Step 1 - Clearing (Taking out the stumps and ugly 'dirt beds')
Before I can bring in the concrete truck, I have to prepare the space. After discussing it with my friend Josh, whose dad is a concrete contractor, he says a truck will only bring 4 yards of concrete or more to a job. But I'm not completely sure my interior slab will be big enough to take that much, so I'm going to extend the slap outside the doors to create a small space in front. This will give me the added bonus of a small exterior slab for setting up a temporary table for finishing and the like (anything that might create fumes) and will also ensure I can use up all 4 yards of concrete. Once I get the space ready and the concrete forms built, I'll get an accurate measure of concrete needed. If its more than 4 yards, I'll order what I need to extend out and fill the exterior 'patio'. If I don't need 4 yards, I'll at least be able to get the extra outside space done while the truck is here. I don't want to have any forms partially filled.Bed Removal - BEFORE October 1, 2004
Preparation requires removing the two problem areas from either side of the shop doors. Each has a fair-sized stump in it, so they're not good for anything anyway.
I started with this bed first, using a sledge hammer I picked up at a yard sale for about $8, I think. The beds ended up built from formed, solid concrete walls, not cinder blocks as I originally assumed. This made the removal process considerably harder. After about a half hour of smashing with the sledge, I was nearly ready to give up and pay someone to do this.
Then, the gleam of a big chain in my shop caught my eye. I had used this to remove some hefty bushes a couple of years ago. (Thanks to Josh and his dad's full size pickup.) So, I hooked the chain around a hole in the bed wall and attached the other end to the frame of my 1997 Nissan pickup. A couple of gentle tugs later, whammo! Bye-bye crappy flower beds.
The second bed went considerably faster now that I was employing the chain method. (As you can see by the large corner chunk I pulled out in one whack.) While I was at it, I figured I was on a roll and took a stab at the big hardwood stump in bed #2. No go. After a couple of hard tugs, I realized the rear of my truck would probably come out before that stump did. I'll go ahead and leave that for the stump grinding guy.