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Old 06-21-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Hanging Exterior Steps Without Footer


I have a two-level garden behind my house that needs a couple steps to go from the upper to lower level. I only need two steps, and the ground is very soft since it is planting mix, so digging deep for cement footers seems like a bad and unnecessary idea. The yardstick in the picture (attached) shows that the drop is only about 24 inches. The cinder block wall uses the 12" thick blocks and I can fill it with cement to strengthen it and provide a better anchor for any bolts. What would be the best configuration to hang a couple stringers from the wall without having a footer for them to sit on at the bottom? I believe a good anchor at the top, and a horizontal brace back to the wall at the bottom would suffice, but does anyone have a better idea? (The wall will eventually be covered with stone, with slate capstones, but they can be installed after the stringers so as not to interfere.)
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Wally
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:22 PM   #2
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Hanging Exterior Steps Without Footer


Two beefy natural stone treads would look nice there. Bed them gravel and build your wall veneer out around them.

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Old 06-22-2011, 12:48 AM   #3
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Hanging Exterior Steps Without Footer


Any type of steps you put there without a footing will settle after a while and they may not settle the same on all sides and will make the steps different margins from the top of the block wall. When figuring the steps you will need to take the thickness of the cap you plan to use on top of the blocks in consideration.

Anchoring back to the blocks will not work without a footing as the front edge of the steps will settle and the step against the blocks won't. Also if the steps are anchored too solidly, when there is settlement it could pull or break the blocks loose.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:04 AM   #4
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Hanging Exterior Steps Without Footer


.."the ground is very soft since it is planting mix, so digging deep for cement footers seems like a bad and unnecessary idea."
That's just the reason digging a footing is a good idea and necessary.
Doing it your way is a waste of time and money as it will fail pretty quickly.
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