West Coast Custom Concrete/YouTube
- A new video shows a huge custom staircase laid by a custom concrete contractor.
- The contractor adds rebar and a caisson to make the standard concrete hold to a steep hill.
- The best part could be how much the video’s narrator appreciates his crew’s fine work.
West Coast Custom Concrete has captured engineers’ attention with a straightforward video documenting a huge, steep set of concrete stairs the contractor constructed at a house in California.
Watch the video here:
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The Orange County company is a full service concrete contractor, and its qualifications are evident in this complex project. “This is a two-to-one slope,” the narrator says, meaning a steep incline that requires a lot of planning. His team digs drainage and anchoring holes and builds a box caisson and a frame of rebar. “There’s a lot of pressure at the bottom,” he says, and these features ensure “it’ll never move or shift.”
“We don’t use any lasers or anything,” the narrator continues, as video shows the crew laying out the wooden frame that will become the stairway. “We just use string lines and a level.”
The craftsmanship shows even in the finished frame, where more than 20 stairs are laid out evenly and ready for pouring. The last step is to oil the frame so the wood pulls away cleanly after the stairs are poured—an unskippable step, like lining a cake pan or seasoning cast iron.
The concrete is poured in a single go while the crew pushes it all the way down and begins shaping the stairs. Once it’s dry enough to work with, the team comes in with detail work and then broom finishes each stair by hand. (While totally smooth concrete looks amazing, it can be slick and dangerous underfoot.)
A commenter points out that the stairway would violate European Union regulations. Indeed, when you see a long stairway into a subway terminal or up to a government building, it’s broken into separate “sets” of stairs on purpose, with landings in between. The length and height of individual stairs for public use are regulated, and having landings is partly a safety measure in case of falls.
West Coast Customs’ finished staircase is so impressive that the narrator calls out his crew members by name several times for their fine work. Near the end, he explains that even a huge job still benefits from having a smaller group of qualified people who work really well together.
“It came out real nice,” he concludes. “Thank you very much for watching the best in the west.”
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