Steps using Cement Block and Brick

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Old 03-06-14, 05:33 AM
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Steps using Cement Block and Brick

Hello--

I need to build 2 steps out the back door and would like to somewhat match a brick staircase nearby. I really appreciate your advice!

Questions:

1) Can I use cement blocks to build out the basic form of the steps and then use mortar and brick on top of it? I have plenty of the exact same brick as the staircase I would like to replicate laying around to use. If I use blocks, what are the steps involved? I tried to search the internet for steps and pictures but am coming up short.

3) If blocks are used should I fill them with aggregate or poured concrete?

2) Can I use compacted aggregate and sand as a base or should I pour a concrete base?

Thanks.

I attached two pictures-- one of the existing brick steps. Another of the wooden steps I would like to replace once the snow melts!
 
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Old 03-06-14, 06:47 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

You need to first start with a footer! That will make your steps stable and keep them from sinking [often unevenly] Block can be used but you need to pay attention to your riser height - it can't be over 8" - 7" is preferred. ...... but I'm a just a painter, the masons should be along later with more/better advice for you.
 
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Old 03-06-14, 02:05 PM
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I'm considering blocks to eat up some of the space and to keep the design simple. Is it best to just pour the whole thing?

FOOTER-- should it definitely be poured concrete or could compacted aggregate and sand work?

RISER HEIGHT-- could I use the height of 2 concrete blocks for the step closest to the door then 1 concrete block for the second step? To get the correct riser height, I could then pour some amount of concrete over the blocks as required. The third step would be bricks mortared to the footer. Would that work?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 03-07-14, 12:38 PM
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Compacted sand and aggregate do not make a good footing, as the footing needs to be stout and rigid, not prone to uneven settlement or displacement. Laying bricks "on-edge" with mortar, on top of 8" concrete blocks, will result in an awkward riser height, considerably taller than codes recommend. Talk to your local AHJ to get their take on what you want to do.

In your mild climate and for your situation, I'd go with one monolithic reinforced concrete pour for a base. Easy to make the risers code-compliant, and no need for a separate footing. I'd also consider making the landing area immediately in front of the door wider (perpendicular to the house), allowing more space before having to step down.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 02:35 PM
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If you just don't feel up to trying a monolithic pour 4" thick concrete cap block plus a layer of standard brick would be close to the correct riser height. You would still need to pour a 3" or 4" slab flush with the ground for it to sit on. To adjust for finished total riser height you can increase the thickness of the base slab above ground.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 06:54 AM
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Thanks again-- I spent the morning searching around for monolithic pour on the internet. Do you have any recommendations for further reading/ planning out there?

Also, approximately how much concrete do you think I'll need for the job? I'll be mixing it up myself.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 09:45 AM
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Give us some dimensions of the monolith you intend to build, which we'll use to crunch a few numbers.
 
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