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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sorry guys, but if it helps my cause - finishing this project will get me back into the shop.

I am trying to expand my concrete steps to my backyard and I plan to put pavers right on top of the concrete. Should I just frame the extension with 2x6s and pour right over it? Also, because this is such a rough concrete that exists, could I put some sort of top coat on it and smooth it out?

Eventually the whole surrounding area will be pavers as well but right now my biggest focus is the steps.



Thanks guys,

Curtis
 

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Should I just frame the extension with 2x6s and pour right over it?
No. Unless you want to dig down and put in a proper foundation, you want the steps to "float" - if they can't move relative to the ground, they will crack when the ground freezes.

I'd suggest framing the form, putting down at least 1/2" of sand, and placing the concrete over that. If you are concerned about the steps shifting, use a piece or two of rebar to constrain movement horizontally but still allow the steps to move vertically with expansion and contraction.
 

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No. Unless you want to dig down and put in a proper foundation, you want the steps to "float" - if they can't move relative to the ground, they will crack when the ground freezes.

I'd suggest framing the form, putting down at least 1/2" of sand, and placing the concrete over that. If you are concerned about the steps shifting, use a piece or two of rebar to constrain movement horizontally but still allow the steps to move vertically with expansion and contraction.
Does the ground freeze in Seattle? I did not think that Seattle had that type of climate.

George
 

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Discussion Starter #5
George, certainly not as bad as the rest of the country.... But a few weeks ago it hit 0 in my town due to wind chill. Both my house and my rental had frozen pipes. It not often that it gets that cold here, but it certainly happens so I need to be prepared for sure.
 

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I second using sand. You can lay PVC pipe on each side of the walk and glide a 2x4 over the pipe to strike the sand off and make level.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your advice guys. Ill post pics when i am done. Anything to keep the Mrs happy!
 

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If you are planning to pour concrete against your siding---please don't.

The siding and skirt board will become wet and rot.

Have you considered footings and a wood step?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will be removing a small piece of siding and adding flashing :)

Footing and wood step is an interesting idea. I could probably even do really fancy stuff since it's a small area. Basically just build it like I do fences? Put a 4x4 two feet into the ground and concrete? Then I'm guessing a halved joint with another 4x4 as my horizontal and plank from there?

I guess I could double up on posts and just do end lap joints - probably even stronger.

What do you think?
 

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I would go with the footings and wood steps over doing the concrete. I think it would work better in the long run and would blend in well with the pavers. My rear patio around the pool and entire driveway are pavers and I have been very happy with them. My wooden deck steps come down into, meaning they continue below, the pavers and I haven't had any problems with where they meet. The only drawback to pavers is that weeds and such are always trying to grow in the cracks, so it's a constant battle to keep them clear.
 

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No posts in the ground---the new treated lumber goes bad when buried--

Dig post holes--add a form to the top--fill with concrete--add a metal clip to hold the post.

Look in the deck parts section at your local store---
 

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I had dug out top soil and added sand under a concrete floor in a barn, and only dug out slightly larger than the floor. Water seeped into the sand, and because I was in clay, it sat there like milk in a giant cereal bowl. It of course froze and heaved the concrete, causing it to crack. So make sure water is kept out, or has a place to drain.
 
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