My house has pavers in front of the steps going up. After the sidewalk, there's about a 9x7 foot area where we have pavers, and then after the paver walkway, there are stairs going up to the front door. A while back, we had the all-wooden steps replaced with some kind of plastic material made for use as stair risers and wooden treads. When we replaced the old stairs, which had a small concrete 1st step, the workers removed that mini 3-inch concrete step and just had the 1st riser be higher and rest on the pavers. So the first step is 10 inches, and the rest have 7-inch risers.

That initial higher step is awkward and harder for older visitors to use coming up. So the plan is to repave and grade the pavers on a gradual incline that's unnoticeable to reduce the first step up and make them all the same height.

The question is: Is there any special handling needed where the pavers meet the riser?

A) Can we leave the first ten-inch riser as is and have the pavers go up to it, abutting it? There would be a small gap at the bottom of the first riser when we remove all the pavers to redo them; the gap would be where the risers were once used to rest the riser on, but I think that gap could be filled in. Fill in with what? a portion of a paver as the gap (which I think might be the height of a paver), or other material?

OR B) must we dismantle and remove the first riser (and maybe even the stringers?), cut the plastic riser to 7 inches, and replace it so the pavers can rise up to go underneath the first step riser?

Also, would you suggest a better solution to address the uneven step height, or does this plan suffice?

  • Pics would help. I'm having difficulty envisioning what's happening at the base of the stairs.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 9, 2023 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


Since the risers are plastic (or perhaps composite), they will be more resistant to rotting. So, there should be no problem going right up to them.

I would still leave an inch gap around the risers,

  1. in case they are not really plastic
  2. to avoid cracking if encased in mortar/concrete
  3. for the future if you need to replace them.
  • I agree, but I wouldn't leave an inch. That would look odd, and pavers can be pulled up easily to do repairs or whatever.
    – isherwood
    Nov 9, 2023 at 15:12

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