The 3 Year Drainage Project

A project that i started back in August of 2010 was finally finished last week.  In May of 2010 i buried 20 feet of PVC pipe and connected it to my garage gutter downspout.

First Drain Project
 - This one turned out great and still drains the roof water today.  It turned out so well that in August of that same year i tried building it again at the back of the house.

Backyard Gutter Drainage
 - That's when this project started.  Little did i know it would be this difficult.

Backyard Drain Continued
 - And then it kept going.  I still remember having to cut and chop my way through the tree roots.  Another problem i had was that in the backyard i don't have as much fall from the house to the back of the yard.  There is really no place for the water from the gutter to drain to.

The reason that this project took so long was not because of the pipe.  It was a chore but i got that in place.  The real problem was with the concrete sidewalk slab.  I originally used a 2x4 and moved it out of the way to put the PVC pipe under it.  But for 3 years i could never get it back in place.  It was always crooked and i was meaning to get it aligned correctly. 

Then one day last month while I was out doing inspection, I decided that today was the day that I was going to fix it.  I was actually watching some guys pour a concrete curb, which is what gave me the idea.  I realized instead of messing around trying to reposition that old slab back into place I should just buy some bags of concrete and pour my own new slab.  So on the way home I picked up few bags of concrete.  Also I had two old bags already in the garage leftover from projects from earlier.

Immediately after getting home I went to the backyard with a sledgehammer.  A few blows and I cracked the old slab in half.  There was no turning back now.
how to break a concrete sidewalk slab, sledgehammer

After about 10 minutes of pounding I had the slab broken into movable pieces.
size of concrete sidewalk, thickness, how big

Since I have been working on that area for a while it was actually deeper than the 4 inches of concrete.  Also underneath the concrete was not compacted sand or gravel it was just top soil.
how to fix broken concrete, patio, crack

I knew I couldn't just pour the concrete on the old topsoil.  So I got as much gravel as I could and compacted that in place.
fix, repair, base, concrete sidewalk, concrete patio

Then I figured that I was ready to pour the concrete.  I thought 5 or 6 bags would've been enough but it turned out that I needed around twelve 80 pound bags in total.
how much concrete do i need, quickrete, 80lb bag

Not that it made that much of a difference.  An 80lb bag of concrete only cost around $3.50.  Also my car can only carry 4 bags at a time or else my mufflers scrape all the way home from Lowe's.

The whole process wasn't too difficult but it always seems like i mix the concrete a little too watery.  Although that might've been a good thing because I was able to create a slope away from the house and toward the yard.
repair replace broken sidewalk section

Also I couldn't forget to write our names and date at the edge.
how to write name in concrete, when

It turned out okay, maybe not perfect but at least there's not a huge gap like it had been for the past three years.
fix a broken concrete patio

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