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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting ready to tear out an existing set of steps that have no footing or pad under them. they are traditional field stone and will be rebuilt with the same type of stone but I will be pouring a slab under them. just wondering how many of you actually go below frost line. that would be 48" here. I was thinking dig out to 18" pour and build since its not directly attached to the house. the stpes will be 12'x10' 24" above grade
 

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Its not too hard to get to 3'., I usually aim for that. I removed a set of steps that was poured literally right on grade and they made it 60 years. Whatever, thats pretty awesome if you ask me, just pin it to the foundation like a mad man.

I guess it would depend also on what kind of dirt you end up with. Gravel I think is more forgiving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heres a curve ball it looks like the ground is all fieldstone under the steps......... tore out 4 yards of crete/mortar and atleast a full load of fieldstone from inside the steps. I am at 12" below grade and still pulling large stones. 10 man hours in and no end in site. Lets see what I find on monday
 

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Would filling the voids with stone dust or process below grade and compacting in lifts over said fieldstone be sufficient, and build off that? Seems like your in a tricky spot guess it depends on the strength of the fiieldstone/cement base
 

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I would do what nick is suggesting, at least if i understand your description of the fieldstone. Often loose stone loosely packed with mortar was used as a foundation for low walls, allows some drainage but still a decent base. Is the stuff well packed or easy to move?

Or dig down to undisturbed soil, drop some clear stone to within 8" or so of grade and pour on that
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the fieldstone base is just loose stone piled up to grade and built off of that. I have seen it 2 other times usually stone down to the footing so I might be in for some heavy lifting. I am puling some nice stone out so its cutting down on material cost anyway. I will try and get a picture later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will be digging. This is the 4th set of steps I have done here. We are moving them over 2 feet making the 3 feet wider and 8" taller to bring them up to a proper landing height.
 

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Backhoe? My pal charges me about 75 an hour for it, well worth it for me to lean against the shovel and watch him dig the hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
theres no access. I wish I could get my skidsteer in there but the only way in is over the leach field and across a "bridge" that is only 40" wide. I can barely get my power wheelbarrow back there.
 

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Does water drain right through that rock? If so then I wouldn't worry about digging much further. It's the water stuck in the soil that causes frost heave.
 
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