Sinking concrete step, need to add cap

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Old 09-04-13, 11:43 AM
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Sinking concrete step, need to add cap

Some family friends want me to add a cap to their existing concrete step that passed a sale inspection because it was sloped too steeply. They DO NOT want to dig up the current one to add a solid foundation, it has to be capped. They want to add 2 inches on each side (left, front, right) and up to 2" on the top leveling it out. The issue I am worried about is, on the sides won't doing this be a huge problem, the new concrete would add more weight to the already sinking step, but the sides wouldn't sink at the same rate as they would be sitting pretty much on fresh ground. Would it not be better to only put a thin layer on the sides and front to give it the same look while adding 2 inches only to the top for strength?

What is the best way to do this? Also, will it pass inspection with the step having visually sunk, but being level? Also, the step was done, obviously not too well, in the 50's. I am scared that if I try to tie dowels into the old step by drilling it will destroy the step. Is there a better way to tie it in other than just pouring onto the existing step.

Could we dig around it, lift, and add some sort of substrate as a better foundation and set it back down? What is the best idea here... just haven't done something like this before.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 11:50 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You said 'passed' inspection but you mean that it failed, right?

I can't see this working out, as code also says all steps have to have the same rise and I don't see how that could happen with what's being proposed.

At this point, I think I would decline the job but you're dealing with acquaintances, so that can make it stickier.

EDIT: OK, now that I think about it, the steps must have dropped in the front, right? Yeah, you can probably make the rises all equal that way. I think I'd still pass on the job, though.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 12:57 PM
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Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately, the sink is in the back. It would be really difficult to make the rise the same on the steps. It failed inspection because the slope of the step was at a dangerous angle.

After some research I think I am going to propose digging under it a bit, lifting the current step in the back so it sits level, adding washed stone as a substrate foundation, and laying the step back down. Now i just need to figure out if that is possible given the way the sidewalk is laid against the steps.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 01:39 PM
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You're trading one problem for another if your 'fix' results in different rises for the steps.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 01:49 PM
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Agree. If I do the lift and reset on the wet stone it will be at its standard 7 1/2" rise. Forget just the rise if I did the cap, I had no clue how I was going to figure out the run while adding the new front.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 01:10 PM
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Victory, went to lift the steps and whoever did them before laid them directly on uneven dirt (likely just dug out some grass and built a frame around it). After 52 years this means that the ground wasn't just slipping, but the stair eroding from the base. New step needed.

Will 4" be enough depth for the slab if the step is only 4'x1'x8"?
 
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