What can I expect during installation of my new curbing
If you have existing grass it will not be affected by our machines. The grass in the area the curb is laid is trenched to install your curbing. Outside that area the grass remains the same. We transfer the concrete using a Piledriver, which has large turf tires and don't tear up the grass. You curb is extruded through a curb machine. The concrete is mixed onsite with a specialized trailer and mortar mixer. We are totally self-contained except for water which we will need to mix the concrete. Very minimal disturbance to your property. You must understand though that there may be very small minute leftovers next to curb or in the grass which is easily picked up.
I noticed your prices are higher than other curbing companies in West Michigan
The question you should be asking is "why are their prices lower than ours? We set the standard for what curbing is at for pricing. Other companies look at this and because they can't meet this standard lower the price to get your work. It's very simple, if you can't offer what the best companies can, lower your price. If a company has no experience or knowledge of what they are doing and can't offer any of the options, we can the only thing they can resort to is a lower price so they can practice on your yard.
Do you have any issues with cracking in your curbing?
Curbing is a concrete product and if a curbing company says their curbing never cracks, they are simply not telling the truth. We have very minimal cracks as we use the correct ratios and techniques when it comes to mixing concrete and finishing. Spider cracks can occur in concrete and must not be mixed up with separation. You must remember that cracks can and will occur in concrete. Many factors contribute to this including materials, layouts, and temps. The main issues with landscape curbing are extreme angles, inclines, and declines. You must realize that a curbing machine weighs approx. 210 lbs. so getting enough compression is extremely difficult in these situations. Cracks are concrete issues, they can and will happen. Cracks that are over 1/4 wide on level ground are an issue with operator error or lack of compaction, these cracks will be covered under warranty. Cracks in all other situations are not. We put the control joints closer to relieve stress, but cracks can occur, they are a fact of concrete life. We are dealing with moving concrete.
We put expansion joints approx. every 2 feet for the relief of stress in the concrete as it cures. These joints are no different than the cuts in sidewalks or driveways, we are essentially putting cracks in ahead of time so the curbing will expand there. If it does then there may be a small crack that runs down the back or the front close to the ground. This DOES NOT mean the curbing has cracked, it means the control joints are doing their job and relieving stress.
What kind of options do I have when it comes to decorative curbing?
You have several options with curbing. There are many different sizes, styles, and shapes. Curb can be colored and or colored and stamped. Multi-colored with different antique releases. Curbing can also be made to look like stone with our new carving techniques.
What about reinforcement and p.s.i.?
Landscape curbing is just that, for your landscape. You need to keep this in mind and not compare it to curb you see in a parking lot. It isn't the same as it doesn't have the same aggregate. PSI for normal landscape curb varies on the type of sands used and ratios mixed. Most are in the 2000 psi range. You can do several things when it comes to reinforcement. Rebar like in flatwork isn't an option when it comes to this. We run cable in our curb as that helps with separation which is tensile strength. We also use blended polymers and fiber which not only increase tensile strength but compression strength as well.
I have an existing yard, can i still have curbing put in?
If your yard has existing grass and sprinklers you can for sure have curb put in. There are a couple things to be aware of though. Existing yards are considered a retrofit, done after the fact. Normally curb goes in before the sprinklers and rock or mulch so we can create smooth flowing lines without obstruction like sprinkler heads etc. Since they are already in along with the plastic or brick edging, the curb must go outside those areas and create new lines. We can come in and move rock, remove existing edging, and place curb where edging was before, but this does incur extra cost. Curb can easily be placed outside the sprinkler heads and not obstruct spray that way we can create smooth, beautiful flowing lines. The space behind the curbing then can be filled with your material of choice. Which is something we can also do.
Can you help us with layout?
For sure! Smooth flowing lines and curves are the very best look you can get. Straight lines and corners first aren't aesthetically pleasing but are a pain to mow. You also can't get proper drainage with them. Realize that a 200 lb. machine is laying your curb, it's constantly moving so straight lines will NEVER be straight, no matter what company does them. You want the curb around your house to flow so it's easy to mow and you don't have to stop. You want it to transition cleanly to the next. Look at yards that have curbing, do the lines flow or are they a jumbled, jagged mess. Tell Tale sign operator has no experience. Flow is extremely important and it's the first thing you see when someone drives by.
What kind of warranty can I expect for this type of product?
Our warranty on curbing is a 1-year workmanship warranty. Because this type of concrete cures so fast any issues you will have will commonly occur in the first 24 hours. Spider cracks are a concrete issue that can and may occur. Do we ever have issues with them? NO, but you need to be aware. If a crack forms and it's more than a 1/4 inch wide, it is operator error and will be fixed. Cracks that occur due to vehicles, heavy mowers, natural occurrences such as tree roots, ground heaving, etc. will not. Common sense really comes into play, when a car drives on landscape curb it's probably not going to hold up. Spider Cracks are a fact of life in concrete and may occur in certain situations.
I've scheduled curbing to be put in, what should I do before the crew shows up
All sprinklers need to be marked either with a flag or paint. When we cut the sod, we use a sod cutter with a rotating blade which will chop your sprinkler in half. We aren't responsible for sprinklers ruined if they aren't marked. Make sure your driveway or area on street is clear of vehicles so we have room to park.
What do i do with sprinklers? On new properties and existing ones?
If you have a new construction and are looking to have curbing put in, the sprinklers go in after the curb. Most sprinkler companies want it this way and so do we. It's easier for both of us. If you have the sprinklers in first then they dictate where the curb goes, this makes for not smooth flowing lines because we must adjust to them. In the opposite sense, the sprinkler guys can put their heads next to the curb when it's in first.
On existing lawns, 90% of the time we will go outside your heads to create nice lines. No worries, your heads will shoot over the curb and spray normally.
Are there any sealers that are applied and do I need to reapply after?
A high gloss acrylic sealer is sprayed on all curb that has color. Stamped or not. This is the only thing that brings the color out and makes it pop. Liken it to a clear you put on wood to see the grains. Water based sealers DO NOT work as well, make sure it is not used on your curb. All sealers regardless of what they are will need to be reapplied. Sealer that is exposed to sunlight and UV rays will break down over time, this doesn't mean they will peel off or disappear. They will lose their luster and need to be emulsified. Another coat will darken all your colors like the first time and make it look nice again. It is what it is. If a company tells you they have a 10 YEAR sealer, that's a bunch of bull. If that's the case, then every concrete company known to man would be using it. Imagine you get your car waxed and they say it'll last 10 years, you would call BS. If it's sounds too good to be true??? Most likely it isn't.
Do you do anything to protect our house from water issues?
This is a huge issue that MUST be addressed. We don't care if you choose Distinctive Edge Concrete Landscape Edging to do your curbing, you must make sure the company you hire takes care of drainage. Every area that may hold water gets a small "v" cut in the concrete to let water out. The drains that are put in around your house are put in the areas where gravity will take water, it must have a place to exit. The cuts we put in are only designed to handle the water from direct rain and snowmelt, your downspouts must be extended over the top of the curb so the massive amounts of water from the roof will be outside the curb to begin with. Water may not exit these drains before it pools against the house and starts to go into basement, it is imperative that the spouts are extended. We are not responsible for any damage that may occur due to homeowner or landscaper negligence. It is a 4-inch concrete dam and it will hold water. If someone says that the water will drain underneath or you don't have to worry about it, they are lying to you....
Therefore, when you do long waves and curves you can manipulate drainage. Water will settle at the bottom of a curve, it's an easy place to place a drain.
Is there a minimum footage/cost for a job? Also, for trees rings?
Yes, we have a minimum footage. You must realize that a normal curbing crew is 3-4 men, with 2 trucks and a trailer with all the necessary equipment. We cannot travel across town and do 20 feet; a company would lose money on that. We currently have a $800 minimum; some other companies are lower but may have a smaller crew etc. Tree rings need to be large enough to handle growth years down the road and they are difficult and time consuming. We have a 25-foot minimum on tree rings which will give you at least a 6-foot diameter.
What if the curb gets damaged? Will you come and fix it?
As stated in the previous question we have a $800 minimum for a property. If you run over your curb with a skid steer, or someone stepped on it after install it's the same. We must bring the same equipment and same crew to do 10 feet as we would for 500 feet.
Can I buy these in sections?
No, the curbing is extruded from a special curb machine. We come to the site and lay down a continuous custom concrete edging that defines and beautifies existing and new landscape and garden areas. The concrete edging is one continuous piece with control joints cut halfway through, approximately 2 feet apart. Since there are no separate pieces, grass and weeds will not grow through the concrete.
Do you use reinforcement in your curbing?
Polypropylene fiber mesh is added during the mixing process to reinforce the curb. 1/8" steel cable is run through the entire curb during the extrusion process to minimize shifting and/or separation.
What about existing edging and sprinkler heads?
Every job is a little different, but under normal conditions we will pull the existing edging before installation. Sprinklers may have to be moved, but in most cases, we can work around them. With some installations our curbing may be in front or may be behind sprinkler heads. It really depends where the final design of the edging will go.