Backyard Concrete Demo

Saturday was a huge work day for us! Liz had errands to run during the day, so I was on the first shift in the backyard. I ended up clearing a lot of “stuff” near the cellar door around 9AM, and spent about an hour making sure things were out of the way (I also didn’t want to start the concrete demo too early, and 10AM seemed a little more reasonable to me).

Two super heavy blocks that were sitting underneath the porch. I think these may have been used to “block” a few gaps in the fence.

Weirdly, this guy is starting to look (and feel) a little familiar. This now marks the third time we’ve rented this guy, and the second time Liz and I were doing demo work on our own.

This is after a few hours. It was slow going, and the concrete actually ran much deeper than I anticipated. There’s actually a layer of brick underneath everything, and I was pulling up chunks that were several inches thick.

Almost immediately, I started to worry about disposal – thinking that we would end up needing two Bagster bags. On top of that, there was the concern of getting all this stuff cleared out next week, before the landscaping crew arrived.

I ended up texting a note to our contact with Christy Webber (a guy named Drew), asking if they could add in removing the concrete as part of the job. Turns out they could, and so I started to situate things that would make it easier for them to access/remove.

Some of the concrete sections (further away from the house) came out a lot easier. Since we now had the benefit of someone removing this with a bobcat… we started to break off larger chunks.

It was around here that I started to get a little worn out. I took a lot of breaks, and was sweating pretty good the whole morning. I think I must have gotten heatstroke or some serious dehydration, as I recall feeling rather chilled when I stopped working. I also got a pretty terrible headache, along with some muscle cramps.

When Liz arrived home, we sat and chatted in the kitchen a while. I had texted her, asking to have her bring home some bananas (in addition to beer). The potassium helped, but I think I was just super, super dehydrated.

Weirdly, my jaw ended up feeling the most sore during the demo process. My arms were tired and would cramp up a bit, but more than anything else – my jaw was what bothered me the most.

Liz took over the demo while I rested up in the kitchen. I put down a ton of water, and after about 20 minutes started to feel more like myself.

While she set about clearing out the smaller pieces of concrete, I headed into the basement to tackle a large block that had (previously) served as a base for our water heater. With no real need for this guy anymore, we opted to bust him up so long as we had the impact hammer handy.

Another mixture of concrete and brick.

Back outside, with much more of the concrete and brick removed.

Here’s a view from roughly where I first took some photos, at the start of the day.

Around 4PM, I loaded up the impact hammer and headed to Home Depot/Lowes on my own. Liz opted to stay home (and I’m glad she did, as she ended up clearing up a lot more of the concrete), and I made the return on my own.

I also picked up another 11 bags of mulch! So nice, we did it twice.

Our smart looking piles of rocks.

This was way, way more than I anticipated. Really glad we were able to fold the removal in with the upcoming work.

Me, adding a bit more debris to the pile. Note how high everything is behind me – there could be a colony of raccoons back here, and we’d never know it.

The empty space, after a full day’s work.

After I got back and unloaded the mulch, Liz and I plopped on the porch and each had a beer around 7PM. I have to tell you – after going since 9AM, it was the sweetest tasting thing I’ve had in a while.

I left work on Friday feeling a little more stressed than normal, and it was something that I wasn’t really able to shake off. But all through the day today, I barely gave it a thought as I was just focused on the work in front of me.

By the end of the day, sitting on the porch with Liz and listening to the thunder in the distance – I realized how silly my work stuff was, and how the here and now (our house, our porch) was the thing I needed to focus on.

I’d been watching the weather reports for the previous days, and nearly everything I saw suggested that we’d get thunderstorms around 2/3PM. We’d been racing the weather all day, and I was delighted to see that we got really lucky – there were some sprinklers in the late afternoon, but nothing that prevented us from working.

It wasn’t until we were completely done, beers in hand, that we started to hear and see the actual rain come. For that bit of kindness, I’m incredibly grateful.

Next week, it’s gonna be huge. We’ve got a crew of people coming in, and this backyard of ours is going to be transformed. We’ve done just about all the prep work we can do, and soon it’ll be in someone else’s hands.

Good, long day today.

Basement Demo, Jackhammer Edition
Pouring Concrete for the Water Heater Platform

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