It’s 8:30 at night on Labor Day as I write this post. I just got off the phone with a prospective client who needed some masonry work done to get the CO for their new deck.
After asking questions about the job it became clear what they needed more than a landscape designer was a mason. I assured them that when the time came for grading around the deck or designing the gardens I would be glad to assist.
Some contractors would subcontract the job or make something up on the fly. I’ve reached the point in life where I know what I do well, and profitably, and what I don’t. I enjoy masonry work but my detailed mind can’t get the work done quickly enough and frankly its heavy work.
I don’t know if I did the right thing or not but I listened to my gut. If I’ve learned one thing in life it’s to always listen to your gut.
I hope I get a call to design and install some landscaping work around the new deck. It sounds gorgeous.
*Note: The featured image is a patio I installed in the late 90’s. I cut granite slabs to make the rounded corners and used flamed bluestone for the patio. The granite slabs I used for the steps had a ‘cushion edge’ to give them a weathered look.
My clients hired masons to build steps to their new french door. When the mason stepped on the patio he looked at me and said, “Do you think you’re working with wood?” That’s one of my favorite projects.
A drip edge is a trench filled with gravel that prevents mud from splashing against your home. You install it where water drips off the roof. I also use a drip edge when the grade next to the house is the same level as the siding.
Install the drip edge one foot from the siding when controlling a grade and a little outside the drip line of a home when controlling splashing water.
If your grade is level with the siding install a drip edge level with the mulch. Leave a 1-2″ gap from the top of the edging to keep mulch from touching the siding.
Use commercial grade metal edging for drip edges. No rolled plastic from a box store. It comes in 1/8″ and 3/16″ widths that are 4″ tall and 10′ or 16′ long. This is heavy-duty stuff. If you have tight curves go with the thinner metal. There are fitting available for the edging for corners and splices to make the job look more professional.
Fill your trench with a minimum of 1″ diameter gravel. Gravel smaller than 1″ blows out of the trench when cleaning up leaves. The gravel also blocks sunlight and preventing weeds.
I use gravel with earthy tones that blends with the landscape. A river stone with rounded edges works nicely too. The choice is yours.
I don’t use weed fabric under the gravel. Weed fabric traps sediment and the gravel will soon be sprouting weeds. Not using fabric also makes the stone easier to remove should the need arise.
Apply black spray paint where you cut the edging to prevent rust. I use a Milwaukee Portaband to cut edging. A hacksaw, some elbow grease and a lot of patience works just as well.
Time spent installing a drip edge will keep you from having to replace siding, or worse, down the road.