Precast concrete steps are manufactured in a factory environment, whereas poured concrete steps are created on site. Each of these methods has its pros and cons. If you are trying to decide between the two options for your yard, some of the factors to consider include durability, appearance, cost and convenience. Some of the main differences between poured and precast concrete steps are described below.
Poured Concrete Steps
Poured concrete steps are generated on the site, which means that the concrete must be mixed and poured on your yard. If the weather conditions are suitable and the concrete is cured properly, the steps will have unmatched durability and strength. You can also select from a large number of designs and looks. Poured concrete steps are economical and long lasting. Any adjustments or changes can easily be done on site, thereby making this option highly flexible.
One of the drawbacks of poured concrete steps is the complexity and long duration of installation. Your yard can be quite messy when the concrete in being mixed and poured into place. The dust that is generated can also cause problems for a short duration. Once the stairs are poured, a lot depends on the weather. Concrete cures properly only in dry weather. This is why poured concrete steps are not a good idea in the winter and during wet weather. If the concrete gets wet or frozen, the curing process will be affected, thereby affecting the strength of the concrete.
Precast Concrete Steps
Because these steps are manufactured in a controlled factory environment, there is a great deal of control during the curing process. After the concrete is poured in slats or molds, it is carefully monitored until it is ready for installation. Once ready, it is carried to the installation site and installed using machinery such as cranes. Precast concrete steps are very easy to install. They actually require only a fraction of the time and fewer workers than poured concrete, thereby saving you money on installation costs.
Precast concrete steps are available in several designs and textures and even some looks that simulate stones such as marble. You can also choose to install anti slip layers to increase safety. Most often, the stairs are installed in place as one big piece. This makes for a solid structure that is less likely to weaken. The cost for precast concrete steps is usually higher, but they usually prove to be more cost effective in the long run because they are not likely to develop cracks.
Precast concrete steps are also considered much more environmentally friendly, because they incorporate recycled materials in the manufacturing process. Also, waste is minimal because the manufacturing process is so carefully controlled.
Accurate site assessment and measurement is crucial for precast concrete steps. If measurements are faulty, the installation can be delayed significantly and will also lead to higher costs. Precast concrete steps tend to be hollow, which makes them somewhat less durable than solid poured concrete steps.