We've done a lot of stairs and porches in our service area of Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont, and Alameda.
Many of the older stairs and porches we work on fail primarily as a result of poor waterproofing or flashing, which causes leaking and damage to the framing supporting the structures, and often deterioration to the concrete as well.
Dry-rot and termite damage are often secondary effects from moisture and from exposure of wood framing to the soil, allowing access to subterranean termites.
We will normally rebuild these structures with new pressure-treated framing, and install a bithuthene waterproofing membrane and metal flashing under our new reinforced concrete slab. Additional upgrades may include brick, tile, or slate along with railings to meet current code.
Read on to learn more about the specific types of stair and porch projects we do for homeowners in Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont, and Alameda ...
- Concrete Stairs
- Front Stairs
- Rear Stairs
- Concrete Porches
- Front Entries
- Porch Waterproofing
- Porch Repair
- Porch Replacement
- Porch Reconstruction
- Stair Repairs
- Stair Reconstruction
- Porch Rebuilding
- Stair Rebuilding
Older concrete stairs and porches are often in poor condition due to failed waterproofing. The original tar paper membranes have a limited lifespan. Older concrete can crack and become porous, weeping or leaking water and causing the membrane to fail, which then leads to damage to the underlying plywood and framing. The foundations are often in poor condition as well. The scope of work will range from adding additional supports on up to complete replacement.
Front stairs are often in poor condition--especially when they're original to an old home. This usually requires repair or replacement depending on which elements are damaged.
Rear stairs may also need repair or replacement if older, particularly on downslope properties where there may be fill and settlement at the back of the house.
Porches or landings are generally present adjacent to concrete stairs and subject to similar waterproofing and structural problems. They are often replaced or repaired in conjunction with the stairs.
"Front entries" is a general term that refers to the combination of stairs and landings that combine to create the front entrance to the house. Generally, they need to be treated as a single unit when looking at repairs or replacement.
Old porches often have failed waterproofing under the concrete leading to structural damage to the framing below. Back in the day they used building paper, with a life span averaging 20-50 years. We now install a bituthene membrane, in conjunction with galvanized flashing and proper lathing for the stucco at the perimeter walls, which helps prolong the life of your stairs.
If the concrete, brick, or other material making up the porch is in good condition and it looks like the waterproofing is intact, we can often beef up or replace the framing below with new pressure-treated structural framing to upgrade the support structure of the porch.
Porch Replacement, Rebuilding or Reconstruction
If the porch surface is damaged, and there are issues with the waterproofing and support framing, it is then necessary to consider complete replacement. Porch reconstruction/rebuilding is the complete rebuilding of the porch structure including new structural framing, new plywood, waterproofing, and reinforced concrete, along with any needed stucco repairs. If the foundation is damaged or in poor condition it may need to be replaced as well.
Stairs that exhibit damage, often from improper waterproofing or foundation settlement, will need to be repaired or replaced.
Stair Reconstruction or Rebuilding
This is often done in conjunction with porch reconstruction, where new framing, waterproofing, reinforced concrete, and new foundations are replaced if in poor condition. Stair reconstruction is the replacement of all of the structural elements making up the stairs.