Saturday, June 20, 2015

Flower Bed Part 2

In August of 2013 we finished our flower bed / retaining wall project along the front of the house.  We had some block left over to start along the side of the house but did nothing with it last year.  This spring we decided to finish the project so I ran over to Lowes to get some more block. They had none in stock and no one there could tell me much about why or if they were going to get more etc.

I came back home and called Lowes tech support line and found out the company that supplied the block went out of business. They gave me a name of the manufacturer and suggested I try calling other stores to see if there was any stock remaining. I had no luck with that so we spent a weekend driving to different home improvement stores and landscape companies looking at block. I found out that there are quite a few different companies that make decorative concrete block. There is no standard for it, it changes from lot to lot and all of the landscape stores have "better" block than the home improvement stores, or at least that is what they claim.

In the end we did not find a suitable substitute and I was back on the phone making calls. Twenty three calls later and at least one French language phone switch board I found a guy at a landscape store in Davenport Iowa. He knew the company that made our stone which was about 20 miles away from him. He also thought he had a phone number for someone that had worked there. I told him I needed two pallets or four tons and he said he would make some calls. Two days later he called me back and said he had two pallets on the way and I was able to get them for the same price it would have cost me at Lowes. The bad part is Davenport is a 600 mile round trip and the only thing that I have access to that would handle that much weight is a 16 foot box truck.

After work Monday May 18th I picked up the truck and we drove to Le Claire and spent the night. The following morning it was a 15 mile drive to pick up the stone and another 300 home. We had all four tons unloaded and the truck back to the rental place before 5pm.

What four tons of block looks like

Over the next four weeks we put in a few feet a week and these are the final results.

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