Pictured: New steps and paving that we crafted and installed to a Victorian terraced home in Clapham, London
We replaced and upgraded the natural stone steps and paving in the main entrance, the upper and lower staircases and the basement of a three-storey Victorian terraced home in Clapham, London. We used period-correct design, Yorkstone and carving, and employed modern waterproofing techniques to prevent damp and leaks.
The homeowner called us in because the stone steps in their main entrance staircase had been leaking for some time. Rainwater was dripping into the basement of their building.
When we examined the stone steps, we determined that they were at the end of their useful life. At one time, the steps had been repaired and rendered to prevent leaks, but the render covering had also failed.
At Stone Steps and Paving, when we see old rendered steps, we know from experience that water ingress has often been an ongoing problem. When the render repairs fail, water gets into and behind the stone, causing damage.
Victorian stone steps – before and after photo
Pictured: New waterproofed steps that we crafted and installed in Clapham, London.
From design to approval
The homeowner then instructed us to replace their steps and paving in the period-correct Victorian style.
We began by providing samples of stone that best matched their house’s original steps and paving. They selected Woodkirk Yorkstone – it’s fine-grained and an attractive brown/grey colour.
Next, we produced a design drawing for the client, depicting the new entrance, steps and basement area configured as they would have been when the house was constructed.
In Edwardian and Victorian properties, paving and steps stonework flow and fit together precisely, so accurate measurements are vital in delivering the correct and highest standard of finish. Our process of measuring, checking and producing accurate drawings allows us to identify and fix the issues that older properties accumulate over time.
For example: Our designs often address a common problem with Victorian homes: many properties have had paving stones laid over paving stones, which can and often does cause issues regarding water ingress. By overlaying paving, damp courses can be bridged and thresholds become far too close to finished floor height. This can cause damp problems in homes.
Basement stone paving and steps – before and after photo
Pictured: New waterproofed basement steps and paving that we crafted and installed in Clapham, London.
Work on-site included
Once the client approved the plans, work began. First, we removed the failed stone entrance staircase and fitted our waterproofing system. We adjusted the heights of the supporting walls to accommodate the new waterproof layers, and installed the new Yorkstone steps. Then we replaced paving and the basement staircase.
The building’s basement steps were set into clay only, which was common in the Victorian era. When we removed the basement steps we also dug out a footing and installed a substructure before fitting the new stone steps.
We also upgraded the basement paving. The original basement paving had been overlaid with other paving and its surface height was above the basement bay window damp course. This had led to water passing through the wall and causing damp issues within the house.
To rectify the basement paving issue, we removed both layers of stone paving and some soil beneath. Then we installed a crushed concrete sub base and a slot drain. By gently sloping or “falling” the new paving back to the slot drain, any excessive rainwater is diverted straight into the drain, below the building’s damp course and away from the property. Simply put, if rainwater fall is dealt with in the correct way, it isn’t a problem. If it isn’t, it will be.
Because our design considered and specified basement paving height, when we laid the new Yorkstone paving we were able to achieve a precise finish. The basement paving fits perfectly to the bottom of the lowest basement step.
Pictured: A view of the entrance stone steps, from the front door
This project took just over four weeks to complete. The client was fully engaged in the process, and it’s been a pleasure to work for someone who has a clear understanding of the craftsmanship needed to produce the highest level of finish.
The client told us they were delighted with the finished product, and we continue to receive calls from owners of neighbouring properties asking us to price similar works.
Additional photos of the completed Yorkstone steps and paving
Pictured: New low stone wall and paving by our team
Pictured: The Victorian terraced home with new stone steps and paving installed by our team