How Far Can I Dig Down In My Backyard?


If you’re considering building an extension, an in-ground swimming pool or even a nuclear bunker you’re going to need to know how far you can dig in your backyard.

Of course these are not the only reasons you might want or need to dig in your backyard. But it is interesting to note that the number of bomb shelters in Australia has increased since the election of President Trump.

In fact it’s more than just knowing how far you can dig. It is interesting to discover how much of the land and even the air you own round your property. This is a complex and highly intriguing matter. It can vary depending on where you live and whether you have the rights to anything under your land.

But, even this doesn’t tell you how far you can dig in your backyard. Even if you are just looking for oil or gas you may need permission to dig this deep.

Map It First

Before you even consider digging or checking how far you can dig under your back yard; you need to find and use a utility mapping service. These types of service will use special equipment to map the ground and locate all utility services.

This can prevent you from digging straight into an electricity cable or sewerage line. If you know that the area you wish to dig in is clear you’ll be able to assess how deep you really can dig.

The Depth Of Your Dig

Digging a basement to expand your living space has become a popular option as opposed to moving. Equally many families are building structures for aging relatives in their gardens. These often have basement sections.

In general if you have an existing basement then you can extend it but usually by now more than 3 meters from the wall of your existing structure.

The depth of your basement is generally restricted to one storey. It is rare that the planners will allow you to build 2 or more stories down.

This gives you a partial answer to the depth you can dig in your backyard.

Of course there are exceptions!

Deciding to dig for oil or gas is a different matter. After all, the hole will be smaller, but potentially much deeper.

The answer to how far you can dig in this respect is much more complex. Technically there is no limit to how far you can dig; especially if the digging process is not likely to disrupt any neighbors.

However, the reality is that you’ll need specialist equipment to complete a dig like this; which means you’ll need a professional firm and permission to dig!

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to build a structure in your backyard then the depth you can dig will be controlled by your local planners.

But if you want to start digging and simply see how far you can go; then there is no limit. All you have to do is figure out how you can safely excavate the soil as you get deeper and deeper.

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