concrete question

blackcats13October 5, 2008

I really am not sure what board is the best for this question ... feel free to direct me elsewhere.

In Chicago most houses have a sidewalk from the front of the property to the back against the side of the house. We need to regrade that side of the house, so we are thinking of cutting the concrete into regular shapes to use for the garden, regrading, then putting in stepping stones or something so there is more ground to soak up rain (we didn't suffer too bad with the heavy rains last month, but we did leak and have to take care of it).

The question - how hard is it to cut that concrete? I think we can rent a saw and blade...? How much does that usually cost? Maybe it would be better to see if someone would take on such a small job? Any advice?

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We are in a bungalow in Oak Park and have just had our same sidewalk taken out. We found a 2nd, the original sidewalk, below the first one. In total there was about 8" of concrete. We had the sidewalk removed because it's part of a bigger fix, stabilizing our front porch. And the porch needed to be stabilized because of too much water in clay soil over the last 90 years. Our project has involved us using a structural engineer.

I wanted to leave the sidewalk out forever, and do exactly what you proposed with stepping stones. Our structural engineer said "don't", the reason being that our bungalows are so close together, and our soil so heavy with clay, that a new sidewalk will help to keep water away from the foundation. He said stepping stones would do exactly the opposite of what we need because of the soil composition.

I'm guessing, but I think you should be able to find a concrete company who will break it up and remove it for $500 or so....that is if you only have 1 sidewalk. I can recommend who we used in a PM, if you wish.

We also had a small amount of water during the last huge rains. We'll be going together with 2 neighbors next spring to see if we can get a discount with purchasing sump pumps and having our basements perma sealed.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 3:54PM
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2 sidewalks!?!? Man, I'd expect 2+ kitchen floors, but not sidewalks! That would suck! Interesting point about needing the concrete though. Since we need a structural engineer for a different reason maybe we should ask about that too. We are close to the neighbors but not as close as some. I'd actually love a recommendation for the structural engineer if you can give it ;) Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 4:21PM
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My 2 cents worth: a concrete cutter is scary. (And I play, er, work, with power tools all day.) Let somebody else do it. Plus, they'll probably have a big truck to haul the scraps you don't want.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 8:51PM
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I'd like to email you privately...what address?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 1:12PM
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