Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Read on below for some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Why do you need my address?

When you submit a quote, our first step involves performing a desktop review of your property. We are fortunate to have access to numerous sources (satellite imagery, street view, GeoOttawa, etc.) which allow us to determine quickly whether or not we would be able to access your property. This initial desktop review allows us to make educated requests for additional information when we contact you.

Will you need a site visit? 

Technology has come a long way! We are fortunate to have access to numerous sources of information that allow us to complete a desktop review of your property. When a quote comes in, we typically do a quick review of your property address on available satellite imagery and digital street view imagery. This helps us to assess if there is access for our equipment (minimum 6-8 feet); and to help us get an initial feel for the surrounding property and neighbourhood. This desktop review allows us to make educated requests for additional information when we contact you. When you hear from us, you might receive an email asking for pictures of your property. These pictures help paint the rest of the picture missing from the available satellite and street view resources. While some projects still require a site visit to accurately provide a scope of work and price, most of our projects can be quoted without a site visit. This allows us the benefit of being able to focus on getting your project done in a timely manner when you give us the go ahead – and maintain a work-life balance so we can spend time with our families!

Why are you asking if I have access for equipment? 

We pride ourselves on owning our own heavy equipment. This allows us the benefit of being able to schedule jobs efficiently, without relying on outside rental companies or hired equipment. It also allows us to complete projects efficiently, compared to manual labour, which in turn, saves you money.  However, owning this equipment comes at a significant investment – and so our focus is on jobs that make the best use of the resources we have available. Regrettably, if your project does not have a minimum of 6ft wide for equipment access, we are not a good fit for your project.

How soon can you start?

While we strive to get projects done as quickly as possible, by law, any excavation works in Ontario require the acquisition of locates. We strive to submit these locate requests as soon as a contract is signed, but we are then held to wait until the locate requests have come back. Typical timelines for acquiring locates are 5 to 10 business days, but in the peak season, there may be further delays outside our control. Challenges with the pandemic have also resulted in higher than usual call volumes to Ontario One Call - which has in turn resulted in delayed turn arounds acquiring locates. While we do our best to stay on top of contacting them regularly, ultimately the turnaround time on locates is outside our control.

For more information about locate services, check out https://www.ontarioonecall.ca/

Can you start in the spring? 

While certain projects can start in the early spring, some projects may be subject to outside constraints. Two common issues for spring projects are seasonal load restrictions on roads, and the availability of soil.

Seasonal load restrictions (sometimes also called "half loads") are a period during the spring melting period where municipalities and road authorities place weight limitations on the roads. This is in part due to the ground thawing below the road; and heavy trucks would cause damage to the roads (even more ruts and potholes than we already see in Ottawa!) Seasonal load restrictions are typically lifted in early-to-mid May, all depending on how the temperatures behaved during the spring melt.

Soil availability is also limited by spring temperatures. Although the snow may have melted, large piles of topsoil and soil may still be frozen. With that - garden soil by the truckload is often not available until mid-to-late May. Occasionaly it may be earlier or later - all again dependent on seasonal temperatures.

Why do you need locates to regrade my driveway?

As part of our driveway rehabilitation works, we regrade the existing driveway surface. To do so, we make use of a “harley rake”, also known as a “soil conditioner”. This approach re-grades the existing base, and may cause disturbance to the subsurface. While shallow, any disturbance to the main surface can be considered excavation, and runs the risk of impacting subsurface utilities. While utilities are not traditionally buried shallow, stranger things have happened. So rather than risking damage to shallow buried infrastructure, we acquire locates so we know what to expect!

Where can I find reviews?

For the most recent, up-to-date reviews, check out our Google Reviews. Older reviews are also still available through Homestar Reviews.

I submitted a quote to Nepean General Contractors – what is your affiliation with SHADE GROUP?

When you contact us, you may notice that our response email is from Shade Group! Shade Group is the parent company to Nepean General Contractors as well as Alan’s Landscaping Heather’s Gardens. A family owned and operated corporation, our roots are firmly planted in the eastern Ontario, including the City of Ottawa, Lanark County, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and Leeds and Grenville.

We are working on growing our web presence as Shade Group Inc., but in the meantime, please feel free to check out our reviews under Alan’s Landscaping Heather’s Gardens or Nepean General Contractors for feedback from previous customers!