One of the easiest, most affordable ways to add curb appeal to your home is to install concrete lawn borders.
Lawn borders define your flowerbeds and pathways, giving your landscaping a finished look.
You can form concrete to the desired shape and color or stain it to match your style, and you won’t find a more durable, long-lasting edging option.
Best of all, this is an affordable do-it-yourself project, costing less than $2 per linear foot for all the materials.
What You’ll Need
- Quikrete Crack Resistant Concrete Mix
- Quikrete Liquid Cement Color (optional)
- Quikrete All-Purpose Gravel
- Quikrete Acrylic Concrete Cure N’ Seal (optional)
- ¼-inch Plywood
- Wood stakes
- Wood screws
- Wood float
- Mixing basin, wheel barrow or an electric mixer
- Edging tool
- Margin trowel
- Square and/or pointed shovel
- Screw gun
- Waterproof gloves
- Safety glasses
Ready to work? Read on!
Move any mulch, landscape rock, or other material where you want the borders. Then use a shovel to outline the area’s border.
Determine the border’s thickness, depth and above-ground height. Concrete borders should be at least 3-and-a-half inches thick and should extend at least 2 inches deep into the ground to anchor them and prevent shifting and cracking.
Then dig a trench 1/2 -inch to 1 inch deeper than the desired border thickness, minus the border’s depth. This will allow for terrain variations as you build the forms.
Excavate the trench 2 to 3 inches wider than the border’s width. You want the trench’s walls to be as vertical as possible; this will help support the forms.
Then level the bottom of the trench with a square shovel.
Use a circular saw to cut quarter-inch plywood in strips for the border forms — the strips must be equal to the concrete border’s depth — and place them in the ground.
Then hammer 12-inch-long, 1-inch by 2-inch-wide wood stakes outside the forms — ensuring they’re vertical and snug — to securely hold them in place.
The stakes should be level with the form’s top edges.
Use a cordless drill with a Phillips head bit to drive two 1-inch screws through the plywood into the stake from inside the form. Drive one screw near the top of the form and the other in the middle of the form.
Then drive a stake into the ground at the end of the form so that the form edge aligns with the middle of the stake. Screw the form into the stake with two screws. This ensures the next board butts up against the previously set board, and will create a continuous form.
Use additional stakes to help maintain the border form’s desired contour; they can be inside or outside the form, but you need to drive interior stakes into the ground so that the top of the stake is no more than 1 inch above the bottom of the form.
Once you’ve built a few sections of the border form, start constructing the form’s other side.
Use 1-by-1-inch or 1-by-2-inch wood spacers — 4 or 6 inches wide — at regular intervals to ensure the border keeps a consistent width.
Slide the spacers between the forms to keep the forms parallel; you can keep the spacers there, or remove them, before pouring the concrete. If you keep the spacers in place, you must push them all the way to the bottom of the form to prevent the concrete from cracking.