His job is to “eye-up” the top line of each belgian block and shout directions to the guy with the hammer. The belgian block is sitting in fresh cement, and by tapping the block with the hammer it can be adjusted in small increments to get it just right.
As antiquated as this method may seem, there is simply no substitute. Of course I should tell you that the pitch and grades for this driveway and curbing were all set using a laser level. String lines are often used as reference points to ensure proper pitch.
It’s always interesting to watch the different trades mix modern day technology with good old fashion know-how.
Good Things To Know About Belgian Block Curbing
In the proper order of things, the curbing heights should be anticipated early on in the project because the top of the finished curb dictates surrounding grades. You need to know this right from the beginning so you can plan your grading and drainage work accordingly.
Consider installing any PVC sleeves and/or conduits before belgian block curbing goes in. These curbs have concrete footings that will be difficult to contend with if you need to get a pipe through them.
Remember to discuss “curb reveal” early on as well. Curb reveal is the amount of curb face showing on the pavement side. Typically on residential properties we like to show approximately 4″ of curb. This, of course, can vary according to personal taste and circumstance.
Municipal codes and regulations come into play at times, particularly near and along public roads. Visit the town zoning & engineering office to check. Don’t find out it’s in violation after it’s installed. Ouch!
Lastly, I want to mention “drop curbs”. These are stretches in the normal curb-line where the top of the curb gradually slopes down to become flush with the paving.
Not only do drop curbs look nice by keeping the curb line “continuous,” but they structurally maintain the supportive edge (on both sides). Whether it’s asphalt, decorative gravel or paver bricks, a structural edge like belgian block is best. It’s a permanent feature that will forever support and contain the surfaces.