Gravel under concrete stairs


I need to pour small stair entry into my basement, about 4 steps and it is narrow, with a brick retention wall on both sides. I was going to first evenly grade and pack the dirt, then put gravel, then pour concrete (framing and rebar aside). Does that seem like a good layering strategy? When I was pouring concrete indoors in my basement, I also used foam panel insulation and vapor barrier under wire mesh rebar and above gravel but those two parts I don't consider necessary because it is outdoors.

If you are building the stairs tight to the house, you need to go to the frost line with your concrete foundation. Run cinder block to just below the grade level, then go to the brick finish. If the stairs are small enough, just pour the concrete just below the grade and start your brick right from there. Many stairs have been built with a dirt infill then 4" of gravel over that, all on top of the footing slab. I feel that is an error in doing it that way since the dirt can take on...

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you shouldn't build a slab on grass for starters, cause it can decompose and change the surface level eventuating to a cracked slab, so either dig up the grass to lay slab on solid ground, or lay gravel/sand and compact it to achieve solid ground. As for ground material, sand is generally for volcanic or earthquake areas due to its ability to move with the ground and stay the same shape as your slab. Gravel on the other hand is used for softer ground surface areas like damp areas and ironically beach lines (if you build on sand in a sandy area, too much sand may move from either side of slab and crack it) as so there is a solid foundation as to build your slab on. generally 4 inches is a good thickness.......hope this helps

Source(s): Me, an electrician, but in the industry for11 years


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I am trying to finalize several aspects of the foundation design for the high-performance house we’ll be building in central Vermont starting in May. Typical of the region, our house site, which has a 7% slope, is near the bottom of 600 foot ‘mountain’ and we expect it to be moderately wet (Buckland very fine sandy loam soil that is only “moderately well drained”). Our plans include a walk-out basement conditioned well enough for woodshop, so I anticipate using (A) both internal and external footing drains run to daylight, (B) a gravel pad, XPS insulation and a poly vapor barrier under the poured basement slab (XPS will continue around the perimeter of the slab and up interior walls), (C) a passive radon mitigation system and (D) both paint-on damp-proofing and a waterproof air-gap sheet on the exterior of the poured concrete walls.
While discussing our project with local excavators, several mentioned that they commonly include 4 to 6 inches of crusher run gravel UNDER the...

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Concrete might not be the prettiest material but this versatile workhorse of the architectural world still has the same potential to stand out as any other building material. Concrete exterior stairs (like the staircase pictured above) can add a sleek, modern look to your backyard or front entrance. Here’s a few ideas to help you get inspired.

jomi construction

While very simple, this rustic outside stairs design is both easy to build and offers a no-nonsense entry into any space. It’s perfect for backyards.

normandy remodeling

Concrete outside stairs case can even look grand as seen here. You’d be forgiven for mistaking this for a private college.

Choate Houses

While small, these exterior staircase have a lot to say. With a gentle yet rough finish, they blend into the background and don’t distract from the rest of the garden.

kingdom builders

Even when you keep them simple, concrete outdoor staircase design can still...

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I'm wanting to put a 20 foot concrete pad in front of my garage. Right now, the garage floor is concrete, but the driveway in front is just dirt. However, under that dirt, there is a bed of 2" to 3" rock, which I put there about 6 years ago. What I want to do is just make forms and have a just have a few yards of concrete delivered, to trowel myself. The base dirt is well packed and solid from years of driving on it.

To add gravel, I will have to disturb this well packed dirt with the rock underneath. (or the drive will be higher than the garage floor). Not only will this disturb the well packed base, but will double the cost of this job, because of the cost of the gravel, and the cost to rent some sort of machinery to dig up this dirt and rock base, since I already tried a shovel and with that rock base, the shovel wont even go in the ground unless it's after a rain when it's muddy, and even then the rock base could not be dug up with just a shovel.

My plan was to...

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I am a concrete person and on occasion do concrete slabs.

When there is room it is nice to have the concrete up off the grade and with

a sand or gravel fill.

Of course the vapor barrier is important, and what many do not do, is allow

for a slight fill sand on the vapor barrier.

I do this since when I pour concrete directly on plastic, the water that is

in the concrete, especially on cool days, has much harder time

leaving the slab.....and puddles up on the surface creating a mush of fines

when bull floating.

The sand and or gravel leaves a place to displace the water.........

Now when the slab is finished, and dry and hard, the same protection is


A place for moisture, if any to retreat to, and or, be on the bottom.

There should be no moisture there, and if any, it would be under the vapor

barrier and in the gravel and or sand base.

Also may get into heated...

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Hi everyone!

I was in the process of mouseproofing my house when I discovered a thin, narrow gap underneath the concrete steps. I've no idea how deep they go, but they appear to be formed from water. During a recent rain storm, the area beside the steps turned into a miniature lake. Why? Because the land is sloped improperly.

It has now become apparent that the entire property needs to be properly graded. But before that can happen, I need to safely seal and waterproof (and preferably mouseproof) this indeterminate gap beneath my concrete steps. Any ideas?

I have considered the following options:

1. Just filling it with gravel - Apparently mice have difficulty burrowing through it. But opted not to, because apparently you don't want water pooling beside the house and gravel, being less dense than the surrounding soil, will do just that.

2. Just trying to pack them in with clay - This doesn't quite solve the mouse problem, but at least...

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Just form them up and place masonry fill at least 4" away from all points of form work... I like going 6" myself, but 4" will work.

Usually a combo of broken concrete debris where applicable or in your case, CMU units of varying sizes until you accomplish your goal...e.g. 4", 6", 8" hollow block. I'll usually bring in some 2" block caps and concrete brick to gauge it close as possible.

No need to butter anything up, just stack and attack.

If you're feeling limber, through some chamfer on your forms and give the treads and nice bullnose finish.

You never want to pour steps solid anyway, waste of concrete the hydraulics will blow out your forms in short order anyway if you're an...

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We have included three concrete volume calculators for simple straight concrete stairs to help you in estimating the amount of concrete needed for your project.

Calculator one will calculate the volume for stairs on a slope between two grades. Calculator two can be used for free standing stairs that require an upper landing and sides made of concrete. This calculator can be used for free standing hollow concrete stairs that require one or two of the sides to be made of solid concrete in addition to an upper landing.

Concrete Calculator for Stairs - Metric

To calculate the amount of concrete needed with this calculator for stairs, you need to know the rise, run, throat depth, and the width of the stairs.

The throat depth of the stairs is measured from the point where the rise and run cuts meet on the inside cut, to the compacted gravel, or inside form, below. As a standard the minimum throat thickness should be at least 152...

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Three Parts:Planning Your StairsLaying the GroundworkPouring and Finishing Your Concrete StairsCommunity Q&A

Building concrete steps requires a knowledge of mixing and pouring concrete, making concrete forms, and using tools, like hammers, drills, levels, and so on. If this is your first project using concrete, you may want to practice on a simpler project instead, like pouring a simple concrete floor. This kind of work is also labor intensive, so you might want to check with your doctor first if you're unsure if you are physically able to perform this strenuous task. But if you are up to the challenge, with a little planning and attention to detail, you can add concrete steps to your structure at a fraction of the cost a contractor would...

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beautiful porch and stairs - an integral part of a country house, and many owners of private houses are interested in how to make a beautiful and neat concrete stair treads themselves.

Stairways of concrete are more than one year and not in need of repair, so many people choose for themselves exactly concrete products.

Concrete - a very durable material, products made of it durable and expressive.

Production of concrete steps with his hands helps to save not only money but also time, it is only important to understand how the whole process.

Manufacturing steps with his hands in the photo.

Features concrete stairs Choosing a suitable construction planning future product Construction stages concrete staircase Finish How to repair concrete steps?

Features concrete stairs

Concrete used for the stairs inside the building, and for the products on the street.The reasons for choosing the design of concrete...

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What goes under the concrete in a slab-on-grade home? In the old days, not much — just dirt. Eventually, contractors discovered that it made sense to include a 4-inch-thick layer of crushed stone under the concrete. The crushed stone provides a capillaryForces that lift water or pull it through porous materials, such as concrete. The tendency of a material to wick water due to the surface tension of the water molecules. break that reduces the amount of moisture flowing upward from the damp soil to the permeable concrete.

Since the crushed stone layer provides a fairly uniform substrate, it also may also reduce the chance that a concrete slab will be poorly supported by random pockets of soft, easily compressible soil.

Eventually, polyethylene was invented. Concrete contractors learned that a layer of poly helps to keep a slab dry, because it stops upward vapor diffusionMovement of water vapor through a material; water vapor can diffuse through even solid materials if...

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Building concrete steps doesn't have to be difficult. If you want to learn how to build concrete steps just follow this step by step guide. This concrete step building guide will cover laying out the size, preparing the sub-base, building the forms, pouring, finishing and curing the concrete from start to finish.

After reading through this guide you'll know all about building concrete steps and have a good idea if building the concrete stairs is something you want to do yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.


STEP 1. FIGURING THE SIZE of your concrete steps. Before you start building concrete steps, check with your local building codes to make sure you comply with any dimensions they require. Keep in mind you will also need to look into what is required for handrails.

A "riser" is the vertical face of the step and a "tread" is the horizontal surface of the step. To determine the overall size of the...

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We do stamped concrete driveways, stains, tile, exposed aggregate, and even checkerboard styles. If you can imagine it as a reality, we can make it one.

We love serving everyone across the San Joaquin County. The following cities can be reached for by our concrete driveway company: Modesto, Ripon, Manteca, Banta, Riverbank, Salida, Oakdale, Hughson, Turlock, Livermore, Mountain House, Linden, Lincoln Village, Moraga, Lodi, Tracy, Lathrop, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakdale, Riverbank.

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What kind of concrete options do I have?

To get the full range and diversity of concrete designs that we have for our consumers, we can walk you through exactly everything that we have to offer. Of the particular few that we get calls for, the most often requested driveway designs: tile, brick, rock, permeable, stamped, stenciled,...

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