My front step is getting old, and sagging. So, I want to replace it. I went out to look at a new one, but the one I want in the size I need is hard to find, and apparently, fairly expensive.
The current one is also too small. It is tough to wrestle my snowblower and lawnmower over- not because it's too high, or the equipment is that heavy, but because it doesn't stick out far enough from the house, as you can see in the upcoming video. So when I come down the path you will see to the left side of the video with my blower, only half of the machine is lined up with the step.
So I want something larger overall.
The size of the current step is 44" long, 28" deep, and 4½" thick.
I am looking for something about 60" long, 40" deep, and 6" thick. This gives me an extra 12" of step sticking out from the house, and an easy time of getting my equipment over the step, nice and even like. I thought the extra inch and a half of thickness would work, since the old step seems to be sitting on a built up pile of gravel... I thought I'd dig down, lay a proper base, and have the new step still wind up at the same height as the present one even though it would be thicker?
So. Since a block that size seems to be difficult to find (a local block & concrete forming company in my area closed recently), I am sure I could make my own, no?
I know the basic premise of making something like this- I think: You make a form out of 2 x 6 timber, and pour the concrete.... then remove the form when the concrete has set.... Si?
That's an assumption though.
So how can I do this? Do I:
-need to dig down into the gravel after removing the old step, and then pour some kind of base? And if so, using what material?
-need to use a specific size and type of lumber?
-need to build the form in a specific manner, or style?
-how to properly measure depth, so that w/e thickness step I pour, it winds up at the proper height for the front door.
-need to coat the inside of the form with anything so that it is easily removed, or does the concrete not stick to it, and the lumber comes off easily?
-what type of concrete mix do I need for a step to be this thickness, and how do I mix it? Going to need a wheelbarrow to mix it up in? Or?
-how to properly pour and finish the concrete? And what tools are needed to do this? Trowels, etc?
-could I possibly have the end of the new step, or the right side of it as you look at my front door, slope down like a ramp, so I could roll my equipment up and down it? And if so, how to do this?
-what tools would I need for a job like this?
-anything else that I'm missing
Or, do you see a better way to go with size/shape, or even a completely different idea for a step?
I appreciate any input... I am also doing research on the web, believe me, and will eventually finger it out... but since I am a TOTAL ignoranus when it comes to concrete, I thought I'd see if any MM'ers here work with concrete and/or know how to do this properly.
Reps to all for the help!