Surface restoration


Maintaining or installing underground electric and natural gas facilities often requires work on private property. When we disrupt a surface, such as a lawn or driveway, our goals are to:

  • Provide restoration options as soon as possible.
  • Understand your expectations.
  • Treat your property with care.

Work requirements and soil conditions determine how we excavate. While we (or our designated contractor) maintain the right to determine construction methods, we consider your needs and expectations, and provide a job cost proposal in writing for your approval before work begins. Consult your We Energies service representative if you need details.

Restoration types

  • Soft – Typically, topsoil and seed are used; sod at added cost.
  • Hard – Typically, concrete or blacktop.

Soft restoration types

  • Basic – Cost included with construction charge. We use native soil backfill, leaving 6 to 8 inches mounded on the area to allow for settling. Excess soil is piled at a point farthest away from your house, garage or other structure.
  • Seed (optional) – Cost added to construction charge. We use top soil and seed after the area has settled or been compacted. See cost responsibilities below or speak to a customer service representative for details.
  • Sod (optional) – Cost added to construction charge. We use sod after the area has settled or been compacted. See cost responsibilities below or speak to a customer service representative for details.

Soft restoration examples

Basic restoration showing backfill of trench around cul de sac
with 6- to 8-inch mounding to allow for settling
Basic restoration showing backfill of trench around cul de sac
with 6- to 8-inch mounding to allow for settling.

basic restoration showing backfilled trench dug and compacted by back hoe
Basic restoration showing backfilled trench dug and compacted by back hoe.

before construction  after basic restoration
Before construction.                                             After basic restoration.

seed restoration showing early growth of seeded area
Seed restoration showing early growth of seeded area.

sod restoration over compacted area (available for additional charge)
Sod restoration over compacted area (available for additional charge).

See more surface restoration examples in photo galleries:

Residential rewire project photos
Residential gas lateral photos: Installation | Restoration
Residential new electric and natural gas service installation

Cost responsibilities

Depending on the work, you may or may not be responsible for costs associated with surface restoration on your property.

Our Responsibility. When we initiate the work, we complete restoration at no cost. For example:

  • System maintenance or upgrade work.
  • Any company work in the road right-of-way.

Your Responsibility. If you requested the work and are responsible for surface restoration, you may choose to have us (or our designated contractor) perform the restoration – or you can choose your own contractor. Either way, the costs are your responsibility. For example:

  • Any work you request that requires surface restoration in the road or within the road right-of-way or on third-party property, such as service relocations or installations.  
  • Any emergency orders, such as digging damage to our facilities.

Restoration completion flag

restoration completion flag

When soft surface restoration is complete, our crew places surface restoration completion flags on the affected area. This indicates that the seed or sod restoration (whichever you purchased) is completed. The flag also provides a phone number for follow up questions.

Seed or sod restoration timeframe

After we complete construction and basic restoration, we typically have surface restoration crews on site within three weeks if you requested and purchased an optional seed or sod package from us. Exceptions to this timeline are:

  • Inclement weather. When weather prevents work, we typically complete the work within a week of the scheduled date if conditions allow.
  • Winter surface restoration hold-over. See End of Restoration Season below.
  • Other work activities. Road widening or resurfacing, municipal sewer or water work, or other work in the same area make it necessary to coordinate efforts, delaying restoration activities. Please let us know if you are aware of any planned municipal work.
  • Trenching work. When trenching is involved, the affected area requires longer settling time. Surface restoration work is typically delayed about six weeks from the trench backfilling date.

End of restoration season (fall)

When weather conditions end restoration activities for the season, we notify you that we will complete restoration the following spring.

Start of restoration season (spring)

When weather conditions allow restoration activities to begin, we notify you that we will complete the restoration before June 1. Typically, there is a backlog of several thousand orders due to work performed in winter months. Road weight restrictions, wet soil and unpredictable weather conditions also may delay restoration.

For more information

If you have questions about surface restoration, please contact your We Energies representative or call: 800-242-9137