Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Everybody's Working for the Weekend!

Yup, that's right...we {I use the term "we" quite loosely for this one} were busy working this past Memorial Day weekend.  Okay, okay maybe just the first half of Saturday, but still!  A whole heck of a lot got done before we overindulged in lots of food, movies and BBQs for the remainder of the weekend.

In a post or two, I may have mentioned that I despise our backyard, especially the ugly concrete slabs that had become my spray painting backdrops.  Unfortunately our backyard brings absolutely NOTHING to the table, and certainly doesn't make us want to go out and enjoy the great outdoors.

{Least favorite area of our yard.}

 {Close up view...basically where I spray paint everything. :) }

 {Small concrete pad at the top of the steps to our driveway.} 

And because of all the loveliness shown above, we previously called a stamped concrete guy to come and give us an estimate to do some work.  We wanted him to demo our old slabs and install a stamped concrete patio.  {We personally prefer stamped concrete to pavers, but I know many may disagree with us.}  His quote was quite reasonable for the work to be done {let's be clear...the patio we want is very sizable because if you're going to do it, do it once and do it right}, but holy moly...it was much higher than we were guess-timating!  Bummer!!!

He let us know that if we wanted to demo the slabs ourselves and clear away the concrete we could save $1,500.  At first, we didn't even consider this.  Jackhammers and flying concrete debris?!?!  It kind of freaked us out.  But after a couple weeks went by, and we investigated our slab {it seemed to be only about 3-4 inches thick}, we decided to look into demo'ing the slabs ourselves.

All it took was a couple minutes of reading some info on Home Depot's Tool Rental site, and I was sold.  We {meaning my big, strong hubby} could totally handle this!  So when Saturday rolled around, we headed straight to HD and rented an electric breaker...$75 for 4 hours.

Once we got home, we were both pretty anxious about how it would go.  Hubby suited up with long pants, work boots, safety glasses and ear protection....and off he went!

The breaker came with three different bits {I'm just calling them bits, because I don't know what they are really called}, and even though he used them all, hubby had a clear favorite he used for most of the project.  The breaker does all the work for you, but you have to constantly pick up this heavy piece of equipment and move it to the next area you want to break...and occasionally it'd get stuck in the rubble and you'd have to yank it out of the concrete.

Here is a little glimpse at the process...as well as some inadvertent eye candy for my female readers. ;)

{Getting the hang of it.}

{Switching out the "bit" to try a new one.}


{Making progress.}


{For those of you who follow me on Instagram [retroranchreno]...you saw this picture on Saturday.}

{The big slabs are almost done.}

{Trying to clear everything out from under the stairs.  There were two layers under there...one of concrete and one of brick.}

{No more little slab near the steps to the driveway!}

After almost two hours of hard work in crazy heat and humidity, hubby had everything broken up.  He was E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!  No joke...I have never seen him beat like this, and we have taken on many long and exhausting days since purchasing this home.  I am really so thankful to have a husband who could take on this huge task.  I felt so bad that I couldn't help, so I just stood out in the porch and was his "support" while he tackled this major project.

And thanks to all of his hard work, we managed to return the breaker before our 4 hour deadline and even got money back from our initial deposit!  So, all in all, breaking up our old concrete cost us $66.

Of course, now comes the real fun!  We have to move allllll of the debris to a dump area we have near our house.  I am not looking forward to all of the wheelbarrowing we have in our future, but since it's saving us just over $1,400, I'll suck it up! :)

This all brings us one step closer to having an outdoor space we never thought we'd have!!  Woohooo!

25 comments:

  1. There's lots of potential there though!!! Think of the end product and thank your hubby by using his big muscles to jackhammer the concrete to managable sizes! Good luck moving it all. We will be doing a similar project in our future as our sidewalk is HORRIBLE - slants slightly to one side, broken up, old as can be, and so ugly!

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    1. I agree...there is definitely a lot of potential! We just have to do a little work to bring out the best in our yard!

      Lots of luck to you guys with your future sidewalk project!! :)

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  2. Wow, it's so great you all could do this yourselves! Your whole yard is really shaping up! You'll be done in no time!

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    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! :)

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  3. Ok, let me let this sink in (and forgive me for my sincere, but humorous-honesty), but.........you have a very nice looking husband, who actually rented a piece of equipment, did the work, to save money, to get you guys a much-anticipated-done-right stamped patio, and then responsibly took back the equipment before the allotted time and received a savings in return? So far, I believe you hit the jackpot!!! You are blessed. And,I cannot wait to see the results of your patio. I have been watching you progress all along, and decided to comment today. I just found myself smiling for you, in every way, and had to share. (PS, I know you guys are a strong team. I commend you for having a great partner, and for being a great partner.)

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    1. Yup, I definitely am the luckiest girl in the world to have him! Thanks for following along with our progress!

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  4. Wow! He is such a hard worker! I'd say you picked a sure winner ;) It's going to look great Gabbi. That's awesome that you guys saved so much money too!

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    1. He definitely is such a hard worker...I'm very lucky to have him in my life! Thank you, Whitney! :)

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  5. Woohoo! The yard is looking better already! Good for you guys for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on such a big project! Can't wait to see this space take shape!

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    1. Thanks Diana! We are happy we went ahead and did it too! We are antsy to have a space we can enjoy back there! :)

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  6. I know that is sucky, exhausting work but so worth it to save that kind of cash AND you'll have a new amazing space soon!!

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    1. Definitely is soooo worth the savings! {Easy for me to say when I didn't do the biggest lifting hehe.}

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  7. This is very exciting!! So worth the couple hours of work to save all that money. I don't envy you the wheelbarrowing part but again- it will be so worth it! Excited to see your space take shape!

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    1. Clearing the space went way better than we thought because our AWESOME neighbor helped us. It went much quicker with 3 people! :) I can't wait to share a great space with you guys!

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  8. That looks like so much work. Yikes! But definitely worth the money you saved (easy for me to say, lol). Great job!

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    1. Yea, it really was worth it to save that money. It's the only way we could get the patio done! :)

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  9. It might be exhausting work but it's definitely worth it to save that much money!! It already looks tons better.

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    1. For sure...we are very happy we did it! Thanks Debbie! :)

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  10. Way to save money! I mentioned getting a jack hammer and doing the same thing to Jesse and he wasn't very enthusiastic... lol. The stamped concrete is going to look absolutely incredible when you guys are all done!

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    1. Thanks! Aw, tell Jesse he could totally handle it...especially after the weekend he just had himself haha.

      Can't wait to share the finished product with you guys! :)

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  11. Wow that looks so exhausting, but it will pay off in the end. I am itching to get stamped concrete as well. Can't wait to see the results :)

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    1. Yea, I felt so bad for my hubby, but I was so proud of him to take on that project! I say do it if you can...I have a feeling we are going to be in love with it! :)

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  12. He did an awesome job! We have soooo much concrete in our backyard :( I think I'm not brave enough to tackle it all.

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