Method for installing stairs against foundation

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jbailey52, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 645

    Definitely agree with you here and your previously mentioned install methods. Also think of a raised patio against a house, you could be in a few thousand dollars of hidden walls.

    Paver Pete method is in my mind intended for where you are building in front of siding, wood, or brick house wall, not the concrete foundation.
     
  2. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

     
  3. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 645

    Foundation are foundation at least from what I have seen around here. There is no structural difference between a walk out basement vs a full covered basement.
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  4. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    Your totally incorrect. When a home is built the basement walls are engineered for weight of the structure it is supporting (load) and weight of earth and hydrostatic pressure from the given soil at the site pushing in (among many other factors). You cannot just build up against a foundation wall and assume that is ok to do so.
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  5. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,628

    My assumption would be that wet ground (clay) would have greater impact against a foundation wall than compacted granular. Would it not make sense that the greatest pressure would be on the ground not the walls. Moisture is the killer here, not weight. We have built literally hundreds of steps against foundation walls over the years and over the past # of years we have almost always dug to the footing (new construction) and installed granular. We just haven't seen or heard of cracked foundations or bulging walls because of this method. Can you really believe that building a box is any better? Talk about time consuming and a waste of materials. So not only should one dig to the footing but you should install a srw wall while you're at it? Not going to happen in my lifetime.
     
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Zeo is correct. And if a client can't afford the extra 2k or so to do the job correctly, maybe they shouldnt be thinking about building a patio in the first place.

    Anything with in 3 or 4' of the foundation will put pressure on the foundation. It doesn't matter if you do Petes box method or whatever.
     
  7. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    I have never installed Pete's way....but regardless of water or any drainage scenarios you cant tell me that if you built a 6 stair setup in a U configuration (open back, with compacted stone against foundation) that that is not putting a lot more pressure on a foundation wall, as opposed to installing a false wall in front of the foundation that will be taking the pressure of the compacted stone.... You are compacted and compacting all the way up, pushing the modified stone down and out....I recently sae a contractor install a set of steps that were much wider and broader than the existing steps... this was under a door coming out the house, and the foundation wall was the top of the basement wall. The compaction and pressure of the new steps pushed the top of the foundation wall in, and the sill of the house actually slide out 2 inches... thats right! From inside the home you could now look outside from looking where their carpet and floor molding used to meet.

    I do think the best method is installing some sort of water proofing membrane, but the size, load and pressure of block and stone against a house must be factored in.
     
  8. clipfert

    clipfert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Do not infill your steps with stone and compact. How do you acheive proper compaction with that method anyway? Use filler block behind and under your steps. It may cost more in materials but costs alot less in labor. Plus you dont have to lay awake at night wondering when those steps (with the compacted stone) will settle.
     
  9. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    Well I have not been doing this for 70 years, so I cant say I have that many years with no issues, but I have never had an issue so far. And not that I agree with everything he says, this is a method Pete condones.
     
  10. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028


    Talk about a waste of block !
    I have done both cr6 fill and filler block inside of stairs. You can compact with a compactors and a little imagination.
     

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