How to Prepare for Precast Concrete Steps

What You'll Need
Flat-edged hoe
Measuring tape
Dirt tamper

Precast concrete steps are an easy way to add a durable and easy maintain elevated entry into a home or up to a raised porch. Generally speaking, installation of precast concrete steps is as simple as setting the steps into place. However, there is a certain amount of preparation that is required before the precast steps can be positioned. Not to fear though, this easy to follow step by step guide will show you everything you need to do.

Step 1 - Rent a Dirt Tamper

If you don't own a dirt tamper, you should visit a local tool rental store and rent one. Precast concrete steps are very heavy and the dirt needs to be packed very tightly before the steps are set in the place. You may be tempted to simply walk over the area where the steps will be placed; however, a dirt tamper is much more effective in packing the soil.

Step 2 - Measure the Area for the Precast Concrete Steps

Measure the depth and width dimensions of the precast concrete steps. This is the amount of area that you will need to dig out and level before placing the concrete steps into position.

Step 3 - Remove Debris, Grass and Obstructions

Before you dig out the location for the precast concrete steps, you should remove any debris, grass, rocks or other obstructions that are in the way. You can use your straight edge hoe to remove grass or weeds from the area where the steps will be placed.

Step 4 - Measure Ground to Entrance Height

Before you begin digging out the area, measure the height distance from the ground to the entrance or top of your porch, compare that measurement with the height of the precast steps. This will determine how much dirt you'll need to remove from the measured area. On the other hand, if the ground is too low, you may need to bring in dirt from another area to build up the installation location to the point where it needs to be.

Step 5 - Dig Out and Level the Surface Area

Begin digging the area out (or adding soil as the case may be) until the installation area is at the right distance from the doorway entrance or porch. Pack the soil with the dirt tamper and use the level across the installation location to make sure that it is straight and level. Pack the soil with the tamper until it is very hard and difficult to penetrate with the shovel. When you finish packing the soil, the dirt should remind you of a hard dirt road surface or hard clay. The dirt needs to be packed very tightly in order to support the weight of the concrete steps.

Step 6 - Set Precast Concrete Steps into Place

After the soil has been packed and is level and straight, you can place the precast concrete steps into place. You will need three or four strong buddies to help you do this. Once the precast steps are in place, ensure that the top step is at the correct level in relation to the entrance or porch.