August is Curb Appeal Month and a lot of homeowners are outside preparing their homes. This is, after all, the time when the most flowers are blooming and lawns look amazing. The primary things homeowners need to watch out for are buried utility lines and pipes. So that’s where my thoughts are taking me for today’s blog post. Here are several common mistakes that homeowners make when improving their home’s curb appeal, and how to avoid them. Hitting Buried Utility Lines Buried utility lines run through many area neighborhoods. Electrical lines, natural gas lines, and plumbing and drainage pipes are buried so that they are more accessible and take less damage from wind and storms. Take a few minutes to call 811 before you dig. You don’t have to call a week or more in advance, most of the time they’re there within a couple of days to mark the location of utility lines. This quick step will save a lot of time, money, and frustration if something were to have gone wrong. Skipping the Planning Process Planning should be at least 75% of the job! Take your time to preplan every plant and every location before you make any purchases or dig up any soil. The time you put into planning will pay off by leaps and bounds when you’ve finished your curb appeal projects and you can see that your efforts have truly made an impact on the overall appearance of your home. Damage to Guttering and Downspouts The guttering that sits just at the edge of your roof provides a very specific function. It is designed to catch rain water and direct it toward the downspouts which direct the water away from your foundation and landscaping. Plants planted too close to the downspouts can create a serious issue when they grow and branches pull at the downspout. Don’t ignore any damage that may be done to the guttering or downspouts while you’re improving the exterior of your home. Misplaced Shrubbery or Trees Thick shrubbery and trees add so much appeal to your property, but don’t just plop them down randomly. Design specific areas with tall trees that provide shade and specific plants that do well in a shady environment. Shrubbery should never be planted too close to the foundation because they can keep the area too moist and lead to mold or mildew in the mulch or on your home. Going Overboard There’s a distinct line between curb appeal and gaudiness. Don’t add plants simply to be adding plants. Refer to your original plan and stick to it as much as possible. You may notice spots that need some little something extra, and that’s perfectly normal. Your best bet in this situation is to go to your local garden center and get a cute annual to fill the empty spots. These spots can be changed with every season. Give me a call at Kizen Plumbing at 310-644-9757 if you’re in need of plumbing repair due to an overzealous shovel push or accidental clipping of a pipe. I’ll make it a priority to check out the damage done and get it repaired in a timely manner.