Concrete Steps/Patio

10 Aug 2018
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United Kingdom
Hi All,

We have recently had outward opening french doors installed at the rear of our house. The installer let us know that we need to have an initial step of 1.2M level in front of the door to allow them to open. I am looking now at how best to achieve this.

I could try and destroy what is there, but if that is the only way I will need to pay a contractor.

I have thought about just pouring over the existing steps, but I do not like that there would be a join into which water could seep, freeze and crack.

Another option would be to build a block wall on the last step and use a block and beam type method to span the first step to the new block wall.

But ultimately I am looking for ideas... How would you do it?



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Apologies, this is a lesson in reading the Forum rules before posting. Is there a way I can remove the above? Or Moderators feel free to zap it.
apparently, were anyone to fall down them we would not be convered by insurance, also when it comes time to sell there could be an issue. Essentially it doesn't meet some code. I can see how it is dangerous, they door opens over the 2nd step down. We need 1.2m of flat ground in front of the door. That is out to the 3rd step down.
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It's a massive myth that insurance relies on things meeting building regs, the whole point of insurance is unless you're negligent you're covered.
Having a pit with spikes and fire may be considered negligent, but a minor building regs non compliance wouldn't really figure.
Also when coming to sell it might put nervous buyers off or used as an excuse to renegotiate but you can often use a magic indemnity policy to get things moving again.

Not saying you shouldn't fix it, but don't let untruths sway you, make a decision based on what you really think is safe.
Thank you @John D v2.0 That's handy info, and I'm defo glad I'm covered. I do still want to flatten it tho as it will look better and be a useful little patio. So were it yours, any ideas?
If it were mine I'd leave the top step there, it looks like the doors are fixed to it.

I'd remove the first row of slabs and build a block wall upto 50mm lower than the top step.

Backfill with MOT and lay new slabs over the lot.
@Ian H that's a really good plan. Certainly doable in budget. Really good cheers. I don't know why I never thought of filling it with MOT. I was thinking empty or concrete.
You might have to have a think about the drain too. Where's it go to and will you neeed to raise it or move it?
I think I am ok to box it and raise the lip above the level of they pavers.
What's to the left side? As you have a solid stop on the right with the concrete .
Can you take a pic from further back to show all the steps and what it goes too?

Be a help in advising
Yes, it is another solid brick wall. Ignore the trellis I'm going to get rid.

The other question, I cannot build the retaining block wall in front of the steps as it will block a shed door. Could I drill rebar into the bottom step and build up from there, with hollow breeze blocks filled with cement?


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I hope the installer's work is better than his insurance/ regulation advice, because he is talking crap.

Leave the steps. They are nice and are not suddenly a risk.

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