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Demoing a concrete pad

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  • Sep 11th, 2021 6:46 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 27, 2017
145 posts
97 upvotes

Demoing a concrete pad

Our front porch is a ~17 by 5 foot concrete pad (looks to be about 18 inches + thick) and we are considering demoing it and renovating the entrance/garden.

Anyone have experience demoing a concrete pad like this? How much work/effort are we actually looking at? Obviously I'd assume we would need to rent a jack hammer tool from HD, etc, but is this too big a job for a regular joe DIY'er?
18 replies
Newbie
Feb 28, 2021
78 posts
50 upvotes
If it’s a continuous 18” thick that is going to be a ton of work. If it was me I’d be renting a skid steer with a Jack hammer attachment just to break it up. Probably some form of dump trailer and the skid steer bucket to get rid of it.
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Sep 9, 2007
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thebluegoat wrote: If it’s a continuous 18” thick that is going to be a ton of work. If it was me I’d be renting a skid steer with a Jack hammer attachment just to break it up. Probably some form of dump trailer and the skid steer bucket to get rid of it.
This is the only way to go.
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Nov 17, 2012
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If it's 18" thick, I'd leave it alone. If someone went through the trouble to put down an 18" thick concrete pad, there are bodies under it.

But there's no way it's 18" thick. That's thicker than the footing holding up your entire house.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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I would concur that it's highly unlikely to be 18" thick. That's an absolute shit-ton of concrete, and would have been a huge waste of money.

However... I would strongly suspect that given the footprint of the concrete, it's highly likely to be quite reinforced, either with re-bar or wire mesh. Plus you're going to have a lot of material to dispose of. Can you do it yourself? Absolutely. Are you going to do it in an afternoon (or two, or 5) with a HD jackhammer? Not bloody likely. Well, maybe in a few days... But you're still having to haul all the chunks to some kind of disposal.

C
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Dec 4, 2009
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thebluegoat wrote: If it’s a continuous 18” thick that is going to be a ton of work. If it was me I’d be renting a skid steer with a Jack hammer attachment just to break it up. Probably some form of dump trailer and the skid steer bucket to get rid of it.
Lol, if it were me, I'd be calling around for quotes!

These kinds of jobs often seem straightforward, until you get started...
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
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Jun 26, 2019
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Toukolou wrote: Lol, if it were me, I'd be calling around for quotes!

These kinds of jobs often seem straightforward, until you get started...
As with a lot of these threads, it's one of those things where, if you're asking these questions, you're very likely not at the level that you can DIY it. Or if you do DIY it, its going to take your whole summer and hopefully you don't damage your house.

Pics would help, but regardless, there are so many questions for this:

What's your plan for the footings?

How is it attached to your house? Whats your plan to detach it from your house safely and make it nice afterwards.

Is it covered, whats your plan for anything above it now?

You're going to need a lot more tools to just dispose of everything, unless you want to do it with an angle grinder and demo hammer and take an eternity.

My main questions/concerns are more so for the finished product and all the implications for how its attached to your home and how to finish the front face or what the plans are after.
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SubjectivelyObjective wrote: As with a lot of these threads, it's one of those things where, if you're asking these questions, you're very likely not at the level that you can DIY it. Or if you do DIY it, its going to take your whole summer and hopefully you don't damage your house.

Pics would help, but regardless, there are so many questions for this:

What's your plan for the footings?

How is it attached to your house? Whats your plan to detach it from your house safely and make it nice afterwards.

Is it covered, whats your plan for anything above it now?

You're going to need a lot more tools to just dispose of everything, unless you want to do it with an angle grinder and demo hammer and take an eternity.

My main questions/concerns are more so for the finished product and all the implications for how its attached to your home and how to finish the front face or what the plans are after.
Totally agree.

YouTube has made experts out of all of us. Except we're not.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
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Dec 27, 2007
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By the time OP decided what to do and reads all the posts, he should be halfway done if he started same time when he posted.

It's not that bad of a job. Go to the basement, take out the rotary hammer, drill a hole on the middle to see how thick it actually is. Probably 6". Then start going at it. If it's actually 18, I would get the proper tool and gogogo.
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Mar 14, 2018
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Don't want to derail OP but... our concrete pad has a number of holes/dents/cracks... what is the best way to fix them? I figured filling them with new concrete/mortar would make it look patchy... what other option do I have?
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Nov 17, 2012
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clutch31 wrote: Don't want to derail OP but... our concrete pad has a number of holes/dents/cracks... what is the best way to fix them? I figured filling them with new concrete/mortar would make it look patchy... what other option do I have?
Rip it all out and replace it. Hope it's not 18" thick and kevlar reinforced.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 27, 2017
145 posts
97 upvotes
The pad was laid as a foundation for a sun room addition to the front of the house that 2 owners prior built. The previous owner ripped out the sun room.

It's about 8 to 10 inches above ground, plus we guesstimate about the same amount below grade.

And far as we can tell it's not tied into the house in anyway
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Dec 4, 2009
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tmkf_patryk wrote: By the time OP decided what to do and reads all the posts, he should be halfway done if he started same time when he posted.

It's not that bad of a job. Go to the basement, take out the rotary hammer, drill a hole on the middle to see how thick it actually is. Probably 6". Then start going at it. If it's actually 18, I would get the proper tool and gogogo.
Spoken like someone that knows exactly how to approach the job and what's involved.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
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Dec 19, 2015
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tmkf_patryk wrote: By the time OP decided what to do and reads all the posts, he should be halfway done if he started same time when he posted.

It's not that bad of a job. Go to the basement, take out the rotary hammer, drill a hole on the middle to see how thick it actually is. Probably 6". Then start going at it. If it's actually 18, I would get the proper tool and gogogo.
I'd agree.

Assuming it's not 18" thick all the way through (can also test it by giving it a few whacks with a sledge hammer, it may sound/feel different in different spots if it's not a consistent thickness), it's probably just the edges formed to make it look like it.

Hire a large jackhammer from HD (something like this) and have at it. It's less than 100ft2 so should only take a few hours at worse, with a few more to clean up (you'll need to hire a dumpster). You'll also need an angle grinder/bolt cutter for the rebar/wire in it. It's really not as big a deal as some will claim, but does require a bit or muscle and potentially some learning on the OP's side if they haven't done something like that before.

That's assuming it's not part of the foundations of the house and is either floating separately or attached with rebar. And that it's not actually 18" thick (did the builder have a concrete truck load they wanted to get rid of...?).

It may look something like this:

Image
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Dec 27, 2007
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jgaleazza wrote: The pad was laid as a foundation for a sun room addition to the front of the house that 2 owners prior built. The previous owner ripped out the sun room.

It's about 8 to 10 inches above ground, plus we guesstimate about the same amount below grade.

And far as we can tell it's not tied into the house in anyway
Its been 7 hours since your original post and this one, and you come up with "guestimate"?
What have you been doing all day? Get to work! Or do you expect this to break down on its own?

I would be done before you got time to get your second post in
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Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2020
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jgaleazza wrote: Our front porch is a ~17 by 5 foot concrete pad (looks to be about 18 inches + thick) and we are considering demoing it and renovating the entrance/garden.
The slab is most likely 18 inches thick at the edges but much thinner in the middle. Slab-on-grade foundations still have to get below the frost line, so the edges will be thickened to meet local foundation depth requirements. The bulk of the slab, however, does not need to get below the frost line and will be only a few inches thick.

In any case, this is not a DIY jackhammer job. Think several days work with a medium-sized excavator to remove the concrete and fill in the hole.
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Dec 27, 2007
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middleofnowhere wrote: The slab is most likely 18 inches thick at the edges but much thinner in the middle. Slab-on-grade foundations still have to get below the frost line, so the edges will be thickened to meet local foundation depth requirements. The bulk of the slab, however, does not need to get below the frost line and will be only a few inches thick.

In any case, this is not a DIY jackhammer job. Think several days work with a medium-sized excavator to remove the concrete and fill in the hole.
I would agree with you if it was a big job.
Several days work? Maybe if he's only doing it two hours a day.
The hardest part about this job will be to remove the concrete, and because it's small (under 100sqft) wheelbarrow and a friend or two.

Should be probably 3 trips with his truck and good to go.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
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Nov 9, 2008
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You would be amazed what the electric Hilti jackhammers from HD can do. We had a 6-8" thick old pad + solid pour concrete stairs. I rented a Hilti hammer and it chewed through it like butter.
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Nov 17, 2012
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Core samples. We demand core samples.

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