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Image of a person next to a fence using a soil saw to dig a trench.

How to choose a UK root barrier installation company

Many UK landscaping or construction projects require, or would benefit from, root barrier installation. However, installing root barrier on commercial, and some domestic projects, can be a challenge. Without the correct machinery, tools and know-how, what may at first seem like an easy task, can soon escalate into something that’s physically challenging and technically complicated. That’s why Root Barrier Store works with a number of leading root barrier installation companies throughout the UK.

What should you look for in a professional installation company?

First and foremost, a track record with recommendations goes a long way. You should look for a company that has worked with similar clients. For example, commercial contractors may struggle to work in a domestic situation, or vice versa. Finding the right company should result in the root barrier installation costs being lower, as they will have invested in the correct tools and equipment to get your type of installation done quickly and professionally.

Our advice is to first consider what you want to achieve. Below is a simple guide to the skills required to complete tasks in a number of common scenarios:

Task

Project Skills

Contractor Type

Large scale horizontal root barrier

Heat welding expertise, Construction competencies

Commercial contractor

Bamboo root barrier

Micro digger or soil saw

Domestic contractor / Landscape contractor

Tree subsidence

Groundworks
Deep digging
Subsidence expertise
Excavator & construction competencies

Commercial contractor with insurance expertise

Japanese knotweed burial cell

Groundworks
Deep digging
Knotweed expertise Excavator & construction competencies

Specialist knotweed company

New tree root directors

Tree planting expertise

Landscape contractor

Protection of Utilities

Groundworks
Deep digging
Excavator & construction competencies

Commercial contractor

Vertical root barrier

Ground works
Excavator
Micro digger or soil saw

Commercial contractor /
Domestic contractor


Whatever your root barrier requirements, when excavating safety is of key importance. Digging in the ground has all sorts of risks, especially the risk of electrocution should you hit an electric cable. Therefore as a minimum root barrier installation companies must undertake risk assessments to protect themselves, their customers and the public. 

What factors impact the cost of root barrier installation?

Clearly the financial burden of installing a root barrier needs to be considered at the start of the project. Here are Root Barrier Store's top five tips for saving money on your root barrier installation cost:

  1. Root barrier is best installed using machinery, but space can often be tight. For root barrier installed no deeper than 1 metre consider using a micro digger, or a hiring a specialist firm who can use a soil saw. Soil saws are fast and efficient, can get in to the tightest of spaces and cause much less disturbance than a micro digger or excavator.

  2. Think about the project as a whole. Do you need barrier welded or can a bespoke barrier be made to measure? Welding barriers on site will take time, and whilst bespoke barrier will cost more to buy, it will be quicker to install. For larger commercial project these factors will play an important part in how you employ a root barrier installation company.

  3. Use the right root barrier for the job. Some barriers cost more, but will provide particular benefits. An example being CuTex - our composite root barrier, which is perfect for Japanese knotweed - in many instances this will not require additional protection in the form of a sand blinding if laid horizontally, or a fleece if laid vertically.

  4. Make sure that the scope of work is defined, and that the depth of root barrier is not over specified. Digging deeper into the ground gets more dangerous due to the risk of trench collapse with larger and more complex machinery being required.

  5. For deep excavation knowing the soil type is important as this can affect the cost of root barrier installation. Soils that are sandy will more likely need trench support, whereas clay soil at certain times of year will hold itself up.

In addition, there are also several technical factors that a UK root barrier installation company will need to advise on. These may include:

  • The incorporation of root barrier into built structures
  • The backfilling of root barrier trenches
  • Monitoring
  • Maintenance
  • Anchoring and welding.
All these installation factors will impact the root barrier membrane installation cost.

How do I find professional root barrier installation near me?

As discussed, when looking for a professional root barrier installation you need to consider the nature of the work you require and therefore the skills this will entail. However, having read this you should have a better understanding of the questions to ask for your job.

Whilst recommendations are good, an online search will also provide you with local companies in the trade. Look out for trade accreditations such as CHAS or SafeContractor, and if you are dealing with invasive weeds a PCA accredited company would be recommended.

And, don't forget you can always ask us. Our parent organisation, PBA solutions, has 20 years experience in the field and has written and provided installation guidance notes and advice for root barrier manufacturers. If you fall outside our region we can advise from our network of contacts.