Build a French Door step - help please

9 Feb 2009
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United Kingdom
Dear all,

I want build a wide step outside the French Dooors. I have loads of the concrete slabs that I have placed in front as a temporary step. Each concrete slab measures 44cm square. The patio slopes to the left as you face the doors and so the distance from the ground level (under the existing patio) to the bottom of the door ranges from 15cm centrally to 22cm to the left hand side.

How do I build this step please and would it ok to make the finished step 2 paving flags deep?

Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Mutely 56


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Whoever laid the patio ought to have laid it level, at least across the doorway. Our patio doors are nearly always traversed with something in one's hands, drinks, food, tray, dining stuff, etc.
your a bit stuck there really the height you have is really in the realms of a single step already, but I can see why you want to cover the unsightly footings that are showing.
As to the depth of the step either make it just enough to step on (like a stair tread) or wide enough to be able to take a full pace on.
I would take up the patio first build your step up then relay the patio around it and as wannabe says maybe address the slope on the patio too, having a slope across the width of the doorway isn't ideal and could in itself be a hazard.
The issue you have is that the normal minimum for the rise on a step is 100mm to prevent creating a trip hazard.
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Two slabs is not high enough for a step at the best of times. Add that to the high frame threshold and it creates a higher step over than your mind will think, and will increase the risk of tripping.

You will need the step to be near to the underside of the cill. So that is probably 110mm plus the slab bedded down on top. Normally the 110mm will be a brick laid on edge.

The slabs will normally overhang the bricks by 25mm or so.

You will need to bring the underfloor vent forward and duct it beneath the step back under the floor with some drainpipe or suchlike

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