How long are the pieces and where do I buy them?
You can’t buy them as individual pieces. Our product is fully custom and made right in your yard in one seamless continuous piece, to your exact specifications. No design is ever alike. The breaks you see in pictures are crack control joints we cut in place while the concrete is still wet, just like your sidewalk and driveway, to give the product longevity against cracking and heaving.
Is this a new product?
Absolutely not. Concrete edging was invented in Australia by Richard Eggleton back in 1973, and was brought to the United States by his business partner and our friend, Patrick Roach who landed in the Phoenix, AZ metro in 1980. Great strides in equipment, concrete technology and innovations in the industry have made this product more affordable and more available than ever before.
What is the life expectancy of concrete edging?
Properly installed and maintained, all concrete should have a life cycle that exceeds 25-30 years. Our concrete is mixed to precise specifications and meets or exceeds the quality of the concrete found in your driveway and sidewalks. Periodic re-sealing, although not mandatory, will help assure a long and healthy life for your concrete edging.
Is there any maintenance required?
Anything that lives outdoors requires some basic care to maximize its lifecycle and concrete edging is no exception. Moisture is the primary enemy of any concrete. All of our projects include 2 coats of a commercial grade high-solvent acrylic which is applied after installation. We recommend resealing one time after the first year then every three years thereafter. Resealing is inexpensive and insures a long life for the product. We offer a special every year where we provide this service at a greatly reduced rate
How much does The SHARPER EDGE Cost?
Relatively speaking, concrete edging will run triple the cost of plastic edging, double the cost of steel edging and about the same or less than some of the professionally installed paver or stone edging products. As a total cost of ownership, concrete edging is substantially lower than everything else because of its long lifecycle, 30 years or more, while providing benefits and beauty well beyond the alternatives.
The major determinants of cost are the size of the project, distance to the project, the number of starts and stops, and the style of edging that you choose. Every project is unique, but an average range of cost is between $3000 and $5000 for a whole home project. Your project may cost more or less.
Do you have a project minimum?
Yes. Our minimum is computed based on the travel time and distance to the job. The reason for this minimum is that we have the same amount of travel time, equipment set up, and clean-up time on a 100 foot project as we have on a 500’ project. At our project minimums we generate enough income to offset these costs.
Is The SHARPER EDGE insured?
Yes. We are fully insured for both liability and worker compensation. We are in good standing with all government agencies and play by the rules. If you would like to see our certificate of insurance please don’t hesitate to ask.
Does this process damage my lawn or existing flowerbeds?
Absolutely not. We mix all of our concrete on site, in a specially designed truck, and wheel it directly to the worksite in a turf tire buggy. No trucks or heavy vehicles of any kind will come onto your property.
How does this product hold up to our mid-west winters?
GREAT! We utilize precisely placed crack control joints, a fiber mesh additive and an integrated stainless steel cable to cope with the freezing weather in our area. Finally, we seal all of our work with a professional grade acrylic sealer to protect it from the elements.
Will my concrete edging crack?
Yes. All concrete can and will crack under certain conditions. We take preventative measures to control cracking. We cut crack control joints roughly 24”to 30” on center. The industry standard is 48” but we find that by exceeding that standard we have fewer problems. Additionally we blend fiber mesh throughout the concrete and offer an inexpensive option to extrude a stainless steel cable throughout the length of your edging. Despite these efforts no one can guarantee you that you will not get a crack. Cracks are typically hair line in nature and not a big deal. Our optional cable reinforcement is designed to mitigate cracks that occur.
You keep talking about control joints and fiber mesh, what are they?
A control joint is nothing more than a cut, roughly 25% of the way into the concrete which provides a weak link in the event that stress occurs. These are the same joints that you will find on your sidewalks and driveway. By providing a mechanism to absorb ground shift, a weak link, we have more control over where cracking will occur.
Additionally we blend fiber mesh throughout the concrete mix much like straw in ancient adobe clay structures. Fiber mesh, first developed by the Federal Highway Department, is a polypropylene fibrous admixture which is blended into the concrete and keeps the concrete from shrink cracking during the first critical 24-48 hours of the curing process. The propensity for cracking occurs early in the life cycle of all concrete and may not present itself until stress is applied.
Why doesn't concrete edging require a footing?
By definition, a footing is a monolithic piece of concrete, poured to stabilize and distribute the weight of the structure above. Footings are required to properly stabilize individual blocks and brick and to keep them from sinking or shifting, relative to each other. Concrete edging is really a footing in itself in the sense that it is poured in one continuous piece. Much like a sidewalk or driveway, which do not require footings either, concrete edging cannot shift because it is one monolithic piece. We do level and compact the grade as necessary to form a stable base for our edging as a part of our installation process.
Can you guarantee that the color we chose will look exactly like the sample?
No. Color charts and samples should be used only as a guide. Variations in the color of the sand and portland cement, hardness of the water and even the weather may impact the final color. All of our color additives are precisely weighed for consistency throughout your job, but the final color may vary from the sample.
My landscaper recommends using a natural edge. Why should I change?
The natural edge is very attractive and functional if it is maintained correctly. To properly maintain your natural edge you must re-cut the edge every 6 weeks during the growing season. If you are doing that and enjoy it you are probably not our customer. Most homeowners neglect this ugly task and before they know it the grass has spread throughout the landscape beds. Alternatively you will be paying your landscaper to perform this task throughout the season at an average cost of more than $1.00/ft. Concrete edging eliminates this problem and expense for decades.
Steel edging is cheaper, why shouldn't I use it?
Steel edging is a real hazard. Many landscapers will no longer install it for reasons of liability. There are many documented cases of foot injury to both humans and pets. Last year one of our (now) customers spent $1200 surgically repairing the pads on his dog’s feet. It’s like burying an exposed but very dull and rusty butcher knife around your landscaping. Small children and pets should stay far away from this product. Safety aside, steel edging is only about 50% less than concrete edging on the front end. Within a short period of time, typically 2-3 years you will start to see the paint peel off, leaving ugly rust covered steel. It also suffers from the same problems as plastic edging in that it is a very ineffective barrier to keep grass out and will eventually heave out or sink into the ground. If concrete edging is not for you, we much prefer the natural edge to this worthless and dangerous product.
Why not use plastic, wood or bricks instead?
We’ve all experienced or witnessed what plastic edging does over time. Most quality professional landscapers only install this product at the insistence of their customers. In other words, something is better than nothing, right? Wrong. Plastic edging is unattractive the day it is installed and only gets worse in time. It heaves out of the ground, or sinks in so deep you can no longer see it. It's wavy, looks unnatural and is easily damaged by lawnmowers. It is extremely ineffective at doing the two main things an edging is supposed to do-keep the mulch in and the grass out. Plastic edging does neither, what’s the point?
Block edging is available in numerous styles and gimmicky shapes at every big box hardware store in America. Properly installed, even do-it-yourself projects can run $6-$12 a foot to install and result in a tremendous amount of labor and time. Professionally installed, these products can run $12-$20 a foot installed. The real downfall is that they are set as individual pieces which means they will settle, heave, shift and fall over. It’s not a matter of if, but when these will have to be dug up and reset. In between each block is a prime growing area and the grass and weeds are guaranteed to grow prolifically in between these joints, becoming nearly impossible to control. Concrete edging, by definition, is installed in one seamless, continuous piece, which means there are no individual blocks to sink and settle and there are no joints for weeds and grass to grow in.
Wood timbers were very popular in the 1970’s and lasted a long time. That was before the government started controlling wood preservatives. Today’s timbers are much safer for the environment but the cost is that they are very short lived. Timbers today last about 5-7 years before they begin to rot and attract termites. Never put wood timbers around the home for this reason. The other limitation of wood timbers is that you can only make straight lines. Today’s modern landscapes are far more desirable with their elegant flow and curvature. Timbers are still great for building raised garden beds but not ideal for landscape edging.