Building Back Steps from french doors to Patio...

30 Dec 2009
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United Kingdom
Hi All,

I'm nearly finished digging out our patio and need to start digging the foundations for our back steps.

The steps are going to be brick, topped with bullnosed sandstone, the same as the patio. I obviously want to keep the brickwork for the steps in line with the brickwork on the house so the sandstone will be laid "around" each step not on top of it.

I've looked on Pavingexpert which suggests building pillars to put each steps flags on. I need to build up 60cm and was going to make this 3 steps, this is some pillar!

Can I build the steps 1 at a time and in fill them with concrete, this seems a lot more solid to me or will it cause me any huge problems?
I was going to start with the bottom step laying the brickwork, fill this with concrete and then build the next step on top of that or is this all wrong?

Thanks for any help, no abuse please if this sounds like madness!
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nailer... i'm a diyer, but what you're proposing sounds fine to me. The important thing is what goes under the steps, get that right and all else will follow nicely. I dont think concrete expands as it goes off, so get you infill nice and level, and the next course should be easy.

one consideration (and i'm sure the pros will help you out on this) is how to 'tie' the layers together - so any sharp knocks dont separate the two bands of concrete. You could PVA the bottom layer before laying the next?? or better still consider setting some steel (e.g. brick ties) sticking out of one layer, so they're covered by the next layer?
Fantastic, I was hoping that sounded ok and not too ludicrous!! Yes, I thought about tieing the layers, going to use rods, can't wait to get cracking now!!

One other thing I'm pondering, do I damp proof in between the steps and the wall just to be safe or not worry?

Thanks a lot!!
easiest way is to lay a foundation for the footprint and then build the unseen risers in blockwork with what is seen with the brickwork. It can then be backfilled with hardcore and mot. Much easier, quicker and less expensive
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i still maintain, i'm only a diyer..and commenting from my experince, not a proffessional position...

as for damp proofing, if you're below the dpc on the house, then no... it doesn't matter. but if you're going above he dpc, then yes, isolate the steps. I built a conservatory and put a barrier in between the frame and the house...
No, staying below the DPC, I was just being over cautious as I don't want to have to do it all again if we get damp!!

Thanks for all the help, I feel I can get cracking now!


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