What to expect when you order work from us-
You are hiring a professional, well-experienced business. We will address any concerns you have so please understand what to expect, and ask if you have questions, so there are hopefully only pleasant surprises!
When we take orders, we give you an approximate time frame like “two or three weeks from now” , then only set up an exact day when we are within a week or a couple of days of the installation. Please let us know if you are on a timetable with your project, and we can likely accommodate your needs. This way we do not hassle each other with rescheduling due to weather or other numerous changes that can happen on either side. Once we set a day, we are very reliable! Only actual breakdowns or factors beyond our control will interrupt the plan. We have had customers annoyed if we do not set a date weeks in advance, but it simply is not possible with all the variables of weather especially.
We generally confirm planned work the evening before installation-
with a phone call or text message if you have been using texts. We can usually set our arrival time at the site within about an hour. As we often do two or three jobs a day, we need some flexibility in this. We can give you a call an hour ahead or whatever you need if you want to meet us at the site.
If we have seen the job and planned it with you ahead of time at he time of the estimate, then you do not need to be present when the job is done.
Mark it out if you can’t be there.
We can do the work with no one home if it is marked for us or if we have done an estimate on site. For us any line drawn, painted or laid out with a hose is the approximate front edge of the curb. Don’t worry if you can’t mark a smooth line, we make it smooth and graceful looking. We prefer to see you ahead of time if you cannot be there the day the work is done. Please mark sprinkler heads! We do not want to damage them, and cannot accept responsibility for unmarked sprinkler heads.
Water your lawn thoroughly before we come-
This is important if you have an established lawn, we are doing prep, and the weather has been dry. It is extremely difficult to prep hard, dry ground!
When we meet on site-
We will walk through the details of the installation with you, marking out the curb lines with a paint marker as needed. The crew will set up the equipment. Once we have walked through, you can leave if you like. We virtually never need access to your home or any further input from you as we do the work. Of course it is good to walk through again when the prep is done, so we can make any adjustments you may want now that you can see the lines better.
( when there is an existing lawn) is done by hand prepping or using a sod cutter to reshape areas to be curbed. The sod scraps and old edging are generally left on site– on your driveway, garbage area, or on your vehicle for hauling away. We can make arrangements to haul the scrap material away but this is not included in the curb prep price- it is an extra cost, so most people opt to take care of this on their own.
If it is not actually raining, we can usually work on any lawn. On final grades ( new topsoil) we can work if the ground is dry enough to walk without soil “gloming” onto your boots! moist ground is actually very good for the concrete, as it shouldn’t dry out too fast. If a thunderstorm comes, or showers, we can usually just cover the work when it is done, and you pull off the covers and dispose of them the next day.
We mix the concrete on site, on our custom built trailer which carries the materials, machinery and has a mixer mounted onboard. The trailer is usually parked on the street as it is too heavy and long for many driveways. The extruder is about the size of a snowblower. We can get through most gates as it is only 24″ wide, as is our concrete wagon. We use a powered wagon to move the concrete to the work area. We are proud of our wagon because it has many wheels, minimizing impact on your existing lawn. Wheelbarrows generally used for this are very hard on the turf! We use gas powered machinery and do not plug high amperage equipment into your house electrical system as many curb installers do. We only rarely need to use a grinder or small hand electric tools to sharpen a blade or something like that.
A note on colours-
Concrete colours are very tricky; we do not have the control of “paint chips” . Integral colours and release colours are “ballpark” only. When concrete is wet, it is dark, when it dries it is much lighter. The release washing is an art, and does not produce the same results every time even though the same materials were used. Humidity, wind, heat, changes in the aggregate (sand colour and texture) and sealant are all variables affecting the colour and sometimes the finish. The colours always look way more intense when the curb is brand new than they will later on. if you have a stamped curb , and after a few days, you feel the colour is “off”, there are tricks we can use to adjust the colours generally towards the darker side. But these adjustments must be made BEFORE you reseal the curb.
Yes there will be some mess, but considering all the digging, mixing, shovelling and finishing that goes on, it really is not that bad. Imagine if we used the old method, and set up forms with stakes and boards! The prep work can make some mud if the ground is wet, so while we do sweep up, you can expect to have to wash your sidewalks afterwards. The sod scraps are piled where you want them if we are leaving them behind. Also you will find bits of concrete beside the curb or in the lawn. We do not attempt to pick these all up because inevitably, some will fall on the soft wet finish of the curb, permanently marring the surface. So it is best , and you can expect to have to pick up some bits with your hands the next day and throw them in the trash, and well as rake through your lawn before you do the next mowing. We do try to keep the work tidy, but because the concrete is still soft when we leave, and takes a day to get hard enough to work around, we do leave the final cleanup details to you. The area the mixer is parked is sometimes problematic. We generally spread tarps to catch the worst, but splashes and spills happen, so you may see some residue on the street when we have gone. A bit of traffic and a rainfall later, and you are not likely to find anything anymore.
We apply the first coat of sealant to stamped curbs. The concrete needs to cure a while before a second coat can and SHOULD be applied by you, the homeowner- see SEALANT page
We want to be paid promptly when the job is done- but we do want you to see it in person before paying. If you can be home, we appreciate payment at the door when done. So if you are not home. we will leave an invoice. Please check that it seems right to you, and of course, call with any questions. Payment can be made by e-transfer, mailed cheque, cash (including the GST, as we do not dodge taxes) or credit card. Please, ALWAYS reference the invoice number with your payment. We frequently receive payments from a different name and /or address, and have difficulty matching them to the invoice.
The photos illustrate typical jobs.
Below you can see us at work on various phases of a curb installation.