I need to add a small 4-1/2 " high step to an existing concrete sidewalk.
Where the sidewalk meets the porch my dad has trouble stepping up to the 9"
porch step. My thoughts were to pour a step about 4-1/2" high and 16" deep
on top of the side walk to cut the stepping distance in half for him.
My plan was to drill a few holes in the old sidewalk, drop a few pieces of
rebar in there to hold the new step. And just build a form for the step. I
was going to use Quikrete and just smooth the top with a trowel, figure that
will leave a rough enough surface so he doesn't slip in rain.
Does that sound like a good plan?
Your plan should work well. A trowel will be too smooth to leave
as the finish, either use a float finish or plan on putting broom
tracks in the top. You will need an edger to run around the
edges. If there is not a rail at that location, I think you
should add one.
Another alternative might be to knock out enough walk to ramp up
the 4 1/2" or the full 9. Handicap code requires 1"/foot, no
rails required requires 1"/20". This would require more concrete,
more dirt work, more labor.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
4x8x16 concrete blocks, short sides to the porch, with a little mortar
and/or construction adhesive on the bottom, and mortar or gray patching
caulk in the cracks so they don't ice-heave. How wide is your sidewalk? Like
another guy said, all steps should be as close to the same height as
possible. If he has trouble with a 9" step, a sloping handrail is probably
also a good idea. You don't want the step to be absolutely flat, for wet or
freezing weather. I'd also check local precast concrete place for laughs-
they may have something that will drop right in.
As this thread goes on, your situation sounds more and more like mine
(except no father involved), and that of almost everyone of my
neighbors on my side of the street. All of the stoops here have sunk,
and various people did various things.
All I did is take 4 square pavers, 16" square, I think, and make two
piles of two side by side, 28x14x iirc 4 or maybe 4 1/2, but I have to
go outside to check.
I used tan ones, from Lowes I think, with curved lines in them so that
a square of four would have a complete circle indented in them. In my
case, the tan matches my house, even though it clashes a tiny bit with
the whitish stoop.
I haven't mortared or cemented them together. They haven't moved more
than a quarter inch total in a year -- I've pushed them back together
once** -- but I do want to affix them more permanently some day. I
would have no trouble using probably flat bar in holes in the stoop,
because my stoop will never rise to where it had been.
**I also moved the lower layer forward a half inch so I could run an
extension cord and garden hose behind them when I intended to leave
those things out for an extended period and didn't want to trip on
them. Even if you use quikrete, maybe you want to leave an empty tube
back there for something like this?
One of my neighbors used pavers or bricks and boxed them in with 2x4s,
which I think looks nice stylistically, but the paint is already
coming off. I thought of making the box so it could be lifted off the
masonry, and painted separately without getting paint on the stoop or
step, and that seemed like a good idea, but then I found the pavers
which were cheap and will give me time to make up my mind.
Really? I'm fine and I have trouble with a 9" step, not so much that
I can't lift my foot 9" or my body after it, but that someday when I'm
not paying attention to where I am, I would fall, going in or out.
I used a couple pry bars to flip out the 4-foot section of sidewalk
slab that is just before my front steps. I spread gravel and sand to
build a gentle incline up towards the steps, then flipped the slab
back into place over the sand/gravel bed. Now that final section of
sidewalk slopes gently up towards the steps, so the first step is a
low and gentle one. An added advantage of the sloped sidewalk is that
water and snowmelt drains quickly off that section, so it's less
Did this about eight years ago. It's only settled about an inch since
There are no existing steps, then? It's just sidewalk up to
the edge of the porch, and the porch is 9" higher than
In that case, yeah, dropping a 4.5" thick slab
of stone or cement on the end of the sidewalk,
will work, although you'll want a railing, too.
You shouldn't need the rebar. A 36x12x4.5" slab of
concrete should weigh in excess of 150 pounds,
it's not likely to move on you.
I think I'd put down tarpaper, (Or saran wrap,
or whatever you've got) between the walkway
and the new step, so you can move it if you
ever want the thing out of there.
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