Steps are how we move from one level of paving to another. They may be single or a flight of multiple steps. This page looks at the principles involved in step design and construction, and some of the materials commonly used. Steps consist of a sequence of Risers and Treads, as illustrated opposite.
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Perfect for strong, durable builds with a contemporary look, timber sleepers are a fantastic alternative to traditional materials for building garden steps. Durable, strong and versatile by nature, the way you use timber sleepers in your garden will depend entirely on your space, design and needs.
Available in a wealth of shapes and sizes, sleepers are a great landscaping choice as they form the riser and tread of each step without the need for many additional materials. Try using sleepers to maximise their width and length as a simple step up or down to grass or build frames to maximise the height, creating deep steps with a gentle slope.
You can also find a number of handy tread-to-riser conversion calculators online, which will give you suggested dimensions for comfortable stairs. As sleeper steps are partially submerged, we recommend using hardwood sleepers for their long life and durability against decay. If you choose to use softwood sleepers which are a more budget-friendly option, we recommend treating the timber with suitable finishes and maintaining the wood as necessary to prevent wear.
Once you have your design and materials ready, you can begin preparing your build area. Depending on the height of your steps, you may choose to set the first frame in a concrete footing.
You may either choose to excavate soil at either side of your step so the sides of your frame slot into the earth; or use your shovel to excavate the soil, shaping rough stairs that the frames will then sit on. Ensure you are wearing protective workwear , then measure, mark and scribe each sleeper with a quick square before cutting to size with your circular saw. We recommend using heavy-duty exterior timber screws for garden landscaping.
If you choose to work with hardwood sleepers you will need to pilot each fixing hole first and use stainless steel timber screws to avoid natural tannin corrosion. For added protection against rot and decay, we recommend generously brushing cut ends and untreated timber with wood preserver before leaving to dry.
Begin by slotting the first frame in or onto your prepared trench. This will be heavy so you may need another pair of hands around. If you have used a concrete footing, you should allow this to dry for at least 24 hours before you begin securing the frames. Use your tape measure to check your dimensions and the tread of the step, then use a spirit level to ensure the cross length is perfectly level.
Continue excavating each trench and layering the steps until you are happy with the incline of the structure. Remember to use your spirit level to check that each frame is level and straight as you work. Use small timber offcuts, paving slabs or concrete blocks to level things out for the perfect incline. This can be done in any number of ways. Drive picket stakes into the ground on the inside of each frame, then drive a fixing through the back of each picket and into the sleepers for added support.
Where the sides of your steps run on top of each other, use an offcut of timber or fixing plates to join them together. Hammer multi-purpose steel rods down through each layer of steps to secure the frames to one another. For additional strength inside the right angle joints, angle brackets offer further support and can be fixed in place with timber screws.
Available in a huge choice of sizes, we recommend going for fixings that are as large as possible to prevent any shifting. We recommend filling each step with a layer of hardcore rubble, then layering an even amount of sub-base.
Use your shovel to spread the materials then compact well with a tamper or an offcut of your sleeper. The top of your steps can be completed in a number of ways depending on your budget and preferred look. Sleeper steps can become slippery over time when wet. To combat this, you may choose to pressure wash the steps regularly to clear any grime and dirt; try sprinkling coarse grit sand over the surface; cutting shallow notches into the tread for added grip, or stapling wire mesh to each step.
Depending on the type of sleeper you use, you can also find products with added UV protection and enhanced water-resistant properties. For more ideas, advice and guidance on working with sleepers , visit the ideas and advice hub for inspirational builds and techniques. My Account. Order line. Constructing sleeper stairs. Deciding on your design. Preparing and cutting the sleepers. Placing the sleepers. Securing the sleepers. Filling the steps.
Stone walls can serve several functions in your landscape. They may surround and accentuate patios and walkways. They may break up sloping land into usable flat surfaces or guard against erosion and deterioration. They may serve as a backdrop or enclosure for a normal or raised bed garden. Whether containing gardens or defining living spaces on your property, garden walls and retaining walls are a key part of hardscapes.
The California Building Code provides basic requirements for residential stairs. Landscape stairs are not required to comply with the requirements of.
Some cantilever from a wall ten stories off the ground, with no handrail. Some lead to the roofs of houses, while others lead nowhere at all. These 14 sets of extreme exterior stairs add visual interest to otherwise unremarkable buildings, enable hikers to scale mountains, make residential exteriors more functional and exist purely to delight and confuse. Building a home onto a steep mountainside can be a challenging proposition, but architect Alvaro Leite Siza came up with a clever solution for this modern residence in Penafiel, Portugal. The Tolo House is a series of concrete volumes that cascade down the cliff — with a set of stairs running from one rooftop level to the next. Replacing a rope bridge for hikers that was destroyed in a rockslide, the suspended bridge made of wood and steel spans a distance of 56 metersThis observation deck looking out over a landscape laid waste by coal mining is meant to be a stark sculptural landmark. The structure basically functions as nothing more than a rusted-looking cabinet for a zig-zagging set of stairs that lead to the overlook at the top.
We have been blessed with many things in our lives -- three wonderful children, a beautiful grandson, jobs we enjoy, full heads of in my case, mostly gray hair -- but one gift we did not receive, particularly in our home of the past plus years, is a flat yard. The quarter acre is, quite accurately, one sustained slope, which makes half the lawn mowing easy, the other half a chore. And it also means some terracing to get the most out of the yard. And, steps so we can avoid, as much as possible, what my son called my "old man fall. Marcia originally put in steps about 17 years ago, with my primary contribution -- OK, my only contribution -- being working enough hours that I was never in her way.
Tame a slope in your yard or add interest to a garden pathway with this wood and gravel staircase.
You already know how to build natural stone steps in terms of each individual part of the process. You won't need any new skills to get this done, just our guide on what to do and when to do it as a whole. Building stone steps is a fun and exciting project. Once you're done, you'll be rewarded with an aesthetically pleasing set of stone steps. They look elegant in your yard, garden, leading up to your patio, or in the middle of a path on a steep bank.
The layout of the slope may suggest two flights of steps at right angles, with a landing in between. On a long flight, make a landing after about every ten steps to provide a resting place. On flights with high, loose soil at the sides, you will need to build low brick retaining walls. The instructions given here are for steps built with brick risers and concrete paving slab treads, but the method is similar whatever material you use. Possibly also a bolster. Materials: Roadbase — one barrowload fills about 0. Possibly also sharp sand.
Most are about 2 feet wide, with a 7-inch riser height and a tread depth around 10 inches. Building Landscaping Stairs on a.
The project in question is an apartment building with the first floor about 30 inches below grade. The first floor suites have exterior patios at floor level with vertical retaining walls on each side to hold back the surrounding landscaping. The retaining "wall" opposite the patio doors is built of 4" x 4" landscape timbers assembled in the form of a set of steps with a
Perfect for strong, durable builds with a contemporary look, timber sleepers are a fantastic alternative to traditional materials for building garden steps. Durable, strong and versatile by nature, the way you use timber sleepers in your garden will depend entirely on your space, design and needs. Available in a wealth of shapes and sizes, sleepers are a great landscaping choice as they form the riser and tread of each step without the need for many additional materials. Try using sleepers to maximise their width and length as a simple step up or down to grass or build frames to maximise the height, creating deep steps with a gentle slope. You can also find a number of handy tread-to-riser conversion calculators online, which will give you suggested dimensions for comfortable stairs. As sleeper steps are partially submerged, we recommend using hardwood sleepers for their long life and durability against decay.
Stairs can be an integral feature in many landscapes. In the right hands, they become a palette where creativity runs wild and plants soften rigid construction materials.
REScheck is a software application that has been created by the Federal Department of Energy for demonstrating compliance with building envelope requirements of various State building codes. Code requires guardrail in residential structures be a minimum of 36 inches. Here we have collected some of our most helpful videos, but it is far from all of them. We've tried to summarize them and put them all together for you. Missing or poorly lit exit signs.
There is often a need for steps as an access to a deck or for use between stairways can be much the same as open detailing which avoids trapped moisture or exposed end grain of the members should be used. A basic open stairway consists of the two stair stringers and the treads. The supporting members of a stair are these stringers which are used in pairs spaced at up to about I metre apart. The overall height of steps from ground line to deck or landing should not exceed 1 metre.