Our front and side concrete steps are being replaced.

Our contractor has jacked out part of the steps, but not all of it. He also intends to use the broken concrete as fill inside the new steps.

On our side steps, it looks like our previous step was already pulling away from concrete landing. Had rebar attached, but still about an inch gap that led to a prior slight slope on step. Shouldn’t all of that just be jacked out? enter image description here

In our backyard, we are having 2 new steps being poured. They plan on attaching back of steps to 6x6 post, but no footers have been poured. The 2 backyard steps will have a 3 foot landing and 3 steps on one side of porch and 2 steps on other. Shouldn’t the se have footers?

Thank you.

  • 1
    how about some pictures
    – Traveler
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 23:15
  • why did the old steps fail in first place ? probably bad foundation
    – Traveler
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 23:55
  • Aggregate like rocks or old concrete are good to prevent concrete cracking
    – Traveler
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 23:58
  • The picture helps but I stand by my answer. why the soil is compacted and taking it out costs and other fill will cost more!, how many years did it take for the old steps to pull away quite common but as I said the soil is now stable and taking out the material that is there won’t help but just cost more. If there is continuing soil movement nothing will stop problems. It looks like a bad mix In the original pour the rock is exposed not enough sand + Portland cement
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 1:37

3 Answers 3


Using old steps as a base will not only save you $$$ but the concrete is better than rock or dirt fill so it is much better and as I mentioned it will save$$$


Can't say for certain without seeing the new form around it. Tops of the forms need to be at least four inches above anything, ideally six. The sides also need the same distance, laterally.

They banged the crap out of it and it laughed at them. This is good. It has done its settling. Anything you do now will 'disturb' the soil and create the same problem in the future. Unless you suspect it's undermined (nor due to frost heaving), it's good to go.

I busted up a patio once and watched the pieces collapse into the subsidence. Poured 4"~6" over it, and even though it's 10'x10', without any expansion joints or even a shear plane grove, it still hasn't cracked.

  • 3
    That being said, there's no reason not to hit it with a shop vac and then a garden hose to remove all that small detritus which would make it an undeniably congruent pour. Unless the forms are going to be no less than more like eight inches, then w/e. But still... my OCD wouldn't let me do it w/o the attempt being made to clean some of that up.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 5:56
  • Any rock large enough to foul the shop vac can be thrown in while it's being poured and smushed down with a trowel and become encapsulated aggregate, but you can't just let crap sit there.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 6:00

For me a good job would be to remove all of the old steps, since it was already tilting, indication that the foundation is not stable.

Dig and pour new foundation to make it stable.

Attaching it too 6x6 is a patch work.

Using aggregate like rocks or old concrete would help to prevent concrete cracking.

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