New Patio & Re-leveling lawn

Hi,
I thought it would be best to get a couple of opinions on this, I'll try and keep it brief.
My house is a new build and I am having the basic boring grey patio flags taken out, extending the area and replacing it with something nicer.
I've a family friend that will be laying the base & flags and I have agreed to dig out the area (I have a mini digger arriving shortly as the area is around 30-35 square meters.)
The problem lies in that the garden slopes very slightly upwards away from the back of the house. This means that I will need to effectively dig further down the further I get away from the house to provide a level base (accounting for fall) for the patio, which I have no problem with. However this will leave a 'step up' onto the lawn and also a bare edge around a couple of around 3-6 inches.
The lawn itself isn't flat, thanks to the builders/landscapers laying the turf in a rush but also having to meet various drain heights within the garden. Also as the garden slopes slightly upwards the fences are also above the patio level by around half a foot to one foot at the furthest point.
I was considering after digging out the patio sub-base seeing just how bad/silly the step to the lawn looks and then if I have time attack and dig out/re-level the rest of the lawn with the digger. As I plan to have bushes etc around the edge of the garden I figure it won't matter too much about how the bottoms of the fences look with the earth line being around 2 brick heights below on average.
I will of course then have the drain height reduced so it sits flush with the new earth level. I'll probably reseed/re-turf later in the year or next spring.
The garden is approximately 100 square meters of which 35 will be patio and around 1/2 to 2/3rds would need shifting about and re-leveling.
Any input and advice would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Ben
--
BennyC


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On 8/21/12 1:57 PM, BennyC wrote:

Consider terracing the patio into two levels. Have the farther level about two feet (0.6 meters) higher than the level adjacent to the house. Have either three or four broad steps up from the nearer level to the farther one (the lowest step jutting out into the lower level and the highest step cut into the upper level with intermediate steps) or else create a gentle ramp that is flairs out at both the top and bottom and is relatively (but not significantly) narrow in the middle.
Trim the edge of the upper level with a low wall (perhaps another two feet high) overlooking the lower level, and set a row of very large flower pots with evergreen shrubs on the upper level against the wall. This will prevent guests from accidentally falling off the upper level onto the lower one. A broad enough wall with gaps between the flower pots might even serve as seating. This wall should also surround the sides of the steps or ramp.
Be sure to slope both levels away from the house with drains at the lowest edges.
--
David E. Ross
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