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wesconson
06-09-2009, 11:16 PM
I installed this paver patio this week and was wondering if someone could help me out with installing stairs. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to install these. The ledge is approximately 18" above the pavers. Is there a problem setting the stone directly on the existing pavers for the stairs using adhesive to hold them in place? What do you do against the house if you put a gravel base under the stairs? Let me know what the typical installation is. Thanks.

neighborguy
06-09-2009, 11:25 PM
Typically I would install the steps first and then build the pavers up to them. I have never done what you are proposing.

B.O.S.man
06-09-2009, 11:30 PM
You should have started w/ the step, I'd pull out the pavers where the step is to go, set the bottom step and cut the pavers to fit around the step.

Bru75
06-09-2009, 11:59 PM
You got ahead of yourself. Follow b.o.s. man's suggestion.

wesconson
06-10-2009, 07:49 AM
So after I remove the stones under the area of the stairs, what would be the next step? What I had in mind is to put down the first step. This would involve putting down basically a border of pavers along the house (to keep the gravel away from the house and siding) and to form the shape of the stair. Then fill that with gravel and compact. After compacting add the top platform. Is it better to make the base completely out of block or is gravel the recommended base for this? Thank you for the suggestions already.

B.O.S.man
06-10-2009, 09:10 AM
What material are you using for the steps... uni-lock, versa-lok, cinder block? I've always filled the area inside the steps with compaction gravel, I've never used pavers against the house or block under the steps.

Danscapes
06-10-2009, 09:19 AM
You need to pour concrete and glue the pavers to it (which hopefully you already knew). Secondly you need to subtract the thickness of you pavers from the over all rise of your steps. 7 inches is a good rise, so you need your concrete to be 4 3/4" thick for each step if your using pavers that are 2 1/4" thick. As far as your treads go, 10"-12" is normal but remember to allow for a 1/2" over hang of you pavers, I think that looks the best. And as always, measure 8 times and pour once. Oh and drill a couple of holes in the foundation so you can strengthen the steps with rebar. Here is a pic to use as an example.

GMTA
06-10-2009, 06:46 PM
- Danscapes - looks nice but I am not a fan of using pavers over concrete in step installations (aesthetically that is).
- Before ripping out the pavers where the new steps will be, which I recommend 3 steps with 6" rise due to your 18" height, I would lay your 1st step block out and trace the front of the block onto the pavers to give you all of your cut pieces marked. (this will save a lot of time and your cut lines will be perfect.)
- Also I think rounded steps would look best with the curves of your patio. Looks nice!

Shane472
06-10-2009, 07:39 PM
You need to pour concrete and glue the pavers to it (which hopefully you already knew).

Since when was that the only way to do it :confused:

That may be your method but I'd sooner build the steps using unilock or allan block than glue pavers to concrete.

AztlanLC
06-11-2009, 03:35 PM
Oh man that reminds me of an ugly job we did using pavers as treads man I hate those spacer bars showing.
Also in the first picture it looks like you forget to screed the sand away at the edge of the pavers either that of that edge restrain is nice and high.

GMTA
06-11-2009, 09:20 PM
Oh man that reminds me of an ugly job we did using pavers as treads man I hate those spacer bars showing.

That's because pavers are not made to be step treads!

Sardean
06-16-2009, 11:11 PM
two of my biggest pet peeves: pavers as treads (hate seeing those spacers!), and edge restraint showing next to the finished pavers...gotta pull out that sand and get the edging low!!!

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-16-2009, 11:49 PM
That's because pavers are not made to be step treads!

two of my biggest pet peeves: pavers as treads (hate seeing those spacers!), and edge restraint showing next to the finished pavers...gotta pull out that sand and get the edging low!!!

Are you guys really that concerned about the spacers? :dizzy: What do you guys use for treads if not pavers? Are all of your steps block and cap?

Back to the poster,
here's something that might work for you.....
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=278627
Second pic down

Bru75
06-17-2009, 12:48 AM
Are you guys really that concerned about the spacers? :dizzy: What do you guys use for treads if not pavers? Are all of your steps block and cap?

Concrete wall caps, natural stone, or bullnose treads.

Sardean
06-17-2009, 08:52 AM
ditto that, bru.
now i am not saying that i do everything perfect by any means. i probably do something that others would not like the way i do it. but yes, i am that concerned about the spacers. i have never used a paver in a way that will show it. i was at a friend's pool the other day and they did it for the coping! drove me nuts!!

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-17-2009, 10:21 AM
That's because pavers are not made to be step treads!

You really gotta show me in the manual where it says pavers are not made to be step treads........:rolleyes:

ditto that, bru.
now i am not saying that i do everything perfect by any means. i probably do something that others would not like the way i do it. but yes, i am that concerned about the spacers. i have never used a paver in a way that will show it. i was at a friend's pool the other day and they did it for the coping! drove me nuts!!

At this point I really think it's personal preference about the spacer bars.....
I mean there's attention to detail and quality craftsmanship, then there's obsessing about inconsequential spacer bars............


I some times wonder about you guys..........Let the man build his steps, as long as he does the construction correctly, I think we can let the spacer bars slide.

GMTA
06-17-2009, 04:26 PM
Not sure of the manual you are speaking of ? But, explain to me then the purpose of the spacer bars as used for treads hanging out for all to observe(eye sore). Are they there for a reason?

We use same as Bru which are intended and regular practice to be used as a tread. Looks well built but not a fan of the pavers...enough said!

PlatinumLandCon
06-17-2009, 07:32 PM
You really gotta show me in the manual where it says pavers are not made to be step treads........:rolleyes:



There's no manual, it just looks brutal. Are you telling us the untextured side of a paver looks good as the front of a tread? And yes, I use SRW caps or some sort of natural stone (2" rock-faced limestone is awesome)

PlatinumLandCon
06-17-2009, 07:36 PM
I some times wonder about you guys..........Let the man build his steps, as long as he does the construction correctly, I think we can let the spacer bars slide.

Yeah we'll let Bently build an absolutely gorgeous car with hand crafted walnut veneer dash and plush leather seats but put in a 4 speaker sound system and a cassette player. Come on man, that looks unfinished and an eye sore to someone with an eye for landscaping.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-18-2009, 02:10 AM
Yeah we'll let Bently build an absolutely gorgeous car with hand crafted walnut veneer dash and plush leather seats but put in a 4 speaker sound system and a cassette player. Come on man, that looks unfinished and an eye sore to someone with an eye for landscaping.

Man you guys are touchy........... I totally understand what you're saying, but come on, who's parking a bently at this guys house?????? No offence, but this isn't exactly a million dollar home, with a two hundred thousand dollar landscape where expenses and time for the details aren't an issue.

This guy wants to know what works, and so we give our two cents. Pavers as treads do in fact work! In my fifteen years I've never had anyone petty enough to complain about spacer bars. I agree that there are better options, but not everyone has the extra money to spend on upgrades such as this. If the customer doesn't deem it necessary then it doesn't happen.

LB1234
06-18-2009, 10:25 AM
save yourself the trouble and put in deck steps.

Bru75
06-18-2009, 09:22 PM
Man you guys are touchy........... I totally understand what you're saying, but come on, who's parking a bently at this guys house?????? No offence, but this isn't exactly a million dollar home, with a two hundred thousand dollar landscape where expenses and time for the details aren't an issue.

This guy wants to know what works, and so we give our two cents. Pavers as treads do in fact work! In my fifteen years I've never had anyone petty enough to complain about spacer bars. I agree that there are better options, but not everyone has the extra money to spend on upgrades such as this. If the customer doesn't deem it necessary then it doesn't happen.

I've never heard anybody complain about spacer bars either, because I've never used pavers as treads.:)

PlatinumLandCon
06-20-2009, 12:17 PM
Man you guys are touchy........... I totally understand what you're saying, but come on, who's parking a bently at this guys house?????? No offence, but this isn't exactly a million dollar home, with a two hundred thousand dollar landscape where expenses and time for the details aren't an issue.


Who said that? I was saying that Bently doesn't build a beautiful car and f**k up on something obvious like the sterio system. You have to cap the step with something, why not do it right?

PatiosInstalled
06-20-2009, 12:51 PM
the only guys around here that use pavers as treads are the joe blow lawn care guys and thats because they are cheap and dont know any better.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-20-2009, 04:04 PM
the only guys around here that use pavers as treads are the joe blow lawn care guys and thats because they are cheap and dont know any better.

Around here Oberfield's gives out awards every year for outstanding outdoor living projects, and there are projects every year with pavers used as treads........

I would really love to see some work done by the guys who knit pick about spacer bars. If you guys are that detail oriented your work must be incredibly impeccable.

PatiosInstalled
06-20-2009, 04:34 PM
its not just the spacer bars thats wrong, its everything about using a paver to construct a step that is wrong.

And from a cost stand point once you factor in the concrete forming and pouring and all of the little cuts you have to make to get the pavers to curve around the steps, your saving maybe 200 bucks by not constructing them out of wall block and caps. If you explain to the customers the benefit of properly installed steps then 200 dollars should never be the deal breaker on a project.

Guys might win awards out there for paver steps but i can look through every one of my manufactures books and never find a picture of pavers being used to construct steps.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-20-2009, 05:06 PM
its not just the spacer bars thats wrong, its everything about using a paver to construct a step that is wrong.

And from a cost stand point once you factor in the concrete forming and pouring and all of the little cuts you have to make to get the pavers to curve around the steps, your saving maybe 200 bucks by not constructing them out of wall block and caps. If you explain to the customers the benefit of properly installed steps then 200 dollars should never be the deal breaker on a project.

Guys might win awards out there for paver steps but i can look through every one of my manufactures books and never find a picture of pavers being used to construct steps.

Who said anything about forming and pouring concrete????? If I use pavers as treads I build the steps out of Edington wall stone.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-20-2009, 05:24 PM
PatiosInstalled,
I love your work, what kind (manufacture) of material do you generally use?
I love the bullnose tread! If Oberfield's had that in their product line I'd never use pavers as treads again.

GMTA
06-20-2009, 07:16 PM
Who said anything about forming and pouring concrete????? If I use pavers as treads I build the steps out of Edington wall stone.

I believe he is referring to Danscapes comment on page 1.

philboudreault
06-21-2009, 12:47 AM
i'm assuming ur pavers are about 3 inches thick so when u pull out ur pavers to make the step u will be at 21inches more or less 4 inch block 3 inch cap times 3 it will suck cuz the first step will be 4 inchs but i have a feeling that if u say nothing of it to the client the wont notice.... next time steps first....

make sure the last step is at the height of the door to cover that **** ugly wood. make it plain and square and save the headaches. i figure if u did not know to do stairs first then u will have a hard time with round wall caps... good luck .....p.s. cover the edging with earth...

philboudreault
06-21-2009, 12:50 AM
ohhh and compacted gravel is fine and u don't need more stone behind the walll

Bru75
06-21-2009, 01:29 AM
I would really love to see some work done by the guys who knit pick about spacer bars. If you guys are that detail oriented your work must be incredibly impeccable.

O.K. One with bullnose, two with wall caps. Not a spacer bar in sight.

PlatinumLandCon
06-21-2009, 02:42 AM
Bru, not diggin' the curves and layout in the 3rd pic, but the bullnose looks killer! Is that natural stone or cultured stone facing?

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-21-2009, 11:02 AM
O.K. One with bullnose, two with wall caps. Not a spacer bar in sight.

This is it????? These are the best pics you could come up with? Yeah, no spacer bars in sight but your designs could use some work....... What work did you do on the bullnose pic? Did you just mortar the bullnose on the tread? And what is the purpose of the walls in the third pic???? Is all of that work to elevate a bird bath????? Any patio pics????? Anything worth posting?? Maybe a website with pics of your best work????

At least Patiosinstalled has a great portfolio on his website to back up his spacer bar rant up. These three pics are pretty weak. JMO

kootoomootoo
06-21-2009, 12:34 PM
tumbled pavers don't have spacer bars. Guess I am a joe Blow.

Bru75
06-21-2009, 01:45 PM
Platinum, that is cultured stone in the first pic, not crazy about it but had to match the stone on the front of the house.
Mid-Ohio, I have better pics, but these are specifically to show the step treads. Personally I don't give a rat's rear end what you think of the design, that's why I do not post pics or my website for approval from you. You're entitled to your opinion, but the owner loved it, that's the only opinion I care about.
"Is all of that work to elavate a birdbath?" Yep. It is what the owner wanted, I am not going to refuse work on the basis that it is only to elevate a birdbath.
Patio pics? The issue is spacer bars on step treads. I notice that you can't find anything wrong with the treads.
The first pic I built the entire staircase to replace wooden one.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-21-2009, 05:20 PM
Platinum, that is cultured stone in the first pic, not crazy about it but had to match the stone on the front of the house.
Mid-Ohio, I have better pics, but these are specifically to show the step treads. Personally I don't give a rat's rear end what you think of the design, that's why I do not post pics or my website for approval from you. You're entitled to your opinion, but the owner loved it, that's the only opinion I care about.
"Is all of that work to elavate a birdbath?" Yep. It is what the owner wanted, I am not going to refuse work on the basis that it is only to elevate a birdbath.
Patio pics? The issue is spacer bars on step treads. I notice that you can't find anything wrong with the treads.
The first pic I built the entire staircase to replace wooden one.

I have no issues with spacer bars, and I have no issue with your bullnose treads. To be perfectly honest it's people like you who make a mountain out of a mole hill about spacer bars when all along the guy who started the thread just wanted to know about steps, how to build them, and what works. I don't remember him asking anything about spacer bars.
It's like a p*ssing contest with you guys...........

Bru75
06-21-2009, 05:35 PM
I have no issues with spacer bars, and I have no issue with your bullnose treads. To be perfectly honest it's people like you who make a mountain out of a mole hill about spacer bars when all along the guy who started the thread just wanted to know about steps, how to build them, and what works. I don't remember him asking anything about spacer bars.
It's like a p*ssing contest with you guys...........

People like me??? You don't know me.
You asked a few pages back what others use for treads and I answered.
You asked for pics, and when I posted them you resorted to insults.
I'm easy to get along with, but your insults are uncalled for.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-21-2009, 06:59 PM
People like me??? You don't know me.
You asked a few pages back what others use for treads and I answered.
You asked for pics, and when I posted them you resorted to insults.
I'm easy to get along with, but your insults are uncalled for.

Insults???? I simply stated my opinion. As you did about spacer bars. Sorry if I'm a little crass, but on this site everyone has an opinion, everyone has a better way, everyone knit picks everything you post. Grow a set and get used to it.

So when you knit pick spacer bars, I figured this guy must do amazing work..... PatiosInstalled also knit picked spacer bars but came back with a website full of project photos that back up just how good his work is. I'm not looking to give you approval. I just want to know if you're gonna run off about spacer bars, what kind of a guy is this????? Full of hot air and opinions or do you do amazing work.
I asked to see your work in general to see if the detail you exude in your posts matches your work. You posted your three picks, and I gave you my opinion, unimpressive. If you're so proud post something better. PatiosInstalled is proud enough to post his whole website and he should be, he does impressive work.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-21-2009, 06:59 PM
tumbled pavers don't have spacer bars. Guess I am a joe Blow.

You and me both...........

PatiosInstalled
06-21-2009, 08:26 PM
here are a couple steps we have built using srw wall with caps and or bull nose. No measuring contest here I'm just showing you guys some product.

Bru75
06-21-2009, 09:55 PM
Nice work, PatiosInstalled. And yes, those pics do look better than mine.
My point in posting the step pics was not to show my best work, simply to show how much better things look with the right material.
Mid-Ohio, it's ok with me if you don't like my work. It's true that the hardscaping projects around here are not of the complexity and size that many of you guys in other areas of the country build. Mostly smaller stuff, so it's less impressive comparatively.
I know that all of my work is properly built, and my customers are happy. The things you mentioned are all subjective, depending on the viewer, and had nothing to do with step treads.
Sorry, but comments like "that's all?", "those pictures are weak", "anything worth posting?" and "people like you" tend to get a little under my skin. I try to be civil with everyone on this forum, and that's all I ask of them.
Anyway this has gone on long enough and I have nothing against you, so I'm going to stop now.
Appologies to the original poster for my part in the preceeding hijack.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
06-21-2009, 11:12 PM
Same goes for me too.... some times I can be a little rough around the edges, I apologize. No intention to get under anyone's skin.



Patios, Who manufactures the bullnose you use?

Right Touch
06-24-2009, 07:36 PM
man, who ever thought of using pavers as a veneer for a step? I see that everywhere (mainly from older contractors and masons) I've never read or been taught anywhere that this was an acceptable way. I know it works, but i think it looks very bad and cheap. Pull out the pavers where the step will be and follow GMTA's advice. make sure you compact good. Steps sink down very easily, especially if its an area that gets dripped on by gutters above.

Right Touch
06-24-2009, 08:13 PM
ok i posted way late in this thread and for some reason i didnt realize there was 5 more pages of responses. patiosinstalled, my hats off to you. I think thats some of the best work I've ever seen. maybe since we are in different areas and not in competition for work, maybe I could pay you for a day to show me a thing or two? I strive to be the best in my area and hopefully will one day produce work like you are doing.