Sinking steps/ garage pad
Our house has a daylight basement so they had to excavate full depth for the front and none at the back. They then back-filled and tamped the area in front of the foundation before pouring the garage pad and front steps/sidewalk. My husband was worried about the concrete sinking and wanted the porch steps tied into the porch wall by interlocking the concrete blocks or rebar through both but the contractor assured us that it would be backfill would be tamped well and footing large enough to prevent. Right.
Within a few years, the front steps slowly starting sinking next to the porch, and tilting up in the front, eventually cracking at the seam in the sidewalk. As the steps sink, water run-off is now directed toward the back left corner which I suspect just aggravates it even more. My husband keeps putting off doing anything about it but now (18 yrs later) the steps have dropped a full 4" and it's a safety issue.
Likewise the pad in our garage is sinking in the back next to the house. In the beginning the whole thing tilted back raising the front edge but it eventually cracked and the front section is essentially flat and just the back section tilts down about 2" where it meets the foundation.
I finally had someone come out and look at it last fall and he said we need to put helicon piers on each side of the steps or they would just sink again and he quoted something like $3000 just for the steps. My husband, who never pays anyone to do anything around the house, said he'd do something himself.
Here's a drawing of the area if that helps.
Any suggestions as to how to fix this?
Can we just remove the brick steps and concrete footings, lay down some more gravel and repour footings? It seems to me that the ground should have settled by now and the helicon piers are overkill but I have no idea what it costs to tear out and replace the concrete. Maybe the $3000 is a good deal.
Same thing for the garage pad? If so is it best to replace the whole garage pad or, since it cracked and the front half is alright, could we just do the back half? We have no water problems in the basement so I don't think that's causing the problem.
Thanks for any suggestions.