New Beach Stairs
Spring & Summer 2003

This picture shows the "before" view of the old steps. You can see the disrepair the old stairs were in.

You can see the three foundation elements: the lower foundations near the blue bucket, one of the two middle pier columns, and up by the house there is the upper retaining wall and slab that is the "upper" foundation.

It took about 1-1/2 months to do the concrete work and preparation.


This is the upper foundation, it has about 45 80-lb bags of concrete in it.

The "tongue" sticking out the lower left side is at the proper angle to receive the two stair stringer beams.

There is a great deal of reinforcing rod in the upper foundation, at the stress points above the tongue.

This shows the form for the lower foundation, filled with concrete.

It only took about 9 bags of concrete but the form was quite complex.

There is reinforcing rod binding the foundation to the slab underneath--I sat out in the rain for about 2 hours drilling holes to accept the rebar.

We had the lumberyard deliver about $550 worth of 2x12's. Four were 20 feet long, others somewhat shorter.

Dave "E" helped carry them to the beach.

The first stage was cutting the beams to suitable length allowing for overlaps where two beams were glued and bolted together.

The finished size of the beams ended up being 37 feet 11-1/2 inches.

I used about 90 large lag screws plus decking cement to glue the two halves of each beam together.

You can see the pile of 2x12's used for the stair treads in the background.

The beams were very heavy at this point, probably about 300 lbs. each.

Here are the 31 stair treads under construction.

Most had a 2x4 stiffener glued and screwed to the back side.

Then I primer painted them.

This picture shows them nearly finished.

The new stairs went over the top of the old ones.

Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures of the process of hoisting the large beams into place. We held a "workparty" on Saturday, and thanks to our friends it went very smoothly. Other than this one multi-person job, the entire project was completed by me.

The railing on one side is only partly finished in this picture.


Here is the finished product--notice the old stairs are gone, and turned into a pile of scrap lumber down in front of them.

The railing on one side is done, the other (not shown) was finished just recently.

When demolishing the old stairs, I discovered the foundation beams (probably 30 years old) were almost entirely rotten...there was very little solid structure underneath the old rickety stairs!.

Here is another bit of home improvement done recently.

This picture shows the "before" view of the deck railings. They were made from that tough white plastic netting you see on construction sites & roadsides.

You can also see the gray original deck surface coating.

Here is the "after" picture showing the nice rework on the railings themselves, and the replacement for the freeway fencing.

The picture doesn't show the refinished tan color deck paint, which spruced the surface up a lot, plus waterproofed the leaky points.

Please send an E-mail if you have any comments or corrections, or know something we don't!