How to find broken concrete for a patio

ttylerMarch 2, 2009

I really appreciate everyone who replied to my post on the cheapest way to build a patio. I think I've decided to go with the broken concrete pieces for it. My question is other than Craigs List which doesn't have any for my area how else can I find to get free broken concrete pieces. Also does anybody have any links as to how to prepare my base for doing it this way.

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Check with your local recycling centers, masonry contractors and the dump.

Get ready for some back breaking labor.

The weight of concrete is extraordinary heavy - somewhere in the 150 pounds per cubic foot.

Most sidewalks and patios have been poured to a thickness of 3.5 to 4 inches, So this will be the most commonly found thickness ( plus or minus )

Let's figure you found some broken concrete that was 4 inches thick.

The sub base that you prepare is directly dependent on the type of soil that you have and the climate.

In my area we have mostly clay soil , which is highly expansive.
A 2 inch sub base of compacted class II aggregate would work out fine.
I also have no freeze and thaw conditions.

So that means I would have to dig down 2 inches for the setting base ( the sub base ) and another 4 inches for the thickness of the broken concrete pieces in order have a finished grade with the surrounding existing grade.

If you have sandy loam soil you may be able to get away with just a leveling bed of sand, in which case you only need to dig down about a half to one inch plus the thickness of the 4 inch thick concrete for a total of 4.5 to 5 inches.

You'll need a couple of stakes, some string, and a carpenters level as well as a shovel and a wheel barrel.

Basically you're going to dig out the outline of the patio by about 5 to 6 inches, lay in a setting base, lay your broken concrete pieces ontop of the setting bed, level them and then back fill in between them.
After which you will promptly make an appointment with a massage therapist or a chiropractor.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 8:14PM
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Our local concrete supplier also takes it back in to recycle, so maybe check w/ your local company. Also, freecycle. org. I rec'd some a couple of years ago...the owner was so happy I was hauling it away that he and his neighbor helped load it =)

Responding to the previous poster: I agree it is hard work but you cannot beat the price...and any patio laying will be very labor intensive so I would not be shying away from this project- just expecting to work hard for a great result.

Good luck! Hope you will share pics once it is completed.
Stacey =)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 9:11PM
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