I need new steps for the front door. Why can't I make them with cement
blocks. Seems easy enough to just stack them to form steps. The first
layer the full length of the steps, the second layer out to the first
tred and so on. Never seen any like this is it taboo?
On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 08:11:29 -0400, Van Chocstraw wrote:
There might be local rules which dictate minimum tread depth, riser height
etc. and also whether you're allowed open risers (I'm not sure if you mean
solid cement blocks or the ones with the pair of large holes in - local
rules may say that those holes have to be filled if so). Your home
insurance company might have something to say about that, too, so check
with them as well.
Other than sticking to any rules though I can't think of anything
inherently 'wrong' with it though - except as Bill says, vibration,
freezing etc. will all cause problems unless it's all securely fixed.
Bad idea. Some fool did my old back steps that way and there have been
numerous falls because of them. The reason is that common sense and
most building coder follow the 7 - 11 rule, 7" rise and 11" run. Even
theater people follow this rule to prevent on, or off stage disasters.
Last time I bought cement block they were 8" x 8" x 16". Most DIY
projects wind up as 8" rise, x 8" run. Even if you stack to an 11" or
12" run, people will trip over the 8" rise. Maybe there is a smart
block maker somewhere that has 7" x whatever blocks for steps. Seems
to me there should be a nice little niche market there.
Cement blocks are 7 5/8" x 15 5/8". They are still a bit tall for
rise, but I have seen and have used them for steps at work. Some
of these have been in use for over 10 years. We did stick them
together with Liquid Nails. They don't lend themselves to
mounting hand rails.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
re: "Maybe there is a smart block maker somewhere that has 7" x
whatever blocks for steps"
Just wait a little while.
Similar to Ice Cream and Bacon, the price will stay the same, but the
blocks will be smaller.
They already have that market covered with precast hollow steps. 1 piece
or multi, depending on requirements. Looks at least as good as concrete
blocks would. And they meet rise-run standards.
I've seen a cast block system specifically designed to construct
outdoor steps and landings. The blocks are heavy, and lock together
for stability. Saw it at my local Menards. You might also check your
local landscape block supplier.
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