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Capra Aegagrus
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If you're not doing anything about frost heave for the sidewalk, doesn't seem to make much sense to anchor the steps separately. How will you stabilize your bottom rail posts without burying the bottoms? There are ways, just wondering what you have planned.
 

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Livin the dream...
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you're not doing anything about frost heave for the sidewalk, doesn't seem to make much sense to anchor the steps separately. How will you stabilize your bottom rail posts without burying the bottoms? There are ways, just wondering what you have planned.
I could block the snot out of the bottom rail posts to make them "sturdy".

My original thought was to auger out my holes at the end of the area I have dug out, drop my posts in and then pour the sidewalk and fill the holes at once. I wondered 1) if the extra work to auger the post holes was necessary and 2) if I was creating a problem by having one of the sidewalk anchored to a footer and the other moving with the seasons.

Just looking for SOP and how others do a deck step when it drops onto a sidewalk.
 

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Just sit the steps on top of the walk. Run a 2x8 across the bottom front of the stringers behind whatever kick material you are using. Block between each stringer on the flat and send some tapcons into the sidewalk through the blocks. Then use some headloks, thruloks, whatever to attach the posts to the stringers. Should be pretty solid.
 

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Its not an elementary question at all. Stair footings are always a hassle and tough to swallow. Most people will lay them on the slab. Over the long haul there will be a loose connection or distortion at the top of the railing by the deck though. Most will say its been like this for years and it fine.

The right way is to address frost. You can carve out a 12" bed of gravel under the slab, bury foam or pour true footings.

I have dug 2 footings and then monolithically poured them with the slab.
 

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I have seen steps hinged on a deck so frost moves them up and down independantly. I never did it nor would I want to seperate the top of the stair rail from the deck rail.
 

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Renaissance Man
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Technically it should be footed below FL unless your building them on a hinge, although most peeps here just pour a slab.

There are some towns locally however, do require footings.

You can always dig it a little deep where the stringers drop - a haunch footing is better than nothing.

Put a good crushed stone base under it as well.

Better yet, check with the locals if your really concerned.
 

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Don’t do steps – put a slide in :laughing:

Why is your excavation for the sidewalk so deep (looks like you’re about a foot)?

BTW, that is one of the cleanest excavations I’ve ever seen. Where’d you pile it up at?
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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I wondered 1) if the extra work to auger the post holes was necessary and 2) if I was creating a problem by having one of the sidewalk anchored to a footer and the other moving with the seasons.
This is the kind of thing that can drive you nuts. In a perfect world, you'd have the sidewalk built on a solid foundation below frost, and the railing posts not buried at all due to rot considerations.

But in practical terms, generally sidewalks are built to "float", and generally you would want your steps anchored to that slab rather than nailed down independently. Unless you're building a wooden Parthenon.
 

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Hair Splitter
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Don’t do steps – put a slide in :laughing:

Why is your excavation for the sidewalk so deep (looks like you’re about a foot)?

BTW, that is one of the cleanest excavations I’ve ever seen. Where’d you pile it up at?
Probably no more than 6". Couple inches of crush and then a 4" pour.
 

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Livin the dream...
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don’t do steps – put a slide in :laughing:

Why is your excavation for the sidewalk so deep (looks like you’re about a foot)?

BTW, that is one of the cleanest excavations I’ve ever seen. Where’d you pile it up at?
Its about 8-10". I'll add stone and go with a thicker sidewalk. Thats just how it ended up. Wasn't very easy to dig with what I was using.

I actually dug that out with an old john deere front loader tractor. I had a buddy come stop past the other day who is an excavator and he commented on it too.

I guess the secret is to mark your lines and cut down with a shovel to give a clean edge that will break loose when you dig it out.
 

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Don't put the post through the walk. There are a couple ways of detailing this, so I'll mention one that hasn't been brought up, assuming 4X4 post.

Fasten your post ends to a 2X4 spaced so that it all can slip in place. This would normally be let in to the bottom of the stringers. Put it in place, fasten it all into the stringers, tapcon to the walk.

This method helps spread the fasteners around to decrease splitting problems, but there is a little joinery involved to make it look good / cover up the end of the 2X4.
 

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I use solid 2x for riser backing. So I shift the lower post of the steps to the back of the 2nd step riser. This gives me multiple anchor points. It's a rock and I can usually get a 5 ft post sleeve to cover it.
 
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