I have a large bay window with sliding glass doors out to the backyard and want to make a raised patio down to the yard from that. I wondering if it might be too high to do? It's around 5 feet up to bottom of window. Is that possible?ANSWER
Yes, you can create a raised patio. With a 5 foot height difference, you could design it with a total of eight 7.5" risers. That's the vertical part of the step. Risers typically can be anywhere from 4" high to 9" high. However, if you can stay at 7.5" or below, the steps will be more comfortable.
What I would suggest is to create a nice size landing. Creating a landing allows you to divide the steps into two areas so that you don't have such a large staircase. Large staircases are nieth comfortable or attractive. A landing also reduces the size of the lower patio retaining wall.
Visit my page on Raised Patios
The side wall is the supporting edge of the patio. In your situation, you could step down to a landing, which could be about 4' x 4' or larger. The landing should be large enough so that you feel comfortable on it. You can even make it large enough to acommodate a chair or bench.
From here, you would go down three steps to the patio. You will need either a railing or planting beds for safety. See the first picture on this page: Patio Designs
You can also take a look at one of my drawings where I show different patio levels:Patio Levels
Your patio would have four steps to transition from patio to ground and also a 30" high patio side wall for the raised patio.
There are other ways to design it. This is just one idea, which often works well. The side wall, however, adds on considerable cost to the project. You could also create two separate patios, terraced. In other words the raised landing could be large enough to be an actual patio.
If you make one large patio without the landing, you will be quite high off the ground and need a landing or a huge planting bed. You would also have a five foot high patio wall, which would be VERY expensive.
If I can be of further help, let me know.
"Susan, what a pleasure it was to work with you. You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly! Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant. You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes. Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"