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Old 01-31-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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recycled concrete patio--where do I start?


Hi--
I'm a newbie, so just wanted to say hello, and glad I found you. I have a million questions so thank you in advance for any advice you might offer.

I'm interested in laying a recycled concrete patio, but I'm not sure where to start. I'm a single mom so my budget is tight, and I'm trying to use what I have in a creative way. I live on an acreage in the country (100 year old farmhouse) in a northern climate, so I need to worry about heaving during freeze/thaws. I currently have a large concrete floor and foundation on my property from an old farm building that came down in a storm--it has to be removed anyway--and my plan is to break the floor and foundation up into manageable pieces with a bobcat and then a sledgehammer (I have teenage sons) to use for the project. I also already have a 6-8 inch deep area of sand bordered with landscaping timbers with landscaping cloth underneath in the perfect spot and size for the patio--I had a very large above ground pool there during summers when my children were a little younger.

Will the old concrete be suitable for patio pavers? I have no idea how deep they would have poured it for a building floor vs. a sidewalk. If the concrete varies in thickness, how to I work around that--do I just build the sand up more or less under each piece to even them out? Is my sand too deep to lay pavers--will they sink in over time? Can I lay the pavers directly in the sand and fill in around them, or do I need another layer of something under them? What type of fill should I use between the pavers? (crushed limestone?) I like the look of plant material between the pavers, but with the sand base I don't think that will work, plus I live in a hot in the summer, dry climate--not sure if the plant material would live. I'm fairly experienced in diy projects, but this is a new area for me. My budget doesn't allow for me to purchase pavers--I need to replace my furnace this year too--so I thought I'd give this a try. I think the weathered concrete might be lovely behind my old farmhouse.

Any and all advice would be helpful. I've been looking all over the web for tutorials on this type of project, and there's not much out there. Thank you!

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Last edited by Huskermom; 01-31-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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recycled concrete patio--where do I start?


I think you are going to find those pieces are going to be awfully thick (4" or more I am guessing), heavy, and cumbersome to work with initially and as they heave with the seasons. While the recycling idea is noble I think you would be better off pouring a new slab.

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:36 AM   #3
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recycled concrete patio--where do I start?


I wish that option would work--it would be the easiest way to go, and I could still make it look good. I'd thought about a stamped and stained concrete slab--they can be beautiful--but my problem is tree roots. I have some massive old trees not too far from the patio area. I don't want to kill the trees, and the roots could cause cracking with poured concrete. I think I'm going to have to go with pavers of some kind. I've seen beautiful recycled concrete patios, but I can't find much info on laying one. I wondered if the floor concrete wouldn't be a lot thicker than a sidewalk... That's disappointing. I really like the idea of going green with it if I can though, plus the price is right.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:47 AM   #4
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recycled concrete patio--where do I start?


Yeah I would go with something more straightforward. I just broke up a similar concrete area by renting a 40lb. jackhammer from an equipment rental place. The broken concrete just makes a mess all over the place, and it's difficult to control the size of the pieces and how it breaks up. Another green way to go might be to find some stuff on Craigslist that somebody isn't using.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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recycled concrete patio--where do I start?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskermom View Post
I wish that option would work--it would be the easiest way to go, and I could still make it look good. I'd thought about a stamped and stained concrete slab--they can be beautiful--but my problem is tree roots. I have some massive old trees not too far from the patio area. I don't want to kill the trees, and the roots could cause cracking with poured concrete. I think I'm going to have to go with pavers of some kind. I've seen beautiful recycled concrete patios, but I can't find much info on laying one. I wondered if the floor concrete wouldn't be a lot thicker than a sidewalk... That's disappointing. I really like the idea of going green with it if I can though, plus the price is right.
Does you community have an arborist available? If not you should probably call a commercial arborist or tree company to see what option you might have with the tree roots.

Once that is resolved? Have you seen rubber paver jobs? They are quite nice and are certainly green since made from recycled material. You can get them in anything from brick like to square shapes. the come in a variety of colors. They are used a lot around horse race tracks because they are resilient but I have specified them for people and home patios. Clients love the look and feel.

Here is one company, just for example. You should shop around for the pattern and price point you want. I also added a URL for an introduction to the concept of rubber pavers.

http://eco-flex.com/products/index.php?productId=16

http://www.paversearch.com/rubber-pavers-menu.htm

Last edited by user1007; 02-14-2012 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Added URLs
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