I recently had a concrete patio area poured at the bottom of my garden, it will eventually have a pergola and fire-pit area on it. Due to the slope on the block I was given the option of the contractor digging it out and putting in a retaining wall, this was going to be expensive, or the patio area could be raised slightly which was a much cheaper option. I went with the raised option, this means I had about a 30cm step on the front, therefore I decided to build a step to make the transition easier and hide some of the concrete side.
I have a Merbau deck on the other side of the garden so I wanted to build something which matched it, I also has some left over Merbau from the deck so this was a perfect way to use it. I used SpecRite 90mm x 19mm Merbau, the step was three boards deep and one board high (this makes it fit with the rise and going of current regulations)
The freshly poured patio area
I built a frame to support the step from 90mm x 45mm H3 Pine. This size of frame is perfect for the size of the Merbau boards. I wanted the step to be three boards deep with a 5 mm gap between each board. My calculations for the depth of the frame:
Boards: 90 x 3 = 270
Gaps: 5 x 2 = 10
Less the thickness of the front board to make it flush: 19
Total depth: 261 mm
Attaching the frame to the patio
In order to attach the frame to the concrete I used sleeve anchor bolts. I picked the longest ones in stock at my local Bunnings and drilled four holes using a masonry bit. I then bolted the frame to the face of the concrete. I wanted the step to be rock solid so I also dug a small hole in each corner and filled it with a bag of quick set concrete. I used an off-cut of a post to provide support for the outer corner against the concrete. Considering the small size of the step I don't this was necessary, however I do like to over engineer most things and the additional cost was very low.
Attaching the boards
I attached the boards using stainless steel deck screws. I pre drilled each hole using a drill and countersink bit (well worth the money). Bunnings also sell a jig to align each hole (again worth the money).
I like the picture frame look so I finished the edge with a mitred run around the outside. Now all I need is to get some instant turf from Bunnings to replace all the grass which was ruined by the converters (that’s a job for spring)
Extra Bits worth buying
Jig to help aligning screws https://www.bunnings.com.au/the-deckhand-easifit-template-guide-2-pack_p2410303
Drill bit and countersink in one, saves a lot of time https://www.bunnings.com.au/starborn-no-8-smart-bit-trim-head-countersink-drill-bit_p6360118
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @edwardjones. It's fantastic to have you join us, and many thanks for sharing your project.
What a great solution you've come up with there. I'm impressed with the level of finish you've achieved. Those mitred corners are not as easy as they seem. Well done with developing a practical solution to keep your project on budget.
I look forward to following along with your build, so please keep us updated.
Thanks, I am quite proud of the mitre joints.
For anyone trying something similar, the mitre joints are the hardest bit. My advice would be to go slow and do a couple of test cuts on any scraps of wood to ensure your mitre saw is setup correctly. The expensive part is the Merbau so you want to avoid making mistakes here and having to buy more.
Good thinking with regards to making sure you align with regulations, it's good to always check.
Looking at those succulents along the wall there - you should check out the Bonsai succulents | Bunnings Workshop community It seems like a super simple way of glamming them up.