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View Full Version : Best Options For Stairs


JimLewis
02-18-2010, 07:02 PM
So aside from options involving SRW blocks and Pavers, what are some methods you guys use for creating a stairway or even just steps down a fairly steep hillside. Let's assume you're not doing any other hardscape work. Maybe just other landscaping. But there is a need for some sort of stairs or steps going downhill to a lower area of the landscape.

We've done staircases with wood timbers enclosed on each step with compacted gravel laid inside the treads;large flat stone steps, basalt curb stone steps, just rows of single 6"x6" or 8"x8" timbers with gravel behind each step (nothing on sides). But I always struggle with which way to go and I am always looking for something that is affordable and doesn't take too much labor or expense to install.

I'd love to hear how you guys do these and post your photos if you can too.

JimLewis
02-18-2010, 07:04 PM
For instance, here's one example that's common in this part of the country; Basalt Curb Stone steps;


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JimLewis
02-18-2010, 07:05 PM
Here's another option we do sometimes. I borrowed this photo from the web. But it's similar to how we do these sometimes. Wood steps;


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Infinity Landscapes, Inc
02-18-2010, 09:20 PM
hey jim I know your not a concrete guy but somtime on steep hill sides that is the easyist way. less labor with all the leveling etc that goes into natrual stone stairs etc. how many step are you talkin aboat? fyi I flollowed you crew today with the enclosed trailer and man he was vering off onto the sholder several times. Though you would like to know. see ya out in the feild somtime soon

Danscapes
02-18-2010, 10:38 PM
Here ya go. My local hardscape distributor stocks these.

neighborguy
02-19-2010, 01:03 AM
Natural chunks of lannonstone. We can either use them as outcropping (large natural shapes) or have them split to certain dimensions (apporx. height, depth, and width). I will try to find a pic or two.

JimLewis
02-19-2010, 02:24 AM
Here ya go. My local hardscape distributor stocks these.

Yah, those are called ROCKSTEP or something like that, right? Made with GFRC? Light weight concrete product? Awesome!!! I love those. But I can't get anybody to stock them in my area. I see them in the trade journals all the time. Nobody wants to place a huge order of them. I would buy them all the time if I could get them locally. Those are killer!

stuvecorp
02-19-2010, 03:09 AM
It does seem like there isn't a huge amount of options when you put 'affordable' in the mix.:) I have proposed the big slab steps a couple times but haven't yet sold any.

Danscapes
02-19-2010, 10:08 AM
Yah, those are called ROCKSTEP or something like that, right? Made with GFRC? Light weight concrete product? Awesome!!! I love those. But I can't get anybody to stock them in my area. I see them in the trade journals all the time. Nobody wants to place a huge order of them. I would buy them all the time if I could get them locally. Those are killer!

Here is a link for them, Jim. The place I buy them from is called Reading Rock.
They cost around $100 a piece, and weight 330#.

http://www.readingrock.com/hardscapes/product.aspx?productid=43


There are not any locations on the west coast buy maybe you could get the info from them and see if there is something similiar.

JimLewis
02-19-2010, 12:16 PM
Yah, those are nice. But unavailable for me.

These are the ones I was thinking of (also unavailable)....

http://www.mysticrete.com/



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Swampy
02-19-2010, 01:31 PM
Jim I've used those steps before, not in a big project just a 2 step down. By far one of the easiest to install and the good thing is one man could pick up the piece and move it themselves. The bad is you can't cut it to fit so your stuck at either I think 36in or 48in.

JimLewis
02-19-2010, 01:37 PM
Jim I've used those steps before, not in a big project just a 2 step down. By far one of the easiest to install and the good thing is one man could pick up the piece and move it themselves. The bad is you can't cut it to fit so your stuck at either I think 36in or 48in.

Yah, I'm okay with the fixed size. Most of the hillsides we're trying to install steps on are wide open when we begin the job anyway. So it's not like I need to "squeeze" them into a tight space or anything. I just want an affordable and quick way to install steps.

Lite4
02-20-2010, 06:27 PM
Hey Jim here are some I did way back in 01 and 04. The concrete steps we did at a home show and were made by Redi-Rock. They were in Boise so they should be in your neck of the woods also. Really heavy, but sooo easy to install.

zedosix
02-24-2010, 12:57 AM
I really like working with Rocka, we use the mini x with strapping and set them in one at a time. If the hillside is real steep, well just hand and pick is about all that will work.

DVS Hardscaper
02-24-2010, 10:57 AM
The rocks steps between the houses look really Neato, Zedo! Nice, clean, and proportional to the space at hand.

But what on earth is up with those little tiny steppers at the bottom leadin into the backyards? Those steppers are disproportional and appear to be navigational challangers..........

zedosix
02-24-2010, 06:00 PM
The rocks steps between the houses look really Neato, Zedo! Nice, clean, and proportional to the space at hand.

But what on earth is up with those little tiny steppers at the bottom leadin into the backyards? Those steppers are disproportional and appear to be navigational challangers..........

Ya, I hear you on that one, my thoughts were to decrease the amount of water flowing down to the main patio-pool deck. There was also the next door neighbour that had a say in it as well.

Dirt Boy
02-25-2010, 07:59 PM
Great pic's ideas. Been looking for these ideas myself.

I was told you can cut the Mysticrete blocks, you have to be careful that the cut edge is not showing, but not supposed to create any problems with the material itself.

By the way, when you install steps, like the lannonstone, do you create a "base" similar to what you do for pavers, etc.

Thanks

zedosix
02-25-2010, 08:35 PM
When we have to cut the large rocka steps the cuts would typically go to the outside edge, if you are careful the edges can be chipped to look like the rest of the step. Base is the same except I like to sit the Rockas on granular stone not sand.