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Charlie Albone

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Concrete steps falling apart 

Hi Charlie (I call you "the miracle man" after seeing some of the transformations you do on SHA) (my favourite Lifestyle program). My house was built in 1979 and has two flights of concrete steps at the front. There are ten steps in each flight, and they are about 7 feet wide. A neighbour said they had been constructed by the previous owners by using railway sleepers and reinforcing mesh - covered with about an inch or two of concrete. They are now sagging in places with a couple of large cracks where the front edge is going to fall off eventually.

I was advised by one person to fill the holes and cracks with concrete as best I can - plus apply a layer of new concrete over the top and front face of each step. Another suggestion was to fill cracks and hollows then pave with bullnose pavers. What do you think? Any suggestions which are not going to cost thousands? I am not a young woman any more, am widowed, and have no family to help. Thanks (in anticipation of a miracle).

Answered Saturday 24 August 2013

If they have been built as you mentioned then I recommend removing them as soon as possible for safety - especially if they are sagging and cracking.  Sadly this isn't going to be a cheap exercise but perhaps you can rebuild only one flight of stairs, and make it a lot narrower to keep the cost down.  A carpenter will be able to build you a set of steps relatively cheaply out of treated pine but you are still looking at having to spend $4-6,000.00 depending on the detail in the handrail and site conditions.  Sorry I can't bring any good news!

Landscaping Expert

Charlie Albone

Charlie Albone has been designing gardens for 12 years and is an expert on planting and landscaping.

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1 comment
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Posted by PardelopeReport
Thanks Charlie - you confirmed my opinion. I will have to start saving my pennies.