I have porch steps where the bottom step has a 9-1/2" rise while the rest have a 7-1/2 " rise. The run is 11". Can I add a new bottom step or platform with just a 2" rise so that the next step will now have the normal 7-1/2" rise?

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    Welcome to SE. What do you mean "can you"? And be legal? And be safe? Something about skills or tools? Please edit to clarify. A photo of the scene (with some context) might help. I'd probably fix the bottom step and raise grade to eliminate the 2" step, which will be awkward.
    – isherwood
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 17:18
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    @isherwood "Can I do _______ ?" is short for all the things you mentioned. I like your idea of raising the grade, but if a platform would be used to raise grade, it might be a very good idea to somehow bevel it into the grade. A 2" high discontinuity is just the right size to trip people focusing on the steps, especially someone carrying something which prevents him from seeing the ground right in front of his feet. Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


If I understand the question correctly, then steps should always be a uniform height. The 9 1/2" rise at the bottom of a series of 7 1/2" rises is definitely bad.

Adding a 2" platform on the ground below the step to even out the overall step size is a great idea. I'd suggest you make the platform be large - something like 2 feet deep and 6" wider on each side than the step itself. That will give it a clear, distinct landing feel and be much safer than having that 9 1/2" drop at the end.

If you can't do that, however, then making the new bottom step be only 2 1/2" above ground is better than the 9 1/2" you have now.

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