If you have a slope, there are many options for how to build a set of landscape steps. Often, these steps are based up a slope like a path and finished with gravels, bark mulch, or turf. Depending on the slope, you may want to add long retaining sides to conceal the materials used for the risers. This article will explain how to make this type of construction work in any garden.
If you have a slope, a set of steps on the same level will give you an even and safe progression of your garden. Ideally, the treads should be at least a foot wide, with risers of about four inches each. You should also space the risers about six to eight inches apart, allowing enough room to walk comfortably. If the slope is relatively gentle, you can use a wide tread and fewer risers. You can also use individual stepping stones to make the steps more comfortable. Large individual stones can function as both a tread and a riser, or you can use a combination of both.
Once the steps have been installed, you may need to make adjustments to the soil to make them level. You can also install ground cover plants to prevent erosion and anchor your steps to the ground. Concrete steps can be either formal or as simple as stepping stones made of lumber. No matter what kind of stairway you’re making, you’ll need to measure for safety first. Here are some guidelines to help you figure out the perfect size and location of your landscape steps.
To determine the height of your steps, you must first measure the slope. You can use a flat tape measure to do this. Measure the slope’s height, then divide that measurement by the number of steps you want to install. For example, if your slope is seven feet high, you need a total of ten steps, while if it’s only six inches, you should only install four.
If you’re planning to build landscape steps on a slope, you may find it useful to buy concrete blocks. These landscaping blocks are available in many colors and shapes and have a lip on the back that adds extra strength to the wall. Initially, lay the first row of blocks below grade level, then lay more blocks into the slope. Once the first row of blocks is laid, mark the front of the wall with string tied to stakes.
Place the step blocks flush with the wall faces. You don’t want to build steps that stand back and look awkward. The blocks you use should be roughly six inches high, but they shouldn’t be exact measurements. Make adjustments to the height of the path later. You can use the same method to build a staircase. However, you should keep in mind the size of the concrete blocks and the shape of the wall.
The most popular concrete block for landscape steps is the segmental one. They’re easy to install and can last for years. The material can be purchased at a DIY store. You can buy man-made and non-interlocking blocks, or you can use natural stone or brick for your step project. Look for branded concrete blocks for a professional finish and a higher level of quality. It’s a great way to create a landscape step that’s both functional and attractive.
Another option for landscaping steps on a slope is to use concrete blocks. These are perfect for retaining walls and can hold back soil after you’ve dug a slope. Concrete blocks are the most popular choice for retaining walls because they’re lightweight and have flat sides. They don’t require mortar and are easy to install. If you have a concrete block wall, the main work will be to lay a gravel footing.
First, you’ll need to decide on the size of your landscape steps. You may decide to build two flights of steps at right angles, with a landing in between. You’ll also need to decide on a retaining wall, if one is needed. The height of each step should be about 200mm (8in) higher than the surrounding slope. You’ll need to make rough recesses in the slope for the steps, so you can place a brick tread on it. Then, using a framing square, cut the timbers to fit the shape of your flight.
Next, you’ll need to lay the first course of bricks. Make sure to use a 3-/8-inch bit. Make sure to drill a pilot hole through the front step and the side steps. Once the step blocks are in place, you can set up the second course of bricks. You can repeat the same steps as many times as necessary. When you’ve completed each step, you can start putting pavers on them.
You can also build freestanding steps, which don’t require a concrete pad. While these are easier to build, they tend to have a shorter lifespan than brick steps. Another way to build landscape steps is to use railroad ties. They’re inexpensive and come in exact dimensions for steps. Another option is to use railroad ties, which are easily installed by driving concrete reinforcing bar stakes into them.
Lastly, make sure to measure the slope before digging. This way, you’ll have a reference point for measuring the slope. If you plan to use large slabs, it’s wise to have a helper. You’ll need two people to lift and lay them. And don’t forget to make a retaining wall at the top, which will keep your landscape steps stable.
Existing garden wall
If you’re planning to construct landscape steps on a slope, the easiest way to begin is by analyzing the shape and size of your garden. Then, decide what materials to use. Bricks, concrete slabs, timber, gravel, and even large flat stones can be used. Depending on the materials, the size of the slope and the amount of slope, you may want to build a flat or angled base.
If your garden is not steep, you may want to construct steps on the side of an existing garden wall. Stepped walls are safer than a single high wall, as they require more horizontal space. You can also build curved steps and use retaining walls as a side wall. Make sure to make adequate provision for storm water runoff and drainage. If your garden is mountainous, you may want to consult an expert.
A retaining wall can also serve dual purposes. It can separate terraced flower beds, raise a herb garden, or even create a seating area for a backyard fire pit. You can also use commercial concrete blocks from your local DIY store. There are interlocking and non-interlocking blocks, as well as natural stone. Make sure to buy a high-quality brand of blocks so you have a professional finish.
You can also use an existing garden wall to build landscape steps on a hillside. A concrete block retaining wall will give you the stability and beauty of a stepping stone, while preserving privacy and mystery. For a more dramatic effect, plant small trees further away from the wall. Alternatively, you can also choose a low-lying wall, made of matching capstones. Different heights of plants and trees will highlight the multiple levels of your landscape.
Creating a stairway
The first step to constructing a stairway on a slope is to create the shape of the incline or slope you’ll be working with. For this purpose, you will divide the slope height by six to eight. In this case, the slope height will be 28 inches. Once you’ve determined the shape of the slope, you can measure the height of the stairs. Then, use the leveling tool to create the stair’s steps.
To start with, you’ll need to measure the slope from bottom to top using a flat measuring tape. Since a typical step is 7 to 34 inches tall, divide the slope’s height by the number of steps you want to create. For instance, if you want to make a staircase of 4 feet wide, you can cut six-foot posts in half. In this manner, you can create a landscape stairway that is wide enough for two people to walk side by side.
If you have a sloping yard, a landscape stairway will be helpful. A stairway is not only functional, but it will also improve the appearance of your yard. Landscape stairs are available in different materials, so you can choose the style that works best with your yard’s aesthetics. Aside from being functional, landscape stairs can also be an excellent place to add extra lighting. A light installed along the stairway will be a nice touch, as well as an extra layer of security.
When constructing a stairway on a slope, remember to keep your steps safe and comfortable for the users. For instance, a wooden stair tread has greater traction than asphalt, so be sure to choose a wooden surface. Additionally, make sure the stair tread depth is adequate. Otherwise, the tread will be a tripping hazard. And, you may want to consider placing vertical barriers against the rise of the stairs, so the stairway will be safe and comfortable to walk on.