Concrete radius cutting for decorative purposes is an option that is available to homeowners, and when done properly, can transform a backyard into a more inviting space. Special care in regards to planing and layout can turn dull uninviting backyard, into your own backyard paradise.
Quite often, I am contacted by homeowners who feel their backyard has too much concrete, and would like to have some portion removed for the creation of additional planter space. Usually, they have some rectangle configuration in mind, and after discussing with them what they would like to achieve, I will mention that they’re not limited to straight line concrete cutting, and that we can do concrete radius cutting configuration as well.
Most often they are taken back that concrete radius cutting is even an option, and that we can come up an unlimited amount of different configurations. Concrete radius cutting done properly, can really dress up, soften, and give a backyard a much more natural inviting space.
We start this process first, by stating with the layout. We take a hose, lay it on the concrete and shape it into the desired configuration. After we get the shape and look were after, we then take a pencil and scribe out the radius we just created with the hose. After the pencil mark is scribed out, we take clear lacquer and spray it over the pencil line to keep it from washing away when we do the concrete radius cutting.
Next, I’ll take a handheld demo saw and start making very shallow cuts following the radius pencil line that was just put down. The key is to make very shallow passes, around 3/4 or less per pass. Whatever concrete radius cuts that are to drastic, we’ll leave for the next step. Anything that is not able to be cut with the demo saw, I use a small electric hand grinder with a 4” concrete blade. This small blade allows you more flexibility for the extreme curve cuts. I finish any cuts that can’t be made with the demo saw, with this 4” electric hand grinder. Keep in mind, that you will only be able to cut a max depth of 1 1/2 inches. After all the concrete radius cutting is done, I will take out the big flat saw machine, (walk behind machine) and start cutting one or two inches away from all the radius cuts, cutting down all the way through the concrete slab in a straight line fashion. By cutting behind the radius cuts all the way through the slab, relieves pressure and allows for the demolition of the concrete to begin. Cutting through the slab is probable the most important step, because, it allows for total separation between the slab that is coming out and the concrete that is staying.
Air jack hammers are used for demolition of the concrete slab. We’ll start breaking out the slab with the large air jack hammers; usually, starting towards the center, and continuing to work outwards towards the finished radius cuts. As we get close to the concrete radius cuts, we’ll switch over to the smaller handheld chipping hammers. This is where we take our time, and slowly chip away the remainder; keeping in mind that these cuts are most likely not cut all the way through. So a little extra time here is critical, as to not chip or break the finished edge.