Building Steps for paver Patio

Old 09-09-05, 12:58 PM
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Building Steps for paver Patio

As described in another post here, my wife and I are getting close to finishing a nice 370 sq ft paver patio out back. We're using the red/charcoal Holland Pavers and the patio is not mortared. We currently have a large concrete block step to get from our sliding door down to the yard. What I want to do is re-surface the cement block in brick and build a second, slightly larger step lower than the current one to give a nice tiered step effect.

Here's the problem - the pavers we're using for the deck are the kinds with the little protrusions on the side that leave a little gap for sand to get between and lock them down. They also have a bit of a beveled edge. This makes them a bit unsuitable for vertical stacking.

Would my best bet here be to get an architectural square brick that approximates the colors of my pavers and build up my steps this way or should I build the steps in concrete and just try to surface them in pavers and maybe slice off the little protrusions on the outside to make them flush?

Also, I'm thinking of cantilevering the bricks on the edge a bit and perhaps putting lighs beneath - what is a safe maximum distance I should cantilever a mortared paver brick and should there be any other considerations to think of (special mortar etc.?)
Old 09-15-05, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 602
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I'm not fully clear on your situation but here goes...

Generally you would start with the steps and then work on the patio surface. Since you've done the patio first, you're going to have some difficulties. Keep in mind steps are structural and regulated by building code - unless your area is an exception. If the code is enforced the steps must be built w/proper footings and vary no more than 3/8" in height between them. If you're in a cold climate, frost heave is an issue. I don't know what you have or want to achieve. Can you post a photo?

Nevertheless, stacking bricks or blocks to make a step is a failure waiting to happen. The step needs a proper footing or at least a proper compacted base and then each block or brick needs to be mortared or glued for strength. The new step needs to be tied into the old, not just sitting in front of it. If your building this way, the pavers can be used - just cut of the ears on a wet saw if you don't want the intended sand gaps in the steps.

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