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Proper Restraints Pave the Way to Quality



By Matthew Mulford, Pavestone Company






One of the advantages of a good edge restraint is retention of the one-inch of bedding sand. This loss of bedding sand initially results in paver failure on the perimeter of the project and can quickly penetrate into the paver field. If not immediately repaired, this sand loss is a major warranty (and expense) issue. Photos courtesy of Pavestone

Have you ever lost a bid because of situations you had no control over? Have your potential customers chosen not to proceed with a project and left you wondering if your proposal was not good enough? Many factors can cause your bids to be declined including poorly executed projects by other contractors.

Your competitor's quality of construction can have a direct impact on your perceived quality. Likewise, your company's quality can affect the perception of others in the industry. A completed job exceeding customer expectations--whether installed by your crew or not--can be a critical link to your next sell. Install your projects with excellence and pave the way for the prosperity of your company, and aid in the positive perception of the industry!

Your financial success is based on the profitability of your present and future projects. Make your organization's reputation founded on quality so price is not the only consideration your new clients base their choice of contractor on. Attention to detail must be scrutinized and every component of installation must be completed correctly. These high standards should also apply to your hardscape projects.






If you are using a restraint that requires securing with landscape spikes, make sure the road base is at least 6" wider p/side that the pavers. One of the benefits of this extra road base is having the spikes driven into the compacted aggregate mix, which prevents the spikes from moving. If using a triangular concrete toe, it is usually installed with a piece of rebar in the middle of the concrete.


Hardscapes can be a marquee component of your landscape creations. Proper construction is critical for a long-lasting patio, walkway or driveway. As a result, all aspects of the construction (excavation, road base, compaction, bedding sand, pavers and edge restraint) must receive close scrutiny. Edge restraint is one of the segments of paver construction that is sometimes used to "save" money. However, this critical step can make or break a project. Scrimping on edge restraint does not save money. The cheapest is not always the least expensive in the long run. Invest in a long-lasting project by using the correct restraint for the job and positively impact your company's bottom line.

In addition to long-term savings and customer satisfaction, using the correct restraint serves other important purposes. One of the advantages of a good edge restraint is retention of the one-inch of bedding sand. This loss of bedding sand initially results in paver failure on the perimeter of the project and can quickly penetrate into the paver field. If not immediately repaired, this sand loss is a major warranty (and expense) issue. Use correct restraint and sand loss should not be a concern.

Edge restraint also keeps the pavers from creeping. This lateral movement of the pavers results initially in failure on the edges and needs to be corrected immediately before the warranty call becomes very expensive. If you are using a restraint that requires securing with landscape spikes, make sure the road base is at least 6" wider p/side that the pavers. One of the benefits of this extra road base is having the spikes driven into the compacted aggregate mix, which prevents the spikes from moving. Lack of movement in the spikes keeps the edge restraint solid, thus keeping the pavers stationary.

Selection of edge restraint is a key decision for your project. There are many options to choose from. Refer to the chart below for a quick reference.

1. Wood timbers (4 inches by 4 inches or bigger) can be installed, but are prone to deterioration over time.

2. Concrete has many forms to evaluate. Keep in mind concrete is prone to cracking, especially in areas with freeze thaw cycles.

o Some areas have preformed segmental pieces that can be used. Check on availability in your market.

o Poured concrete edges are common. Remember this may or may not be a look your client will want.

o Place perimeter pavers in wet concrete. Pay close attention to height of the pavers after placement.

o Concrete toe: Triangle of concrete toweled along edge of pavers, usually installed with a piece of rebar in the middle of the concrete.






All aspects of the construction (excavation, road base, compaction, bedding sand, pavers and edge restraint) must receive close scrutiny, especially since edge restraints can impact the longevity of the installation.


3. PVC and plastic have many options to choose from. Various manufacturers offer different features. In general, these require a spike to ensure non-movement and are not visible upon project completion because backfill will cover them. Installation is usually very fast with this option, so production rate is good.

4. Aluminum is available from many producers. This type is usually inexpensive and installs quickly. However, heavy traffic can be a concern when using aluminum.

Remember that paver construction can be a great opportunity for your company to separate yourself from the competition. Pavers offer a great WOW FACTOR!! for your client and potential clients. Do not scrimp on edge restraint to save money. Use the right restraint for the project. Pay attention to the details of each step of construction. Install the selected edge restraint properly, and your satisfied client will become one your best sales tools!








Selection of edge restraints is a key decision for your project. There are many options to choose from. Refer to this chart for a quick reference.

View Full Size Image

Building Blocks

8 to 10: Inches, the recommended length of spikes used to anchor paver edging. Source: doityourself.com

2 to 3: Feet, the recommended distance between spike placement on a typical edging products. Source: Paragon Pavers









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November 22, 2019, 1:30 pm PDT

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