The right way to Build Stone Steps

You don’t have to let the hills and slopes in your yard cease you from having fun with your outdoor space. With a bit of imagination (and a good bit of sweat!), you may change these negatives into hanging features. The heart of the project is a sensible path and steps that offer you convenient yard access—no tromping by way of the mud. And the bonus is a series of new terraces, garden beds and sitting areas that will turn that largely wasted area into your favourite hangout.

However a lot of hills and slopes means you’ll face a more tough building challenge. In this article, we’ll show you special strategies for planning and building durable steps, paths and retaining walls in a sloped yard. The process is comparable for each. The important thing to guaranteeing long life and little or no maintenance is to ascertain a stable, degree base. In any other case your paths and steps will develop into a tippy, tilted mess within a season or two.

Path building strategies are pretty straightforward; a novice can deal with this project. However stair building is a bit more complex. You should have some expertise assembling paths or partitions on flat yards earlier than taking up a project as massive as ours.

Normally a project this large would be a job for execs only. However the modular concrete block system we used vastly simplifies the process.

While the technical side of this project isn’t too troublesome, the labor involved in a project this massive can be daunting. You’ll have to dig out tons of soil and move dozens of concrete blocks. (Our step blocks weigh more than one hundred lbs. each.) The three sets of stone steps in this project, the forty-ft.-long path and the patio would take you at least 10 full days to complete. (Pros might full it in four days.)

The modular wall blocks and stone steps are all designed to fit collectively in a simple-to-assemble system. Dwelling centers typically stock one model of those blocks, but you should also shop at full-service nurseries or panorama suppliers for a wider selection. Every producer has a slightly completely different interlocking system, either an offset flange that also spaces the blocks as you stack them (Photo 5) or an interlocking pin. The flange type on the block we selected is a bit easier to use for small-scale projects like ours. All types are available in a number of kinds and colors. The “weathered” face we chose seems to be more like natural stone steps stone, especially when it’s assembled in a mixture of block sizes. You should definitely check the style options in every producer’s catalog, get a firsthand take a look at the block before you buy, and evaluate prices.

Start by laying out the approximate location of the path and patio in your yard. Use a garden hose at first, so you may easily adjust path positions until you find the design you like. We advocate a 35- to forty-in.-large path to let individuals stroll side by side or pass one another, and not less than a 35-in.-wide stairway. However there is no absolute rule here. Then mark the lines utilizing spray paint and measure the slopes (Photo 1) between the approximate high level of the path and the low points. Both these factors represent roughly degree path heights. Steps will carry you from one level to the other. To determine the number of stone steps, measure the height difference utilizing a degree string line (Photo 1). Then divide that measurement by the height of the step block you propose to use (ours was 6 in.). The outcome won’t come out actual, but don’t worry. Plan for the smallest number of steps. You can simply make up the remainder when building the paths, by elevating the lower path a bit or decreasing the higher path.