Paver stairs/steps

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Scag48, Jul 29, 2001.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Hey guys. I've got a question. I did a search but nothing came up. Anyway, I've got a friend that needs a walkway down a hill along the side of their house to a the front. The front isn't really a yard, just a bunch of weeds. I know they want something done there so I'm in the process of finding out what needs to be done so I can get some plans ready. Anyway, about the walkway. She was thinking pavers, and since it's not a highly used walkway, they don't want to spend a ton of money on it. My question is do I need to put timbers along the edges and 2x2's down to make the front edges of the steps? Could I cut the steps with dirt from the existing slope, put down gravel and landscape dust instead of putting forms for the steps? If anybody knows what I'm talking about, can I get a reasonable answer? This would save time and money so I was thinkin it would be a bit of an alternative. Thanks in advance guys!
     
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    What kind of slope are we talking about?
     
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Well, I haven't measured the degrees, but it's fairly sloped. Next time I go up there I will get a pic. Does that help any? I'm gonna say maybe about 20-30 degrees, maybe a little more. Thanks!
     
  4. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Some segmental retaining wall systems make step systems or can easily be configured into steps. These can be used in conjunction with the pavers without pouring any concrete. Try Versa-Lok, Keystone and Belgard Celtic for starters. Don't know which you have in your area.
     
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Well, one person's 'ton' can be another person's 'ounce.'

    If she doesn't want to spend a lot of money, pavers may not be the best choice. Did you talk budget with her?

    If the budget is small, you might to well to have to cut natural stone steps placed in a crushed stone walkway. Much more cost-effective, if it's rarely going to be walked on.

    If they want pavers, then don't scrimp on the steps. An expensive project can look cheap in a hurry if this is botched. V-Lok, Pisa, Keystone, or some other ret wall units for steps would be appropriate.

    Good luck!
     
  6. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Hello,

    To start, I would stay away from any sort of construction that involves '2x2' steps or any other wood. Possibley using 6x6 ties would be OK, but I am with lannelle on using a wall block with a cap or a bullnose paver.

    Also, natural stone may be a possibility. Use large pieces, like 4 ft by 1 ft by 8 inches thick. They can be used to create a very natural look in combination with the paving stones.

    In any way, steps, if you want them done right, are not cheap to do. If you 'cheap out' on a set of steps, it will show later down the road as they will fail, maybe even just a few months down the road for that matter.

    steveair
     
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Hey guys. Thanks for the great ideas! I think I'll go the retaining wall block route. I have seen that done and have a pretty good idea how they work. So you just put the bottom one down, and then put the bottom edge of the next one on the top rear edge of the first one? Seems pretty easy to do. I know skimping would be a mistake so when I go to bid it I'll make it clear. I don't know if I'll get the job, just thinking about how I'm going to do it so I can present the idea when I go to look at it in more depth. I haven't talked to her on how much she wants to spend, but that will hopefully be done in the next week or so. I need a good landscape job to get me off and running. Thanks again guys!
     
  8. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    YIKES! - :eek:


    Scag, there's quite a bit more to retaining walls/steps than that. Run some searches here on retaining walls to get some info - base prep is very important. Stacking them IS easy, but that represents about 2% of the work you do to build steps like that. You can also get literature from your local suppliers of block.
     
  9. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Hello,

    Others may not agree with me here, but if you use retaining wall block and are going to build steps into a walk, I always try to build a 'U' shaped step (the face of the step being the bottom of the U and the sides being under neath the pavers behind the step face), sort of forming a catch basin for each tread. I've built steps before by just making a wall 4 ft wide and having the pavers come right up to the back of it, but it seems over time the edge where the pavers meet the wall (at the corners) washes out over time. Just some advice I have found over the years.

    stevair
     
  10. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    I think you'd be better off doing something like this but on a smaller scale. [​IMG] I don't think you need to be 6' to 7' wide but for steps I like 3'-4'.
     

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