Excavation’s the first step in deck building

Before digging, know where utilities are located

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Summer is a great time to add a new deck to your outdoor living space. And large or small, attached to the house or standing alone, it's a sure bet that before you starting cutting lumber and laying deck boards, you'll need to do some excavating to get the site ready. Underground locates: No matter how minor the excavation work may seem, the very first thing you need to do before digging is to locate your underground utilities -- and it couldn't be easier. No matter where in the country you are, all you need to do is call 811 and request a locate. Within just a couple of days, someone will be out to clearly mark the location of underground electrical cables, pipes, phone wires and other things lurking under the dirt. The service is free, the peace of mind is priceless -- and if you don't do it, you could be held liable for the cost of fixing anything you cut into! Lay out your digging: To ensure accurate placement of your framing, and to keep from having to do any more di...