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We dug out the position of the steps then poured concrete for a base. Bricks were used for the risers and patio pavers for the steps.
Calculate the number of steps by dividing the height of the slope by that of one riser (one riser equals 4 to 8 inches; total rise should be 17 to 18 inches).
To measure the slope height, place a peg at the top of the slope and a post at the bottom. Tie string between the two so that it is level with top of the slope. Measure the distance between the string and ground level.
Use string and pegs to mark the sides of the steps and along the fronts of the treads. Dig out the steps and compact the soil for each tread.
Make a footing 6 inches deep and twice the brick width. Fill with concrete over a 4-inch base of crushed stone.
Lay bricks for the first riser on the set concrete footing. Use string to check that the bricks are level (image 1). Fill risers with crushed stone to the height of the bricks. Set stones on 1/2 inch of mortar (image 2), and leave a small gap between them. Mark the position of the second riser on the stones (image 3), and mortar bricks in place. Fill in and set treads. Mortar between the stones as you lay them.
Other Types of Steps
You can also create steps using concrete or gravel and edging boards, using a method similar to that shown for creating a gravel path. Excavate the site and position boards around each step as shown. Then infill with 4 inches of crushed stone, and lay concrete or gravel on top to create the treads.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
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