Steps to Concrete Patio

Old 09-11-05, 08:29 AM
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Question Steps to Concrete Patio

I need some advice on building steps down to my new patio.

I just laid a concrete patio, 20 ft X 40 ft. It is stamped concrete, 4 in thick with fiber reinforcement over good packed ground. My patio door is 26 in above the concrete. I want to build steps down using dry concrete blocks, the type you fill with packed gravel. I want the steps to go down each side so the overal dimensions will be appx. 6 ft X 2 ft at the top step (it is a double patio door) and go down 3 steps so the bottom steps will be appx. 12 ft X 5 ft. Using these types of blocks, once I fill with packed gravel, I will have a lot of weight on top the patio. If I calculate correctly, I could have over 4,000 pounds in gravel and blocks sitting on top the patio.

Of course I did not plan for this in advance, so I did not put any additional reinforcement under the patio where the steps will be. Am I just a complete idiot for wanting to put in the concrete block steps, or does this sound like it will work. I will cut a fracture line around the steps so if the concrete breaks under their weight it will hopefully not hurt my deck.

Appreciate any comments on this. Also, why isn't their more information on patio step design. I find lots on building patios, but the steps are important too, aren't they.
Old 09-24-05, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 602
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I can't tell you if your 4 in thick patio can support steps or not. I can tell you that the usuall procedure is steps first patio last.

Proper steps are built with footings dug down sufficiently deep to stabilize and support them. That depends on your soil and where you live - like if there's a frost line, how deep it is. For that you have to check local codes.

As far as "why isn't their more information on patio step design" - there are masonry books out there if you look for them.

Good luck!

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