“Our yard was like a very nice piece of art, but without the frame,” she said. The concrete borders added the frame she needed to properly showcase her home. She now has a coloured, embossed borders along her flowerbeds and trees, and the curb in her backyard has an embedded lighting system. She added that her “fairly competitive” neighbours are thinking about adding decorative curbs to their own yards.
A concrete curb is a quick way to frame a lawn or garden
Decorative curbs can protect gardens or highlight a walkway. Special machines lay out concrete curbs easily; colour and texture can also be added. Cost is around $5-$10 per linear foot.
By Corey Van’t Haaff
When Karen Daniels first saw the Curb-Ease product, she became excited. The morning show personality at JRFM radio bought her home new seven years ago. It was nicely landscaped, she said, but was missing something.
“We already had a driveway and sidewalk, and the trees and grass ran up to the dirt. We thought it looked okay until we saw the curbs done. They neaten everything – and I’m a neat freak. I would totally do it again.”
Garry Tynan is the president and founder of Curb-Ease Continuous Concrete Borders, one of a handful of local companies that can do near instant curbs. The small, custom-built self-contained trailer that pulls up to a home contains all the equipment and material needed to complete a job. The machines Tynan uses are capable of extruding coloured concrete borders of pretty much any shape, at heights up to a foot.
“Our small extruder travels over the lawn. We mix the concrete on-site and extrude a decorative landscaping border or commercial curb,” he said.
An alternative to plastic, wood or brick borders, continuous concrete borders can also act as forms for driveways or can facilitate drainage where needed.
“Conceptually, the sky’s the limit,” said Tynan, but a normal curb ranges from six-inches wide by four-inches high, angling down to two-and-a-half inches at front with a slant edge. Borders around flowerbeds help to contain the soil and can be shaped to almost any configuration. The borders also form a “very effective root barrier,” he said.
A variety of colours can be used, which are mixed right into the concrete. The curbs can even mimic the look of natural materials such as cobblestone, brick, tile and slate.
Tynan said most jobs are completed in two days, Priced from $5 to $10 per linear foot, the average yard costs about $985.
If you already have a decorative concrete border and want to keep it looking new and functioning well, Yves St. Hilaire has some prevenative maintenance tips for you. The owner of North Shore-based Crackman Colour Seal Protection Ltd. said that following five basic steps can keep concrete driveways, borders and walkways, including pavers and exposed aggregate, looking great.
1. Every two to three years, give your concrete a good cleaning using a power washer.
2. After washing, apply a sealer to protect the surface from stains.
3. Add some anti-slip to the sealer to make your concrete surfaces safer.
4. If the colour is fading in stamped concrete, have it colour-sealed with tint.
5. Pay attention to cracks. If they worsen, definitely have them looked at by a professional. If you ignore cracks, water can get underneath and undermine the dirt, causing the concrete to sink.
Reprinted from: Home Makeover May/June 2007