Steps Against House Help

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Graveslawncare, May 11, 2012.

  1. Graveslawncare

    Graveslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 472

    Alright, I'm designing a set of steps that come down from the house door to grade where we will be installing a paver patio. The picture I attached below is a perfect example of what we will be doing, except ours will be 2 steps more (5 total) because the door is 30" off the ground. We are going to use Belgard Weston Wall for the seat walls on either side of the steps, and Belgard Celtik wall for the steps. So here is the problem I am dealing with:

    Celtik actually has riser and step pieces that they make for building steps. You lay a 4" solid concrete block on the base, then a riser on top of that and a tread on top of that, backfill with base, compact, repeat.

    This would be great if I was building steps into a grade and not against a structure, but I don't think it is a good idea to be compacting 36"+ of base against the side of the house. My idea for a solution is to build a wall against the house, either using the Weston Wall or just standard cmu block. That way there is something between the compaction and the house to take the pressure. Is that how you guys would do it? I'm open to suggestions, I really need to get this estimate finished and I can't obviously until I know what materials I need for these steps. Thanks for the help!

    featured_pavers4.jpg
     
  2. GroundOneMN

    GroundOneMN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    Re-enforced footings. Then place geo synthetic grid in twice. Bottom 6" and then maybe 3-4th course.

    I have never been a fan of "gaping" between the home and the steps. But if thats what budget dictates, then thats not a horrible solution. That just gives another place to fail and most homes in and around that "overdig" tend to settle for years.

    I would push for the footings. Do it right the first time, costs half as much as finding the cheap way.
     
  3. Graveslawncare

    Graveslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 472

    Reinforced footings under what? The whole set of steps? The house was built in the early 90's, so I'm not considering settling much of a factor. So can you explain the footings part in greater detail?

    Also, what do you mean by "gaping"?

    Thanks for the response :waving:
     
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    Need more info. Is the 30" siding or foundation wall?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. Graveslawncare

    Graveslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 472

    Both. Basement wall is probably about 2/3 and the rest is vinyl siding. Ill try to put a pic up in a bit.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Graveslawncare

    Graveslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 472

    Here's a couple pics of the site where the steps will go:

    IMG958527.jpg

    IMG959013.jpg
     
  7. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

  8. Graveslawncare

    Graveslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 472

    Interesting TomG. In your pics, it almost looks like there is some kind of block near the foundation wall?

    So where the steps would be up against the siding in my project, should I be removing the siding and putting up a moisture barrier? Do you have any side drawings of this pillowing method you use? I think I understand, but I think I would understand better with some kind of drawing.

    DVS, still interested to hear your opinion now that I posted the new pictures.
     
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    For that short amount of siding I doubt we would do anything special.

    And this is coming from 16 yrs of dedicated hardscape experience.

    The concern is moisture.

    1st of all, the roof most likely has an overhang. Chances of water finding its way that close to the house are slim. Now if it's a blowing rain, the kind where it comes through open windows - then yeAh the top step will get wet. But your top landing should NEVER be level, it should fall away from the dwelling.

    Next - vinyl siding has vent holes on the bottom of each section. This allows the siding to breathe.

    You're talkin 10-inches. In this case I wouldn't think twice about leaving the siding as is. Now in terms of the owner replacing the siding 13 yrs from now - different story.

    .
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    Sorry for the delay. Race weekend! Busy busy!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

Share This Page