I want to add some wood steps off my wooden patio deck (which is in Iowa). The deck surface is around 30 inches above the ground, in which the steps would go from the ground to the deck. At the ground where the base of the steps would be, it is fairly level and currently grass and I plan on leaving it grass.
My question is, do I need to do anything at the base to support the steps, like either concrete footings or support posts under the steps that are buried below the frost line? Or can I just put the steps right on the ground with nothing else supporting it?
One contractor I talked to said the steps need additional support (footings) at the base, while another contractor said the steps are so small that they don't need footings at the base of the steps and the base can just sit on the ground with no additional support (he said this is standard practice).
It would be nice to put the base of the steps directly on the ground with no footings or additional support, but I would like to get a second opinion on this and whether or not this is okay or if I should have additional support at the base of the steps.