Hardscape Design – Replacing Outdoor Patio Steps for Safety Reasons (Part 4)

As part of our outdoor patio renovation project, we tore down and replaced the old steps with newer ones, which allow for a landing once we step outside.

If possible, I always opt to have a landing when it comes to steps going either inside or outside a home. I hate having to step up and over a threshold – I don’t feel safe walking in and out of the house, especially carrying things in my hands.

z5%ThP8zQKOmUd2K2zGdLgAs this picture shows, the steps leading into the house from the back patio, are not level with the base of the door. Imagine carrying dishes and glassware from inside the house and having to step down when leaving the kitchen. I find this to be a safety hazard and the chances of falling seem high…especially after a cocktail or two 😉  So even though the steps were in pretty good condition, (unlike the patio), we tore them down to build new ones.

3WjrL%+sRi+ZLS4%0xEv4gSo how are we going to level the steps to the door? Instead of having two steps, we will build three steps, and the top step will be level with the bottom of the door frame.

%nrYRZXYQi+2T8jh9GJ%gAThe steps were torn down as part of the patio demolition. After the rubble was removed, rebar was laid and a new concrete foundation was poured.

etyVck6PSUqHrmGPwCdRhQAfter the concrete for the patio was in place, work on the new steps began.

IdmQwXhTQNSWmmZUo2TNLwA concrete gravel fill is prepared to use with the cinder block foundation.

fm8FxgKcSmWlIg3+PcL33wCinder blocks outline the base of the bottom step and gravel is used to fill the space.

IMG_5341The process is repeated for the second and third step, filling in the cinder blocks with gravel and cement.

c763JNSATOGe1Zacx47OegOnce the cinder blocks are filled and the foundation is stable, work begins on the face of the steps.

U0vMmSVZRieJuBvEkAgIt looks like a puzzle, trying to properly fit these rocks onto the steps.

srqzxxDzSMWP21+zTIAWwwThe gaps are filled with cement and now it’s starting to take shape.

e030X2vDT3WBxt9IDa03VQWe had to make a decision on what size of travertine tiles to use and how wide the overhang should be.

5m7zNjq9Tk+udacJ13ja+AThe first option was to lay all 12 x 24 inch tiles, thereby eliminating the need to cut larger stones into smaller pieces. The second option was to use larger stones and cut each one.

j+vR1jvXTV+BWu34A9salQ I chose option one – to have uniform stones already cut at 12 x 24 inches, I was worried about cutting the larger stones and not having them look straight.

The steps are complete, looking good and they are now level with the bottom of the door. Safety hazard eliminated!

XiG0E90JQo+1SNbk1EpouACheck out prior work on this project below, it’s been a slow job. We had to wait six months for the stone to arrive delaying the project into this Spring, but it’s almost complete!

Hardscape Design – Laying a Concrete Foundation for the Backyard Patio (Part 3)

Hardscape Design – Outdoor Fireplace Demolition (Part 2)

Hardscape Design – Patio Demolition (Part 1)

I hope you are enjoying this outdoor series and gaining inspiration for your next project. Coming up, I will show you the rest of the patio! Do you have any outdoor projects planned this Spring or Summer?



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8 thoughts on “Hardscape Design – Replacing Outdoor Patio Steps for Safety Reasons (Part 4)

  1. Wow – Denise – those are so cool – I’m totally getting inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing this and including all the detailed photos. They’re such beautiful steps, and now I won’t have to worry about you toppling headfirst with a tray of martinis! 😉

  2. The 6th photo says the outline was in cinder blocks and space filled with gravel. It looks like concrete. That would make more sense because what are you going to place your second row of blocks on? You wouldn’t set them on gravel

    1. Hi Gene, when you say rise do you mean the height of the steps? The bottom step is 8″ high, the middle step is 7″ high and the top step is 6″ high.

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