Building a stone staircase is a much more difficult task than most DIY enthusiasts may think. Accurate stone cutting and assembling steps to fit together perfectly requires a lot more than using a hammer and chisel.
Stairways add elegance and style to any home. Groomsmen and bridesmaids attending a wedding can take pictures that will last a lifetime, if the wedding venue has a magnificent staircase. A simple stone staircase built into a hillside or rock outcropping adds an extra element of natural beauty to your home’s landscape
In lieu of a more traditional type of staircase, like concrete or wooden steps, you might consider building a staircase out of stone. Stone stairs can be built as an outdoor patio feature and can add beauty, durability and character to any outdoor space from your front porch to your backyard garden. Here’s how you can build them:
1. Prepare the area.
- Prepare the area. Remove any grass or weeds growing on the spot where you want to build your stone staircase, as well as any rocks, roots or other obstacles that will be in its way.
- Spread a layer of gravel over the entire area where the stairs will be built (it’s important that it covers every inch of ground). Be sure to spread it at least 4 inches deep and work it into all crevices with a rake or shovel before moving on to step 3.
2. Create a solid foundation.
- Create a solid foundation.
A sturdy, comfortable, attractive staircase is important for any outdoor space. If you don’t have a solid foundation, it will be difficult to build one and you will likely end up with a flimsy set of stairs that can’t support your weight or anyone else’s. A good stone wall makes for an excellent base of support for your staircase because the stones are heavy and durable enough to keep their shape over time without crumbling or shifting under pressure from people walking on them.
3. Dig and add gravel to each stair riser.
- Dig and add gravel to each stair riser.
- Use a shovel to dig holes for the first few steps, then use a small trowel or garden rake to remove excess dirt and level the gravel.
- If you’re using stones of varying sizes, pack down the dirt between larger stones so that all gaps are filled in with gravel before moving on to step 4: installing stone risers on top of the gravel-filled holes.
4. Add landscape fabric over the gravel.
Lay down the landscape fabric over the gravel, then secure it with stakes.
Landscape fabric is a thin, woven material that prevents weeds from growing through your gravel installation. It also helps prevent runoff from washing away your stones and gravel. Covering your stone installation with landscape fabric is an important step in keeping it clean and healthy.
5. Lay the first step or two of stone steps flat on the ground behind where the staircase will start.
Before you begin laying down stones, determine where the first step or two of your staircase will be placed. Then, lay those stones flat on the ground behind where they will be located. Make sure they are level by using a carpenter’s level and adjust as necessary before moving forward.
6. Position stones flat on top of each other to create the first step, using a carpenter’s level to make sure they are even as you go.
- Position stones flat on top of each other to create the first step, using a carpenter’s level to make sure they are even as you go.
This is the easiest part. It’s just like laying out that first stone in an indoor staircase: position it flat and make sure it’s level with everything else before moving on to the next one.
7. Build up the steps with more level stones, angling them slightly back toward the hillside behind to facilitate drainage, keeping it all level as you go and checking with a carpenter’s level frequently.
- Build up the steps with more level stones, angling them slightly back toward the hillside behind to facilitate drainage, keeping it all level as you go and checking with a carpenter’s level frequently.
- If desired, add decorative features such as railings or low walls along two sides of your new staircase; this is an optional step but one that can really dress up an otherwise simple stone path.
- Finally, fill in any gaps with smaller pavers or pieces of bark or wood (if using gravel) so that water doesn’t collect there and erode away at the base of your steps over time; use a hand tamper to pack everything down firmly so nothing shifts around when people walk on it later on down the road.
8. Add more gravel to fill in behind and between each step as you go, making sure it is packed down firmly so it won’t shift or sink over time beneath the weight of people climbing your stairs or heavy rain or snowfall in winter months
When you’re done, add more gravel to fill in behind and between each step as you go. Make sure it is packed down firmly so it won’t shift or sink over time beneath the weight of people climbing your stairs or heavy rain or snowfall in winter months.
If done properly, stone stairs can add beauty, durability and character to any outdoor space from your front porch to your backyard garden
Stone stairs are a great way to add character to your home. They can be used to access a pool or garden, or even just an entrance to your backyard. Stone stairs can be built in a variety of styles that match the architecture of your home, from rustic and formal to modern and contemporary.
Stone steps come in various materials as well: natural stone like limestone and sandstone; engineered stone such as porcelain; and manmade materials like concrete pavers. You can also choose the size of your steps based on how tall you want them and how much space you have available for the structure itself, not to mention how much weight it needs to support during use.
We want your stone staircase to not only look beautiful but to be a safe and practical addition to your home’s outdoor spaces. Proper maintenance is key in keeping it that way. Make sure any weeds or grass growing between the stones are kept trimmed regularly so they don’t create tripping hazards and that you clear away any debris on top of the steps, such as snow or leaves, for safety purposes. You can also prevent against stains by sealing the stone with a high-quality sealant, which will also protect it from weather damage over time