Need advice on raised patio

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  #1  
Old 06-04-04, 12:50 PM
handyandy
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Need advice on raised patio

This is my first time posting in this forum, but I have really enjoyed reading some of the advice from fellow DIYers over the past month. I would like to get some advice on a raised patio project I would like to do this summer. I want to build a dry-laid flagstone patio off the back of my house. The back door of my house is about 4 feet above ground level so the raised patio would have to be pretty high. The house foundation goes up about 2 feet off the ground and then its siding for the other 2 feet up to the door's level. I dont know if I can easily put a raised patio against the house siding like that, so maybe I will have to raise the patio only 2 feet. Whether I make the patio raised 2 feet or 4 feet, either way, I would like some advice on the best way to accomplish this. I was thinking about building a mortared cinder block wall in the form of a rectangle off the back side of my house (my house would be one side of the rectangle and the wall would make the other three sides). Probably about 18ft x 30ft. Then I was thinking I could fill the walled in area with enough gravel to raise the level 2-4 ft (depending on how high I decide I want it), then lay the flagstone on top of that gravel base (after adding a few inches of gravel dust). I have read of many people building raised patios on a bed of gravel like this but I dont know if 2 - 4 feet high was too high for it to be doable. Since my yard slopes down slightly, the walled in area would be about a foot taller at the furthest point from the house. If anyone has any ideas on a better way to do this, I would welcome the advice, or if anyone out there has done a raised patio this height before. The reason I thought I would use a mortared cinder block wall as the foundation rather than mortarless retaining wall blocks was because I wanted to cover the wall with stone veneer eventually and I thought cinder blocks would be best for this. Appreciate any advice. Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 06-05-04, 06:56 AM
L
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handyandy,

Welcome to DoItYourself.com and the Deck, Patio, and Porch forum.

First, you'll only be able to raise the patio about 1-1/2' to 2' -- you really don't want it in contact with your siding, and keeping it a few inches below the siding will be to your advantage.

With a height of 3' at the edge of the patio away from the house, you will need railing around the patio. And with a retaining wall that's 36" high, you MAY have to have it engineered.

Best thing you can do is go check with your local building dept. and see what THEY are going to require for this project. Once you know WHAT you are going to be doing and what the requirements and restrictions are, THEN you can figure out the details of how to go about doing it.
 
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Old 06-05-04, 02:37 PM
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You will need to dig a footer for this project. You will have to worry about water pressure on the walls, so some kind of drainage setup will be needed. Otherwise you will have a stone filled swimming pool.
 
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Old 06-05-04, 04:54 PM
L
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It may be that your local bldg. dept. would let you use the LARGE Basalite Keystone blocks for the retaining wall. Basalite says they are for retaining walls up to 36" high. If so, that would take care of the footing and the drainage issues that Hellrazor brings up. The first course of Keystones is set in a trench, so that they are slightly below grade. Each successive course hooks to the back of the course below it, so that the entire wall leans back. Since there is no mortar involved, the drainage is automatic.

If you can use it, it will be the fastest, easiest, cheapest and among the most permanent retaining walls you will put up.
 
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Old 06-06-04, 09:23 AM
Lee Murter
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What about steps

HandyAndy:

I have a similar project this summer - I was curious about what you were planning on using for steps outside your door. I would love to have a second raised area of block and pavers same level as my inside floor that steps down onto the patio, but everything that I read recommends not putting the raised patio above the concrete foundation. I am a little frustrated because the paver folks led me to believe that I could do this with no problems.

Good luck w/ your patio,

Lee
 
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Old 06-06-04, 05:34 PM
L
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Lee Murter,

Everything you have read is right -- you ABSOLUTELY do not want to put a raised patio up agianst the siding of the house. Putting it up against a concrete stem wall is fine -- the concrete isn't going to rot.

What I would suggest for steps coming out of the door(s) would be essentially a small deck (composite or wood) and steps down to the patio. Code requires that whatever your foot touches first when you come out the door be a minimum 3' X 3' landing. From there, the steps down have to have minimum 11" wide tread, and a maximum rise of 8" for each step, (7" to 7-1/2" is more ideal) and the rise has to be consistant -- maximum variation is 1/8" between the shortest rise and the tallest.

Any patio that is more than 30" above grade, and any landing that is more than 30" above the patio is going to require guardrails, and the steps will require handrails.
 
 

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