Landing for deck stairs?


Old 06-19-17, 04:55 PM
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Landing for deck stairs?

I'm adding some stairs to a deck I'm building and I don't know what to do at the bottom. Attaching the stringers to the rim joist is no problem, but I've read all sorts of conflicting advice regarding what to do on the ground end of things. I have a large (3'x3') sandstone paver that I would like to use as the landing in front of the stairs.

Most things I've read suggest attaching the stringers to a toe kick bolted onto a concrete slab. I'm concerned, however, that frost heave lifting the slab up and down may put excessive stress on the deck, either at the stringer/joist connections or up where the deck railings meet the stair railings. I'm in Northern New York where the frost line is at 48".

An alternative to pouring a slab would be to put footings/piers under the rail posts at the bottom of the steps. In this case I would have to dig two more holes down past the frost line. This would be fine, except I think the round concrete footings, if visible, would look ugly next to the sandstone landing. (I can't put them inside the stringers because the rest of my railing posts are mounted to the outside of the deck.)

I thought about doing something like this: link. The problem with this idea is that I'm not sure how I'd make the outside of the stringers look good if they were notched to accommodate the "grade beam." (Plus, some of the other posts in that thread aren't particularly enthusiastic about the idea.)

Here's another possibility I came up with: link. In this case, a small concrete slab would form a little table on top of two 48" piers. I would pour the whole thing at the same time. I suspect I would need to reinforce the whole thing with rebar to prevent the frost heave from lifting the middle and cracking the slab.

I'm at a loss for what to do! If anyone could weigh in on this, I'd appreciate it very much.
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Old 06-19-17, 05:19 PM
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Don't unecessarily complicate this. I don't understand why three six inch sonotube piers could not be used along with anchor straps. You probably won't even see them because you will surely landscape around them and cover them with mulch, rock or eventually the weeds will take care of that for you.
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