Steps or staircases allow access from the door to the yard and precast concrete seems to be the best option. Precast concrete products are durable and easy to install. There are many advantages of installing precast concrete steps, since they can be easily erected and require less labor. They come in one piece so there are no chances of weak gaps or joints.
Precast concrete stairs have quality finishes and are usually hollow with their weight distributed evenly. These steps are available in different sizes and shapes that allow you ample choice for selection that will suit your house. They can be installed quickly and also require low maintenance. These steps come in an average width of 4 to 8 feet.
The cost of precast steps can be higher than normal concrete stairs as they are custom-made. Different dealers quote different prices which can be USD 100 per step, including labor. Replacing existing staircase can cost $400 - $700 for removal. For exact prices and free estimate, contact your local store and contractor.
How to Build Concrete Steps
Building stairs or steps of precast concrete for your house has many advantages as it is less time-consuming and not a laborious task compared to building concrete steps from scratch.
- Before getting to the task of building the steps, it is necessary to measure the area where you intend to have the steps built. Choose the layout of the staircase accordingly.
- Calculate the dimensions and the number of steps you'd like to have. The number of stairs may depend on the height of your house from the ground level. Measure the step tread so that your stairs don't turn out to be narrow.
- Once you have laid the blue print along with the stair railing ideas, it is time to get to the real task of constructing the steps. With a shovel, clear all the weeds, stones, gravel etc. from that place. Dig the ground measuring down 8 to 10 inches deep for the base of the stairs. The deeper the ground is dug, the stronger the foundation will be.
- Fill pea gravel up to half the height (say 4 inches) in the dug out area. Filling pea gravel in the area will ensure that the water does not stagnate beneath the steps. The soil also will not be washed away, which can cause the steps to sink further into the ground.
- Once this is done, with the help of a crane move the precast concrete steps to the prepared area and lay it down on the ground. You can pick the stairs with the help of the metal cable loops that are built in. Push the steps into the gravel and center them towards the doorway, where you intend to fix them.
- The next step is to fix the stairs to the wall. Mix the required amount of grout or plaster with water till it forms a thick batter. With the help of a trowel, apply the plaster in the area between the wall and the steps. Give the grout a smooth finish with the help of a mason's jointer.
You can also enhance the looks of the steps by painting them with attractive colors and designs. Concrete step repair must also be done at regular intervals to avoid formation of cracks and gaps on the steps.