let them run the line. Good grief.....

At any rate, as any utility will do, they will tear the heck out of my lawn and leave a rock-laden dirt pile behind. What do you guys propose I do with that mess yet this fall? Should I level it and dormant seed so I will have something early next spring? Or just rake up as good as possible and re-sod next spring?

The utility company WILL re-seed the torn up area for me BUT you know what that means (throw some cheap seed on the dirt from Home Depot or something). So, I will probably be footing the bill myself because I am picky about the products used to restore my lawn.

Any thoughts.....?

in my area, they do a good job cleaning up after themselves. New topsoil and seed. Just give them the seed you want to use. Not much of a problem here.

ALLPro Landscaping
11-25-2009, 01:57 AM
same thing by me, they leave a big mess, i replace a 20ft by 150 ft section in my backyard a few years ago, last year the gas company came to replace a line in the street behind my house, well they tore up everything, parked their equipment on our yard and even dumped gravel and sand on it to. called the town and they wouldn't do nothing cause their is an easement

Smallaxe
11-25-2009, 06:34 AM
The only do as well as they do because of - courtesy. That is not your property when a utility runs through it.
How many feet from the center of the road does the state own, in your state?

Danscapes
11-25-2009, 07:04 AM
I say just let them do their thing. Like Hanau said, cut out the sod where they are going to dig and replace it when their done. I wouldn't go as far as digging the hole and all of that nonsense but I would at least cut the sod out. You also might want to contact the county you live in because around here they sub out all of the soil work and seeding to a LCO, they might give you some cash if you tell them you will fix they mess yourself (it save them from sending another crew out).

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-25-2009, 09:00 AM
I say just let them do their thing. Like Hanau said, cut out the sod where they are going to dig and replace it when their done. I wouldn't go as far as digging the hole and all of that nonsense but I would at least cut the sod out. You also might want to contact the county you live in because around here they sub out all of the soil work and seeding to a LCO, they might give you some cash if you tell them you will fix they mess yourself (it save them from sending another crew out).

Good thoughts guys. I agree I won't be digging the hole, I don't want to get another earful from these jokers. I could cut the sod out though, would take me like 15 minutes and I would get to keep my sod. QUESTION - since it is like almost December here, the sod probably will not take again anyway, right? (it HAS been a warmer than normal November). So, whats the use of saving the sod if it won't make it thru the winter??

Also, these utilities are A JOKE - running a gas line 15 feet from your front window thru your lawn. Put the dang thing on public property for peats sake.

turfcobob
11-25-2009, 11:26 AM
Guys,

Talking my OWN lawn here - absolute nightmare.
Just topdressed and overseeded my front lawn this fall, to where next season she would be lookin good.

THEN, come to rudely find out that, due to the new home being built across the street from me, the gas utility will have to run a line from the house UNDER the street and 10 feet into my yard. I was so ticked about that, after I put $$ and sweat equity into the lawn this fall. Unfortunately, no way around it, utility company says I could get fined for 'obstructing' their work if I don't let them run the line. Good grief.....

At any rate, as any utility will do, they will tear the heck out of my lawn and leave a rock-laden dirt pile behind. What do you guys propose I do with that mess yet this fall? Should I level it and dormant seed so I will have something early next spring? Or just rake up as good as possible and re-sod next spring?

The utility company WILL re-seed the torn up area for me BUT you know what that means (throw some cheap seed on the dirt from Home Depot or something). So, I will probably be footing the bill myself because I am picky about the products used to restore my lawn.

Any thoughts.....?

Take a picture blow it up to 8 by 10, attach it to a letter informing them that this is what you want your lawn to look like when they are done. Give the PIC ( Person In Charge ) a copy and send a copy to thier higher ups. You have a resonable expectation that your life will not be disrupted to make anothers better. Make a point of that.

JB1
11-25-2009, 11:35 AM
my experience in doing this type of work I will say the peoples yards that are good to work with and get along with get a great job done, the people that want to be a-holes about get it done. Work with them and you will get it back in shape, screw with them and you will be on hear fussing more.

White Gardens
11-25-2009, 11:58 AM
Good thoughts guys. I agree I won't be digging the hole, I don't want to get another earful from these jokers. I could cut the sod out though, would take me like 15 minutes and I would get to keep my sod. QUESTION - since it is like almost December here, the sod probably will not take again anyway, right? (it HAS been a warmer than normal November). So, whats the use of saving the sod if it won't make it thru the winter??



At least try to cut and save the sod. After they are done re-lay. If it dies it will be at the minimum ground cover and help to blend the yard together for the winter months so you don't have an open sore in the lawn.(it will all be brown anyways)

In the spring, overseed over the sod and you'll be good to go.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-25-2009, 01:13 PM
my experience in doing this type of work I will say the peoples yards that are good to work with and get along with get a great job done, the people that want to be a-holes about get it done. Work with them and you will get it back in shape, screw with them and you will be on hear fussing more.

If you knew how they treated me you would be calling them the a-h not me.
They were complete jerks, I don't allow that on my property, yelling at me on my own lawn.

I think I am going to keep the sod and just roll er on when they leave.
I can't wait till there done and out of here, good riddance.

Mickhippy
11-25-2009, 05:32 PM
Need pics! Before, during and after!

VO Landscape Design
11-25-2009, 06:56 PM
Same type of thing in my front and side yard. Looked like crap when they were done. Tried to fix as best I could but now the ground sinks in different spots. They didn't fill correctly.
VO

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-25-2009, 08:34 PM
Same type of thing in my front and side yard. Looked like crap when they were done. Tried to fix as best I could but now the ground sinks in different spots. They didn't fill correctly.
VO

I fully expect this type of shoddy work to occur, thats why I am going to save the sod and at least have some cover up over the winter.

I just don't understand how a homeowner can have a marketable property, and a utility can come and tear up the land and leave it in a state less than that which previously existed. THEY are cutting into MY potential sales price by doing that. PLUS, I will have to foot the bill to repair the damage because these people can't be trusted to properly repair damage for which THEY caused.

CHARLES CUE
11-25-2009, 08:47 PM
Save your self a lot of greaf let them do there work make them do a good clean up let it settle over the winter and fix it your self you will be happier
I use to be a utility contractor and have been though this many times i have dug up more yards than you can shake a stick at
GOOD LUCK
Charles Cue

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-26-2009, 12:54 AM
Guys, if I can ask - if I am to remove the sod, how wide of swath should I cut out to allow for the digging. In other words, how wide do they typically ruin with their digging? (utility is digging down a residential gas line and connecting with the gas main which runs thru my yard - T connection).

Hanau
11-26-2009, 12:58 AM
Go to your gas meter with a small trowel. Scrape away enough dirt to expose the PVC coming out of the ground. What diameter is it? That will dictate trench size.

grassman177
11-26-2009, 10:23 AM
i had this happen a few year s back with the water co. they ran new main accros the street(thank god) and ran all new up to the meter in my yard. i just had them leave a nice pile of good dirt in place and told them i would fix it myself. they were more than happy to do so as it would save them time and money. all worked out well and you could never tell in myyard, cant say the same for everyone elses yards!

WHIPPLE5.7
11-26-2009, 05:40 PM
Just call the guy running the company and tell him you are going to send a bill for your repairs to your own yard since the ******ed babboons working for him are sloppy.

Springmeadows
11-26-2009, 07:05 PM
I am so glad I don't live in the city. I could not tolerate some city worker coming onto my property with a foul mouth and a chip on his shoulder. I am very easy to get along with and feel that I am willing to work with people who are willing to work with me. City workers often times are the ones that have no personality at all.

I am helping my brother in law this week finish his basement in Grand Rapids, MI. I have never met better city inspectors than these. Very helpfull and loaded with common sense, at least the three guys that came here were great. I wish that were the case everywhere.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-26-2009, 07:44 PM
Go to your gas meter with a small trowel. Scrape away enough dirt to expose the PVC coming out of the ground. What diameter is it? That will dictate trench size.

Its like 3/4 of an inch max. Small little guy.....

Hanau
11-26-2009, 09:42 PM
If it's that small they may use a trencher instead of an excavator.

morlawn
11-26-2009, 10:53 PM
I have done gas line work off and on for over 30 years, have had this very same scenario many times. It all depends on the company/crew doing the actual work. The company I have worked for strives for customer satisfaction and top quality workmanship. If we were doing the job, the main bellhole would be dug with a Ditchwitch backhoe/plow combo and the service line bored, if possible. A lot of the backfill would be done by hand. Sod would be replaced and, most importantly, soil from excavation would be tamped in place with very little soil leftover. Service lines are usually 5/8" or 1" PE depending on overall length.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-27-2009, 12:17 AM
I have done gas line work off and on for over 30 years, have had this very same scenario many times. It all depends on the company/crew doing the actual work. The company I have worked for strives for customer satisfaction and top quality workmanship. If we were doing the job, the main bellhole would be dug with a Ditchwitch backhoe/plow combo and the service line bored, if possible. A lot of the backfill would be done by hand. Sod would be replaced and, most importantly, soil from excavation would be tamped in place with very little soil leftover. Service lines are usually 5/8" or 1" PE depending on overall length.

That gives me some insight, thanks. Assuming the co. that does the work on my prop 'strives' for cust service (remains to be seen), how wide of swath of my lawn will they tear up in your opinion? I think I am going to rent a manual sod cutter and roll the sod away, and simply roll back on after they are gone. May or may not 'take' this time of year, but at least my lawn will not be an eyesore until permanent snowcover arrives...

morlawn
11-27-2009, 10:54 AM
This is a very subjective thing to guess on. It depends on the crew foreman's desire to spare your lawn, and their available equipment. Minimum sized bell hole at the main (as marked by the locators) would be 2' wide and 5' long, with 1 foot on the back side of the main, 4 foot toward direction of new service. A saddle or tee is fused or welded on existing main. Contractor (or campany) then would bore, plow or trench new service away from (or up to) this hole. Sometimes the locates are off or the main had fill placed over it, and is deep, hence, a larger hole. Things could go real well (hopefully) or they can turn into a small disaster. Frost chunks in the backfill will cause future settlement problems. Don't remove the main locates when you strip your sod, as this will usually make the crew mad. Hopefully, this helps out, but this is a pretty general answer.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-27-2009, 03:48 PM
This is a very subjective thing to guess on. It depends on the crew foreman's desire to spare your lawn, and their available equipment. Minimum sized bell hole at the main (as marked by the locators) would be 2' wide and 5' long, with 1 foot on the back side of the main, 4 foot toward direction of new service. A saddle or tee is fused or welded on existing main. Contractor (or campany) then would bore, plow or trench new service away from (or up to) this hole. Sometimes the locates are off or the main had fill placed over it, and is deep, hence, a larger hole. Things could go real well (hopefully) or they can turn into a small disaster. Frost chunks in the backfill will cause future settlement problems. Don't remove the main locates when you strip your sod, as this will usually make the crew mad. Hopefully, this helps out, but this is a pretty general answer.

Thanks. I will just take a cutter and take off a 2-3 feet of sod lengthwise to the street. I believe they would trench in the line, I am not sure though. To me, to save some real nice sod is worth it, even if to just cover until next season.

Don't worry, I won't 'remove' their stupid marking lines. I wouldn't want to make these poor babies mad. Who are these people, one step down from the messiah? I just want them done and off my property - I don't plan to talk with them any more at this point, I don't even want to look at them or the shoddy work they will do. I will just consider this my lawn project for next season, and see how fast I can bring things around again next year.

punt66
11-27-2009, 03:49 PM
you would think your world is coming to an end stop worrying about it

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-27-2009, 11:51 PM
Agreed, thread closed.