Backyard Project Phase 1: Demolition

If you’ve been to our house, you’ve probably noticed a kidney shaped brick structure in the center of our patio.  The previous owner created it and used it to house a nice water fountain with some potted plants surrounding it.  They did an excellent job in maintaining it and making it look really nice.  Once we moved in, we never really wanted to recreate what they’ve done, so it turned into a catch-all for our outside junk.  

We really like our back patio, but this brick thing was taking up a lot of valuable  real estate.  Over the weekend, I decided to begin the process of fixing up our patio and phase one meant tearing this motha down!  We’re the 3rd owners of this house.  The first owner had a spa in the center of the patio.  The 2nd owner used the spa for a bit, but then tore it down to create the brick kidney.  When he made it, he poured an extra 2 to 3 inches of concrete in the center to make things look a little smoother.  With that said, I couldn’t simply knock down the bricks and be done.  I had to rent a jackhammer and smooth out the concrete so that the center part would be flush with the existing concrete.    I did a bunch of research as to what would be the best way of getting the job done and all I came up with was to simply do it.  I’ve seen a bunch of construction being done in the past, and when you see people do it, it seems pretty easy.  Just hold the jackhammer over the area that you need demolished and the hammer does all the work.  In theory it seems very easy so I didn’t stress to much about it.  In the real world, it was a very hard job to do!  I have a new found respect for construction workers.  The jackhammer weighs what felt like a ton and controlling it while in action can sometimes be pretty difficult depending on the ground you’re on.    Also in theory I thought that the jackhammer would break the ground very easily and the job would be done in a matter of 2 or 3 hours.  I was very wrong there!  The jackhammer took many minutes to break off small chunks of concrete.  You can image when I started the project it was very discouraging to have a jackhammer shake me like I stole something for 10 minutes only to break off a piece of concrete about the size of a brick!  After a while of doing it, I figured out a few tricks to get the process going faster, but it still was very laborious and time-consuming.  Luckily my Pops came by and helped out.  I still did a majority of the jack-hammering, but it was really nice to have someone help with clearing out the broken concrete.  Some parts of the demo where thicker than others, so of course, it took longer to get through.

I started the job at 8am on Saturday.  When it got to be around 3pm, both Dad and I were too exhausted to continue.  And after looking at what we’ve done, it seemed like we did enough to be able to pour out new concrete to smooth out the surface.

Dad and I loaded up the jackhammer and went back to Home Depot.  The guys at the tool rental spot are awesome.  They remembered the details of my project and even asked how everything went.  It’s cool that they seemed to take a personal interest in what I was doing.

If you plan on doing any kind of demolition that involves a jackhammer here’s some advise:  hire someone else to do it!  But if you’re like me and you just have to at least try to do it yourself, definitely get eye and ear protection.  Stuff will definitely fly in your face and the jackhammer is extremely loud.

Although this was Phase 1 of my Backyard Project, the completion of this will be closer to the end of things.  Phase 2 is focused on redoing the walkway to our backyard.  I’ll write up a separate blog for that so stay tuned!

3 Replies to “Backyard Project Phase 1: Demolition”

  1. hi saj! that is so amazing that you actually took the time to try to do the home project yourself 🙂 very inspirational, seriously. ps. I clicked on the video at the bottom of your blog b/c I thought it was a youtube of you. and I got duped…it was an advertisement for ice age!


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