DIY

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by Home User, Jul 22, 2012

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Q: Is it possible to re-level my front concrete door step?

Is it possible to re-level my front concrete door step? My front concrete door step is dropping at the front edge of the step. This is going to become a safety hazard unless it can be remedied. Is it possible to jack up the step to level it, then grout below in order to support the step? The step is in good condition otherwise.

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by Craig Phillips, Jul 26, 2012

A: Yes it should be possible to re-level your front step or even lift the concrete step and re-set it. I think re-setting it would be a stronger fix and will last longer, but I'll give you the two options for you to consider.

When moving heavy concrete steps, safety is of paramount importance. Always wear safety gear, particularly steel toe-capped boots. Also, you will need quite a few of you to move the steps. Don't attempt this with too few people. If you are unsure, get a professional in to do the job for you...

Option 1 - Try to remove the whole concrete step without damaging it, along with any loose material below it that has crumbled away making it sit loose and drop down. Try and create a level sub floor for the new concrete and then steps to sit on.

Mix a lean mix of concrete using two parts gravel, two parts sharp sand and one and an half parts cement, mixed up with water. Don't make it too sloppy, as it will have to support the steps in a level position until

Lay the new bed of concrete around 30 to 40mm deep, lie the concrete step back into its original place, tamp down until it's firmly seated and level. Leave to set and point around the sides and the bottom to suit, and leave to dry for 24 hours before using.

Option 2 - If you can't remove the concrete pre-cast step the try to wedge it up with crowbars or a shovel, then scrap away any loose debris from below the step.

Be very careful that the steps are wedged up securely. Once lifted, support the steps with wedges and strong timber or metal battens to ensure the steps cannot fall back while you working.

If you are at all unsure, get a professional in to help.

You can buy a 25kg bag of premixed concrete, mix this up with water, making sure you follow the mixing instructions on the package.

This will be a rapid set substance so you'll only have about 30 minutes to get it pushed under the existing concrete step using a bricklaying pointing towel, then remove the crowbar or shovels you had holding it up.

Finally, using a rubber hammer, tamp the step down to a firm, level point and leave to set of a couple of hours. The longer you can leave the concrete to dry the better.

And again, I must emphasize the safety concerns in this job. Concrete steps are very heavy, so only attempt this job if you are a seasoned DIY-er, and you have lots of help.

If propping the steps up, make sure there is no way the steps can fall while you are working under them. And always wear the appropriate safety gear, and do not overstress your body, trying to move the steps if they are too heavy.

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