After contacting about 5 masons and not receiving a single bid, I decided to tackle this job myself. The flagstone limestone (Kasota stone, from a local quarry) steps were falling apart in our home that we purchased a year ago.
I decided to purchase some scrap pieces (400 lbs :D) and cut them to make solid stairs. The gas powered saw along with a 14" diamond tip blade went through them like butter. Now I am at the point of install.
I tore apart the old stairs and to my surprise there was old brick stairs under the flagstone. The house was build in 1929, so I am guessing it is original.
Seeing that each stair will weigh about 150 lbs, I don't see them moving too much even if I just set them there, but I am not about to do that. I left a little room on the edges to cement them in, but I have heard that the cement will absorb water and could crack the limestone eventually (I live in MN with freeze thaw).
My question is...How would you hold the stairs and risers in place over this brick? Would you lay down a layer of cement over the bricks and set the limestone on top? How thick a layer? Is there a type of cement that would work best? Would you use sand instead?
What about the backs and sides? Cement? Caulk? I was even thinking of using some sort of sealant once finished to help with water absorption.
Any and all sugestions are greatly appreciated.