York Stone Steps, Tooting


I’ve been blessed with some delightful clients of late, and these guys were no exception. Unfortunately for them their steps had been in a state for a very long time, and no other tradesman wanted to touch them.

The existing steps were gloriously uneven in height and width and our brief was to put in equidistant treads and risers. Cue lots of technical drawings and overlays, in order to work out what steps we had to scalp with grinders, where to begin and where to end. Starting at the bottom and ending at exactly the right place at the top. The last thing you want is a huge 30mm joint because the stone is too short. By luck or skill we had a minimum of cutting to do and everything fitted in to place.

Scale Drawings

The first thing I did was measure the treads (horizontals) and risers (verticals stones connecting the horizontal treads). I did a scale drawing. To give you an idea of the difference in the risers; they varied from 175mm to 235mm, and the treads from 260 to 330! Underneath were concrete lintels supporting the rendered tops, all strong but haphazardly thrown down. The blue covering is a waterproof membrane used to seal swimming pools.


On tracing paper, using the same scale, I drew the finished steps with 202mm risers and 305mm goings (the going of a step is measured from the edge of the nosing to the edge of nosing in plan view). It showed me that almost all of the steps needed to be scalped to accommodate the new steps. However, by slightly raising the bottom treads on the large plateau below, I would just about make it with a minimum of cutting.


Once we’d established the bottom stone, we kept the heights all the way up. It was very awkward getting the risers in, but the sides needed to be re-rendered anyway as it was shot and provided an excellent way for rainwater to get in.



The clients are over the moon that at last they have some fantastic steps which, now being constant heights and depths, are much safer than before. Also, the York stone is excellent for grip being slightly abrasive.

  1. Tamsen said:

    These really do look fantastic. Great job!

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