How to install landscape border block on a slight slope

mpdavis13May 19, 2014

I'm installing landscape block as a border on the side of my house. The house is 24' wide. The area I'm running the block slopes from the back of the house to the front. Over the 24' the land slopes 19 inches. The block are not acting as a retaining wall, simply a border. I'm going to mulch about 5' out from the house up to the border. The block are 12"L x 4"H x 4"D. If I make the top of the block at the highest point level with the top of the block at the lowest point I will have 5 block at the bottom of the slope. Since the area I'm mulching slopes the same I would have to fill that in 19". I would rather not do that. Will it look ok if I just use 1 block high (possibly 2) the entire distance and just gradually slope each block? Is there an easy way to setup a string to follow to make sure I'm sloping each block about the same? Any other suggestions are welcome. Thank you

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The main problem with raised block borders is that people rarely install them with great care (tops of stone perfectly in line, straight or uniform curvature edges, or so that they'll stay perfectly in place over time, etc.) Because they're raised and imperfect, they usually tend to be a little junky looking, and sometimes a LOT junky looking. Installing a border flush with the lawn instead (as a mowing strip) almost always looks classier, so long as it, too, is done with care. Either of these borders look better if the material is min. 8" front-to-back depth (the "width" of the border band. Narrower material looks very skinny and emaciated -- cheap -- in the typical landscape.)

In the case described, it would not be desirable to stack blocks several high. (It would become a de facto retaining wall!) A single row of blocks should flow with the grade. If the grade is uniformly sloped, establish the first and last block elevations along the row and run a taught string between them. In order to have the block line be perfect, use two strings ... one for each block edge. Attach the string to stakes firmly pounded in place outside of the blocks. Then place each block so its edges touch those strings.

Keep in mind that the blocks need to be set on a tamped granular base (like what would be used for setting pavers, about 3" thickness) so that they don't squish around and settle unevenly over time.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:55PM
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