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Brian, Architect
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2153
Experience:  Licensed Architect- 17 years, L.E.E.D. AP
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Here is what I am now thinking for the steps. Original plan

Customer Question

Here is what I am now thinking for the steps. Original plan was to 90 deg straight out into the patio(from the angled part wall where the tarp is) and build up steps with aggregate. I think I am going to install the steps along the back wall and curve the other side around to make the other support wall for the steps.How do you think this will look, i think it will take up less space in the patio.
Also, along the back wall, if I build up the steps from out into the patio to up into the dirt wall the right side of the steps will be into the earth. Will it be ok if i dont completely remove the earth to the floor and install aggregate?
I was going to use 57 (1" stone) and compact, is it ok if i use 67 (3/4" stone) and compact
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 months ago.

Yes...this will work as well. Actually you can just run some landscaping to the stone slabs that are on the "wall" side. I would sculpt that ground to the stairs. This should take up less room depending upon the length of the stone slabs. In the area of the steps, you should be ok with any aggregate. You do not have to excavate completely, the more aggregate the better, but you should be ok. From all the pics, your soil looks pretty solid which is good.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Will 3/4" work ok, I think i am going to use 3/4" behind my wall
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Dont want want to have to order a lot of different type of rock
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 months ago.

For sure...agreed just go with one type of rock. Quite frankly, whether it's 1/2, 3/4 or 1" aggregate nominal, it will not matter...just compact it really well and you will be good to go. As mentioned, your soil looks pretty solid as well which is a real advantage.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok, form my steps into the dirt wall as they stair step up, leaving enough room for rock.
I know you can't really see the whole patio, but I dont really have the room to build it in the dirt wall which is why I want to build it out, but I think it wont take up much room if I put the steps along the wall and they won't have to be as high. Trying to keep under 3'.
Any suggestions?
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 months ago.

Well...I was going to start describing tying it in and realized I really can't describe it without the size or style of the stone and the measurements of the wall and stone steps. All that said, I typically will rough it in with a a few string lines to visualize it before I start building it. That way I will know exactly what my dimensions are going to look like and where my issues are potentially going to arise at.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Here is a design i created. Measurements are not exact. Brown line along the back is the dirt wall, its about 55' from corner to corner, will range from about 2.5' tall to about 4' tall.Green line in front of brown line is the back of the wall block. A concert I have is that I will have to run the wall block up the side of the steps into the dirt wall on the bottom side.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The length of wall all the way around is about 55' from corner to corner
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 months ago.

It looks like that is correct and is your concern that the wall block has that step back feature to it? Other than that it looks really good in terms of maximizing the space and having a nice clean layout and flow.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
the step back feature. I didn’t want to have to excavate much more if Didn’t have too
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 months ago.

It is really difficult to know exactly how much more you would have to excavate, but it should not be that much more at all. Again, I would suggest around the steps to go with a similar looking (probably exact looking) wall brick or block that does not step back, but is a straight stack. That doesn't mean the face of it won't have some dimension. The only other thing you can do is build the wall, inside is your compacted aggregate and allow the stone steps to overhang...the aggregate should provide more than enough support and you will get a nice look at each end.