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What is a Concrete Turndown Edge on a Patio, Anyhow?

Sounds so fancypants, doesn’t it? I have a few projects underway that need one, and it’s a simple concept that sounds more involved than it is.

When installing a patio, you want it to have a slight pitch so water doesn’t pool on the surface. If we’re lucky, the grade slopes away from the house at a similar pitch as the patio, so we can prep the base and pour the slab on grade. If there’s a massive difference in grade, we may need a retaining wall at or just beyond the edge of the patio. What about the middle ground between the two?

A turndown edge lets us build up the edge of a patio without the expense of having to build a retaining wall under it. We simply form up the edge, shape the gravel under the slab to create a shape similar to the image, and pour the concrete. Now you know what a concrete turndown edge is, should it come up as part of your northern Virginia landscape design.

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