Building Stairs

P1130884Slowly but steadily our backyard is taking shape. This weekend we achieved another major milestone by completing construction of a set of stairs. They provide easier access to the terraced levels and also serve to retain the earth at the end of each level. We’re really pleased with the result: the stairs are solid, look great, and give the entire backyard a much more finished look.

Building stone stairs is simple in principle, but it takes skill and experience to do it well. We were lucky to have an excellent landscaper, recommended to us by a neighbor. He knew what he was doing, and – most importantly – understood what we were trying to achieve in terms of overall design and look.

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First, cut the steps into the slope.

 

 

 

 

 

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Spread gravel to provide an even foundation for the stones and provide drainage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Building a stacked stone wall to retain the exposed part of the slope. We used granite for this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now comes the tricky bit – selecting the perfect stone for each stair, and carefully adjusting it to fit. We used Huckleberry for the risers. Over time, the stone will weather to a tan color with golden highlights.

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