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Adventures in home improvement: Operation backyard 2013 (Part 1):

We live in a very small house built in the early 1950’s.  Apparently, people building houses at that time didn’t acquire nearly as much “stuff” as we do because there’s a real lack of storage.  To some extent, this has been a blessing because it forces us to limit our purchases to things we have room for.  If we buy something, usually something else has to go.  Unfortunately, when it comes to tools, this rule doesn’t really apply so we decided to put in a shed.  Enter, operation backyard 2013.

As usual, any home improvement project we undertake sounds easy at first.  Putting up a shed- no big whoop, right?

As it turns out, it’s best not to put a shed right on the ground (unless you want it to rot in a few years.)  Therefore you need to put some sort of base down, be it concrete, stone, etc. This is where things get interesting.

Being the earth conscious recyclers that we are, we thought it would be swell to dig up our sidewalk to nowhere (it goes to the middle of our backyard and just stops) and repurpose the concrete blocks as the base for our shed.  This also gave us the perfect excuse to build a paver path that would be more functional and stretch to our shed as well as our expanded garden.

So…last weekend, we decided to start excavating the concrete and successfully removed 2 4x2 slabs of the concrete sidewalk.  We didn’t even injure ourselves! When it came to the 3rd slab, Mike just couldn’t seem to get it to budge out of the ground.  After some levering and digging, we realized that it was not another 4x2 foot piece of concrete, but a 12x2 foot piece of concrete.  There was no way that sucker was coming out of the ground with the tools we had available.  Oh cuss….So we dejectedly decided to put some of the concrete back, and sleep on it to figure out our next steps.

After weighing a few options, Mike borrowed a hammer drill and we decided to proceed with our original plan.  This may not have been the easiest option but it cost $0. We got back to work yesterday.  Mike started by drilling a bunch of holes in the seams of the concrete which effectively broke it into 4 foot pieces.  We dug out the sod against the fence line in a 10x4 rectangle and one by one removed the sidewalk pieces and put them in their new home. 

Only one pulled muscle in the process- I think that’s a success. Stay tuned for more progress.

Filed under DIY home improvements yardwork paver path this is hard work repurpose we make this harder than it needs to be

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