Can porch steps be raised.

My ex-girlfriend has a porch with a set of 3 nicer than average cement steps, I think 3 feet wide (maybe 4, I can check). The steps are most likely hollow, right?
The porch is where it was, but the steps have sunk 4 to 6 inches.
Is there any way to lift the steps back to where they were? I think the porch has a cement apron in front, as tall as the steps were.
I had in mind using 10 long 2x4's to lift the thing up, maybe oiling the porch apron and the wall next to the steps with something, or using a pry bar, so the steps would slide up along side the porch and wall. Then when it is up there, filling the hole with cement, or with big and small rocks (and gravel)and cement.
Do you think this would work, and since it is more work than I want to put into an ex's house, do you think we can talk a contractor or a handyman into doing it this way? I have a feeling most will want to break up the old steps, cart them away, build forms and pour new steps. These seems like it would cost much more money and her old steps are nicer than average. Each step has a lip on 3 sides overhanging the risers and the sides, that are attractive and give a person more space to put his foot.
If the project fails, it will only sink a little at a time I think and no one will get hurt. And it probably won't sink as low as it is now. Now her mother has to go around back and enter the house a half-flight down, then walk up another full flight, because she can't make it up the step that is 4 or 6 inches higher than normal.
As to cement, I was helping someone years ago who had to erect some thin poles, 20 feet by 2 or 3 inches (some of each), and he told me that he used to mix up the cement and pour it in the hole to stablilize the poles, but someone told him all he had to do was put in the pole and hold it in place, pour the dry quickrete into the hole and then pour in a bucket of water, and everything would harden up well enough for his purposes. It's been 10 years since he did this and everything is fine, so it must be true.
Does anyone else have experience with this fly-by-night :) technique, and how big a volume do you think could be done this way?
Specifically, I'm wondering if this could be enough to hold the steps above. This would mean we wouldn't have to have cement or concrete delivered, and wouldn't have to mix it ourselves.
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wrote:

Hydraulic water bags would be ideal but hard to find and expensive.
So the cheap way would be getting a hydraulic jack at walmart or harbor freight and digging a trench so it will fit and start lifting and proping and lifting and proping. .
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We reset the hollow ones often, just did one two days ago. Just flip the steps forward. correct the footing (you could use gravel, we poured another concrete footer), and flip 'em back. If they are solid, built in place steps, it's a whole different game.
-- Dennis
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what do you estimate the weight on these, dennis? how many pounds of lift at back top of steps to flip them forward? maybe a cable or strap to a trailer hitch of a vehicle as 'muscle' ?
lee
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bogus snipped-for-privacy@notreal.org says...

I dunno, they aren't very heavy just to flip. The cross section of the pre-cast concrete is only about 1 1/2". One person on each back corner does it nicely for 3 footers.
-- Dennis
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Sounds like precast concrete steps which are Much lighter than poured steps. Should have been installed with a concrete block under each corner on packed Well Drained soil.
dig around the perimiter of the steps down to the bottom of the steps, so when you start prying up one side you're not trying to push immovable ground. On the sides, dig below the bottom of the steps to allow setting a concrete paver which will hold the fulcrum for your lever. Recommend heavy steel pipe for fulcrum and lever. a 2x4 likely won't cut it.
pry the steps up a little at a time, shimming the corners. These steps are not as heavy as they look
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On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 00:08:03 GMT, "lee houston"

Thanks for the good advice you guys. I sent it all to my frined, and kept a copy. It's really the only obvious problem with her house.
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