More House Decisions

You know, I thought we’d move in the house and the decision stuff would lessen.  I was wrong.

Saturday Hubby brought the skid loader to the house here and started working on the yard.  It’s a mess….a bad mess but much better than it was two weeks ago.  At least now it isn’t muddy.

Hubby loves skid loader work.


I was so happy that he was able to improve the approach coming into the garage and leveled the driveway off.

After he was done with that he came in the house and got me….it was decision time.  I hate making decisions….

Well the cement guys will be here in a couple weeks and we need to decide what we want to do with the the back entry way.  Right now the back looks like this.


The plan is to make a cement pad that is the width of the garage coming away from the house and will be the length of the house.  Eventually we will put a deck coming out the upper story with a stairs coming down and turning towards the back garage door.

Where the decision comes in is this…Do we put in a lower cement slab that will be lower so that the lawn will be even with the ground or do we raise the cement, making it higher than the ground so that we would have to step off it to get to the yard.

There are advantage and disadvantages to both.  At this point I am leaning towards the second option with the raised cement…It costs a little more but I think it will look more like a “patio” and less like a cement slab.

Honestly, neither Hubby nor I have a huge desire for it to be either way…at this point we just want it done.

What do you think?  We only have a few more days before we have to make a decision.

30 thoughts on “More House Decisions”

  1. Personally I find it awkward to have a deep step or set of stairs when I first step out a door so I would go for the higher cement idea. I like to step out the door and get my bearings before approaching steps. Do you plan on having a table to eat at outside the door on the cement? What would be most convenient to you for carrying dishes in and out? Your home is lovely. I envy your large sewing studio.

  2. I’d make it higher. I think you’ll be in and out many times without going on out into the yard. (family gatherings, serving food and such) Easier for those little grands (short legs)when they come along. And I think it would look better on the house higher. Great that you can make it that big, it will be soooo nice.

    I really like the way your house is coming along. Such a big difference from before. Such a lotta hard work, don’t have to tell you that tho. lol.

  3. I would go for the higher cement too. We have a high space up into our front door and as we get older it seems too be getting higher. LOL Go for the easier step into the house

  4. Higher would be my choice. Have known several families who built decks covering their concrete pads after a few years for reasons mentioned above. Lifestyle trumped the added expense but if they had a do over they would have built up.

  5. I agree with everyone else: higher would be better- for several reasons. you don’t have to step down as soon as you come out the door, and you’ll be on the porch lots. it will make it feel more like a patio. everytying looks great! can’t wait to see the sewing room!

  6. Higher, eventually the slab will settle a bit and then the grass will be higher and the chance of water finding its way to the corner is more probable. Go with your first instinct, it has worked for you thus far. It is looking so nice.

  7. You didn’t say whether “higher” would be even with the door coming from the house, but I’d definitely go higher from the ground even if I still had steps down from the door to the concrete.

  8. I also vote for higher. I have to step down coming out of the back of my house – there is a temporary wooden step. It is very awkward, especially if you are carrying something. Also, the slab at my house is sinking, and the grass is growing up and over the edges of the slab – so this summer I will have to dig it out and maybe put stones or mulch around it.

  9. A lot is going to depend on the final grade. Looks like you need some fill back there! And by the time the grade is completed, I really think a slab that is even with the lawn (allowing for a pitch away from the house for drainage) is going to look best. You’ll be able to run the lawn mower right over the edge and the grass will look neat and trimmed. Hubby is handy and he can build a nice wide step(s) from the house to the pad that will be safe and look great too (check local codes :) )

  10. I’d have a higher cement floor and a step that SLOPES to ground level so wheels can go up and down, like wheelchairs or Dollys!

  11. pam in illinois

    I would go higher. I don’t think I would want steps coming down to the garage door from the upper balcony and then steps to go into the garage. Something to think about. I would put concrete even with the doors so you don’t have more steps. You can always put a set of steps coming from the concrete into the yard. JMO

  12. whoever mentioned a small ramp – – I would suggest you think seriously – all kinds of trolly-type vehicles can go up a small ramp – kids wagons, grocery , luggage, wheeled things holding quilts, and hopefully not a wheel chair, but maybe…………………. you are doing great with all the decisions!

  13. Something to think about is mowing the grass. It would be easier if the wheel of the mower could run on the slab rather than having to weed whack there every time the mowing is done. And what would be the least stressful for you with the daycare kids playing out there?

  14. We step down 5″ from our patio and I would recommend it. From the back door, we have a landing, approximately 50″ wide x 30″ depth almost level with the door, then step down 6″ to a 12″ wide step, Then step down 6″ to the patio. We love this, great having the landing, but also a great place for kids to sit. Our side door has a 36″x30″ landing. I think the landings make it safer to step outside. Before you put in the patio, need to address the downspout, maybe dig a French drain(?), get the water away from the house. Our landing, steps and patio have a slight curve to them. This softens all the straight lines of the house. Your house looks great and I have enjoyed all your pictures.

  15. Something to consider is the door coming from the garage is not the same height as the door from the kitchen. I would talk to the cement contractor to see what they suggest.

  16. I was going to say higher until I read the comment about mowing the grass. Great thought. Also read the one about the door on the garage being at a different level than the door to the house. Maybe lower would be better. Steps and a little sloped ramp coming out of the house wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  17. For mowing the grass, the entire patio doesn’t have to be at ground level. All you’d need is a ground-level border a few inches wide. (If that’s possible to construct.)

  18. I would go with the higher patio sloping away from the house. I know it’s obvious, but with all of the snow you get in Iowa (like Nebraska) when it melts you don’t want it forming ice right next to your door. I would also check with the cement contractors to see if they can put your footings in for your second story deck and possible stairs. It might mean a little more money up front, but less hassle when you add the deck down the road.

  19. I vote for having the higher concrete. Not only is there a smaller step to get into the house, the concrete at the opposite edge would be higher making it a definite transition to the lawn area. Of course, the concrete will be ever so slightly angled toward the lawn so that any rain will drain away from the house.

  20. I agree as well! I would want it higher. As a person who keeps having accidents (usually from not looking) I am not a fan of steps right at the door. Love how everything is coming along just beautifully!!

  21. Higher,with a slant & footings or whatever will be needed for the upper deck. I think I’d also have them make a couple of concrete steps off into the yard, rounded might be nice. My SIL has a huge deck that wraps around her house/pressed concrete & a mega beautiful yard. She has strawberries planted in a permanent boxed frame that goes along the front portion. It works very well, looks nice and keeps the runners from going crazy.

  22. Carolyn Worthington

    I would be more concerned with water over the low patio in heavy rains than the problem of running a weed eater around the edges of a high patio. Yes, a gutter system and downspout are an important consideration too. Decisions are always difficult to make, but you have done so well to this point.

  23. I think you should consider what will work best with the day care kiddies. If they are younger ages, it will be difficult to have a higher patio. Perhaps with planters you can make it look less like a concrete slab but keep it lower for the kiddies.

  24. I think if it were me I would actually go with a deck! Right off the back of the house and use composite for the floor boards! (Little to no maintenance!) But deffinately something raised! You can do so much around it to make it pretty!!

  25. I would go with the raised cement that way when it rains the mud & water wont end up all over the cement/patio.

  26. Jennifer Collard

    Dear Jo,
    Who will be cutting the grass? If you don’t want more weedeating than you already have–go with the raised platform. If you are looking for faster and easier, level it with the ground! Either way it’s going to be great. Jennifer

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