Monday, January 7, 2013

Concrete 1; Us 0

July 2012

We were so impressed with how quick and easy the back porch cover went up that we didn't fully estimate how much work we still had to do.  We were really only about 1/5th of the way into the project.  Our next step was to remove the remaining concrete that surrounded the porch that we longer wanted or needed.  

We had cut the concrete back in May when we depaved the driveway, but due to the unexpected depth, we realized we would not be able to remove the pieces in slab form and would instead need to break them up further with a jack hammer.  I was honestly dreading this part more than anything.  We had spent three weekends already jack hammering and moving large concrete pieces around.  I had breathed a sigh of relief when they removed the dumpster a month earlier.  Now here I was again.

 The good news was that the weather was much better.  Also, our friend let us borrow a jack hammer so we did not have any additional costs.  Since Josh was a pro at it we devised a system where he jack hammered a section for about 5 minutes and then took a ten minute break while I picked up the pieces and carried them to a tarp in our backyard.  This would be the THIRD tarp in our backyard filled with debris.  Urgh. 

This system worked great and most of the concrete came up pretty easy.  Within one morning session we had successfully removed all the remaining concrete. Hurray.  Unfortunately, we were now left with a dirt wasteland from our car to the porch and a very intimidating concrete pile.  Honestly, I cannot imagine how much our neighbors hated our Saturday concrete removal.

With the big equipment spent, we ordered more Western Red Cedar from the same guy who got us the wood for the front yard raised beds.  Our goal was for them to look as identical as possible.  We also had a bunch of left over wood we were excited to use up and get out of our garage.  While we waited for the wood to be delivered.  Josh leveled the area where they new raised beds would go.   He used some of our broken concrete pieces to act as a sturdy foundation and we spread pea gravel over the area to help make sure the wood would not be sitting directly on the wet earth.

This picture makes it look like we are building a fortification structure around our patio. Apparently we needed to ward off a Garden Gnome attack. 
By the end of the weekend there was not much to show for our hard work except more piles.  But freeing up all that soil for more planting space felt great and we were excited to move forward with the raised beds. 

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