A well designed and finished terrace is a harmonious place that joins the house with the garden. In such case, it is difficult to do without terrace steps that would mach the entire composition – for example, stairs made of elegant pavement blocks.
Pavement blocks can successfully be used as material to build external stairs. If skillfully selected, it is an alternative for the gres and clinker tiles. What is more, using this material from the very beginning on stairs, alleyways and driveways – will make it seamlessly blend in with the arrangement design of the house’s surroundings giving it an original appearance.
Solid foundation is a necessity
The decision to build stairs from pavement block should be preceded with acquiring knowledge regarding the stability of the surface on which our house was built. Most frequently, this can be deduced from soil classification. Such information should be known to the contractor responsible for making the driveway and garden alleyways before he starts his work.
Weak surface requires strengthening. In this way we shall avoid potential trouble related to high level of surface water, ground level decline and its unwarranted movement – as is the case in the course of the year – reports Piotr Kułagowski from Libet. However, if the surface is of good quality, one may safely start to build garden entrance.
The first task is to collect the humus i.e. the earth which is located in the place where the stairs should be. One needs to prepare a trough that is 20-25 cm in depth. Then one needs to create a sand-cement fill. If the foundation is weaker, it is necessary to build a foundation from dry concrete, potentially a cement fill, which will allow to make the base denser and stronger.
Easier than you think
To perform terrace stairs it is necessary to use such edge elements as bricks and… it best to use the same type of blocks as in garden paths. An important step is to take measurements of the stairs. One must not forget about establishing the right number of steps. The amount of steps will depend on the difference between the height of the terrace and the garden level. While establishing the depth of the step it is best to match it to the size of the bricks that fill it (multiplied by x- amount). This will help avoid a troublesome cutting of material and shall beneficially influence the stair’s aesthetics.
Knowing these parameters we start from placing the edge elements. Trapezoidal elements in the Kravento Grande and Kravento Alto are also a good choice for building stairs. Their shape makes it easier to shape arches and semi-circles.
Each edge element shall be placed on mortar or on concrete floor – says Piotr Kułagowski. –It is preferable to place it on dry or semi-dry concrete. It is important to anchor it directly on the ground, since (as carrying elements) they require strong surface.
During fixing of edge elements of steps, the necessary elements include a level and meter stick. It is necessary to constantly check and equal out the width of the step as well as their level. After stabilizing the edge of the step on similar floor we insert its filling – pavement blocks. The blocks require striking with a rubber hammer – in the case of bright blocks, preferably a white or colorless one (so as not to leave dirty stains). It may also be done with regular hammer, but through a plank. This will prevent any damages to the block.
Work comes to an end
Breaks between blocks are filled with clean washed sand (quartz). It does not include any seeds and spores – there will be no problems with unwanted plants appearing in joints. The surface of the step is filled up several times with sand and swept (joints) and washed with water (sliming). This allows us to fill it in and place it in the joints between the blocks. One must also remember that small surfaces are not suitable for vibratory plates, so as not to infringe the surface.
The construction of terrace steps may also seem very simple, however, it is necessary to engage a professional team for such work – says Piotr Kułagowski. In order to be sure that the contractor is worth recommending – select a team that is certified by the block’s producer. Libet issues such certificates only once a year. Therefore, the quality of performed services is constantly verified.
Arrangement of the garden and its “blending” with the looks and architecture of the house will allow for it to become a standard in both small and bigger residences. In any case the harmonious entirety is heavily influenced by details. Well planned and performed terrace stairs, surely contribute to the the final effect. It is worth remembering when constructing a new terrace to renovate the old one and even repair the porch in front of the house.