Many of us love a big project in the garden. Something we can really sink our spades into and make a dramatic difference to the view from the living room is ideal. You might be building a new patio or installing some elegant decking. Maybe you’re ready to take on the challenge of a water feature, or perhaps even build a swimming pool?
The trouble is that big changes to the garden can prove more than a little problematic to the house.
If you’ve never grown your own fruit and vegetables before, you might be quite excited at the prospect of consuming all that fresh produce. The trouble is that garden pests can get hold of your crops before you do!
This is why so many growers are keen to protect their plots from wild animals, insects, snails, and slugs. The danger to your home comes from how you choose to do this.
Chemical insecticides are, of course, highly effective. Some are even safe for you to consume. That doesn’t mean they are safe for you to store in the house, meaning if you spill some on your boots and that ends up in the home, there could be trouble.
Dogs and cats are very keen to sniff and even lick your shoes to find out where you’ve been. If there is a chance of chemical contamination, it’s essential you keep these gardening shoes away from your animals.
It probably won’t do your stained floors or carpets much good either.
If you’re keen to create a great view from the living room window, you might be tempted to take on some major landscaping. Be wary when using digging equipment too close to the house. It is certainly worth checking your house plans and pipe overlays to be sure you’re not digging into phone, cable, electric, water or sewer systems.
If any of these are damaged by your activity, chances are you’ll be liable for all repairs. In the meantime, your home services will be affected. You may leave your garden in a hazardous state, and you may even flood an entire area.
Ambitious projects are sometimes best left to a professional who has seen it all and done it all before. Don’t forget, there could be more than a few cables and pipes under your land. Wildlife and insects may be living under there too.
You might not want to wipe out entire populations by digging without checking first. These creatures, if disturbed, may even find their way into your home. You would need to hire a pest control company to manage any infestation.
Any aggressive gardening activity could disturb ants, mice or rat nests. Of course, depending on where you live the wildlife seeking refuge in your home could be something much worse, like snakes!
Nobody likes the idea of a tree blocking the light and the view from their home. Equally, no gardener really wants to take one down. However, there are times when it is necessary to prune larger branches, especially if they are very close the house.
Managing this yourself is not always a good idea. For a start, you will need easy access to the problem areas which are usually only achieved with ladders. You will also need to control the fall of anything you take off.
It’s easy to forget just how heavy a branch can be. If you want to take an entire trunk down, it is almost impossible to be certain which way it will go. If it’s wrong, it may crash into the house. If the roots are underneath the house, they may cause damage. Of course, if it falls on you then you are at high risk of serious injury!
This one should be left to the pros.
Installing a fountain, a waterfall, or a pond can be a wonderful addition to any garden. However, these water features often require an electrical feed to pump the water. Many are available that are solar-powered. This means you won’t need to plug them into your house feed. Of course, the bigger the pump, the more power it needs.
If you have a lit pond, you’ll need to plug this in.
Plugging anything electrical into your home can be dangerous if the cable or pump isn’t correctly insulated and placed. Electrocution is the worst case scenario, but there is also a chance that you’ll damage your home circuit. In the very least you may suffer power outages that will be very inconvenient for you and your family.
Always read the installation and safety guidance before you start to install this kind of thing in your garden. Think about where you need to position the water feature to ensure any cables can reach comfortably where they need to be plugged in.
Don’t switch on the mains power until you are absolutely certain everything is correctly installed as it should be.
If you’re hoping to build a garage or a shed, you might look to your garden for the space. Outbuildings are rarely regulated. You can usually buy a kit online and then put it all together yourself. Sounds easy? It should be, but there are always risk associated with this kind of thing.
First, you need to consider the plot it will stand on. The base or floor must be perfectly level and is usually best set on a concrete footing. Building the structure should be done with someone else helping to avoid excess strain on your body. There are likely to be large pieces that will simply be too big and heavy to move safely alone.
The next thing you need to consider is the assembly of your structure. Following the guidelines alone may not be enough. If your area is prone to high winds, you might need to reinforce it to ensure it doesn’t move or collapse in bad weather. If parts of the roof blow off, they may collide with and damage your home.
Whatever you decide to do, stay safe in your garden!