Patio steps can be as elaborate or as simple as you like, but the foundation must be secure. Concrete reinforced with wire netting provides an ideal, durable foundation.
Step 1 – Survey the Location
Using concrete for something like steps requires building a mold or form in which to pour the concrete. The form should take the shape of a flat tray about six inches deep. Measure the location exactly so that as little adjustment as possible will be necessary when the concrete has set.
Step 2- Build the Form Supports
The form for the steps should be set up so that one side of the form is the retaining wall of the patio. The supports for the form will be removed once the concrete has set. The form supports only need to hold in place while the concrete is poured.
Step 3 – Position the form
Put the form in place and put the wire reinforcing frame inside.
Step 4 – Mix and Pour the Concrete
The concrete should be quick drying and mixed to a stiff consistency. Pour the concrete into the form. You will find that the stiffness of the mix and the presence of the reinforcing netting will prevent it from flowing to the bottom of the form.
Step 5 – Allow to Dry
Allow the concrete at least two days to dry thoroughly. Spray the surface with water while it is drying.
Step 6 – Build the Permanent Supports
The permanent supports can be built with bricks or shuttering can be installed to create a concrete wall as a support. To build the support against the concrete you will remove the outer edge of the form to expose the bottom of the concrete.
Step 7 – Allow to Dry
Allow the supports two days to dry also. If built with concrete they will need to be sprayed with water while drying.
Step 8 – Remove all Shuttering and Formwork
You should now have a concrete ramp that is fixed to the supporting wall of the patio and two supports.
Step 9 – Create a Step Form
To create the steps on the ramp you will build a form that will hold concrete that is poured for the steps. The form should allow all the steps to be poured at the same time.
Step 10 – Fit the Form
Fit the form over the concrete ramp. The step risers molds should now be clearly in position and the form should be fixed flush with the surface of the concrete ramp. Pour concrete into each section of the form to create the individual steps. The fluid nature of the concrete will ensure that each step is horizontal.
Step 11 – Allow to Dry
Give the steps two days to dry. Sprinkle them with water occasionally. Once you have the basic concrete steps you can check to ensure that any gaps are filled. The concrete steps will be functional but need to be finished off to match and fit in with the patio.