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Lexiesmom 07-04-2010 12:59 PM

Add stairs to cement base
2 Attachment(s)
Don't mind my basic question, but can someone list for me the supplies we would need to complete this task. If you could explain exactly to go about it, that would be even better. :)

We have a cement base at our back door. Currently cement stairs are on the one side. In stead of moving them to the other side, we thought attaching wood stairs to the other side might be the cheaper/easier option? and then we will get someone to jackhammer the old stairs later.
what do we need for this? (including railings) Oh, and can a non handy, handy man handle this job? ;)

If it worked, I've attached a couple of pictures to explain better.

nap 07-04-2010 01:05 PM

have you simply tried to just move the stairs you have? It appears they are a pre-cast unit and set there.

If so, you will want to prep the new area and set in a compacted base (so the stairs don't sink). I would suggest crushed stone as a base but you might get away with simply being sure the dirt is level and well compacted if the stair has a full flat base on them.

If they are moveable, it actually would be less work to move them than to construct a new set of stairs, especially with the:


Oh, and can a non handy, handy man handle this job?

Lexiesmom 07-04-2010 01:12 PM

That was our original plan actually, but from asking around it seemed like it wasn't going to be an easy job. Some others suggested to us to just build stairs on the other side. But from your thoughts maybe it will be easier and cheaper? We'd just need to find someone with the equipment to move them?


nap 07-04-2010 01:47 PM

a couple big guys should be able to manhandle them around. A precast unit (if that is what you have) is hollow inside so they look heavier than they really are.(although still not featherweight)

If they are hollow, either the back of the stairs (where the stair and the stoop meet) or the bottom (where they set on the ground) will be open. You can look or poke something in the space where the stoop and stairs meet and you can dig under the stairs to determine if that is the case. Don't be fooled by a stair that is cast in place though. There is no bottom on such a stair. It is framed and the bulk of the interior is filled with dirt and the concrete poured over that dirt. The walls are typically thicker than a pre-cast unit and obviously, if digging underneath, you will find no actual hollow space.

if that doesn't work for you, before you consider building a set of stairs, you need to have access to quite a few tools.

A circular saw is a good idea. A handsaw can be used but it is more work and generally, in unskilled hands, not as accurate.

You will need a level. a 2 foot and a 4 foot would be good although you could probable get by with one or the other.

Something to drive screws with.

a measuring device (tape measure)

a speed square, framing square, or some means to determine a 90 angle.

if you attach the stairs to the stoop, you will need a drill capable of drilling into concrete along with the proper drill bit for whatever type of fastener you end up using.

and you need to understand or be able to learn quickly how to use each of them safely.

davidr 11-20-2010 07:06 PM

Sure hope Lexie'sMom doesn't need a 90 degree angle. LOL

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