Tearing Down and Rebuilding Concrete Steps

Concrete steps are common on many homes.  Unfortunately, because the steps are poured separately from the foundation of the home, as the home’s foundation shifts over time its movement directly affects the stability of the concrete steps, causing the steps to possibly crack or begin to crumble.

When you’ve decided it’s time to remove the steps, simply jackhammer out the concrete steps beginning on the top step and working down.  Be careful if the steps are either conjoined with the foundation or just poured closely to it to not damage the foundation with the removal.  If you doubt your ability to cleanly remove the concrete steps, its best to call a professional to ensure that no damage is done to the foundation.

Build New Steps

With the old steps removed, clean the area.  Clear it of any remaining loose concrete, debris, rock, soil etc.  Bring the soil to a level grade by digging down at a depth of six inches to where the base of the steps will be.   Compact the area and tamp it down.  This is an important step, because if the grade shifts at all under the weight of the steps. The steps will have structural problems.   With the base compacted and level and free of debris, build the forms.

Use sheets of ½ inch plywood to build the sides of the forms.  Forms for stairs are usually more complex than forms for, say, simple concrete pads, however take your time to ensure that everything is measured correctly, and apply some type of greasing agent for an easier release between the forms and the poured concrete.

Then it’s as simple as pouring the concrete and finishing it.  Quikrete is an excellent product for this job. When you use it for a pour, make sure to apply it per the manufacturers instructions.  Use a float to level the concrete as usual and use an edging tool to round the corners of the steps.  Trowel the concrete smooth, and cure it.

Then enjoy your new steps!  It’s important to remember, also, that these are just brief guidelines to provide you with a general idea as to the steps needed to replace a set of concrete stairs.  Contact the concrete specialists at Shotcrete Montana for more professional advice, as well as the materials you’ll need for the project.    

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