Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-30-2010, 05:16 AM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Share |
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim F View Post
I won't weigh in on what I don't know but as far as the labor aspect of digging it out, it doesn't look terribly back breaking. As already stated there is a fair amount of research you need to do about fountations and drainage. Your ieda of backfilling with gravel sounds like it would let a lot of ground water pool down alongside the wall unless there was a plan to drain it out of there.

Not a herbologist either but that leafy vegitation on the good side looks like a thirsty breed that probably took care of a lot of the water on that side and possibly added a strong root system resulting in less damage on that side. Such an arraingement would look better on the other side than those flat rocks laying there and would probably offer similar benefit.You may be able to get away with minor shoring up and repairing on that side without a lot of tearing down and digging.

Poured concrete walls and footings sound like a better plan that timbers too.

Are your neighbors' homes similar to your's? You might look and ask around the neighborhood for similar problems and solutions.
Thanks Jim. As you can see my plan is pretty much changing daily so I am not thinking about the gravel anymore

Now you are getting to something I didn't really even think of. Can I just dig behind and try to put the wall back in place?

What is the general opinion on that?

Would I try to dig out like a shovel size amount behind the left side then push back on the wall? I know that is probably a lot of weight but maybe that would work?

Then if it doesn't I'll go with replacing it.

What do you guys think?

Jim, thanks for the idea with the plants. I think they are called hosta. When I'm done I'll find some more and plant them on the left. I agree with the water idea. They are pretty hearty and come up new like that every year since we moved in.

doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 05:25 AM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
My main concern is that wall on the right & the 2nd set of cement steps I can see
Possibly the 2nd set of stairs is partially supported by the basement wall on the right
Hopefully the 2nd set of stairs has support going down to the footing
Do you have another pic showing more of the 2nd stairs ?

Definitely start with the left side & be ready to redo the wall on the right as soon as it is ripped out

Scuba_Dave - I just thought of something with those steps. They lead up to the porch you see. The floor of the porch is actually also the roof of a garage. So the whole right side (porch) you see is a garage.

I remember my neighbor telling me some time ago that the garage was added on after the house. So if you look at the pic on the right side of the stairs, you can see the house and porch/garage are separate.

So I would think the stairs go with the garage more than it does the house, know what I mean?

I'm not sure if that makes any difference with digging on that side though.

What do you think?

Thanks!
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 05:32 AM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Thanks to everyone who has thrown their 2 cents in on this.

I don't plan on doing anything until this Tuesday so I am definitely open to all advice and suggestions.

Really, I'm just looking to get this to the point where I feel like it is not going to fall over. I'd rather jump in and try to do something now than come home from work one day and find a big pile of bricks laying there and be forced to do something about it when the time might not be as good if you know what I mean.

Thanks!
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 04:45 PM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N Georgia
Posts: 114
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Dude, don't try to do it with PT wood. You'll just make it harder to sell you house when it comes time. It's attached to the house so it should be done right.

Also, why do you think it was fine for so long and then went to heck over the last 3 years? Do you think you have an extra intrusion of water, such as blocked gutters, or possibly because of the thriving plants next to the steps? You might want to address any such issues so your work lasts longer.
walkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 07:40 PM   #20
Concrete & Masonry
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,720
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Doug, I'm a mason and I probably wouldn't even attempt the approach you want to take here. I would definately reccomend you look into a segmental retaining wall system for both the walls AND the steps.

Personally, I only work with the "Versa-Lok" system, but can tell you that they have a great system for steps & sidewalls sauch as this. Far more user freindly that brick, concrete, block & mortar. I didn't notice where you were, but if you get frost, these walls need to be below the frostline if you want it to last. The SRW systems merely need a course or 2 burried, as they are intended to flex with any frost.

Other systems you may look at would be Anchor, Keystone, ummmmmm, cn't remeber anymore right now, but a quick search here of SRW's or retaining walls will give you plenty of good reading.

PS, don't skimp & buy the crap blocks at the big box stores. They don't compare to the commercial units in strength, stability & design flexibility.
jomama45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 07:42 PM   #21
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by walkman View Post
Dude, don't try to do it with PT wood. You'll just make it harder to sell you house when it comes time. It's attached to the house so it should be done right.

Also, why do you think it was fine for so long and then went to heck over the last 3 years? Do you think you have an extra intrusion of water, such as blocked gutters, or possibly because of the thriving plants next to the steps? You might want to address any such issues so your work lasts longer.
Yeah, good point.

Really, it wasn't that bad but then we got record snowfalls in Pittsburgh here this winter. It was buried in snow for quite awhile and pretty much looked like that when it thawed out. It was definitely showing wear before that,but this past winter really did it in.
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 07:58 PM   #22
Concrete & Masonry
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,720
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


I couldn't find a real accurate pic pertaining to your situation, but hopefully this gives you an idea:

Name:  017_17A.jpg
Views: 549
Size:  25.8 KB
jomama45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 08:15 PM   #23
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
I couldn't find a real accurate pic pertaining to your situation, but hopefully this gives you an idea:

Attachment 20077
Thanks Jomama45. Now that is something I really don't know anything about. Can you give me a ballpark idea of what something like that would cost to do mine? If I did it myself I mean. $500? $5000? I really have no clue.


Thanks!
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #24
Concrete & Masonry
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,720
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by doug123 View Post
Thanks Jomama45. Now that is something I really don't know anything about. Can you give me a ballpark idea of what something like that would cost to do mine? If I did it myself I mean. $500? $5000? I really have no clue.


Thanks!

I read this whole thread pretty fast, so excuse me for not knowing the actual dimensions. As I said, I'm really only familiar with the Versa-Lok, & can guarantee you that their system is very simple for a situation like this.

Off the top of my head, I'd guess $6-800 for materials, which would include the block, caps (also used as the stair treads), cap adhesive, stone & gravel, etc...

Feel free to check out the Versa-lok website. They have a lot of tech. drawings to show how it all goes together. You may have to click on the "contractor" section to find them, as well as download a fairly big file, but the tech. drawings from them are very helpful no doubt.
jomama45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 08:37 PM   #25
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Hey, I will definitely have to check that out.

Thanks!
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2010, 06:45 AM   #26
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


I figured I finally better go measure this.

I might as well put the dimensions here so I can refer back to it if I need to.

The old wall is about 34" high on the right side and 72.5" long.

The left side is 32.5" high and 73.5" long.
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2010, 07:44 AM   #27
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by doug123 View Post
I figured I finally better go measure this.

I might as well put the dimensions here so I can refer back to it if I need to.

The old wall is about 34" high on the right side and 72.5" long.

The left side is 32.5" high and 73.5" long.
Those measurements, alone, indicate there's likely a sinkage problem (often water infiltration... bad drainage, etc)
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
FranÁois Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2010, 08:50 AM   #28
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Those measurements, alone, indicate there's likely a sinkage problem (often water infiltration... bad drainage, etc)
Thanks.

I guess I'll know more when I dig it up.
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2010, 11:48 AM   #29
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Wow, I just talked to my neighbor and asked him if he had any idea how old the steps and wall are. He said they have been there since before he moved in and that was over 45 years ago. I had no idea they were that old.
doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2010, 07:55 PM   #30
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 35
Default

Need to rebuild outside steps and walls coming from basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
I read this whole thread pretty fast, so excuse me for not knowing the actual dimensions. As I said, I'm really only familiar with the Versa-Lok, & can guarantee you that their system is very simple for a situation like this.

Off the top of my head, I'd guess $6-800 for materials, which would include the block, caps (also used as the stair treads), cap adhesive, stone & gravel, etc...

Feel free to check out the Versa-lok website. They have a lot of tech. drawings to show how it all goes together. You may have to click on the "contractor" section to find them, as well as download a fairly big file, but the tech. drawings from them are very helpful no doubt.
jomama45 - I found a versa-lok dealer actually pretty close to my house. Just got back. They were closed but they had some samples outside. Really nice, I think I am like 90% sure I am going with that.

Had a question for you if you don't mind, seems like you do this a lot.

Scuba_Dave suggested earlier that I rip out the left side wall and steps and I should leave the right side for last.

So that is pretty much what I plan on doing.

Do you think I'd have any problem doing it that way with the versa lok?

I might even leave the right side wall up for awhile and replace it later if that is an option.

What do you think?

Thanks!!!

doug123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
steps to finish my basement DrewB Remodeling 1 01-28-2010 01:33 PM
Moving ductwork to accomodate finished basement Badfish740 HVAC 1 01-13-2010 03:11 PM
Insulate/air seal shared walls in townhome? RebornRenov Building & Construction 4 01-07-2010 09:50 AM
water pouring into basement from around water supply line matty8199 Building & Construction 29 12-29-2009 05:07 PM
Odd basement leak - from the outside walls DyerWolf General DIY Discussions 3 05-08-2007 06:17 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.