We always access the house through the kitchen door since this is most convenient to the carport. The steps to the porch to the front door are neglected and have sagged miserably as the concrete base on which they rest settled into the ground.
My neighbor is a builder and his suggestion was to remove the stairs and then level the concrete base and then re-attach the stairs. I notice professionals prefer to remove what is defective and begin from the beginning, which is logical since everything will look good and plumb and, with adequate manpower is quicker, though with more material cost. I however wanted a quick fix with my own resources, and so I decided to raise and level the stairs and later I can pour concrete to level the concrete base.
But how do I single-handedly level the stairs? Not enough space for a bottle jack or car jack. And then I thought of my farm jack, also called a Hi-Lift jack which I last used 5 years ago to hoist railway ties, also called sleepers, out of the ground. It cost <$30 and now is about double in price.
Ok, the farm jack would be the lifter but how do I attach it to the stairs? I thought of screwing a 2×4 horizontally to the ground level posts and use that for the jacking point, but then I saw the posts were nailed to the stair risers and the jack would just lift the posts off the stairs. Not what I wanted. The connection had to be to the stair risers, but how?
I then used the farm jack to raise the stairs.
I had two lengths of chain which was handy since I was able to use a grab hook (shown in blue) to adjust the length to what I wanted.
Since the top left corner of the slab had settled most, that end of the stairs needed the most adjustment – thick concrete slab and treated 2×6 and flashing for damp protection.
Next steps are to scrape, prime and paint the stairs and then pour a level concrete step on top of the existing base.
a few weeks later – here is the finished product: