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I have some concrete steps from my back door that I plan to cover with paver brick, so that they tie in aesthetically with my new paver patio. The existing steps are rectangular, but I want them to be circular, like so:

enter image description here

If you were going to do this, how would you attack it? Here are my ideas:

Option 1) Pour a 4" slab in the shape of the outer circle step, around the existing steps. Then build up the steps with landscape block and fill with gravel where necessary. In this case I'd probably make each circle a bit bigger so I could fit block around the corners of the existing steps.

Option 2) Build circular forms around the existing steps and pour concrete around the existing steps to build up the shape I want. I'm not really concerned that the new concrete won't bond to the existing concrete since it's all going to be covered by paver brick anyway. Any concerns with using something like QUIKRETE for this?

Option 3) Rip out the existing steps, pour new concrete steps, cover with brick. I would like to avoid this because existing concrete is about 4'W x 5'L x 4'D, so it will take a very large piece of machinery accomplish this. It may not be possible to get a machine that big into my back yard. If this is the only way to do it right, I'm probably going to scrap the whole idea.

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Is there some reason you don't consider removing the existing steps? –  The Evil Greebo Sep 19 '11 at 19:40
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By the way - you should definitely be concerned with the new and old concrete not bonding, because pavers are not going to be water tight, so water will get in the cracks between the new and old concrete, which means come winter your new round concrete will start trying to break away from your old concrete. –  The Evil Greebo Sep 19 '11 at 19:46
    
Good point, didn't think of that. I considered removing the existing steps, but they go down about 2 feet below grade, so I would need some really heavy duty machinery to pull them out. I would probably have to break them up with a jack hammer. –  lecrank Sep 19 '11 at 21:12
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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd remove the current steps, and then consider putting in new concrete steps. Maybe stain them or used colored concrete or perhaps tile them.

Concrete pavers aren't really designed for steps...and tend to be porous lower-grade concrete anyways. They make bricks for steps, but are a nightmare to maintain over the long haul as you are constantly re tuck pointing them--especially if you live in a freeze/thaw climate.

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Removing the existing steps wasn't really within the budget for me, so I'm probably going to nix the whole idea. Thanks for the answer though. –  lecrank Nov 7 '11 at 17:05
    
how about a wood alternative? Build a rounded deck/steps with cedar directly on top of the existing steps to cover them. It's not an exact match for your patio, but might be a nicer contrast than the concrete is. –  DA01 Nov 7 '11 at 17:19
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