How to Build Landscaping Stone Steps
Landscaping stone steps will add a dramatic entrance to your home or backyard entertaining area. Working on the landscaping of your home is a great way to relax and also add some function and beauty to your home. Installing stone steps requires some time and labor, but it is not difficult. With the right materials, and tools, you can build a nice looking set of landscaping stone steps in a few weekends.
Step 1- Choose Your Stone
There are different types of stones available for stone steps. You can even create your own out of cement if you prefer. However, many home centers today carry a lot of different styles of stone for the specific purpose of building steps. They should be flat on one side to make it easy to use. River stone, flagstone, or prefabricated stone are all available and make good choices.
Step 2- Measure Area for Steps
Use your tape measure and get the area prepared for digging. Measure for the width of your steps. Mark with stakes so you know where to stop digging. Measure for the overall height of your stone steps. You may also use landscaping paint to give you an outline to dig.
Step 3- Dig out Steps
After you have your measurements, and the ground is staked out, you can begin to dig out the steps. Dig the steps to the width you need while keeping a gradation to your steps. They will need to be dug out in a step-like shape.
Step 4- Level Steps
An important part of your stone steps will be the part that you do not see. As you dig out the shape of the steps, you will need to make sure they are level. After the rough part has been dug out, use a hoe to level off the groundwork.
Step 5- Lay Stones for Steps
Once the groundwork is completed, you can begin laying down the stones. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. As you lay the stones, keep them level from the start. Depending on the type of stone you are using, this may require some sand or smaller stones to use as fill. Work the stones until they are level and in the configuration you desire.
Step 6- Mix Mortar
Once you have the landscaping stone steps situated the way you want them, mix ready made cement to use as mortar. Fill in the cracks around the stones to keep them from moving. Smooth cement with the end of trowel to give it a finished look.
Step 7- Add Decorative Touch
Stone steps alone do not finish off your landscaping. Add some shrubs, flowers, or other plants to accent the new stone walkway. Solar lights or a border of impatiens or other small ground cover will set off your stone steps and make them look like an integrated part of your landscaping.