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I need help w/ Front porch steps

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Jun 03, 2013, 11:55 AM
I need help w/ Front porch steps
I'm replacing my front porch wooden steps. I have ripped everything off and plan on building a concrete block frame work and set limestone treads in place and cover the concrete block with a stone veneer to match the house.
My question or problem is what is or how is the proper way to build the framework considering my tread thickness is 2.25"? What type of block should I use for the base in order to maintain my tread height of 6.75" and should I use a piece of angle iron across the back of the tread for support?
Jun 03, 2013, 02:11 PM
Standard block ( 8" or 7-5/8" actually) will be too high. If you are trying to stay within code of riser heigth and tread depth. I might suggest a poured step foundation. You can adjust your riser heigth to accomidate the extra thick tread. Although you can use a solid 4"(actually 3-5/8")and a cap block to come close it is more labor intensive and in the long run will probably be more expensive.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: redoverfarm,
Jun 04, 2013, 07:42 PM
Hi Caliber,

Replacing your front steps and possibly the porch with a concrete or cement block base covered in limestone and other similar materials will look good but will require a solid foundation on which to base it before you begin. You will need to dig down to an undisturbed soil base for the foundation to begin with and this will also will need to be below the depth of frost in your area, if this does occurs there. Unless this is done properly in a few years you will notice that your project may begin settling and shifting and correcting this will be quite difficult without a far amount of effort.

However, you plan to construct your porch and steps, be sure to begin with a solid foundation for both the porch and the steps. This may mean pouring a good set of concrete footings for both at least 6" this and reinforced with rebar or wire mesh so they become one solid unit. This will help prevent them from shifting and possibly cracking in the future.

It will also need to be designed in such a way that it comes at least 6 to 8" below the entrance and that water and snow cannot infiltrate into the wooden structural members lying on the foundation of your home, otherwise down the road you may have problems with your sill plate and joist headers in that area. In addition, slope the porch and steps so that water naturally runs away from your home to prevent issue of water flooding up against your entry way even in heavy rainfall or if by chance your porch and steps settle unexpectedly.

Once the footings are poured, framing your porch and steps with concrete forms may be the easiest bay to achieve the desired shape and depths for the final finish you wish to add to your steps. Careful planning, and framing of your forms, and possibly well compacted fill will be needed to allow you to solve these issues and finish with the final facing you wish to add to the concrete.

Others may have additional suggestions.

Good Luck!
Jun 04, 2013, 08:54 PM
Just as an example here is a set of poured steps that I did. I covered the riser face with cultured stone. In an effort to keep the cost down I used 8" block as filler material inside the forms.

Before the face stone.

After the veneer stone.