Concrete Step Problems

Old 11-04-07, 05:21 PM
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Concrete Step Problems

We have some serious problem with the front steps of the house. They were either designed poorly, or have 'settled' over the years, leaving us with what we call 'the step of death' - a good 16 inch step down. Now - we do not use our front door often - partly because of the death step - but it is dangerous. On top of this, the concrete itself is starting to crumble, and well, rot. We have gone back and forth about what to do...some people in our neighborhood have put up wooden stairs over the concrete, a few others have had stone/brick work done over them, others simply have put LARGE potted plants on the steps, thus eliminating the front as egress from the house. Any suggestions on what I can do to make the steps safer, more attractive, and most importantly, usable?
Old 11-04-07, 05:38 PM
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You can either build wooden ones over the existing problem, or bite the bullet and have the concrete ones torn out and replaced properly. Unfortunately, I would not classify concrete steps as a DIY project unless you are fairly experienced at it. Steps are much harder than simple concrete flatwork. Good luck.

Old 11-05-07, 04:47 AM
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So, you are left with a 16" rise after years of settling. Let's not make the same mistake twice then but first you will be stuck with demolishing the existing. Let's face it, somebody is going to break a neck on that thing When I was in busiiness and we might tackle a similar job and we always tried to make quick work of this stage. If possible depending on site conditions, get an excavator in there with a piece of heavy equipment and just pick that step up intact and haul it away and out of your hair. If that is not practical you will just have to duke it out with that monument to a failed poured step and get a jack hammer or sledge hammer (gulp) and start chipping away.

Replace it a nice looking deck stair and of treated lumber this time. Soil bearing qualities at this job site have proven to be
sub par for a big involved heavy step of poured concrete again. unless you want to dig down and provide for a wide pad/footing/foundation for a new second effort at pouring a step. The choice is yours, good luck.


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