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Little Input

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by White Gardens, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776


    The Farmhouse property I've been doing in stages is finally getting the ball rolling on the last major section, which is a hitching ledge.

    I've already done one of the two, and it was clear of any obstacles, so a complete tear-out was possible and a clean install was done.

    Now, for the second one.

    There is an old drainage system in the area and the husband does not want any damage to that system, so it will be done entirely by hand.

    On each side of the center portion, I plan on cutting off the original concrete pillars and grinding them down. It looks like the outer portions were re-done at one time with some major concrete work.

    Then, on the outer portions I plan on splitting the block and mortaring them to the existing sections as a fascia so to speak. The center section will probably come out super easy from the looks of it and solid block will be used.

    My question......

    Should I use a metal mesh with tap-cons on the out sections in order to help get a good stick with my mortar. I just really want this to last as long as possible. And, would you use an acid wash on the outer sections to help get a good stick or would power washing be sufficient.

    Few pics attached.




  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I think a full rip would be easier. a breaker bar, a sledge hammer, and 4 hours and that would all be in the truck and you would have a clean slate.
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Pretty sure there is an old clay tile pipe for the exit of the existing sewer system.

    The last thing I want to do is damage that. That and those hitching pillar bases go into the ground about 3'.

    The center section is pretty shallow and will come out by hand.

  4. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    hand removal will take forever--precise and smooth work with an excavator with an extra set of eyes would be ideal--maybe even use a saw and a small jack hammer to cut/break nice small sections to be lifted out. hydraulic breaker might be overkill
  5. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    If you want it to last as long as possible, do it right. Rip it out.

    I would use my mini excavator with hydraulic thumb, and pull that concrete out in about 30 minutes with no damage to the subgrade.

    Is the clay pipe tied into sewer? Or is it a septic field?

    If its just a sewer lateral i wouldnt fret too bad with breaking it, a fernco clay to pvc coupler and you can repair very easily.
  6. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    Wish there was a like feature for SVA's comment---
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Ok, so.......

    This is the biggest issue.....

    The husband is a conservative farmer. He really doesn't give a hoot about the landscape. The wife is in charge of the landscape and in all honesty, I don't know how I've gotten done there what I have considering he usually has something to say about it all, which is usually negative.

    In the past, he's been very leery of anyone working on his property. The wife is amazed at how well I've been able to talk with him and win him over so to speak. Really it's no big deal to me, I grew up on a farm and I understand his mentality to some degree, so it's only natural that I know his type.

    Regardless of what the wife wants done, I'm still respectful of his wishes. For example, the trees are his babies. I've done some minor pruning to the trees, but only after I've cleared it with him first. Even if I get a flat out no that has no basis or seems unfounded from his perspective, I respect his wishes.

    Now, with this ledge.

    It's part of the septic system. Probably an old brick-lined cistern that either was converted to a septic system or was designed specifically that way. More than likely, it's easily over 100 years old. The tank itself sits just beyond the fence in the photo to the left. Where the exit of the cistern is, I have no clue, and he doesn't either. Regardless, he has made it very clear that he does not want any damage to it as it would be at least 10k to replace if not more considering it would need to be re-designed and probably re-positioned to the other side of the house.

    So, that's what the hang up is. In order to accomplish this project, I've got to play mediator to both parties. The balance is going to be doing this by hand, and leaving the outer sections. Though not my first choice by any means, that's probably the way it will get done.

    Now, with all the explanation, I could use some insight on how to do the fascias on the ends. Like I said, the center section will be removed and replaced, it's just the outer concrete sections that are solid that will stay. And part of me thinks those outer sections were added on, or replaced at one time considering how solid they are in relation to the center section.

  8. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    You could hilti mesh on to it or just clean it very well depending on rhe roughness of the surface
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    I'm confused.



    Clay pipe.

    Conservative farmer.



    I'm lost.

    Exactly what is their septic system? The lifespan of a septic system is 20 yrs. So I find it hard to believe that they're using a 100 yr old septic system.

    What are these clay pipes leading into? Are they still functional, or are they just old clay pipes in the ground?

    And last but not least - have you referred to your ICPI handbook, Chapter 24 section 5, what does ICPI say about situations like this?
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I should refer to the handbook, that's not a half bad idea. :hammerhead:

    Their septic system is basically a brick tank. Or like a brick lined cistern. As far as I know it's been the septic system for almost 100 years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it sort of situation. If it did break the system would probably be re-located to the other side of the house. Not only would a whole new system have to be installed, but the waste water plumbing in the house would have to be re-worked.

    As for the clay pipe, it's the exit or waste water from the system. Where it's at, or where it goes to, I have no clue, and I don't really want to find out. That and I don't want to risk collapsing the old tank. It' probably about 10 feet from the left side of the ledge, maybe 15 at the most.

    As for longevity, I've seen plenty of old systems that are way older than 20 years. I think the one in my old farm house is at least 65 years old.


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