The House Strikes Back

Our Homeownership Saga

Helping The Stairs – Part 1

Just let me sleep, it is too hot to move.

Apparently, today is too hot out to do any work, says the cat.

We decided something needed to be done with the stairs.  They were still in fairly good condition, but they were quite wobbly at times.  Upon further inspection, the piece of plywood that held the stairs to the house was falling apart in many places and after the heavy rains we just had, most of it was just mush that pealed off of the house.

It started with yanking the stairs and its disintegrating plywood backing from the house.  Then the joy of trying to remove all of the rusty screws from the house and the stairs.  There was quite a bit of garbage that was under the stairs, including a McDonald’s bag.  All of the garbage was removed and the dirt was cleaned up of the remaining concrete from stairs that were there before (or so we believe).

Looking outside from inside the porch at the lack of stairs we currently have.

Looking from the front yard, toward the front door and the missing stairs.

Area where the stairs were after we cleaned up all of the garbage that was found under them.

Now these stairs were attached to the house with a piece of plywood and the bottom of the stairs were just sitting on top of the dirt.  There needed to be a bit more of a footing for the stairs to make them solid.  When we first moved in and checked out the garage, and behind the garage, we found some long cinder blocks of various sizes.  It was decided that these cinder blocks would be buried in the ground to act as a footing.  (We are pretty sure we have read, for wooden stairs, that there needs to be a footing that goes down below the frost line.  But this has to be better then what was there before…so at least we are trying to make it better)  The stairs were placed against the house and that helped with figuring out where the cinder blocks would sit to keep the stairs level.  Holes were dug and blocks were put in the ground making sure to tamp everything in place and check for level.  So far everything is going well and the stairs were rested back in place while we ran off to Home Depot for some plywood and screws.  Stay tuned for part 2.

We found some small cinder blocks inside of the garage when we moved in. Now they will try to be useful.

We sunk the cinder blocks into the dirt forming a "footing" for the stairs.

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  1. G'ma B.

     /  June 30, 2010

    I just now tried your website, which I forgot to note earlier. It’s great to read your gradual ownership (through hard work!) of your new home, and the added photos make it like almost being there! I’m bookmarking it and hope to check in often. My grandkids are SO smart about the web and what can be done! Makes one wonder what the next generation will know!

    Continue to post and we’ll continue to read!

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