Q:

What are some tips for building outdoor stone stairs?

A:

Quick Answer

Three important elements of building stone steps are preparing the steps' foundation, using properly shaped stones and choosing the right stones to use. The slope and width of the steps should reflect the path's grade and level of traffic.

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Full Answer

Three strong types of stone for use in stair building are basalt, granite and slate. If a diamond-bladed circular saw is not available to cut the stones, buy stones that have already been cut. The steps' foundation can be cleared with a shovel. In areas with loose soil, many builders build a frame with wooden braces such as 2-by-4s before filling the base with loose gravel and mortar and laying the flagstones on top. Make sure the stones slope downward so that rain runs down the steps rather than in between them. Place steps far enough apart to make walking up or down them comfortable, while matching them to the slope of the land upon which you're installing them.

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