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Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

May 12, 2007

Finally finished with the concrete.

Well, I think we've finally had enough with the concrete already. My wife and I had a great idea to recycle some concrete and use it in our landscaping rather than buying a bunch of basically the same thing for $3.00+ a piece. I should correct myself, I had the idea to use the stuff for a retaining wall around our front flower beds and brought home a few pieces to show her. After she decided she liked it, I felt like I had created a monster. She figured, hell it's free and it looks good, why not put a wall around the back garden bed too? And while we're doing that, why not use it like flagstone under the pergola? We could plant some creeping thyme; it'd look like a old english garden. Mean while I'm like," Hold on now sweetie. I mean, this stuff weighs a ton. Maybe we could just do a little at a time?" But really, I have to admit, I thought I would have ended up doing most of the work, but I didn't. The amount of pure labor that this woman put into it, was nothing short of amazing. She went with me to get the rock, she stacked most of it, even started swinging the sledge hammer towards the end. By the end of this project we had put such a dent in the pile of scrap concrete that we used for these projects that what was a 10x10 and 5 ft high pile of ugliness laying by the side of the road, can now be entirely missed if you don't know that it's there. We hauled in around 7 loads of concrete scrap that we had broken up on site and worked for oh, I dunno a month I guess every weekend and a couple nights a week. but all told I would say we saved about $1200-$1300 plus the fact that not only did we keep the concrete out of the dump, we didn't contribute to digging more rock out of the ground. Win win situation in my book. So here I am, enjoying the fruits of my labors so to speak, and here shall I be as often as possible. But now, I need to get a second one for the wife, she certainly earned herself one! So, what do you think? Just because it isn't sold at the home store and just because the neighbors don't have the same thing doesn't make it not nice; in fact in my book it makes it that much better.
P~

10 comments:

Rosa said...

Wow, that's much more beautiful than my "use up old concrete so we do't have to haul it away" project - mine is just piled (nail- and rebar-sides down) around a raised bed. It's, uh...rustic. But functional!

Yours looks very nice.

P~ said...

Thanks Rosa, I'm glad you like it.

A~ told me I needed to clarify on the concrete that we used, so anyone wishing to do the same doesn't assume that it is just any old concrete. The stuff that we used was originally sidewalk. I have also heard that old driveways work well too. The important thing is that the concrete be of a relatively consistent thickness. I'm sure there are infinite possibilities though, don't be afraid to play around with it a little and you should find a way to use what you've got.
P~

Sally said...

Patrik--
this looks great. Bravo for a great recovery/reuse project. I wonder though, did anyone give you problems with taking away the concrete? Was this neighborhood/city project waste, and do you think that just about any such pile of concrete would be up for grabs?

P~ said...

Sally, thanks for the compliment! This was sidewalk that was torn out I suspect by the city. I have yet to determine what the reason for redoing the sidewalk section was. I didn't ask for that. I didn't even know where to start for that matter, there were no hints as to who to go to it was literally on a stretch of road with nothing on either side. We also got a portion of it from a pile that was laying near another contractors "storage" lot. I walked in, asked around for who the boss was and just asked for it. You'd be surprised at how happy they were to not have to pay to take it away. Generally I have found that this kind of scrap concrete will sit where it is until someone complains or it is in the way, then it is either dumped in a landfill, or moved to one of the storage lots until again it is in the way.
Hope you have luck if you are looking to try the same, let me know if I can advise in any other way!
P~

Sally said...

Hey Patrik,

Thanks for the advice offer! I'm between loci now (year sabbatical in California, returning to Midwest in July) and I have so, possibly too, many ideas for making my yard work. I'd been looking into recycled glass for some areas-- but your recycled concrete makes so much sense. I recall there being more new construction than replacement work in our old stomping grounds-- we'll see if it's changed when we get back, and I'll let you know how it turns out! (My big fantasy project is a "rain garden" ....)
Sally

P~ said...

Sabbatical in CA huh? That's where I grew up. Where are you at? I'd certainly be willing to give any advice from experience that I can. I don't think that you can ever have too many ideas. The way that I look at it, if you have lots of ideas available in your head, then as materials make themselves available you will have a plan ready to take advantage of them. Be it glass or concrete. FYI, I also found out today, that a local aggregate supplier to me accepts clean recyled concrete and grinds it up and sells it as recycled aggregate. You may be able to find a supplier like that that will let you either take the concrete for free, or at very little expense.
Nice to hear from you.
P~

Phelan said...

wow! Looks great!

Stephanie said...

That spot looks wonderful, and inviting! I love it.

BTW thanks for letting me know there was a Black Walnut Festival in Roane county. I love black walnuts, and WV festivals. If you are ever in Memorial Day you must go to Vandalia!

P~ said...

The last time we were out was last year for the festival. It's in Spencer and is around the middle of Oct. It's not huge, but we love to go. Where in WV are you?

april said...

That does look great. Good job, it reminds me of blue stone.