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I need help on this stair project please


LawnSite Member
Winnipeg, MB
Here is a picture of the house I have been asked to build stairs for.

I have a few points.

1. I am going to use the pedastal method since there is no back wall, just an empty void under the stairs (Is this the best for this case?)

2. the opening between the railing is 6ft.

3. the home owner would like large rocks infront of the railing.

4. There will be 60 ft of retaing wall on either side of the porch.

What would be the best option for the stairs here? I really need some Ideas or example pics.

Thanks in advance




LawnSite Bronze Member
I would remove that first step entirely. Then, I'd frame for a solid cement wall under the front of the porch- Can't have any voids there. Next, build your retaining wall around the whole front, and framing out for the first step in your base course. As you build the second course, when you get to the steps, you set back 12" and so on. Your wall and steps should all be tied in. If you start your wall at the right grade, your steps will come out perfect with the top of the existing porch. Start by measuring down the thickness of the proposed cap/or paver + the proposed block height. When you get to grade, go down to the next nearest block. Thats where you'll start your base row. Your basically working from the ground up.


LawnSite Member
Vernon CT
I am in a similar predicament but mine are longer coming out like 4' landings on the steps I am not in the concrete biz so I am going to use solid paver but what would be a good backing along the bottom? All the stair jobs I have done had something to rest against.


LawnSite Member
Hamilton, OH
Just out of curiousity, but why wouldn't you just build a wall along the back. I know you can't see it, but I have done this before and basically you are just building a free standing platform.


LawnSite Silver Member
Eastern Ontario
What we did in this case is build a wood frame with 2x4 and installed marine plywood on the surface. After the steps were built the owner was going to stucco the remainder of the plywood that was visible. We used 3/4" plywood and there was no buckling whatsoever. It is expensive but less time consuming then constructing a block wall.

Bilodeau project 079 (Medium).jpg

Bilodeau project 063 (Medium).jpg

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
Why do they need 60' of wall on either side of the porch? To me it looks like they just need ~2 feet of fill soil brought in and graded out. Would probably work out to be cheaper and faster for the customer and probably wouldn't look so wierd...


LawnSite Bronze Member
I see nothing wrong with the plywood idea. That would work too. However which ever method you choose, I would definitely block up the space under that porch. I could just see a critter living under there, and undermining your steps.