gil - It took about 18 man hours to build the steps. (2 guys 9 hrs)
Chesie - It is actually a CAT 232! I wish I would have gone bigger, but hindsight is 20/20.
Sodking - The pedestal method is where your whole structure is solid block all resting on your initial base. There is no backfill behind the riser what so ever. The advantages are a more solid, stable structure with less likliness of settlement and labor savings. Although I think the labor savings is offset by the additional material two fold.
Mike - We saved a ton of money by using Versa lok behind the scenes instead of Coventry (VL = $6.25/sq ft Coventry = $12.45/sq ft)
P.S. Coventry plus is an 8" block. The steps would be too awkward using it.