Whether landscape curbing is your full-time job or an add-on service you offer as part of a larger portfolio, the curbing business is booming.
Steady requests for this aesthetic product can be attributed to a couple of things:
1.) Landscape curbing is typically a home improvement product, and not often used in new construction (which has definitely been in the slumps for the past year).
2.) More homeowners realize now isn’t the greatest time to sell and want to increase their re-sale value down the road.
In fact, according to the Florida Nursery Association, curbing can add a 4.4-percent increase in value to a home. While that might not sound like much, a typical installation of 200 feet of curb at a cost of $1,200 would give a return of $8,800 on a $200,000 home.
“About 70-percent of our customer base is existing contractors, and more than half of those are landscapers,” says Mark Crosswell with Tygar Manufacturing. “While we do have individuals who make curbing their sole business, we’re seeing less of that because it is very difficult to get financed with a brand-new business right now.”
According to Ron Tolf with The Concrete Edge, manufacturer of the Lil’ Bubba curbing machine, curbing isn’t just for general landscapers or stone masons any longer. “We’re seeing arborists getting into this area because they go out to people’s homes, see the product and they love it.”
Curbing popularity has dovetailed into the general increase in hardscape installations of walkways, garden paths and driveway liners. “Curbing is a turn-key way to improve a landscape in a short amount of time,” Crosswell explains, “because almost every job can be completed same-day.”
“From separating their planting beds from the lawn to creating a definitive edge for a landscaper to follow – curbing is appealing to homeowners.”
From a homeowner’s standpoint, curbing reduces maintenance cost and time and is good for water retention in landscape beds – an especially attractive feature in the South and West where there are often annual water restrictions.
Both companies are receiving requests for more natural-looking curbing patterns. Tygar has a new set of molds and stamps that are more realistic than glitzier ones offered in the past. The Concrete Edge is also offering more formal patterns, including their Moroccan rock series.
“I think homeowners, especially ones in suburban America, are looking for ways to make their yards unique,” Crosswell says.
What to expect
Tygar plans to unveil a new model next year with many user-friendly functions, including a new way to integrate molds onto the machine to make it more versatile and integrate curbing into an overall hardscape plan.
For the past year and a half, The Concrete Edge has focused on making machines so they can install both residential and commercial projects, including a small machine capable of placing larger curbs and adding cable to the curbs for additional strength.