How to Lay Out Brick Steps
Building brick steps is not a simple project, but the following steps explain the process. There are various methods to build brick steps, but the basics of calculation and brick layout remain the same. You have to determine how much you want the brick steps to rise and how much you want them to stop and run.
Step 1 – Determine How You Want to Build Brick Steps
Normally people build brick steps with different box forms from 2-by-6-inch or other board sizes. They then stack these over each other prior to pouring concrete. If you choose this method, you should be aware the top step and bottom step may end up with different measurements.
You will be able to have total control of the rise and run of the brick steps when you build them with 2-by-12-inch boards as the stair stringer. This method will also save you money because it uses less concrete and lumber. It may save you time by preventing stair and rise problems.
Step 2 – Measure the Height and Width
To determine the layout of the brick steps, measure the height from the ground to the top of the porch, deck or whatever place you want to build the brick steps. Next measure the brick’s width.
Step 3 – Calculate the Step Run
Step run is the surface of the brick steps. The standard measurement of a brick is 8 inches (length) by 4 inches (width) by 2 1/2 inches (height). If you want to put three bricks (in width) with an additional 2-inch "flap" hanging out on every step, the per-step run will be 10 inches, calculated by 4 inches (width) times three bricks, then minus 2 inches for the flap.
Step 4 – Calculate the Step Rise
Step rise is the height of the steps. If you put 3 bricks on top of one another as step rise, the calculation will be 7 1/2 inches. This is based on the standard brick measurement of 2 1/2 inches in height, calculated by 2 1/2 inches (height) times three bricks.
Step 5 – Calculate the Numbers of Rises and Stairs
Divide the height of the deck or patio (also known as the stair rise) by the step rise. For example, if the height of your deck or patio is 37 1/2 inches, 37.5 divided by 7.5 equals 5 rises. This means you will need five rises and four stairs. For calculation of stairs, you always use one less stair than rises.
Step 6 – Build the Brick Steps
Cut out two stringers. Level and nail them into place. Fill the open area beneath the stringer with dirt. Compact and press the dirt in and pour the concrete. After the concrete hardens, remove the riser forms and install the bricks.