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Projects to Do With Broken Concrete

By Mariah Elaine
Constructing a retaining wall with broken concrete is cost-effective and long-lasting.
Structure from blocks image by amlet from Fotolia.com

Broken concrete performs well as a sturdy building material and can be used to construct common landscape projects at a fraction of the cost of store-bought materials. Rescue a supply from a demolished concrete project on your property or keep your eyes open for piles of rubble at local demolition sites. Use your creativity to enhance your landscape without the worry of wasting much money if you make a few mistakes. Not only will you be preventing another load from reaching the landfill but constructing a long-lasting and useful addition to your property.

Broken Concrete Pathway

Constructing a pathway with broken concrete is similar to the method used for installing flagstone or other irregular slabs of stone. You can install it in stepping-stone fashion with just enough pieces to match your natural stride or outline the path with the edging of your choice and install the slabs on layers of crushed rock and compacted sand. Break large pieces into manageable sizes, using a chisel or sledgehammer and fit them together like a puzzle. Finish the path by filling the cracks with sand, pea gravel or ground covers planted in top soil. Your project costs will be low but your path will last for many years.

Broken Concrete Patio

Broken concrete is an option for a casual patio since the material is comparable to that of some stones, minus the price. You can cover large areas without straining your pockets. To construct your patio, establish the patio boundaries, install edging and excavate the area deep enough to accommodate a layer of gravel for drainage followed by a layer of compacted sand for a level base. Install the concrete slabs with flat sides facing up. Position them in a pattern of your liking and interlock the pieces tightly together or space them further apart to allow other materials to fit between them, such as recycled bricks. Pack the crevices firmly with gravel and sand to stabilize and level the patio.

Broken Concrete Retaining Wall

For a basic retaining wall measuring 4 feet or less, you can use broken concrete slabs. Carefully choose concrete pieces similar in size, which are flat on both the top and bottom, for a stable wall. Depending on the thickness of your concrete, use a chisel and hammer or sledgehammer to break up larger pieces. Pour a concrete foundation or install a layer of compacted, crushed stone to establish a stable footing before stacking the slabs. Align the faces with each other as you stack the stones and stagger the joints between the pieces as you install each row. To prevent the build-up of pressure which could cause the wall to fail, provide drainage behind it before backfilling the area. Use masonry tools to chip away at the edges of the concrete to make any desired adjustments.


About the Author


Based in Washington, Mariah Elaine has been a freelance writer since 2010. She has professional writing experience in a variety of media including Navy correspondence, business documents and research reports. Elaine holds a Bachelor of Arts in natural science/mathematics from Thomas Edison State College.