How To Build Outdoor Concrete Stairs

Stairs can make or break a home. Concrete stairs are durable, last forever, and require minimal maintenance. Follow these steps to learn how they’re made and how to build them yourself.

Safety equipment

You’ll also want to wear safety glasses, ear protection and steel-toed boots.

Prepare the site

You will need to prepare your site for the stairway. Prepare the site by checking it for level, drainage and utilities. Check for obstructions such as tree roots or ledge rock that may interfere with your stairway construction. Check slopes in order to ensure they are not too steep or too shallow. Measure utility lines such as gas, water, sewer and electrical lines before you begin work on your project as well.

Measure and mark the stringers

Measure and mark the stringers

Use a tape measure or chalk line to measure the stringer locations. Mark each stringer location with a pencil, using an X for the top of each stringer as shown in Figure 3. Do not use your ruler; it will only be out of sync with your pencil marks. Instead, use another piece of string tied securely to a nail at one end and held perpendicular at its other end. Use this tool to make sure all your measurements are true (and straight) before marking them on the slab.

Mark the stringer locations on the slab

  • To mark the stringer locations on the slab, use a level.
  • To make sure the stringer is level, use a level.
  • To make sure the stringer is straight and plumb (vertical), use a level as well.
  • Drill holes in each step at least 3 inches deep using a hammer drill, with bits that are larger than your rebar steel posts will be so they’ll slide easily into place when filled with cement later on.
  • Place 1 foot long sections of rebar into each drilled hole and fill them with concrete up to their tops; let dry overnight before moving forward.

Cut and install the stringers

Now that you’ve marked out the position of your stringers, you can begin to cut them to length. The first step is to measure the length of each stringer based on where you want it to end up. In most cases, this will be at a distance equal to one tread plus another several inches. For example, if I wanted my final stringer to terminate at the far edge of my deck surface, I would measure its length as follows:

Once you’ve measured out where each stringers will terminate (and added some extra space for good measure), use two-by-fours connected with screws or other fasteners in order to create a temporary frame around which you can safely place your saw blade while cutting them down into shape. Be sure not cut too much off at once—you may need more material than what’s there right now.

Drill a hole for the hand rail post

Now you need to drill a hole for the hand rail post. Use a cordless drill with a 3/8 inch bit and drill the hole at an angle that is 6 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.

Drilling concrete can be tough work so make sure you wear safety equipment including eye protection, heavy-duty gloves, long sleeve shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. If you’re drilling multiple holes throughout your project consider using a blade cutter instead of drilling each time because it will save you time and effort in the long run.

Pour concrete from the slab to the bottom step

  • Make sure you have enough concrete mix.
  • Make sure you have enough water.
  • Make sure you have enough time. This project will take several days, so be aware of your schedule beforehand and make any necessary allowances for it. If the weather is nice, this may be a good time to invite some friends over to help with the actual pouring process; they can provide extra manpower while also helping with morale
  • Be sure that everyone involved is familiar with how concrete works (it takes a long time). You’re going to want them all on board with this idea from early on so nobody gets discouraged or frustrated when things start moving slowly—remember: patience is key here.

Pour the treads

After pouring the first step, use a level to ensure that it’s perfectly straight. If it’s not, you may need to remove some of the concrete and pour again (but don’t throw your bucket of concrete away!). If you have trouble keeping your eyes open while using the level, try wearing safety goggles or glasses while you pour each tread.

Next, smooth out the surface with a trowel so that it looks nice and flat. You can also use a broom to sweep away excess concrete around where you poured each step earlier in this section if needed—you don’t want any loose pieces falling into your driveway or sidewalk.

After smoothing out all three steps, use a hose on high pressure mode with plenty of water coming out at once (or even better: use a power washer) to clean off any dust left behind on each tread as well as along edges where each step meets up with another one below it—this will help keep dirt from collecting later when people walk across them often enough for their footsteps alone cause rainwater runoff which would otherwise wash away dirt particles from existing between layers but since those layers aren’t connected yet there really isn’t anywhere else for them

Great steps to follow.

There are some important rules to follow when working with concrete.

  • Be sure to wear protective clothing and eye protection at all times when using concrete or other heavy tools.
  • If you have any doubts about whether something is safe, don’t do it! You can easily hurt yourself or someone else if you’re not careful. If a step seems too dangerous for your skill level, find someone more experienced who can help you out instead of trying to do everything yourself.
  • Have an extra set of tools on hand just in case one breaks or gets lost during the project (this will save time).
  • Wait until all materials are ready for use before beginning any physical labor such as mixing cement or hammering wood together with steel nails (if this isn’t already done yet).


We have given you a great step by step guide to building your own concrete stairs. The process is not difficult but it does require some planning, patience and precision. We hope that the steps were clear and easy to follow. If you have any questions or comments please let us know in the comments section below

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