Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reusing an Old Concrete Sidewalk

I recently re-acquainted myself with a local architect who happened to come through our home during the green home tour last fall. He's doing a renovation of a green detached garage, and told me about a neat idea he's doing that could have a place in our backyard plans.

Instead of completely demolishing an existing sidewalk to better fit our backyard design plan, we could take a saw and cut up the existing 24" wide sidewalk at intervals around every 18" or so. We could then reuse these "blocks" as really big concrete pavers set in a gravel base, as shown below (thanks to Tom for the photos).


We were warned that 18" x 24" sections 4 inches deep turned out to be really heavy, so we'd probably do a thinner section, maybe 10 or 12 high. For our yard, I think it would be neat to kind of stagger sections of concrete, similar to the recycled concrete paver design shown here.

Pros:
Reuse the existing materials on-site
Little to no need for new concrete
Better drainage for stormwater

Cons:
Labor intensive - cutting and making heavy
Winter questions - how will it hold up during snow shoveling?

As other ideas may be less feasible given our modest budget, reusing our old concrete may be a better alternative than leaving things for "next year" as we've been punting on solving the backyard dilemma for four years now. Some of the concrete we have is in really poor shape, especially the stairs leading down to the basement, and need to be fixed this summer. We'll have to seriously consider how well reused pavers would work.

10 comments:

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

Awesome. I've been threatening the wife, telling her that some day she will come home and our concrete walk in the back will be gone. This gives me some ideas of what to do with the walk once I move it.

Jan said...

To TOP B: "Promising" your wife to turn the old concrete walkway into nifty "new" pavers sounds like a plan. I don't have a dog in this fight, but I just thought the wife might have been wanting to get that concrete walk moved--one way or another... :)

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