Curving climbing walkway questions.

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Shady Brook, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    I have to do a walkway that climbs aproximately four feet over a distance of twenty four feet. The customer prefers flagstone, but would look at other options. The house design will allow for flag or tumbled pavors. Initially she wanted a sloping walk without steps, but I fear that the grade is too steep. If I go with steps with Flag...which I have not done before, what would you fellas suggest? I want a four foot walk, and some of the natural steps I have used vary in length with some only 36". I would love to hear your suggestions.

    Thanks so much.
    AI
     
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    Here is a walk we did a couple of years ago. The grade was not as steep as yours, but the idea is the same.

    Chris

    PICT0111.jpg
     
  3. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,315

    I like the example cg gave. You can either make a bunch of long steps (3' run) or have groupings like in the pic. I'd go with 3' steps but I don't know what the site is like so I can't really give an accurate opinion. I'm just going from what Ive seen in the past.
     
  4. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    We are doing a job a little like you describe. Our rise is 24' and the run is about 185'. The customer decided on 2'x3' square cut slabs for the steps ( there are over 45 of them ) and wanted flagstone pieces in the intitial 13' x14' entry patio and flagstone set on landings between the steps. Most of the so-called landscapers around here use a thin ( 1 1/2" ) flagstone on whatever base they can get away with. We chose to excavate the base out properly and chose a flag product that is approximately 3"-4" thick. Alot of cutting and chipping to make it look right, but the thickness was important to me because it seems to be more stable after it is set, and these pieces being smaller in the landings yet thicker do not move. It has been at least twice the work of pavers, mixing and matching. With pavers, you have a uniform material to work with, and if this is your first job, I would tend to lean that way vs. a natural flag product. Either way, plan out/stake out your rise and runs along with landings.......Doing stairs is not a job that you want as your first rodeo....Good luck....
     
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    cg, that is beautiful work.

    I really like the idea! Now are those 36" wide, or 48"? I would really like to go 48" as it is a front entry. Are those main steps called snap steps? I see now that I can get those in 48" by 18" at my supplier. I assume they could be used with either flag or tumbled pavors. That just might be the ticket! Thanks for the help fellas, any other input is welcome as well.
     
  6. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    Another thought or two.......we set alot of 3' x 5' natural slab steps along with the guillotined 2'x3' slabs. The height of any of these products varies considerably. I hand pick all my slabs and make sure they are as close to 7" to 7 1/2" thick for a proper legal rise. Make sure your supplier can readily get extras in case you run short. Moving these pieces around can be a chore 'cause they are not light in weight. I like to set them with a track-hoe if at all possible - they just seem to be easier on the back with the use of diesel and hydraulics.
     
  7. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    Those are 36", but you should be able to get them in a multitude of sizes. They are called guillotined treads here. 3 snapped sides and the back is saw cut. Thanks.

    chris
     
  8. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Thanks Rockset and Cg!

    Yeah, I am sure those big boys are going to be unwieldy. Placing them will require some precision as well. I am going to need 7 or 8 to get to my elevation if they are near 7" thick. I will have to check with my supplier to see what he has available. This time of year he may not have an abundance. I am not sure how this is going to look with that many steps. Provided the steps are in the 18" range from front to back, I will only have about 18 to 14" for pavors or flagstone before the I reach the base of the next step. I don't know how that will look. I could probably place them with my small backhoe, though I do not have a grabber to pick them up, and I don't know how a strap would work, especially when it is time to remove the strap.

    I have done some walkways and patios with pavors, and some walks with Flag, but steps are new to me other then large outcropping steps. I am sure it will be a bear with some trial and error, sore backs, and moving things more times then I should, but I think it would be a great learning experience.

    I am currious about the staking and leveling process. I assume I would use fabric and crush and run as my primary base with some slag or fine limestone to use for leveling. I am not sure how you fellas get a compacted tier to place your steps on without caving in the next level? Do you guys stake and excavate all of it, and then start at the bottom compacting your base and place your steps and any pavors before moving up to the next level where you would again begin laying base and compacting?

    Thanks for all your help.
    AI
     
  9. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    You can set them with a strap with no proablem. You want to set all your steps first then go do the pavers in between them.
     
  10. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    Yea, straps work dandy.......better than lifting by hand for sure. I start at the bottom and go to the top. I overlay my slab steps one on top of the other with a well compacted base under each one.
     

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