Steps separated and lowered from porch

Old 04-06-12, 01:47 PM
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Question Steps separated and lowered from porch

I'm putting in an offer on a house, and the front porch needs some repairs. The stairs are concrete and were connected to the brick below the porch with large bolts and a metal bracket. The bracket is rusted, and it looks like they had removed it and put it back on lower when the stairs settled. There is a larger than normal step up to the porch now. I am wondering how easy this would be to fix myself, or if it would be prudent to have a professional come and and redo the entire thing. Obviously I would prefer to do it myself, but I've never done anything like this before that involves concrete and masonry. I've included a picture of the problem area. It is not a high quality picture, but you can see how the stairs are now well below where they should meet the concrete pad of the porch.

Old 04-06-12, 03:55 PM
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Are there any footings or a cement pad under the bottom step? It looks like the bottom step shifted (pushed outwards) in order to let the top sink. Is that what happened?

Something tells me that there are no footings there at all. In some places, they are required by code. Are you going to have an engineer to do an inspection?
Old 04-08-12, 10:21 AM
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Definitely a TOC (Thrive On Challenge) job for someone without much concrete experience. If it were mine, I'd first pour a small, full-width footing under the steps adjacent to the brick wall. Then place some temporary cribbing under the settled steps, such that there's a firm lifting point near the center of gravity. And then proceed to jack the entire step unit back up to its original position, while preventing it from wanting to move away from the wall by means of a few come-alongs while jacking. Finally, after it's exactly where you want it, form and pour a full-height reinforced concrete stub wall under the step unit, between it and the footing.

A quicker fix would be to just break the whole thing down, reform and pour a new one. Not a particularly easy task for a first-timer. You might want to get a few quotes for having it done by someone in the business. But don't be surprised if the numbers come in at a grand or more.

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