Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Breaking Up...

busted bricks

Actually isn't so hard to do, at least if it's brick and a bit of mortar and you've got a jackhammer. It's even easier if said brick and mortar has spent years in damp ground. There was a bit of concrete, and even a clay drain pipe (full of dirt and roots), but nothing like the ├╝ber-thick layers of the front walk I'd taken out before. As is usually the case, cleaning up the debris was more work than busting things up.

As happens with many DIY projects, this has gotten bigger than when it started. Initially I was just going to pour concrete for the front porch area. It was more than I could reasonably mix by hand, but not enough to get a concrete truck and pump. So we added in the steps to K's office. Then I decided I should take out the brick steps down from the walkway, as they were a bit sloped and would surrounded by concrete. Then I realized I could do the footings for new steps up to the carport, too. Now after busting out the steps, I'll need to build a little retaining wall above the area, too. I haven't calculated how much concrete I'll need altogether, but I'm pretty sure it'll be at least a truck load now.

the front walkway

The plan for the walkway is to have a concrete berm along the side to keep things in place, and then use permeable pavers (over a nice bed of gravel and sand) for the main part of path. That'll lead down to a couple concrete steps down to the front porch area. The porch area will be home to a 50 gallon rain barrel, and the overflow from that will go into a drain pipe through to the downhill side of the house.

Eventually, I'll build some new steps up to the carport. The current steps are getting a bit rickety, and they've always been a pain for moving large items (like refrigerators) up and down, both because they're just barely wide enough to hold such items, and there's a 90 degree turn to navigate. The new steps will be a straight shot (basically the hypotenuse of a triangle with the current steps being the two sides), and about 8" wider. But first things first -- a decent walkway. Rain permitting, that should happen Friday or early next week.

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