Paver Steps/Stairway

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Scag48, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Hey guys. I've got a bit of thinking to do. I've gotten my first big landscaping job (YAY!) and am currently in the process of clearing the property to make way for the new landscape to come. I've got a bit of a dilema on what to do about some stairs to do. I was thinking pavers or something. I don't want to use timbers if I don't have to because it's quite labor intensive to cut them. I was thinking about cutting the slope for the stairs, putting the proper base in, then leveling and laying pavers and putting timbers on the lip and lower edge of the step, otherwise the dirt would crumble away underneath the pavers. What should I do? Do you guys have any advise/ideas on this? I'm stumped. I need to figure it out within the next week or so when I start designing. Thanks alot guys!
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Go to and look around. Order up some of their literature, too. They've got some great images of different designs/ideas.

    Or go to your local paver dealers and ask to see some pics or get some ideas. It's in their best interest to help you, and you'll likely find them willing to do all they can to assist you.
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Remember that you have to retain the sides of stairs as well as the riser. Pavers won't do it alone on a long term basis.
    Go around and look at as many landscape steps as possible. They are more difficult than they first appear if you have not done them before.
    A fast simple and decent step to start out with is a solid tie step. Cut four pieces of tie to the width of the step. Nail them to one another as you stack them up. Lay the stack over, level it, and you have your first step. Do it again over lapping the first. You can go straight or curved - steep or gradual. It will look decent and it is simple. ...untill you want to try something more involved.
    Cutting a tie will be less labor intensive than trying steps out of pavers for the first time.
    ...just one way...check out others.
  4. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    There are several good step setups out there with the various retaining wall companies. Rockwood makes a specific step block in several colors. Makes an excellent step. Avoid the wood ties with the pavers if at all possible. Wood only rots over time, treated or not. Using a concrete product with the pavers is a whole lot more compatible.

    Doug Austreim
  5. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    I don't use timbers at all due to their longevity (or lack of) and use Unilock products exclusively. Depending on your slope rate, Siena Stone may be the least confusing to use for your first time out but will require a machine to place them. These do a better job of holding the dirt back on the sides of the tread than the steps made of Pisa II and give your pavers a more solid base to ride on.

    Since this is your first job, I'd try to get someone in the business to look at it with you, or perhaps your supply representative. On my first stair job, which also served as a retaining wall, I made a miscalculation and ended up getting only the cost of materials back on it, a lesson I'll never forget. Stairs are tricky, plan carefully!

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