Installing a Pre-Cast Concrete Stairway Bulkhead

How to Coordinate the Installation of a Pre-Cast Concrete Stairway

By Mark J. Donovan

If you have a basement that has a bulkhead door to access it from the outside, then chances are you have a set of pre-cast concrete stairs attached to the concrete foundation wall. Installing a pre-cast concrete stairway is relatively an easy project to do IF you’re organized and can coordinate a couple of contractors.

A pre-cast concrete stairway is much lighter and typically more durable than a poured-in place concrete stairway. A pre-cast concrete stairway is manufactured at a factory where concrete is poured into a form and then vibrated in a carefully controlled environment to yield a relatively light weight and strong set of pre-fab’d basement bulkhead stairs.

The pre-cast concrete stairway is then shipped via truck to the jobsite where it is then positioned into place and attached to the exterior of the foundation walls.

To install a pre-cast concrete stairway bulkhead a hole first needs to be cut into your foundation wall where the bulkhead is desired. Normally an excavator is used for digging the hole around the foundation. This step is not necessary, however, if you’re attaching a pre-cast concrete stairway to a new foundation wall where an opening in the foundation wall was designed in.

After digging the hole where the pre-cast concrete stairway is desired, the foundation wall then needs to be cut. Cutting concrete walls should be left to the professional, so I would highly recommend searching on line or pulling out the yellow pages for finding a concrete cutting professional.

Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet

When purchasing a pre-cast concrete stairway bulkhead make sure you get from the manufacturer the specific installation instructions for the type and size stairway you’re installing. This information will tell you and the concrete cutter contractor the exact dimensions required for the hole in the foundation wall.

When digging the hole for the pre-cast concrete stairway it is a wise idea to first call “DIG SAFE” prior to digging your hole. Dig Safe will be able to tell you if there are any utility lines or pipes under the ground surface where you intend to dig. Also, you will need to either truck much of the soil away from your dug out hole or dump it somewhere else on your property.

After digging the hole for the pre-cast concrete stairway bulkhead, next mark the foundation wall for the desired foundation opening and bring the concrete cutter contractor in to cut out the hole for the bulkhead entrance.

Once the hole in the foundation wall has been completed you can then call the pre-cast concrete stairway manufacturer’s seller to deliver and install the bulkhead stairs. Yes, you don’t have to do the heavy work. They will deliver, position, and attach the pre-cast concrete stairway bulkhead to the foundation wall for you, and often the cost of installation is built into the stairway anyways. They will make sure the seam between the foundation wall and the pre-cast concrete stairway is water tight and securely fastened to the foundation wall.

The metal bulkhead cover can then be attached to the top of the concrete stairway to complete the installation phase of the project. Finally, the excavator can backfill in around the pre-cast concrete stairway to wrap up the project.

For more help on Basement Additions, see’s Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling project is done correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.

Related Information

Get Free Basement Remodeling Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on basement remodeling from one of our prescreened and licensed basement remodeling contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your basement remodeling price estimate.