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Removing concrete yard to make a garden?

(21 Posts)
TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:07:56

Looking at a property this weekend that works in every respect except the back yard is completely paved over and has a crumbling old garage taking up space.

No garden is a deal breaker for me, but wondered if it would be possible to demolish the garage, break up all the concrete and plant turf? Yard is east facing and gets sun. If you've done something similar, roughly how much did it cost? Any other considerations?

P.s. I want to know if this is possible or completely not worth the cost/hassle. Please don't tell me not to buy it because something better will come up... We are completely desperate to buy somewhere and cannot afford to be choosy any more, there are fewer than two suitable properties per month on the market at the moment, and loads of buyers chasing each one. Prices are rising since we sold our house and we risk being priced out completely.

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 09-Jun-15 11:10:45

I can't see why you couldn't lift it - do you know a local builder who could perhaps give you a quote? depending on the quality of the soil underneath you might need to dig out hardcore and replace with top soil.

Cost would depend on size of garden and how much you want to do yourself!

dannydyerismydad Tue 09-Jun-15 11:12:27

The neighbours across the street did just that. No idea about the cost, but they did it themselves in a weekend. Rented a skip and some hardcore tools and 3 or 4 blokes went at it for the weekend.

nikki1978 Tue 09-Jun-15 11:13:39

We have done this in the last year. It didn't cost too much but we did loads ourselves. We hired a mini digger to dig up the concrete. Took about a day to dig up and we had a few of us to wheelbarrow the pieces out to the driveway then a grab lorry to remove it all. That cost about £150 for the digger and £250 for the grab lorry. If you pay someone to do it for you I would say it is a days work for 3 people depending on how big your garden is (mine is about 60x30ft).

What happens next depends on the condition of the soil underneath. Ours was on a bit of a slope and is clay based so had to be levelled which took a couple of days (we paid about £250 a day for 2 lads labour) then we paid about £500 for turf and lawn feed and £250 for 2 gardeners to spend a day laying it.

nikki1978 Tue 09-Jun-15 11:15:02

Get a grab lorry not a skip - much cheaper and skips will only carry so much weight!

TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:16:45

This is very helpful, thanks. I would have to pay someone to do all of it as I'm pregnant and can't manage any heavy labour! It would also need a professional to demolish the garage I would have thought. But from the sound of it, we might get it all done for 5k. The yard is smaller than your garden, Nikki. Thanks.

Aussiemum78 Tue 09-Jun-15 11:17:31

Easy. But I can only give you costs in AUD.

Hire a jack hammer to break up concrete. A few hundred dollars.

Take it to tip or skip bin. Few hundred again.

Get soil and turf delivered. Lay it yourself.

Plant a garden.

Could do this yourself cheaply for a couple thousand dollars (£1000) or pay more and get a landscaper to do it.

Even easier if you leave concrete and just jackhammer out a few squares for garden, leave some concrete for chairs or a garden feature. You could replace garage with a shed for storage?

These kind of things are a good reason to buy a home - makes the house cheaper but easy to fix.

TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:18:41

THe bit I would want pulling up (would want to retain the raised patio which is nicer paving) would be 35 x 40 ft

TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:19:32

Oh, I would lay the turf myself, I'm quite green fingered :-)

Mumblechum1 Tue 09-Jun-15 11:19:45

We've just bought a small piece of land to extend our garden (about a quarter acre) and it had stables etc on v thick reinforced concrete.

It's taken the landscapers 3 weeks to demolish the buildings and remove them, dig up and dispose of the concrete deal with asbestos in one of the sheds and remove a massive oil tank.

they then put top soil down and have just put grass seed down for the time being.

Adding up various bills the total has come to about £8.5k, of which £3k was for grabber lorry hire and disposal. We'll pay them more in autumn to plant a mature yew and holly hedge around the boundary.

TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:19:52

Does anyone know, would I need any kind of permission from the council to demolish a garage?

WanderWomble Tue 09-Jun-15 11:20:16

Depending how old the garage is, asbestos might be a concern. I'd get a good builder to take a look before you knock anything down.

You could probably dig up the concrete yourself.

TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:20:39

Oh Mumblechum, I'm so jealous of your garden!!

TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:21:41

I'm going to look at a house today with a massive garden but the chain isn't set up yet and I'm concerned about boys secondaries. Don't know if my bump is a boy or a girl, I wish I knew!

Mumblechum1 Tue 09-Jun-15 11:22:12

smile tremolo it 'as capabilities as Mr Brown would say!

You don't need permission to demolish a garage as it won't be listed. We're in a conservation area and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and didn't need PP for demolition.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 09-Jun-15 11:49:30

We did this. Total cost £5500 to clear it, build bespoke fencing, raised beds, lay a new patio area and sadly astroturf though turf would be cheaper?

Also east facing but small garden and due to complications with old decking/laying earth right beside the house, it was easier to do astroturf.

TOTALLY worth it. It all had to come through the house too as we live in a Victorian terrace. So nice to have outside space that the kids can play safely in though.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 09-Jun-15 11:52:17

Oh - it was all cleared on a bank holiday weekend and the fences built in that time too.
The skips are the most expensive part as there's a limit to the amount of weight they can take. So you can't pile them high with concrete.

IssyStark Tue 09-Jun-15 11:53:47

TremoloGreen, if dc isn't yet born, don't worry about secondaries yet - a lot can change with a school in 11 years!

TremoloGreen Tue 09-Jun-15 11:53:53

TreadSoftly - what was the problem with laying turf sorry?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 09-Jun-15 15:10:06

Bit of a weird one. The area closest to the house - the side return and about 5 feet out is at a lower level to the grass. It would cause damp in the house if we ripped out the decking and filled it in with earth. Water course is the correct term I think??

Because the garden is East facing the end of the garden gets the sun in the evening so we terraced at the back of the garden and then laid "grass between that and the house for the kids to play on. If we laid turf, we'd have had decking, turf then a terrace area. We've been able to lay astroturf all the way up to the house. Part of it is on decking but it all looks level and there's a layer in between so it is still soft underfoot.

shovetheholly Wed 10-Jun-15 11:00:04

I have done this with masses of concrete in my back garden.

I bought a mattock, a trug and some rigger gloves and hired several very large skips. I was working full-time, so I just did a bit each night over the course of a summer. It is extremely hard work, but it can be done.

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