Replace dangerous side steps

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This is So.Calif West LA area..
I need two dangerous side steps replaced. They are concrete; go way back before I bought the house. One is 9" high; the other is the usual 6". That first step is awkward, even for a normal-sized person, and I am very short. People have taken a dive on those steps.
I have back back and had shoulder surgery. Can't risk a fall.
The City has given me a grant for approx. $4k+ but I can't find a contractor to do the job; called quite a few in the phone book.
Is job that small that nobody is interested? Or? Somebody said they don't like jobs where a City pays, but I tried to tell them that the paperwork totally protects them; I've seen it.
If any contractor in the area is interested, please post and tell me where to contact you.
Tx
Aspasia
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<aspasia> wrote in message
| | This is So.Calif West LA area.. | | I need two dangerous side steps replaced. They are concrete; go way | back before I bought the house. One is 9" high; the other is the | usual 6". That first step is awkward, even for a normal-sized person, | and I am very short. People have taken a dive on those steps.
I take it the 9" step is the bottom step? of course it is............................ remove and rebuild them. it's not worth the time to cut and grind.
| | I have back back and had shoulder surgery. Can't risk a fall. | | The City has given me a grant for approx. $4k+ but I can't find a | contractor to do the job; called quite a few in the phone book. | | Is job that small that nobody is interested? Or? Somebody said they | don't like jobs where a City pays, but I tried to tell them that the | paperwork totally protects them; I've seen it. | | If any contractor in the area is interested, please post and tell me | where to contact you. | | Tx | | Aspasia | | |
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No! 9" is the TOP step! Very awkward/dangerous to navigate.

That's what I want -- to remove and rebuild, pref. with wood. I was never suggesting "cut and grind".
My problem is locating a contractor.
Aspasia

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aspasia wrote in wrote:

Look for a handyman. We tackle smaller jobs like this all the time. Contractors don't like to mess with jobs under $10K because theres so much cost in the setup.
Ask for references and check them out before you hire someone.
This isn't a repair, so he'll have to pull a permit with the city. This is a good thing, since they'll make sure he meets code.
If I were doing it in the Fort Worth area, I'd guess the cost would be around $1000. This includes hauling away the old concrete and building a stoop with two steps and a railing. Your code might not require the railing, but I'd want it anyway. (I didn't do an actual calculation here. Make your guy give you a written estimate up front.)
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Well, you did give me an idea. Maybe the City doesn't require him (or her) to be a licensed contractor. I was thinking they had to be, because it would be paid for by a City grant (senior stuff).
The City allocated $4000 for the job, but the ONLY bid I was able to get was from a female head of a minority construction company not in this area, and it ran $625 over.
Nothing developed for over a year, and then I got an inquiry from whoever drew up the bid papers -- they're somehow connected with the City (don't ask; I don't even understand it!) So now I am trying to find out if the bid is still alive, and if not, go back on the hunt for a contractor/handyman/whatever.
Sigh!
I originally asked the group if they knew of a way to locate a person to do the job, other than the Yellow Pages.
Still asking...any thoughts on where to look? I really don't want to lose the City funds, and I sure as hell need to fix those steps, but I can't afford it out of pocket.
Aspasia
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On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 22:28:11 -0700, aspasia wrote:

Check on that.

For 4600 dollars it ought to have air conditioning and a merry-go-round.

References from neighbors, Look under Handymen in the yellow pages? Newspaper classified, Craig's list

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| >>| | >>| This is So.Calif West LA area.. | >>| | >>| I need two dangerous side steps replaced. They are concrete; go way | >>| back before I bought the house. One is 9" high; the other is the | >>| usual 6". That first step is awkward, even for a normal-sized person, | >>| and I am very short. People have taken a dive on those steps. | >> | >> | >>I take it | >>the 9" step is the bottom step? | >>of course it is............................ | > | >No! 9" is the TOP step! Very awkward/dangerous to navigate. | > | >>remove and rebuild them. | >>it's not worth the time to cut and grind. | > | >That's what I want -- to remove and rebuild, pref. with wood. | >I was never suggesting "cut and grind". | > | >My problem is locating a contractor. | > | You don't need a contractor. YOu need a 1.5" thick | slab of wood on top of the bottom step. That | will get you two 1.5" steps, which is about normal.
don't you mean two 7.5" risers why not just add concrete (sand mixture) to the bottom step?
I thought the bottom riser was higher. the top riser too tall is too easy to fix without removing anything.
I thought there was talk about removing the stairs or is that step. $4600 for 1 step...........yah right. 1 step (2 risers) would cost about $300 where I come from.
| | Actually, you've only mentioned two risers, which | implies only one actual stair? Probably it was | installed midway, and just sank. | |
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Very good. 25 points.

I"m sure he does.

More work. Might not stay attached. Might crumble and be dangerous.

Above it says 9 inches. Raise the step below it 1.5" and that will leave 7.5".

Sounds right.

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| >| >>| | >| >>| This is So.Calif West LA area.. | >| >>| | >| >>| I need two dangerous side steps replaced. They are concrete; go | >way | >| >>| back before I bought the house. One is 9" high; the other is the | >| >>| usual 6". That first step is awkward, even for a normal-sized | >person, | >| >>| and I am very short. People have taken a dive on those steps. | >| >> | >| >> | >| >>I take it | >| >>the 9" step is the bottom step? | >| >>of course it is............................ | >| > | >| >No! 9" is the TOP step! Very awkward/dangerous to navigate. | >| > | >| >>remove and rebuild them. | >| >>it's not worth the time to cut and grind. | >| > | >| >That's what I want -- to remove and rebuild, pref. with wood. | >| >I was never suggesting "cut and grind". | >| > | >| >My problem is locating a contractor. | >| > | >| You don't need a contractor. YOu need a 1.5" thick | >| slab of wood on top of the bottom step. That | >| will get you two 1.5" steps, which is about normal. | | Very good. 25 points. | > | >don't you mean two 7.5" risers | | I"m sure he does. | | >why not just add concrete (sand mixture) to the bottom step? | | More work. Might not stay attached. Might crumble and be dangerous.
more work than removing and replacing I doubt it. it will stay attached if installed correctly with pins and wire.
| > | >I thought the bottom riser was higher. | | Above it says 9 inches. Raise the step below it 1.5" and that will | leave 7.5". | | >the top riser too tall is too easy to fix without removing anything. | > | >I thought there was talk about removing the stairs or is that step. | >$4600 for 1 step...........yah right. | >1 step (2 risers) would cost about $300 where I come from. | | | >| Actually, you've only mentioned two risers, which | >| implies only one actual stair? Probably it was | >| installed midway, and just sank. | | Sounds right. | >| | > |
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Guys, the best way to show the steps is to show them.
I have a couple of step pictures that would make everything clear, but when I tried to find a binary picture site where to post, I have to admit I was a little shocked at what was out there.
Anybody suggest a site where I can post the pictures, then post a message here directing you to site?
tx
Aspasia
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On Fri, 23 Mar 2007 19:24:08 -0700, aspasia wrote:

I have a step sister.
And I have a half picure and some full pictures.

I'm sorry I haven't kept track when others have used them.

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On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 18:10:51 -0700, aspasia wrote:

OK, they're much bigger than I thought (yet not big enough to put an intermediate step in like I did with pavers between my stoop and front door.)
And there are two steps, not one, and the first step didn't sink wrt the second as the other guy suggested and I thought.
And I guess there are only two risers, but isn't the distance from the top step to the door sill an important distance too, and it seems as high as the second riser.
And the first step is not shaped to make it that easy to layer wood on it. And maybe a layer of cement wouldn't be any harder, but that brings us back to my previous paragraph and the step from the top step to the door sill.
A picture is truly worth a thousand words.

And was that a reasonable price? Less than your grant? Including I suppose removal of the first steps. Which I suppose requires breaking them up first, a nothing job for someone who owns an electric jack hammer, but more work for someone who has to rent one or do it some other way.

Your bid might be fine. Is it for two steps or three? I don't have a computer tape measure, but it seems like you need 3.
If one is shorter than the others, shouldn't it be the lowest step? Or if it is custom made, will they be the same, even though that might make each less than standard? People do standard height steps without thinking.
I have maybe the least experience in many things of anyone here, but on a good day I have ideas, some zany, and many questions. Here, I wonder if you can buy a pre-fab 3step cement steps, and how much prep has to be done to put it in place. And will it sink, when lighter wooden steps won't. I would think that neither would sink, given that your current steps have packed the earth down very well.
And what kind of nice railing could be built for prefab cement steps.
And I think wood will require painting every few years, but what bout that "wood" from recycled plastic they use for decks these days. A little more expensive but no maintenance required.
BTW, posts fall off binary newsgroups pretty quickly. Before my ISP changed, it was only 1 or 2 days, I think. NOw they hired a service to handle their news and went from keeping text posts 6 months to several years, so it is probably more for binary too, but I don't know how much. Or other isps.
I had in mind those websites where people post pictures of their family etc. which apparently are free too, but I have no idea how long they can stay there. I was looking at one yesterday, and pictures were disappeaaring while I looked at it. It went from 6 down to 1! I don't know if age was a reason or not.
So I don't know which are easier to use.
Also, if you get no answers, post again under a new thread with a somewhat different thread name, so that things come out at the end.
Because this group gets so much traffic, this post was pretty high up from the bottom, and often I don't see followups that are this far up. With Agent and maybe other pprograms, even if you start a new thread with the new thread button, if it is called by the same Subject, it will thread together and I still will see it only way high up. I call it the Psychology of Computers, when I try to figure out how programs I have never used work with my email and news posts.

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wrote:

Riser from top step to second step is 9". (It's only supposed to be 6".) Bottom riser is 6".
Also, I think there's supposed to be some kind of landing on top, which I would like them to make, if I ever get the job done.

Yeah, I ran through all those possibilities, and nothing worked except replace the whole thing.

As I posted earlier, my grant was for $4000, and the only bid I received was $625 over. I asked the City if they could up the grant; am awaiting reply.
The only bidder hasn't replied to my follow-up query, so she must have decided she's not interested.
*******That's why I originally posted on this NG -- asking where I could look for a contractor/handman other than the Yellow Pages.*****

Most definitely.

If custom made -- seems like the only option -- they should be the same.

I doubt strongly if such a thing exists!
And will it sink, when lighter wooden steps won't. I would think that neither would sink, given that your current steps have packed the earth down very well.
Agreed! After all these decades (I am the 2nd owner) it should be!

. [...]
Do you receive your posts "threaded" by Subject, or by Date?
If by Date, mine should be near the top.
If "threaded", all you have to do is click on the + and it will unthread the posts to that Subject.
Thanks for your interest and help.
aspasia
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On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 23:38:27 -0700, aspasia wrote:

That you said before, but then there is an additional step up to the door sill, and it looked like about 9 inches too.
6 + 9 + 9 = 24 / 3 = 8, so that might be okay. Divided by 4 = 6 would be better if you say it's supposed to be 6 inches. (That's probably what I have too, but I can't remember numbers well.)
So that would mean three steps before the sill instead of the two you have now.

I thought this was an additional bid since the thread started. The guy is asking 4600 for WOOD steps!!!!! I rarely hire anyone to do anything, but that strikes me as ridiculous to the absurd. Is he making them out of ebony and teak?

I don't think they should, but maybe they have a list of fairly priced contractors and carpenters.

OK, I hadn't read this far when I wrote what was above, but I don't like to delete. :)

They certainly have 2-step prefab cement steps, and frankly I think they have 3-step, but I said I wonder, to encourage others to reply.
With my news reader and the settings I use, this thread is very far up and I have to hunt for it, but another guy said that with his newsreader, all new posts come to the fore. But no one else is posting on this thread but you and me, so I may violate some rule and post this here and again at the bottom with a slightly different thread name. Look for both.
BTW for me to do this, I can't just change the Subject and post. I have to start a blank post and copy the text into it. Otherwise there is hidden information (in the References header) that will keep the posts in the same thread even if the Subject changes, if that switch is on in Agent, and probably under some circumstances in other news clients.

The first post in every thread is in order by date, and the rest of each thread follows immediately after the first. When I collapse all the threads, I see only first posts and they are in order by date, oldest first.
But I can change how long posts are kept, so when posts get old and get deleted, that changes the first post in the thread and the whole thread gets sorted to be further down. If a long time has gone by, there can be a late-arriving post that shows up at the very bottom!
And I can Keep posts so they never disappear. And other features.

Why do you say that? I probably keep posts longer than you do so for me this thread is in the middle.
In other groups I save posts for 2 or 3 years. In this one because there is so much traffic, and because I dl all the bodies, I can only save about 2000 posts at a time, but for some reason the earliest non=Kept post I have is about 16 days old. That would be only 100 and something per day and we get more than that, so I don't get it, but don't have time to figure it out now.
Because it's still sorted by the first post in the thread, this thread is about in the middle.

Yeah I know. I see you are using Agent also. I looked at version 2 but didn't like its appearance iirc. I like to keep all threads with "unread" posts expanded.

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On 21 Mar 2007 04:42:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, my message was totally upfront. Maybe the area where I live is too "affluent" for a small job? Wish I shared in the "affluence"!
I don't know where else to research contractors, other than the yellow pages.
**********Any suggestions VERY welcome.****************

No. There has always been a 3" difference between top step and bottom step in the decades I have owned the house. It just didn't become an issue until my accident/surgery/do not fall problems arose.
Who knows how/when/why these concrete steps were so stupidly made?

Right. No landing at door; dimensions inconsistent.
Aspasia
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On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 12:30:22 -0700, aspasia wrote:

Even upfront messages often leave things out. In fact, hardly anyone gives all the relevant fact the first time they post, and it's pretty frustrating sometimes.

Maybe. I live in the suburbs and it's not even a rich suburb by any means. Yet when I wanted my car's catalytic converter repaired instead of replaced, no one wanted to do it. (well I only asked two).**
So I drove 5 miles away, closer to downtown, and the first shop I tried was happy to do it. **** They did complete exhaust systems too, but they didn't shirk from repair work. They took me right away too, and did a good job.
Anyhow, repairmen have trucks and will travel. Maybe go to a hardware store in your or a less ritzy n'hood and look on the bulletin board.
But look at the other things he has done. My ex-girlfriend has a series of guys who work for her, cleaning out and/or painting the units at the ministorage she runs, repairing the roof, even repairing the walls when a car hits it (although maybe she hires a pro for that.) So I needed my roof repaired and she gave me a name, I bought a full 4x8 sheet of plywood but he just cut out a piece a third that size that eventually I found was a bit smaller than the hole. I bought tar paper and plenty of shingles, too. Instead of starting the shingles from the edge of the roof and working in, he must have started from the last good shingle and worked out, so there were 2 inches of shingle hanging over the edge of the roof***, and it leaked just as bad after he was done as before. He chose the price, and he could have chosen a higher price if time was the issue, but I guess he just didn't know how to do better. I didn't know it was still leaking when I paid him, and because it was a roof, I didn't watch as he did it. In fact if it weren't a roof, I would have done it myself.
At my request he went up and trimmed the extra shingle off but still left a ragged inch or half inch. Would have been so easy to start from the edge and work in. I"m not disappointed in her, and I should have gone to see other things he did. But I was in a bad mood, or I would have had my whole roof done by a pro at that time.
***The shingles coming over the edgelooked just like the roofs on homemade sheds and old run down houses. Is this a tradition?
****The pipe was cracking, an inch or two from the converter iirc.
So I drove 5 miles away and the first shop I tried was happy to do it. One bead sealed it but he put on two beads all the way around, and charged 75 dollars for a half hours work (still making plenty of money) and I tipped him 10 dollars. Better than paying 400+. It lasted 2 or 3 years until I junked the car.
BTW, is it legal to repair the converter? When it is only the pipe that is broken?
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wrote:

That is, it was still fine when I junked the car.
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| On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 12:30:22 -0700, aspasia wrote: | | > | >>snipped the story book of the EX<< | | BTW, is it legal to repair the converter?
it is illegal to repair a catalytic converter
| When it is only the pipe that is broken? | not illegal to repair the pipe unless it is just clamped on.
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Uh-huh.
Good. It was only the pipe, and the two pieces were welded back together. No clamp. Not only was the guy careful both times around (I watched) but the sound then and as long as the car ran indicated that there was no exhaust leak.
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wrote:

Er...I think you got two threads mixed up.
Aspasia
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