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Complete Guide to Kerbing and Slabbing in Cambridge

Kerbing and slabbing are integral parts of landscape design and construction, providing both aesthetic appeal and practical benefits. In Cambridge, where historical architecture meets modern living, the demand for high-quality kerbing and slabbing services is ever-growing. This guide aims to shed light on what kerbing and slabbing involve, their benefits, and how you can implement these in your Cambridge property. For a quote, contact VIV Construct Group, a local landscaping, new driveways, and block paving company covering the Cambridge, Newmarket, and Ely areas.

What is Kerbing?

Kerbing, also known as curbing, refers to the process of creating edges or boundaries along pathways, driveways, and other areas within a landscape. Kerbs serve multiple purposes including:

  • Defining Boundaries: They clearly define the edges of different sections, such as lawns, flower beds, and pathways.
  • Preventing Erosion: Kerbs help in controlling soil erosion by holding soil in place.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: They add a finished and polished look to the landscaping.
  • Functional Purposes: Kerbs can guide water drainage and prevent vehicles from driving onto lawns or flower beds.

Types of Kerbing

  1. Concrete Kerbs: Durable and long-lasting, suitable for both residential and commercial properties.
  2. Stone Kerbs: Offer a more natural look, perfect for historical areas like Cambridge.
  3. Brick Kerbs: Provide a classic and traditional appearance, blending well with older architectural styles.
  4. Plastic Kerbs: Lightweight and easy to install, though less durable than other materials.

What is Slabbing?

Slabbing involves laying down slabs or pavers to create flat, stable surfaces for patios, pathways, and driveways. The choice of slabs can greatly influence the look and feel of your outdoor space.

Types of Slabs

  1. Concrete Slabs: Affordable and versatile, suitable for a wide range of applications.
  2. Natural Stone Slabs: Include options like granite, limestone, and sandstone, offering a timeless, elegant look.
  3. Porcelain Slabs: Known for their durability and low maintenance, ideal for modern designs.
  4. Reclaimed Slabs: Provide a rustic and vintage appeal, perfect for preserving the historical charm of Cambridge properties.

Benefits of Kerbing and Slabbing

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal

Properly executed kerbing and slabbing can transform the look of any property. They add structure and definition, making outdoor spaces more visually appealing. This is particularly important in a city like Cambridge, where maintaining the aesthetic harmony between old and new is crucial.

Increased Property Value

Well-designed and maintained kerbing and slabbing can significantly increase the value of your property. Potential buyers often look for homes with attractive and functional outdoor spaces, and quality kerbing and slabbing can be a major selling point.

Improved Functionality

Kerbs help in directing traffic, both human and vehicular, preventing damage to lawns and gardens. Slabbing creates stable and safe walkways and patios, making outdoor areas more usable throughout the year.

Low Maintenance

Once installed, kerbs and slabs require minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning and occasional sealing can keep them looking new for years. This is especially beneficial in a busy urban environment like Cambridge.

How to Choose the Right Kerbing and Slabbing for Your Property

Assess Your Needs

Before starting any kerbing and slabbing project, it’s essential to assess your needs. Consider the following:

  • Purpose: Are you looking to create a new driveway, pathway, patio, or garden border?
  • Style: What style suits your property best? Contemporary, traditional, or a mix of both?
  • Budget: What is your budget for the project? Different materials and designs come at varying costs.

Material Selection

Choosing the right materials is crucial. Here’s a brief guide:

  • Concrete: Ideal for modern properties and areas requiring high durability.
  • Natural Stone: Perfect for traditional properties, offering a timeless and elegant look.
  • Brick: Suits historical and rustic styles, providing a classic charm.
  • Porcelain: Great for contemporary designs, combining aesthetics with low maintenance.

Professional Installation

While DIY might seem tempting, professional installation ensures longevity and quality. Experienced contractors can provide expert advice on design, material selection, and installation techniques. They also ensure proper groundwork, which is critical for the stability and durability of kerbs and slabs.

Kerbing and Slabbing in Cambridge: Local Considerations

Historical Significance

Cambridge is renowned for its historical architecture and landscapes. When planning kerbing and slabbing projects, it’s essential to consider the historical significance of the area. Using materials that complement the traditional aesthetics can help preserve the city’s unique charm.

Weather Conditions

The weather in Cambridge can be quite variable, with wet winters and dry summers. Choosing materials that can withstand these conditions is crucial. For example, natural stone and porcelain are highly resistant to weather changes, making them ideal choices for this region.

Environmental Impact

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in construction. Opt for environmentally friendly materials and practices. For instance, using locally sourced stone reduces transportation emissions. Permeable slabs allow rainwater to seep through, reducing runoff and promoting groundwater recharge.

DIY Kerbing and Slabbing: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re considering a DIY approach, here’s a simple guide to get you started:

Materials and Tools Needed

  • Concrete, stone, or brick kerbs/slabs
  • Sand and gravel
  • Cement
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • String line

Planning and Design

  • Measure the area where you plan to install the kerbs and slabs.
  • Sketch a design, marking the locations of kerbs and slabs.
  • Order the necessary materials based on your measurements.

Preparing the Ground

  • Clear the area of any grass, roots, and debris.
  • Dig a trench for the kerbs, ensuring it’s deep enough for a stable foundation.
  • For slabs, excavate the area to a depth that allows for a base layer of gravel, sand, and the thickness of the slabs.

Laying the Base

  • Fill the kerb trench with a mix of sand and cement, leveling it properly.
  • For slabs, spread a layer of gravel followed by sand, compacting each layer thoroughly.

Installing Kerbs

  • Place the kerbs in the trench, tapping them into place with a rubber mallet.
  • Ensure each kerb is level and aligned with the string line.
  • Backfill the trench with soil or concrete to secure the kerbs.

Laying Slabs

  • Start from one corner and lay the slabs on the sand base.
  • Use a level to ensure each slab is even with the adjacent ones.
  • Leave a small gap between slabs for jointing sand.

Finishing Touches

  • Once all slabs are in place, brush jointing sand into the gaps.
  • Water the area lightly to help the sand settle.
  • Regularly check and refill the joints as needed.

Maintaining Your Kerbs and Slabs

Regular Cleaning

  • Sweep the area to remove leaves, dirt, and debris.
  • Wash with a garden hose and mild detergent to prevent staining.


  • Apply a sealant to protect against weather damage and stains.
  • Reseal every few years for continued protection.


  • Inspect regularly for any damage or shifting.
  • Replace broken kerbs or slabs promptly to maintain the integrity of the structure.


Kerbing and slabbing are essential elements of landscape design that offer both aesthetic and functional benefits. In a city like Cambridge, where historical charm meets modern living, choosing the right materials and design is crucial. Whether you opt for professional installation or a DIY project, understanding the basics of kerbing and slabbing can help you make informed decisions.

For expert advice, professional installation, and high-quality materials, contact VIV Construct Group. They are a local landscaping, new driveways, and block paving company serving the Cambridge, Newmarket, and Ely areas, committed to transforming your outdoor spaces with precision and care.