I'm planning on building a new 16' x 18' deck. The deck will have a continuous set of 4 steps along the 16' length. My question is, if the steps land onto a brick patio, do I need to install a concrete footing with piers to prevent frost heave along the length of the steps?
The brick patio is build with 4x8 pavers on 1-2 inches of sand with 4-6 inches of compacted rock tailings as a base over clay soils. The deck will have positive drainage away from the steps. I'm located in Kansas where by code the frost depth is 32", but from what I been told by the guys who have been around, we very rarely see any frozen ground deeper than 6-8 inches.
Second question, if there isn't a concrete footing, what do I attach the base of the steps too?
Obviously I'm trying to avoid the additional concrete work, but don't want to have to rebuild steps later.
As you lay your deck out, I would remove the necessary pavers, and install posts to carry the bottoms of the stair stringers, consistant with the posts that you will set for the deck itself. Attach your stair stingers to them, leave the end ones up, to be cut to height for your hand rail, and cut the intermediate ones off, just below the bottom tread. It will require some additional steps to cut and fit the pavers back around the posts, but I would not go to the work of building a deck of that size, and reply on an uncertain component to carry part of the load.