The use of a concrete haunch to support paver edges has long been accepted as normal, a cut and paste ‘standard detail’.
Its function is obvious and a common way to prevent movement of the edge pavers and help with the overall integrity of the pavement surface.
However, there are a few downsides which have been hard to avoid.
Grass dieback from the paver edges because of the concrete haunch, not only affecting the aesthetics but leaving the concrete exposed to vehicle, bike and foot traffic along with water runoff which often leads to the concrete getting brittle and disintegrating, essentially failing in its desired function. Concrete is also time sensitive, requires heavy time consuming manual labour and there is often the additional expense of getting it to site, particularly in remote areas where there is no access to water services.
In theory, the concrete haunch should be low enough on the paver to allow a good depth of soil for promoting grass growth yet still provide support, but in practice this is often not the case as displayed in these photos.
The effective solution to this common problem is the installation of AluExcel aluminium edging.
By installing AluExcel, a full paver depth of soil can be achieved right to the pavers edge allowing grass to take root.
Some of the benefits AluExcel offers over concrete are:
- Light weight for easy handling onsite
- No wet concrete required which is heavy, messy and relies on time sensitive delivery
- No need to wait for the concrete to set, meaning the AluExcel can be installed the same day as surfacing allowing faster project completion
- Installation is not weather sensitive
- Up to 4 x faster installation rate
- Range of 9 profile heights to match required paver depths and compatible with all types of hard landscape surfaces
As an alternative to concrete haunching, treated timer is often used, particularly in non-urban areas. It is perceived as the cost-effective option and possibly is from an initial outlay perspective, although it may only vary between $1-2 per metre less than aluminium. Although treated timber is expected to last the required design life of a project it is it quick to warp, cracks and often requires regular maintenance.