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My front porch is concrete, but it's too far below the front door, so there is a landing. The landing is also concrete. However, this landing is not long enough (in the travel direction, IE when coming out of the house it's too short). It looks to be about 2 and a half feet (will measure when I get home), but the code is 3 feet. People stumble when going out my front door because of it.

I think it was up to code when the house was built, but it is not anymore.

So what would be the process to make this landing larger? I would like to build a new one with concrete. Do I have to chisel away and destroy the old landing first? Or could I just put a new form around the outside of it, put some kind of joint in place and pour new concrete?

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So you want to extend the depth of the landing but not change the width or height? –  The Evil Greebo Aug 1 '13 at 19:45
    
@TheEvilGreebo Yes. Well, that's what I was saying anyway. I might add some width too. But the height is fine. –  Jeff Davis Aug 1 '13 at 19:49

2 Answers 2

If the existing landing and porch were poured together, there's probably rebar embedded in both. Breaking off the old landing without disturbing the porch below may be difficult. Plus you will need to add rebar to whatever new step you add and it would be best if it were embedded in the porch.

I doubt you'll have much luck just adding onto the depth and then skimming over the entire thing. Concrete shrinks a little as it dries and I just don't see this staying together for very long, and as soon as water gets in that crack then it's all over.

You may find it easier to highlight the step transition to make it more visible instead of tearing up your entire porch just to add 6" to the landing. E.g. maybe a door mat, some potted plants, or even installing a railing would help draw the eye to the transition.

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The potted plants and railing are great ideas. I am still concerned that it might not be sufficient if someone does fall and I get sued. Although that might be a question for a lawyer –  Jeff Davis Aug 2 '13 at 16:25

If you were going to raise the height, then I'd say you'd be ok just encompassing the existing landing in concrete.

But since you only want to extend it, you've got two options: 1) Remove the existing landing and replace; 2) Wrap the existing in a form and skimcoat 1/8" or so.

The big danger with extending an existing pad is that you will create a natural seam between the old and new pad, where water will collect, freeze, and destroy your work. Extending it and raising the height a fraction of an inch with a skim coat will help protect that crack, although since concrete is porous, it will only help, it won't completely protect.

So ultimately the BEST option is #1. Destroy the existing and repour the whole thing.

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Ok. Thanks. If I do destroy it, what tools should I use? I don't want to destroy the porch underneath in the process (if I can help it anyway). Also, will I get the same problem with the seam underneath the landing and the porch, or is that a non-issue? –  Jeff Davis Aug 1 '13 at 19:58
    
Is the landing just resting on the porch? Or was it poured with the porch? IMO it's the vertical seam that is the big concern. If you end up with some horizontal seams, use appropriate caulk. –  The Evil Greebo Aug 1 '13 at 20:02
    
It was poured with porch. Does that mean I might be better off with the skimcoat option? –  Jeff Davis Aug 1 '13 at 20:14
    
I'd rent a small jack hammer (you may also have to rent the air compressor to go with the thing) and then take out the old landing completely. At the end of the day it will give a far better and more satisfactory result to pour a whole new landing all in one correct size piece. Do note that if the landing height is over a nominal amount you may be required to add railings to the sides which may entail you having to make the new landing just a little wider to accommodate the space for the railings. Check this with local codes in your area. –  Michael Karas Aug 2 '13 at 0:33

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