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New member, need tips for crosstie steps

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Razorcut, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Razorcut

    Razorcut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I just recently joined Lawnsite, but have been doing lawn work for the past seven years. I have a guy that needs some crosstie steps replaced. The existing steps are rotted and falling apart. There are two sets of steps with a patio in between them. Can I get some advice on drainage issues with crosstie steps? Do I need to put the ties on a gravel foundation? Any construction tips?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Razorcut

    Razorcut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I could really use some of you guys' knowledge and expertise. Any help would be appreciated
     
  3. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    but have been doing lawn work for the past seven years. tips?
    Thanks![/QUOTE]

    Not a good question here.
    Mike
     
  4. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,496

    Here is the best possible thing you can do. Find someone that knows what they are doing an hire them to work under you for the job. You will most likely pay them alot, make nothing but you will work together and you will learn so that next time you make $.
     
  5. Razorcut

    Razorcut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Mike33, why is that not a good question here? Please explain. I am not looking for tips for lawn work, but for doing work with railroad ties.

    I can't hire anyone else right now; do you guys think there is any enlightenment potential for me on this site?

    Also, if someone thinks that this type of job needs more experiance than I have described that I have, I would really appreciate their thoughts. I have been doing carpentry, light construction, and remodeling with my Dad for years, if that makes any difference.

    Thanks
    Benjamin
     
  6. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,496

    You didn't understand me........I'm saying hire just for the job.

    Go find 'guy' that does this stuff. Tell him hey, I've got a lead for you but these are the conditions......

    Conditions: A) I get 10% + I am your labor
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Just saying hey, I've got some steps tells us nothing. Two steps or twenty steps? Are the steps all timber or are they filled with stone? Pics? Are there current drainage issues? And so on......
     
  7. Razorcut

    Razorcut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Excellent idea. Now I understand what you meant. You see, I'm only 18 even though I;ve been working around this stuff and making good money at it for a good while, but I typically cannot afford to just hire someone. However, what you've suggested is a great thought, and I appreciate it.

    Being new to Lawnsite, I'm also still learning the ins and outs of how to go about asking these kinds of questions. Thanks for the tip.

    Anyway, 8 steps, then patio, then 4 steps. They're 3 feet wide and 1 to 2 crossties high for each step. Rather steep. All timber. Don't know if the extensive rot is due to age alone or if it's drainage related. I've never built steps from cross-ties before, even though I have built some small retaining walls with sandstone and know how to keep them from holding water by installing some drain holes at different heights.

    I'm just not sure on this step job as to whether or not drainage would be required. The 8-step portion is about 5 feet in elevation change over about an 9 foot run, while the other is much less steep, only dropping about 2 feet total over a 4 foot run.

    Anyway... thanks for the tips. I appreciate your insight.
     
  8. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,496

    Still missing, you're not hiring. You are giving someone else the job so that you may tag along for the experience. Think of it as investing, this is a company expense.

    Are you lic & ins?

    Have you taken a look at how the current steps are built, perhaps follow that.

    What you will get a lot of on here is that if you are asking how to do a job as a whole you will told that perhaps you should not be doing the job if you do not know the answers, and its true. Now, if you have a question about a job.......hey blah blah blah, what if I do this instead or whatever, you'll get better response.

    Again, get someone else to do the job if you are not up to it. BUT, work under them on the job. Next time you can do it yourself.

    18 has nothing to do with it, I'm only 23. You've still got a lot of learning, as do I, but only you hold yourself back. Pay now, play later.
     
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Razor, I have a similar situation where I will be replacing 19 crosstie steps. Crossties, even used ones, will last a long time in the ground. Drainage concerns are more toward keeping water away from the house instead of protecting the ties. If care is taken in removing the exsisting tie steps, the new ones can simply be placed in the same place. If the dirt or gravel around the ties does fall out or down, simply shovel the loose material up and save for backfill of the new steps. A lot depends on how the old steps where installed in the first place. The ones I am dealing with where simply laid on top of the soil and held in place with re-bar, and backfilled and tamped with soil and will be replaced in the same manner. These steps where first installed in 1984, so the system worked.
     
  10. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    I will try to explain with out being rude. Not all the time but most posts here are about jobs in progress or completed jobs we are doing and we compare and pick minor detail. We are hardscapers that means we dont build houses or do brain surgery nor ask how to do that. TThomas gave you some good advise, follow it. Your in the lawn business thats great, but you dont know the basics of srw's or step systems or you would not be asking about the basics of drainage. Think about what you are trying to take on, building a set of steps that some one could get hurt on if not built properly. Most guys on this forum is not going to give you instructions for this reason. Hope you have good ins. you might need it.
    Mike
     

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