How should I prepare the site for a concrete step?


just bought a house where we've got an existing concrete slab porch that is 12" above the adjoining sidewalk and it does not have a step. We want to add in a large 6" tall x 3' wide x 11' long slab that will act both as the new step to the porch and also give some area for planters on each end.

With 6" above grade and the size of this thing, how deep below grade should our concrete go? We were thinking 4" and then 4" of gravel beneath that.

For this size slab, should we use 1/2" rebar or would 4" welded wire mesh still be ok?

Since this will be right next to the existing poured porch, should we join the two together with 1/2" rebar or keep slab & porch separate with a small gap...

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A layer of leveling compound will result in a very clean look, but it may not withstand the abuse that it will receive in an industrial environment. The result could be a lot of chipping of all your hard work, making it look worse than before you started. If you're just patching, make sure to clean out the divot in the concrete to get the sides clean and vertical, if not a little past vertical, so that the patch can't pop back out.

When power washing indoors, make sure you turn the electricity off first.

For painting the walls, a paint sprayer will get the job done the fastest. Just get some coveralls and respirator.

For the floor, I would look into an anti-skid sealer that will look good, improve the durability, and keep you...

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I'm looking to replace an old carpet in my finished basement with tile. I've removed the carpet and found a surface with some peeling paint, which I've read needs to be removed since the thinset for the tiles needs to bond to a solid surface.

I've tried attacking a small area with an angle grinder with a sanding attachment and a coarse grit sanding disc, and I've found that there seem to be a number of layers on top of the slab:

It looks like there are at least two layers of paint, and then the green layer is pretty resistant to coming off. Below that there is this red, which I thought at first was maybe some weird color of cement, but if I really leave the grinder there it seems to get through to gritty looking concrete.

What do I need to do here to be able to tile on top of this? It seems like the green / red layers are very well adhered and I wouldn't be worried about them coming up, but they also will not absorb any water, so I'm not sure if the...

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I have some concrete steps from my back door that I plan to cover with paver brick, so that they tie in aesthetically with my new paver patio. The existing steps are rectangular, but I want them to be circular, like so:

If you were going to do this, how would you attack it? Here are my ideas:

Option 1) Pour a 4" slab in the shape of the outer circle step, around the existing steps. Then build up the steps with landscape block and fill with gravel where necessary. In this case I'd probably make each circle a bit bigger so I could fit block around the corners of the existing steps.

Option 2) Build circular forms around the existing steps and pour concrete around the existing steps to build up the shape I want. I'm not really concerned that the new concrete won't bond to the existing concrete since it's all going to be covered by paver brick anyway. Any concerns with using something like QUIKRETE for this?

Option 3) Rip out the existing steps, pour...

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I want to set up an above-ground pool (14' round) on my back yard. There is a relatively good place for it, where there are concrete slabs, however, there are two problems:

The slabs are not level. It's about 2 inch per 10 feet decline.

Between the slabs, there are about 10 inch gaps, filled with cedar blocks held together by concrete, with the surface about 1/2 inches below the surface of the slabs, and the edges of the slabs are just a bit risen. I consider this a problem as it may damage the pool's liner.

I don't feel like redoing the whole area, unless there are no other options all together. Any other location would require new outlets, I'd like to avoid that either.

What can I use to level the area and cover the gaps, and whatever other artifacts of the area?

I know I can use concrete, but the minimal application is 2" deep, it would be too tall a rise for this.

Any grout, or stucco coat I can use that will...

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Consider adding wire mesh or rebar to your form (optional).

Wire mesh and rebar are used for added stability, especially on heavy load-bearing structures, such as driveways. If you're pouring concrete for surfaces onto which you're not likely to put a lot of weight, it would probably be overkill to add wire mesh/rebar. Both have their advantages and disadvantages:

Wire mesh will help guard small cracks growing and spreading, as well as offer stability across two axes (wire mesh is welded, where rebar is often tied together). The downside of wire mesh is that it is not great at providing structural integrity. Rebar may offer better structural integrity, and be better for higher load-bearing surfaces. On the flip side, it doesn't do much to minimize the appearance of cracks that do...
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Measure and stake out the area to be concreted and consider how thick the slab must be. The thickness will depend on the weight the concrete must carry (ie driveway carries the weight of a car and needs to be thicker than a garden path).

The Finishing Level

See also : Watch Concrete Finishing Video

Once the thickness of concrete has been established, work out where the concrete will finish.Concrete cannot finish too high against steps or the external house wall and should not cover any part of weepholes in the wall.The finishing level shows how much digging or excavation must be done.Pavements must grade away from buildings and boundaries.

Steps (Stairs):

Steps must have even risers.


The ground should be excavated as deep as is required by the finishing levels.Any roots or grass must be dug out until there is firm soil to place...

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Precast concrete steps are an easy way to add a durable and easy maintain elevated entry into a home or up to a raised porch. Generally speaking, installation of precast concrete steps is as simple as setting the steps into place. However, there is a certain amount of preparation that is required before the precast steps can be positioned. Not to fear though, this easy to follow step by step guide will show you everything you need to do.

Step 1 - Rent a Dirt Tamper

If you don't own a dirt tamper, you should visit a local tool rental store and rent one. Precast concrete steps are very heavy and the dirt needs to be packed very tightly before the steps are set in the place. You may be tempted to simply walk over the area where the steps will be placed; however, a dirt tamper is much more effective in packing the soil.

Step 2 - Measure the Area for the Precast Concrete Steps

Measure the depth and width dimensions of the precast concrete steps....

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At C&C Site Development we know that the site preparation process is the first task that must be completed. Engineers need a clear and properly prepared site to. To start a new project in a site that is unfriendly to the project can destroy plans, hinder building permits and damage the overall project. It is a challenging activity that must be dealt with before any building project can begin in earnest.

With civil engineering projects, the site preparation can be demolition (both above and below ground), soil clearing, soil testing, site plan designs, zoning restrictions, environmental concern and coordinating how everything on the project should run. Preparing your site properly to begin with means a much safer, more productive working environment, and a total project that is up to standard and in code.

Steps of Site Preparation.

Site Clearing: – This is the first task of site preparation. The site should be in a cleared and graded...

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The four steps for staining concrete are: surface preparation, stain application (pictured), residue removal and sealer application.

Whether you're a professional wanting to add staining to your repertoire, or a homeowner who loves a DIY challenge, here are the steps for staining concrete.

Applying stains to concrete requires multiple steps, which are as follows:

Prepare the Surface
Whether you are staining new or old concrete, thorough surface preparation is essential. Unlike paints and coatings, which are opaque and can mask many evils, acid stains are translucent. Any residue remaining on the surface of the concrete is likely to be visible through the newly applied stain. When done properly, this initial step dramatically impacts the finished appearance of the project. Surface preparation can be done in two ways, either by mechanical grinding or with the use of a specially formulated cleaner (often available from your stain manufacturer). Learn more...

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Concrete is a long-lasting, permanent installation if poured into a well-constructed form over a properly prepared substrate. Applications such as sidewalks, patios, shed slabs and steps do not require a great deal of concrete or concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) in most cases. However, the concrete must be thick enough to withstand weathering and foot traffic. The thickness of concrete steps varies from front to back, mainly because it's easier to pour that way.

Design Considerations

Concrete steps to a house or walkway should be attached by rebar. Holes are drilled into the existing concrete slab or concrete foundation walls and rebar is epoxied into place. When the concrete is poured, it effectively becomes a part of the existing structure.

The step risers and treads must meet building code requirements. Local codes will vary on what is allowed but most departments accept the standard building code. Step rise must be between 6 and 8 inches, tread length must...

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Benjamin Moore paint contacted Dependable concrete to replace a hazardous step. In this video I demonstrate how we performed this job.

Our website:

After demoing the concrete, we set the form. This step will have a bull nose front.p

Will use 4000 PSI FIBER integrated Concrete will use 4000 PSI fiber integrated concrete

To prevent lost revenue., we installed a ramp for Benjamin Moore's clients.

The forms are removed once the cast concrete can support itself.

We use Type 1 Portland cement for the finish coat. It's recommended to match the finish coat to the cement type used in the concrete.

Before smoothing or slicking the cement finish, its important to begin with clean and wet tools.

This red grout sponge is the ideal tool for finishing the facial of a concrete step. See link below for sponge.

A professionally finished step will have sharpe corners and edges.

You want to continuously...

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Learn How to Resurface Concrete

Over time, exterior concrete surfaces can start to show the effects of weather, traffic and hard use. Spalling, discoloration and surface wear are the most common concrete surface conditions that can make otherwise structurally sound concrete look old and unsightly. Homeowners can easily and economically replace old, spalled concrete with a beautiful, wear resistant surface designed to withstand heavy foot and vehicle traffic concrete surfaces like patios, driveways and sidewalks.

QUIKRETE Concrete Resurfacer is a special blend of Portland cement, sand, polymer modifiers and other additives designed to provide a shrinkage compensated repair material for making thin repairs to sound concrete which is in need of surface renewal. It is mixed to a pourable consistency and simply applied with a squeegee on top of a thoroughly clean and structurally sound concrete surface. Using QUIKRETE Concrete Resurfacer...

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Stained and polished concrete floors are not a new idea. But they have had a huge renaissance in recent years, largely because of the improvement of and access to finishing materials. Many new home owners are deciding to not put down floor coverings such as tiles or carpets and instead opting for a stained and polished concrete finish.

Of course, a new concrete slab can be laid with this finish in mind. But what if you’re renovating or you’ve moved into a home with a concrete floor, patio, or pool deck? You may be wondering what you can do to breathe some new life into these floors. Excavating the concrete may be too much of a hassle and covering a plain concrete floor with a large rug might not really give you the look that you want. Fortunately, there’s a better solution…

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Many homeowners have already discovered that staining their concrete floor is a great way to...

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How to Build Concrete Block Wall

Masonry block walls or concrete block walls are very common walls offering many advantages. Building concrete block walls is easy but requires patience and precision for a neat project. Here are some steps that you could follow to help you build a concrete block wall. Make sure you have the right block for your product and consider acquiring some standard blocks and half-blocks with square or rounded corners to facilitate the installation process.

First Step: Stake the Wall

Start by marking out the outside of the concrete block wall perimeter. Set the stakes with a rubber a mallet and use a twine line that will help you determine if the lines are straight.

How to Build Concrete Block Wall: Foundation

Prepare a foundation for the wall. Normally foundation for concrete or masonry block walls are made out of concrete and should be at least four inches wider than the width of the block. Allow the concrete foundation...

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The first crew on the site handles site preparation. Often, this crew and the foundation crew are the same people, but sometimes not (especially if there are a lot of trees on the lot). Houses are generally built on a foundation that is either a basement, a crawl space or a slab. The site-preparation crew typically arrives on the site with a backhoe and/or bulldozer. The crew's job is to clear the site of any trees, rocks and debris, level the site if necessary and dig as necessary for the foundation being built.

The example house shown here is built on a crawl space. For a crawl space, the site preparation crew digs a set of trenches and holes. Concrete is poured into these trenches and holes and will act as the interface between the foundation wall and the ground. Once the concrete is poured, the house looks like this:

(In these pictures, the bricks for the crawl space have already been moved into position while the concrete cures.) The concrete in the trench is...

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Most experts recommend sealing concrete porch steps to help prevent their porous surfaces from absorbing grease and water. Concrete stain or concrete paint can also be applied to these types of steps, and these options help enhance the beauty of the steps, as well as protect them. Generally, a homeowner will also need to reapply a concrete protective coating regularly. Holes and cracks in concrete steps should also be repaired as soon as possible. This will help prevent them from becoming larger and more expensive to fix.

Since concrete is a porous material, it can soak up all types of liquids, including water and oil. If water is absorbed into concrete porch steps, it can expand in freezing temperatures. This expansion can cause the concrete to crack. Although they are usually more of a problem on driveways and garage floors, oil and grease can also be absorbed into the concrete, which can leave a large unattractive stain.

Sealing concrete porch steps is usually...

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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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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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Poured concrete steps provide a sturdy, long-lasting transition between an outdoor surface, such as a patio, and the entry to your house. One of the more confusing questions that arises, however, is how high and how deep (front to back) each step should be. The answer to this question is found in some simple math you can use to compute the unit rise and run.

When considering the total run of the unit, local codes often require the top landing to extend at least 12 inches beyond the door swing. Subtract the width of an outswinging door (usually 32 or 36 inches) from the length you measure between the foundation to the outside edge of the steps. If the remainder is less than 12 inches, you may need to change your plan.

Know the codes before you start planning steps. If you don't construct them according to code, a building inspector can make you tear them out. Codes may also have something to say about the placement of rebar or other reinforcements, as well...

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Hammer wooden pegs into the ground to mark out the area you want to concrete. Use wooden pegs about 25mm square and long enough to be rigid when driven into the ground. Stretch a strong string or twine between the pegs. Cut pegs off at length of timber. Decide how high you want the concrete in relation to the ground around it. Remove turf or loose soil from the marked-out area. If the ground is soft - spread sand or ashes to make a better base. Fill any holes or uneven ground with stones, broken bricks or clean fill. (Final levelling is best done with sand after you've put in the formwork). When the whole area is flat, compact it by rolling, walking or driving over it and hosing lightly. The more it settles - the better the foundation for the concrete.

>Step 4 – Cut & Place Formwork
>Back to DIY Concrete steps

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