How To Build Block And Brick Steps

Build a safe set of block and brick steps using a few materials such as plywood, screws, shims and adhesive. Block steps are typically used for basement entranceways, however they can be used to create entryways on any level of your home and add character to the overall look. The different style options that are available make building block and brick steps easy even if you don’t have any experience in construction or architecture.

Many homeowners and builders use blocks, bricks and stone to build steps. These materials are heavy and difficult to work with, but they can make very strong and beautiful steps. Blocks or bricks should be laid vertically so they don’t slip out when walked on. The risers of the step are the vertical edges between each step, while the tread is the surface that you walk on.

If you want to build a set of concrete block or brick steps but don’t know how, we’ve got you covered. Just follow these helpful how-to videos and learn the steps it takes to build a set of stoop steps like these. It’s so simple, anyone can do it.

Have you ever wanted to build a set of concrete block or brick steps but didn’t know how? Watch this video and learn the steps it takes to build a set of stoop steps like these.

Have you ever wanted to build a set of concrete block or brick steps but didn’t know how? Watch this video and learn the steps it takes to build a set of stoop steps like these.

Step 1: Excavate the area around where you want your steps to be placed. The depth will depend on what type of soil is there, but an average depth would be 4 feet (1.2 meters). The width will also depend on how wide you want your step treads to be, but making them at least 2 feet (60 cm) wide will give people plenty of room when walking up or down them.

Step 2: Lay rebar every foot in length along both sides of the excavated trench so that it forms an X shape with each corner pointing toward one another if possible so that they can support each other as well as help keep any concrete from collapsing under pressure later on while also preventing too much weight being put onto just one bar at once should someone trip over one during construction time; this may cause collapse due to lack thereof support beneath their weight which could cause injury since no barrier precautions have been taken into consideration before hand by those doing so without proper knowledge about how best practice works here either due–if not in part–due especially because different types require different approaches when handling them.

Getting started

  • Prepare the site. Lay out the brick and block foundation, so that you can build the steps to meet your desired height. If you are building a stairway with more than one flight, you will need to make sure that each flight is level with one another.
  • Prepare the concrete. Use a hand tamper or mechanical vibrator tamping tool to smooth out any uneven spots in the concrete surface of your footing before pouring it into forms for forming blocks or bricks.
  • Prepare the block and brick molds by cleaning them thoroughly with detergent followed by water; allow them time (about 30 minutes) to air-dry before using them again for casting small batches of concrete at once without having much waste material left over after each casting session ends up being successful without any flaws happening within their structure during production time.

Clearing the area

  • Remove all debris. It is important that you clear your entire area of any debris and vegetation before you begin construction. This will help you not only in the building process, but also later when it comes time to maintain your steps.
  • Remove all stones, roots, weeds and rocks. If there are any stones or roots sticking out of the ground that might get in the way of building a straight path for your stairs, remove them as well. Also, if there are any large rocks on top of where you want to build your steps (this happens often), move those off to another spot so they do not cause problems later on when digging holes for footings (the foundation).

Building the footing forms

  • Build forms for the footing and foundation using 2x4s, which can be found at home centers. Cut the 2x4s to length and then screw them together to create longer sections that fit around the perimeter of your stairs. Use shorter lengths as needed for corners or other features on your stairs.
  • Set up a level scaffold inside the form, making sure it’s level with them and not tilting in any direction; this helps ensure a straight line when pouring concrete into blocks laid atop it later on (and makes cleanup easier).
  • Place 5/8-inch plywood over top of forms; use screws to secure it in place where necessary so it doesn’t shift during construction or later when filled with concrete

Mixing the concrete

Mixing concrete is a great way to spend time with your family. It’s also a great way to meet new people, and get fit!

Mixing concrete is easy. All it takes is 4 parts sand, 3 parts gravel and 2 parts cement. You don’t even need any special equipment or technical knowledge for this job just some basic tools like shovels, wheelbarrows and hoes will do nicely!

Pouring the footing

The footing, which is the base of your steps, must be level and square. This means that if you put a straight 2×4 across the corner of your step area, it must be 90 degrees to both sides of that board. You can do this by using a T-square and marking where the crosshair meets the boards. If they’re not exactly 90 degrees, adjust your chisel until they are 90 degrees or as close as possible without having to use extra concrete (you’ll see what I mean when we get there).

The next thing we need for our footing is depth—and lots of it! A good rule of thumb is that your footing should be as deep as two times as high as your finished height will be; in other words, if my finished steps are 8″ high and my landing is 4″, then I want my footings at least 16″ deep so they have enough room for expansion/shrinkage during temperature changes (which will happen).

Screeding and tamping the footing.

This is the most important part of the process. By screeding and tamping, you’re actually doing two things:

  • Screed – leveling out your concrete with a long straight board. This will make sure that your steps are level and not sloping in any direction. It’s an important step because if you don’t do this right, then your blocks won’t fit on top of each other properly and they’ll look crooked.
  • Tamper – compacting the concrete by hitting it with a large tool called a tamper (or vibrator). The tamper will compress all that loose fine aggregate between the coarse gravel so it becomes one solid mass.

Making a check for levelness.

It is important to ensure that your steps are level before you build them. There are several ways you can do this, but the most common methods are using a laser level, spirit level or water level.

  • A laser level is ideal for large projects and building high walls. It emits a beam of light from one end to the other which will point towards true horizontal (level) when activated. The more expensive versions come with automatic self-levelling technology so you don’t have to worry about getting it perfectly straight when installing on uneven ground.
  • A spirit level is a flat piece of glass with two edges marked as “bubbles” (little bubbles in the glass), which indicates whether something has been twisted left or right compared against its own vertical orientation (i.e., vertically upright). If there were no twist in any direction then all three lines would be lined up on top of each other (called ‘plumb’).
  • Water levels use liquid inside glass tubes rather than air between two pieces of plastic like spirit levels do so they’re best used outdoors where wind won’t affect their accuracy as much as indoor workspaces where vibrations caused by machinery nearby may cause false readings

Begin laying out the block courses.

Begin laying out the block courses. Make sure they are straight and level, so you can continue with your steps.

If you’re not sure how to do this, follow these steps:

  • Set out the first course of blocks at ground level.
  • Check for levelness by placing a straightedge on top of them, then measuring from one end of that straightedge to the other point where it’s touching a block at each end of the row (see image below). Note that if you have 2×6 or 2×8 pressure-treated lumber supporting your foundation, then use those measurements instead of inches when checking for squareness and levelness.
  • If your block is too high or low in relation to its neighboring blocks, adjust it accordingly with whatever means necessary (i.e., shims under it) so that next time around there won’t be any problems again with leveling out every course as well as squaring off all corners simultaneously before moving forward with construction.

Selecting and cutting the block for building up each course.

Before you start, you need to ensure that the block is level and straight. You can do this by laying out your string line and then checking for level across the top of the concrete. If it isn’t level, use a mason’s chisel to shave off some concrete from underneath each course of block until it is level (you should be able to slide a spirit level across each course). Then use another string line as a guide for making sure that each course is straight before laying down its first block.

This may seem like a lot of work, but it will save you time in the long run by ensuring that all your steps are built properly.

Special tools for building up each course.

You’ll need to use a few special tools to ensure your steps are level and square. The block hammer has a tapered end that makes it easy to remove old mortar while leaving the blocks intact. You can also use a steel trowel for smoothing out mortar, but be sure not to leave any grooves or drips in the concrete step surface; these will only make for unsafe footing on your new stairs.

A block level is essential for checking whether each course is even as you build it up; this tool should be held vertically against each block’s top surface as you work from side-to-side across each step. A good way of ensuring that all rows are perfectly aligned with one another is by using plastic shims between courses this will help fill any gaps between them and keep everything straight as you build up each layer of concrete steps.

To measure depth consistently, use an adjustable depth stop attached at one end of your string line (see photo). This will allow you to lay out lines at different heights without having to reposition or remeasure anything else on site every time they change height levels during construction projects like this one.

Building up each course, one block at a time.

Building up each course, one block at a time.

The first course of blocks is laid out using a string line. The second course is also laid out, but this time the blocks are placed on top of the first layer. They must not be completely level with it, as this will cause problems later when you reach the fifth and sixth courses which must be level with one another. The third course is then placed on top of both layers from above and below so that it sits in between them.

To continue building up your steps you need to repeat these steps again: measure, mark and lay out; measure, mark and lay out; measure, mark and lay out…etc., until all six layers have been achieved.

Forming the landings.

The landings should be constructed to the same specifications as the steps. This includes:

  • Height: The top of the landing should be level with the top of each step.
  • Width: The landing should be wide enough for two people to pass on either side without touching shoulders or arms, so about one foot in width for each person who will use it.
  • Length: The length of a landing is determined by its height and width, with extra length added so that you can form a 90-degree corner when connecting multiple landings together (i.e., one piece extends past another). If this seems confusing, don’t worry we’ll get into more detail later on.

Installing railing posts.

To ensure your posts are level, use a laser level or spirit level to mark the post locations. If you don’t have access to either of these tools, you can create your own by placing a string line between two points on the staircase and marking the points where it intersects with stairs.

Once you have marked each post location and are certain that they are set at even heights, begin drilling holes for your posts. The best way to do this is with an auger bit that’s long enough for the depth of concrete needed for each hole (about 4″). If you’re working with existing steps (or just want to save money), consider using recycled blocks from older projects as fillers between new steps if needed this will help keep costs down while still creating sturdy platforms for installing railing posts.

Once all holes have been drilled into place, install each post by driving it into its designated hole until it makes contact with compacted soil beneath; then dig out more dirt around its base until there’s enough room for gravel or sandbags around each leg of every step before moving onto installing railings (which we’ll talk about later). Finally: attach any remaining railing materials such as decorative trim boards before finishing off these outdoor steps.

Building beautiful block and brick steps is easy with these helpful how-to videos

Building beautiful block and brick steps is easy with these helpful how-to videos. The most important thing to remember is that you need a good plan, a good foundation, good tools, good materials and weather. This will ensure that your block and brick steps are built to last.

When building block and brick steps it’s important to have all the necessary tools ready before starting work on your new project. Make sure you have the right equipment for digging out earth or breaking up rock – like shovels or picks – along with a hammer or sledgehammer so that you can knock things down into smaller pieces as needed (use goggles too). If possible try not to use any machinery because this may damage some parts of the structure being built; however if this isn’t possible then use caution when operating machines near them because they could become damaged by vibrations coming off nearby equipment being operated at high speeds.

Final words

Well, that’s how to do it. It’s not as hard as you might think if you follow these simple steps. The results are well worth the effort and you’ll be proud of your accomplishment.

Leave a Comment