Well the garage is gone now, so we are making progress. It was basically done single-handedly by our demolition guy and his excavator (aka the munching machine). It’s called the munching machine because it munched into our garage roof.
After two days, the garage was gone, all the blocks hauled off to the recycling. Apparently this was a tough job because the garage walls were so eroded at the bottom, there was a danger of the walls buckling out and hitting the houses around them. What really struck me was, late in the day, standing behind where the garage used to be, the sun was in my eyes. I realized the sunlight hadn’t hit that spot in 100 years probably.
The day after that, all of the concrete was gone. The whole thing going right up to the house. What was interesting was that no jackhammers were used. Basically there is what looks like the metal lift part of a forklift that they lay on the ground, push underneath the 4 inches of concrete, and then pull up with the excavator. The concrete just pops up, then gets broken up and thrown out.
Next up on that front is getting the concrete re-laid up to the house and the drains We decided to put in concrete up to the footprint of the garage, clear some of the dirt in the garage footprint, put in a retaining wall because the pitch of the site is so steep, then put the stone patio at the level of the retaining wall.
The same day the demolition happened, we went out and looked at fences and learned a little bit about them.
Your big box hardware stores sell the cheapest fence panels, of course, but they are pine and pressure treated. The pressure treatment makes them weather resistant, since you couldn’t leave plain pine outside, but it also gives them that weird dark green color. The two local fence manufacturers we visited make their panels out of cedar and use pressure treated posts. Almost everything I read online said that this is ideal, cedar panels and pressure treated posts. (Apparently cedar doesn’t do well as posts for some reason, but weathers very nicely otherwise). Cedar panels cost more, probably 50-100% more than pine panels, but I figured we might as well do it. It’s a small yard that only requires six panels, less than 50 linear feet of fencing, so we can afford the upgrade.
Well now it was time to dig the fence post holes. I wanted to do five at first so we could get up our four fence panels that separate the neighbors. yard. And immediately I ran into trouble. The first fence post was to be near the house. After digging six inches (in the neighbor’s yard shhhh…) I hit rock. Like,a big rock that goes into the foundation of the house. Hey, it was 1860. They made the foundation out of stone. Well, I wasn’t going to touch that and risk damage to the house, so I moved on and figured the panel will be attached to the wall somehow.
The next hole (also on the neighbor’s property shhhh…) was similar, but after six inches I hit bricks. Bricks, bricks, bricks. Their yard is full of bricks. The neighbor’s yard is elevated about two feet higher than ours, and I think it’s because they filled out their yard with bricks to make a level lawn. I don’t think there was ever a building there because the bricks are dry laid, and mostly, but not entirely, in a pattern.
So it took me a few hours working one brick at a time to get down about two feet. I need to get down one more. As for the other holes, we are on our property, and after six inches, we hit concrete! Yes, the garage foundation. I should have known. We figured out it’s all concrete blocks, three deep, and if you dig a trench, you can knock them apart with a sledgehammer! I want to get rid of the first two blocks all the way to make room for planning beds along the fence, and where the posts are going I’ll need to remove them all the way down.
All the way down entails even more concrete because the blocks themselves are sitting on a concrete pad. So there’s been a whole lot of hard labor going on. Digging, smashing, and removing.