Help on Brick Steps Project Plan


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Old 06-27-06, 07:25 PM
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Help on Brick Steps Project Plan

In our garage, there are two wooden steps leading into our house. The wooden steps are anchored to the wall below the door opening, and sit on a concrete floor.

The top of the first step sits at 8", the top of the second step sits at 16", and the opening to the house sits at 24" off the garage floor.

I'd like to remove these steps and replace them with brick steps that match the exterior of our home. I was thinking I would build the steps with masonry block. The blocks would be attached to the garage floor with a layer of mortar. Then I planned to mortar the bricks to the blocks.

Does this sound like the correct approach to this project?

Thanks in advance for any input and advice.

-Gerry
 

Last edited by gerry s; 06-27-06 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 06-27-06, 07:36 PM
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That should work fine, but talk to a masonry supply house to make sure that you get the proper sized block to carry the riser height.

For the first step, you can use 8x5x16 "starter" block, then either double up the starters or cut them so that you end up with the proper riser height (CMU+mud+brick).
 
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Old 06-27-06, 08:06 PM
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thanks for the reply.

Does anyone feel I should just forget about the masonry blocks, and just build up the entire structure from the ground up with bricks?
 
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Old 06-27-06, 08:28 PM
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Help on Brick Steps Project Plan

You made no mention of the run or tread length. Something like 10" or so would be good.

If you go entirely with brick, lay then 3 5/8" high (two layers high per riser plus the 2 - 3/8" mortar joints). If you go with all brick, you could lay the first two layers out to about 32" to give you 3 treads at 10"+ if you want a landing tread.

Going all brick will let you play around with the dimensions a lot easier. You can even lay it out in place by stacking and estimating the 3/8" mortar joints before you actually lay them.

Dick
 
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Old 06-29-06, 06:53 AM
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I think I am going to go with all brick.

While I've done some tile work, I am a complete rookie with masonry. With tile you use spacers to ensure the gaps between each tile are consistent. How do you ensure that the mortar gaps are actually 3/8"? Are there any special tools or spacers that should be used?
 
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Old 06-29-06, 08:59 AM
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Help on Brick Steps Project Plan

No spacers or "guides" are used for masonry.

You need a good eye and a level and ruler/tape for the overall dimensions.

Brick units are not as accurate as tile. The wider brick mortar joint makes minor variations less noticeable. Some brick look better with variation in the morat joint.

With tile, you cut to fit. With brick, you build to fit. A god mason can minimize cuts by planing and "fudging" the joints witout being noticed.

Your main concern will be maintaining the elevations and keeping it level.

Dick
 
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Old 06-30-06, 08:24 AM
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Thanks Dick.

The type of skills you describe only come with experience.

It's important this looks good. I am going to get some bricks and practice a bit. If I don't seem to pick it up, I'll hire a mason.

Thanks again.

-Gerry
 
 

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