Sure, Why Not, Let's Rip Up the Driveway

When we got to this point, you may have wondered how we were going to finish things off

Well, rip up the driveway, that's what we're going to do.

I was not super excited about this idea. But not finishing the pavers all the way to the street while most of the work is going on now would just be stupid. It would make lots of work later, and the transition from pavers to concrete wouldn't be pretty (and might mess up some of the pavers).

So out came the caution tape, the sledge hammer and some muscle

We were trying to go the cheap route and not have to rent any tools from HD, but the sledge just wasn't breaking anything up (the concrete was too thick). So we drove down to HD and asked which breaker hammer we should rent based on our 3-4" thick concrete. The guy at the tool rental said we didn't need the jack hammer and recommended a smaller tool, which also happened to be cheaper. We took it home and got to work (he actually recommended an even smaller and less powerful tool, but it was the same price as this one so he figured you might as well go with the one with more power)

Well, that tool sucked. And the moral of the story, which we really should have known already, is pretty much never listen to anything anyone says at HD (or at least our HD) because they are worthless. This guy wasn't a total dummy, but we've never had good luck with advice from the employees there (and one even asked me once while I was waiting for paint why I "always look so mean." Asshole.) We should really just stick with our gut and listen to ourselves and spend the extra $17 for the jack hammer.

After the breaker didn't do anything, I called the tool rental department and asked if we could return it and not get charged because they recommended it to us and it wasn't doing anything. Thankfully, they were nice about it and agreed. So we returned home 35 minutes later with the jack hammer

And while Chris broke things up with the much more successful jack hammer, I used the sledge and pick ax to break things up even more and toss the chunks into the truck to take to the concrete recycling center.

Once Chris had made a grid all around with the jack hammer he helped me with the sledge and pick ax

We were lucky and most of the concrete was only 3-4" thick, but one section was seriously nearly a foot thick (and it was a bitch breaking up)

We loaded the truck up as much as we thought was safe for it and headed off to the concrete recycling center to dump it

Then it was time for trip two (it really doesn't look like much of an improvement, but I'm telling you, the truck is full!)

After the third trip the driveway was looking a lot better (well, at least everything is broken up by this point)

It only took one more trip to clear things out. We were hoping in the beginning to only have to take 2 trips to the concrete recycling center, but in the end it took 4 - which actually makes sense because everything always seems to take twice as long or cost twice as much.

But let me tell you, that last load was a nightmare. Chris had to go to work early (like a normal person), but I didn't have work till later. So he took my car that day and I loaded up the truck myself to take all the concrete to the recycling center before I had to be at work at 11. The big pieces were easy

But after that I had to load all the tiny pieces of concrete and dust. I shoveled away and dumped it all the in the back of the truck for a very full (but safe for the truck) load

When I got to the concrete yard the top door of the truck opened, but the bed didn't. Well shit. I overloaded it. When you load it too heavy in the back with too much pressure against the door it gets stuck. Normally you can use a screwdriver or leatherman to slide in the sides of the door and un-latch the door opening mechanism manually, but after 2 phone calls to Chris and two employees at the concrete recycling center helping me, we couldn't get it open at all. So that fucking sucked.

I was left to unload THE ENTIRE TRUCK WITH THE TRUCK BED DOOR CLOSED. By myself. After lots of cursing I started chucking handfuls of the small concrete pieces that were against the door out of the truck hoping that if I got the pile down so there was less pressure on the door that I would be able to get it open. Nope. Didn't work. It was totally jammed closed. So I chucked more concrete bits out and when I could finally fit I crawled inside the bed of the truck through the top door and began unloading the truck from inside the bed. It was not fun. And I'm sure it looked ridiculous to see large piles of concrete being flung from the back of a truck with no person in sight. It was NOT a fun job because as you saw before a lot of those concrete pieces were very large and very heavy and I had to lift and throw them out of the truck from a squatting position. I was a sweaty, tired mess. But I was magically able to get it all done.

The crazy part? I arrived at home at 10:31 with 29 minutes to shower, grab something for lunch and drive to and be at work at 11. Holy shit balls. I took the fastest shower of my life (and I NEEDED one), grab any non-perishable food in sight and drove to work like a mad woman and got there 1 minute early. SUCCESS! Damn concrete you will not defeat me!


Anonymous said...

WOW - and ugh! congratulations on your victory over concrete and getting rid of the concrete despite all of it. A situation like that deserves new swear words.

meryl rose said...

NEW SWEAR WORDS?!?! I like where your mind is at :) :) :)