Placement of walkway steps to deal with slope
At the same time that we are re-doing our drainage tiles around our house we are taking the opportunity to re-do the side walkway leading into the backyard. Previously there were only two steps at the beginning of the path and then the rest of it was a narrow sloped concrete path that led to the gate of our backyard. We will be putting a 45 inch wide path made of concrete pavers. Our contractor suggested that instead of having the walkway slope like our previous concrete path, we should deal with the change of grade by keeping the two steps onto the path, then adding another step in the middle of the path and then a final step into the backyard.
My question is: should the nose of the step into the backyard line up directly with the gate or should the area on both sides of the gate be on the same level and the step be located maybe a few feet past the gate after entering into the backyard? I am concerned about creating a tripping hazard -- after all, the fact that there is a change of level will only be apparent after you open the gate on the way into or out of the backyard and I want to make sure I am making the safest decision. What would be the safest way to deal with the change of level into the backyard with respect to the placement of this step in relation to the gate?