Building stone stairs may be intimidating at first but is not that complicated. I will explain in this article what are the steps to building the stone stairs you are dreaming about.

I am sure you can do it!

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Here are the things you really need:

  • Stone steps
  • Step Riser
  • Back riser
  • Gravel
  • Galvanized spike nails
  • Plastic clips
  • Manual gravel compactor
  • Mechanical plate compactor
  • Hammer drill
  • Stone cutter
  • Construction sand
  • Broom
  • Lever
  • Sweat and patience

Here is how all the bits and pieces are fitting together:

Cross Section

And here are the steps for building your stone stairs:

1. Make sure the base thoroughly compacted and perfectly leveled.

2. Nail the first row of step risers to the base and seat the back risers

Nailing Step Riser

3. Attach the plastic clips to the stone steps, glue and seat the stone steps on top of the first row of step risers and back risers.

4. Fill with gravel to the height of the first row of stone steps and thoroughly compact the gravel by using the mechanical compactor. Check that the compacted gravel is properly leveled and at the height of the first row of stone steps. If not, add or remove gravel as appropriate and compact further

Seating First Step

5. Repeat the above steps for all subsequent rows of stone steps with the exception of the last one
At the last row, add gravel to the level of the row of risers less the thickness of the top patio stone. In general the thickness of the patio stone is equal to the thickness of the stone step.

Seating Last Step

6. Add lime stone and make sure the top of the gravel is properly leveled. Then seat the top patio stone according to you patio stone layout, starting from one corner. Please be aware that some patio stairs designs may require a stone cutter in order to make all the pieces to fit together.

7. Add sand in between the top patio stones only and wipe out the excess by using a broom. I have always used construction sand for this purpose although you could use polymeric sand which may better inhibit the growth of vegetation in between the patio stones. Since the polymer-based sand tends to be quite expensive and not fully proved, I have always used organic alternative and very effective ways for getting rid of unwanted vegetation.

Here is how my patio stone stairs look like.

Yep, this is what I wanted!

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