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Old 01-06-2012, 07:30 AM   #16
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Not knowing where you are -
I think it would be a good idea, to make sure the footing/grade-beam
at the bottom of the stairs - extends down, below the frost line -
also, the one against the house.
Just an opinion.



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Old 01-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #17
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There is no "one against the house". The architect/engineer just threw some plans for stairs from another project into my project. Check out the picture, attached. The site is in a flood zone so they made me build the house on top of a 4 foot above grade 2 foot below grade (6 foot total) structure. That's what the stairs are for, to get from ground/grade level to the house. The foundations 2 feet underground are 4 feet wide. So the 1 foot wide/deep foundations called for in the stairs plan would be situated on top of 4 foot wide foundations. It would be a case of tiny foundations resting above huge buried foundations. That's ridiculous! What I did instead was I placed #4 and #5 rebar 6" o.c. for the stairs about 16 inches deep into the main slab. The main slab is 8" thick. The wall supporting the slab is 1 foot thick. That rebar is not going anywhere! It will hold the stairs up very well. This whole thing is built like a tank, a bunker.

I just spoke with the inspector this morning. All he cares about is how the foundations will look. After that I can build whatever structure I want for stairs. I just might try to swing my version of the stairs project after all.

As for frost line. The plans call for 12" foundations. When we dig water line trenches we make them 18". The official maps bundle all of California into one zone, and claim our frost line is 5". You have the snowed in Sierra mountains and low land areas down south near the beach where it never gets too cold. Yet on the official maps that show frost line all of California is one zone.
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Exterior stair landing tread size min/max?-pour5.jpg  

Last edited by jackwashere; 01-06-2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #18
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As long as bottom tread of the steps is sitting of solid undisturbed soil, the first drawing will be just fine with a 6" slab. Make sure you allow at least 4" under each riser form so the rebar has decent coverage. You'll also want to fill in the majority of the center "hump" with gravel/aggregate/broken block pieces/stones/etc... so you don't need to waste the additional concrete AND you relieve a little pressure on your forms.


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