Re: New stairs problem?!?
A friend's dad built a barn back in the '70's by burying 5 gallon pails of concrete three feet deep,with 3" heavy walled pipes anchored in the cement to support the main beams..
The building inspector was not pleased,he had wanted things buried deeper (frost line can go as deep as 4 feet here,but 2 feet is average)..but decided it was "good enough for a horse barn",and let it slide..it still stands today,and nothing "bad" has happened..
He also put an addition on the barn around 1980,he decided it was too difficult for him to use the previous method,he was now unable to do the work like once before--he used 6x6 pressure treated poles ,in holes he dug with a gas powered post hole digger ,and he just put a few inches of crushed stone at the bottom,and coated the posts with roofing tar,then put a large plastic trash bag around the post over the tar,and made sure it stuck up about a foot past the ground,then just poured cement around the posts in the hole,the quick setting stuff..nothing has ever heaved,or rotted yet..
Goes to show some unusual building methods do work!..but may not be approved by your local building inspector..
Personally I think the steel brackets on top of a sonotube full of concrete are not as strong as having a post buried directly,those galvanized brackets are not all that thick,can rust after awhile ,and let the wall tilt or lean..the bolts buried in the concrete can rot away too..yet it is the "preferred" method..