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View Full Version : how to build stone steps??


opplandscape
03-23-2005, 11:41 PM
I have a customer wanting natural looking stone steps and pathway for their new house. It's a clean canvas. No lawn - we're doing the whole thing.. We're fairly new at this, but will be able to handle it with some knowledge. What's the best way to build the steps? Where do you think pricing should be? The rise is roughly nine feet and the run is about thirty-five feet??

northmichigan
03-24-2005, 09:42 AM
I have a customer wanting natural looking stone steps and pathway for their new house. It's a clean canvas. No lawn - we're doing the whole thing.. We're fairly new at this, but will be able to handle it with some knowledge. What's the best way to build the steps? Where do you think pricing should be? The rise is roughly nine feet and the run is about thirty-five feet??
i have done steps like this before and would figure on 18 steps fourteen inches deep with two small landings[to catch your breath on the way up.]
use crushed gravel called road base or 9A at least four inches thick with 5oz woven landscape fabric underneath.the rise of each step would be a single block of stone 6" by 8" by the desired width[i'd prefer at least 28" but 36
" would be better.] fill behind the riser with gravel and set a matching flagstone 6" wide to give you the 14". on the landings use flagstone to curve the staircase for visual interest. the sides of the steps could be secured with fieldsones or the quarried block stone.
i could do the project for about 4 grand depending on the soil type and stone that the home owner picks. compaction is everything in dry-set stone and must be done in stages probably by handtamper.
good luck.
mj

cgland
03-24-2005, 10:22 AM
We did a project exactly like that this year. We used Limestone castle steps. We dug the area out, placed our first step on compacted aggregate, then backfilled behind each step with stone and leveled and compacted each tread. We did leave a slight pitch forward for run-off. I think I have a pic.

Chris

Bull_11
03-24-2005, 11:09 AM
Great looking steps, Chris! I'm assuming you did all of the hardscaping work at that site?

cgland
03-24-2005, 02:29 PM
Yes! We did everything ..... the hardscaping, softscaping, and lighting. Thank you for the compliments.

Chris

Sean Adams
03-24-2005, 08:01 PM
Chris....excellent work. My wife wants your number, which bothered me at first.... but then I realized it was becasue of those steps :rolleyes:

opplandscape
03-24-2005, 11:28 PM
Thanks mj...that gives me a good idea of what to do...we'll see if the customer likes that look.. Not sure if they'll go for the risers though. I think they want a more natural approach like with solid steps...... I appreciate the reply.

northmichigan
03-24-2005, 11:37 PM
Thanks mj...that gives me a good idea of what to do...we'll see if the customer likes that look.. Not sure if they'll go for the risers though. I think they want a more natural approach like with solid steps...... I appreciate the reply.
the stone risers are called castle stone and are a natural quarried stone that has a smooth top.
mj

opplandscape
03-24-2005, 11:38 PM
Chris - I think that looks more like what my customer had in mind... about what size are the steps? What equipment did you need to handle them? What would you estimate a job like that to run (steps only) customer price?? I'm at a loss on what to charge. I don't want to over charge and of course I'm in this for the money.. Thanks. very nice job by the way..

opplandscape
03-24-2005, 11:43 PM
the stone risers are called castle stone and are a natural quarried stone that has a smooth top.
mj
Got it....the riser is also the front half of the step...and the flagstone sets in behind it..I misunderstood...

cgland
03-25-2005, 12:55 AM
Sean - I do make house calls...LOL :p Thanks for the compliment.

Opp - The steps vary, but typically they are about 48" x 48" give or take a few inches. We used a Cat 305 mini ex to place them. We used heavy duty straps and placed them with the mini. To do the steps from excavation to placing the final step you can count on a half day with 3 guys. Granted, we had a skid loader and the mini ex running, but I think with 2 guys you can do it in less than a day. As far as pricing, I charged the materials plus 10%, rental fees (even though we own the machines), and labor, which I billed out at 20 man hours at $65/man hour. I think the total for the steps was $4,800 or something like that.

Chris

MidAtlantic
03-27-2005, 05:22 PM
CG.
Who is your supplier for those steps? What do they charge per ton?

neversatisfiedj
06-29-2005, 07:32 PM
Hey Chris are they flagstone steps and how much was the install for the steps ? Great job