Having recently completed the west side access of my house it’s now time to turn my attention to the east. I’ve included a quick sketch up plan of what I intend to do. We’re going to put in a patio (concrete slab - 2.8 x 7.8m) that can be accessed from our dining room and living room. Hence the steps. I would have liked something flush with house’s floor elevation but it would have meant a really thick slab and covering the vent holes in the hous’s skin brick work. Had considered a low lying timber deck but have gone with a slab and nice outdoor porcelain tiles (purchased 2nd hand online); as we already have a couple of large timber decks out the back. The access points are stackable glass sliding doors. In time we might install bi-folds hence the length of the steps to cover the sliding doors full width. I’ll use nice timber screens or outdoor art laser cut screen panels, or both, to conceal the water tank and air conditioning unit. It is a nice warm area in the morning and misses out on the harsher afternoon sun. Great spot for a coffee or a cold one. Might consider it a good spot for a chiminea on cooler evenings too (We’ll give winter a miss - we’re in Canberra!!). We will also put in a retaining wall in line with an existing photinia hedge and step it a bit to create planting room for ferns or low lying shrubs and plants underneath it. In any case, I wanted to keep a diary to track progress, provide an opportunity for questions as well as an established post that I could ask questions from. I’d be keen to take ideas and happy to answer any questions. Allan72
Good one, looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Your other side project was terrific.
- So far I’ve put the two steps in. They are 2.4m long, with a 180mm rise and a 400mm tread (run). The rise from patio proper will end up being 130mm. My internet research on Australian standards indicates that 130mm is the minimum height for a rise. This means I will still need to excavate out a little bit of the patio area to achieve this. Happy to take thoughts on the minimum rise height. If I’m going to put something permanent in then I want to get it right.
- For each step I dug out 3 pier (column) footings about 300mm deep, 200mm diameter, equidistant along the 2.4m.
- Each step is also anchored into the house slab. I drilled 3 x 300mm deep holes into the slab and chemically bonded 600 x 12mm rei bars into each hole in the slab. Each rei bar is aligned with each pier footing and protrudes 300mm into the step.
- There is also rei bar in each pier and trench mesh locks it all in on two levels across the span of the step.
- I’ve left enough of a gap to accommodate the thickness of the tiles so that they will be flush with the brick work (ground level).
- The next step is a small amount of excavating and building formwork for the patio slab. Will probably lay 4 separate slabs for the patio as I have a span of 7.8m to cover.
How about a small informal bar near the water tank, a dart board near the aircon unit side, perhaps a tv at the back of the bar. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Thanks @redracer01. I really appreciate the graphics and your suggestions. We’re lucky in that most of what you’ve suggested will be included in our alfresco area out the back of the house. Am actually building a deck extension at the moment to work in with the alfresco area out back. What I really do like is the pad extended out of the slab for the chiminea. My original design actually had an area cut into the slab for a fire pit. But now I’m actually leaning towards your design. In that way I won’t lose much patio area. I’ll let you know how I go. Thanks again. Allan72
I'm glad you liked my sketch and suggestions. Looking forward to seeing the finished project!
@redracer01 Fantastic!! Can I ask what program you use to make your designs? I draw every project by hand and gets a bit tiresome redrawing them with all the changes I make. I’ve been on the lookout for a program/app I can use instead.
- So the first slab is in. About 0.5 cubic metre of concrete went into the slab. It’s sitting on a compacted base of scalpings sub base (about 50mm) that I watered and compacted over the last week.
- I used F72 rei mesh.
- It was a hard batch. Batched it yesterday on a hot 34 degree Canberra day. Lucky I was ably supported by my 14 year old son who did a great job. He learnt how to get the right consistency in the mix and did most of the wheelbarrow ferrying of the concrete mix from our trailer to the mixer (which was right on the job site)...and I was a great supervisor!!
- In retrospect I probably should have waited for a cooler day but the slab is ok. There a few minor surface cracks but nothing major.
- Spent today excavating out for slab number 2. It was another hot day! Now I’m sore!!
- Lesson learnt - put some cardboard up over the walls and windows to protect them from the concrete spattering when you pour. Oops!
I actually use an old program called sketchup. I use version number 8 as it is the only one you can download for free. Every other version wants you to upgrade and pay. But you can always give the new versions a try they just limit the types of saves you can do. Hope that helps.