How would you fix this?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Murphy's Law, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Posts: 174

    Here goes.

    House is 1 year old. Granite steps were installed last fall.

    I dug down and found a 4 inch concrete slab with about 3-4 inches of clean stone "underneath." As far as I could tell by digging down the side of the concrete.

    They dropped about 3.5 inches from last fall to this spring. The top landing was up to where the siding corner has been notched out. They have not moved since. This is according to the homeowner.

    It appears that the front of the steps/slab combination has not moved. I think it is because it is outside the overdig.

    The homeowner wants it fix before winter. I think it might be too soon and conveyed that thought to the homeowner.

    Here's my best plan:
    Remove the slab, fillers and top step.
    Install a 3"x3" angle iron bolted through the foundation.
    Reinstall fillers, top step and slab on the angle iron.

    I would really appreciate any feedback on how you all would approach this situation.

    FYI, this is a customer with a ton of potential work so I don't want to tell them "You are going to have to wait xxx number of years if you want me to do the work." I really think they will find someone else and I would be out all the potential work. Make sense?

    Steps - Front.jpg

    Steps - Side.jpg
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    If they no wanna wait then excavate the overdig and backfill with compacted aggregate.
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  3. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    Man its hard to tell whats going on there, looks like there is no space between the concrete and the granite, where do you see clear stone? If it sank 3 and a half inches already then your only choice is to remove the slabs and start from scratch. Where is the contractor that put them in?
  4. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    I don't think your angle iron idea will work... If you raise the back of the fillers 3 in but leave the steps the fillers wont match up square to the back of the steps, and it looks like the steps are pitching backwards so that should be fixed as well.

    I would... Take all the granite apart then remove the cement pad. I would then dig down at least a foot (maybe 2 seeing how the house is so young), compact the sub base, put a layer of geo-fabric down, put in layers of 3/4in gravel and compact, and every 4-6 in I would put in a layer of geo-grid. Then re-install the steps.
  5. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    maybe you can mud-jack it?

    most of the slabs we have had jacked were done through the surface of the slab. you may be able to do it through the sides though and not remove any granite.

    check your local concrete materials supplier for a referral on someone that does mud jacking and chat with them.

    it may be a 30 minute fix and you will be a hero.......

    OF COURSE, one Caveat-- explain to the homeowner that due to over-dig and the age of the house it may continue to settle and will need to be jacked again at a later date.
  6. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,272

    Are you an iron worker or a landscaper??

    This job is simple, take it apart, dig the footer out and refill in lifts or you can level it up with stone and go do it again next year!
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    I'm not liking these granite steps.

    The remind me of a mobile home park.

    Why not do away with the granite and build some nice wooden steps with nice work, or composite material, wrapped in vinyl, etc?

  8. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    it is common practice to use steel lintels in conjunction with masonry in building construction. i think the galvanized steel angle would work fine, maybe not exactly as described, but with some tweaking.

    he could also epoxy a few dowels into the foundation wall and pour an 8" ledger and use that to bear on.
  9. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    those steps make me think of the cemetery....RIP
  10. joes169

    joes169 LawnSite Member
    from WI
    Posts: 236

    If your'e going to go through the work of removing the steps & excavating down to virgin soil, you may as well pour two haunches (or block them up over a footing) doweled into the foundation and give them a job that will last forever. Anything short of a footed, frost protected stoop in this application is inferior IMO.

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