The side entrance stairs to my home are deteriorating. They appear to be several different patches, coats and possibly capped concrete.

I have a temporary fix lined up to make it safe for travel. My question is: Other than demolition and replacement could I build a stair structure that could be built over what I fear is essentially beyond repair.

Secondary motivation to avoid additional concrete work is, I live in New England and as such sand and salt are facts of life. The salt especially is hard on concrete.

Any creative alternatives?

1 Answer 1


Sure - many people build new wooden or "plastic-decking not-wooden" stairs over old, excessively steep concrete steps like that rather than rebuild the concrete ones, as much to make them more reasonable in rise/run and landing area as for fixing the basic steps.

In many ways it is easier if you demo the concrete ones first, (other than the concrete demo), since then you don't have to futz with supporting the pressure-treated wooden step framing on the old concrete steps. But plenty are done with the concrete steps still there below them.

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    I guess a followup question would then be, in order to prevent water from settling on/behind the stairs where it was removed (especially to the right, not visible in the photo). Would you poor some kind of a shaped cap to shed water away from the existing structure of the house? Mar 13, 2015 at 13:01
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    Assuming you wait for warmer weather, and don't do what I would actually do (sledgehammer them into oblivion and start with a clean slate) you could make a cap of asphalt cold patch, and coat it with driveway seal coating for good measure - those will take the salt better than a mortar cap. Aluminum roofing paint would be another coating option, and might protect a mortar patch well-enough - somewhat depends on what you may already have in the garage/basement for materials.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 13, 2015 at 13:34
  • Awesome suggestion. Despite having an asphalt driveway (which handles salt beautifully) it had not occurred to me to cap it in asphalt. AWESOME IDEA! Mar 13, 2015 at 13:36

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