I have some concrete steps in the den that used to be exterior steps into a
breezeway. The previous owner converted the breezeway into a den and I'm
redoing the room now. The steps have an 11" rise and I want to replace
them with 6" rise steps.
The steps look / sound really solid. Is there any chance they are solid
cement? If they are, I can't imagine sledge hammering them very
effectively. Is there another non-explosive way to remove them?
Also, are there any sources you could refer me to for step designs / plans?
I'd like something along the lines of floating planes (is there another
name?) vs. another solid piece like the one I'm removing.
Your breezeway is below grade on one side? Having trouble picturing the
situation. Or are these steps down from the den, in a well in the breezway
floor, to an exterior door?
Either way, going to a shorter rise will require a longer staircase.
Can you post pictures somewhere, and post the link back here? Picture= 1000
words, etc. We will be able to give much better advice. There is no
'standard' way to pour concrete steps- they could be solid, they could be
over a dirt core, they could be hollow.
The breezeway / den is on a slab. The rest of the house is peer and beam,
so there is about a 20" difference from the den to the kitchen. The top of
the stair -- sort of a landing I guess you could call it -- extends about a
foot from the kitchen. So if I make the first step right at the edge I
gain enough room so that the stair doesn't have to be longer. However,
since the area behind the stair will become sheetrock, I may have to have
the first step extend otherwise what keeps the sheetrock from being kicked?
If they're solid, is a jackhammer required?
I'll try to take a photo...
You add a hardwood 'riser' under the door opening, leading down to the first
actual step. But if there is a door between the the breezeway and kitchen,
you need a landing outside the door.
Can you crawl under the house and see the back of the steps? That should be
a real good clue if they are hollow or not.
Once you figure out how to demo the old steps, I'd replace with wood.
Big-box has precut stringers and treads- may have to search for non-treated
wood, but even the treated stuff would be appropriate looking in a
breezeway. Or, the local precast concrete place sells concrete stringers
suitable for use with 3x12 treads of whatever material, for that 'floating
slab' look you were going for. Are the steps square-cornered in sideways
profile, or does each step have a bullnose on the front. If they have a
bullnose, the odds are they are hollow precast.
Just to be clear the breezeway is now an interior room (den). The
breezeway was sealed off on both ends to make the den.
There is no door between the kitchen and den (there used to be and the
frame was even left in place) so no need for a landing. There already is
a riser in the doorway that leads to the first step -- about a 1" - 2"
drop. But I've seen room transitions -- typically 1 foot level changes,
that have no riser, just a drop off to the first step. I'd prefer that
if it doesn't present a hazard or look funny in order to keep the step
from encroaching into the room any further. It is a small (32") opening
between the rooms however so it's not your basic level change within a
The steps are up against the concrete that forms the perimeter of the
foundation so you can't look behind them. They are separated by a gap
They are squared off with no bullnose at all. They appear to be poured in
place. I also risk digging up the floor slab where they attach,
requiring a patch to make that part of the floor level. So maybe I need
to live with them. I guess that's why room garage and similar
conversions are never perfect.
It's probably not solid. It's much cheaper to fill with dirt than with
concrete. But some people are crazy...
In either case, rent a jack hammer and it will be done in no time.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.