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HomeGardenHow To Build A Garden Patio Step By Step

How To Build A Garden Patio Step By Step

Concrete And Block Method For Patio Steps

How To Build Patio Steps

Profile of garden steps built using concrete and pavers

As you can see from the before photograph below, our original step was intact. So we were able to use a breaker to break out the second and third steps, and then dig down behind the first to put in a concrete base for step number two. This continued all the way up to the top.

Making garden steps from scratch and cutting in to earth

If you are starting from scratch you will need to and building your steps into virgin earth, you will need to dig a 125mm deep footing under the bottom riser to support it. Ensure that this footing is level and hard before your continue.

The footing under the first step or riser Image courtesy of

Two concrete blocks are laid flat to form the shuttering or formwork for the concrete behind. The concrete is mixed as a 6-ballast 1-cement fairly dry mix.

As its fairly dry the blocks can be laid on it almost immediately and the steps can continue in one. It would take a week if you had to wait for each step to dry before moving on to the next.

In this example the blocks and concrete are laid wider than the opening that is needed. This allows the use of the extra width as a stepped foundation for the walls up either side.

Laying blocks to form walls either side on extra width of step

The treads were cut to size and laid from the same paving as the patio. Each tread overhangs the step below and slopes downwards towards the front about 6mm.

How To Build Steps With Pavers

The process of building patio paver steps should change based on what project you have in mind. That said, its important to note that there are two main ways for building patio paver steps: the fill method and the cut-in method.

For the fill method, you have to excavate the entire area of the stairway straight back, then place and compact a 6? thick gravel base as a level foundation. Place multiple courses of SRW units to build the steps as you go. If using the cut-in method, it is not necessary to excavate the entire area. Remove loose soil, place and compact a 6 thick base of gravel under every step. When building, the height, or rise, of each step must be consistent.

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A few of our more popular fairy garden ideas include a winter wonderland, 3 easy beach-themed ideas, and a fairy garden in a tree stump. Learn how to make a fairy garden, inside or outside, with the fairy garden supplies and quick and easy do-it-yourself instructions listed below!

Related: Fairy Garden in a Tree Stump

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Place The Paver Stones

The next step is how to lay pavers. Starting at a patio corner, lay out the paver stones one by one. Work as if you’re starting at the tip of a triangle and working out.

When setting the stones, place them straight down into the sand and fit them together snugly. Make sure you’re not dragging the pavers across the sand and never stomp a paver into place. Continue until all the pavers are in place.

A Simple Stone Paver Patio

Nice Decorative Small Stone Garden Patio Steps ...

A simple stone paver patio may not stand out much but beneath the surface, theres a lot of work to be done. First, theres digging to be done, then you need to layout the landscaping fabric, to level the gravel on top, then to add a layer of sand, and only after all of this you can actually start laying the pavers. All the effort is of course worth it. If you want to find out more about what each of these steps entails, check out the complete tutorial on .

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Build A Patio Like A Pro So It Will Last For Years To Come

Its important to be prepared for all the hard work and effort required to build a paver patio but to not allow it to overwhelm you. If you follow all the steps and do everything right, this can be a very satisfying project, and what better time to do it than now? With that in mind, we think youre really going to enjoy this tutorial on which explains everything you need to know to be able to install pavers like a pro so you can build a patio that will last for years to come.

Prepare The Patio’s Foundations

To create a base for your patio you’ll need to remove any existing turf and plants and dig down to a depth that’s the total of the following:

So if your paving slabs are 25mm deep, as an example, you’d have a depth of 155mm.

Top tip: Paving suppliers should have details of the recommended base size, and this may vary from the above, so it’s always worth asking.

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Building The Rise On The Paver Slab Method

Alternatively, behind the brick or block work, scalping or hardcore can be laid and compacted. This should rise to the point the second step will be built which will ensure that the water runs off the front of the step, much in the way described above. A 6mm difference is sufficient to give you an effective slope.

Laying the paver tread when making garden steps Image courtesy of

The lay a bed of mortar to place the pavers onto and lay them with an overhang of about 25mm on the front and sides of the steps. You should use a pointing mortar between slabs if required.

In this method you build the next riser on top of the paver or tread of the step below. The disadvantage of this method is that you either have to wait for the mortar under the pavers to go off before you start the next step, or be very careful.

Unlike the image above, we always prefer to fill the void behind each riser. If this cavity is left open as shown in the image above, it can fill with water which may wash out further infill and even seep through the brickwork joints.

This in turn will stain your steps. See our project page on efflorescence.

Plant And Mold Fairy Garden Features

Flagstone Patio How To | Step-by-Step
  • Add water to prepare the soil to plant.
  • Use a garden trowel to dig a small hole for each plant.
  • Carefully cover the roots with soil.
  • Continue to mold and create the scene by building streams, ponds, walkways, and other fairy garden features into the soil and surrounding area as you plant.
  • Water the plants once they have all been planted and covered with soil.

If you have kids, allow them to help plant their faerie garden. You can see my 3-year-old daughters experienced gardening hands working in the step-by-step fairy garden photo collage above. We are raising a helper, so she has been learning how to garden since she learned to walk.

Related: 15 Ways to Raise a Helper

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Ground Covers For Shade

At the risk of compromising our job security, were willing to let you in on a little secret: You can build your own patio. If two guys from Massachusetts can learn, you can, too. Sure, it took us 30 years to perfect our craft, but were willing to share our expert techniques so that you can have instant success.

Any gardener with realistic expectations on size and material can create a solid space on which to sit and view his or her garden. The average home owner working with one or two other people should be able to install a 12-foot-square patio with stone-like pavers in one weekend. Maybe itll take you a little longer, but one thing is sure: Youll take pride in a job done right.

Hand tamper, or plate compactor

Two 1-inch-diameter metal fence pipes


Plastic or metal edging andmetal spikes, or premixed concrete

Polymeric sand

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Can You Lay Pavers On Just Sand

The vast majority of sand you see is just small pieces of rock. On some beaches it can be tiny pieces of sea shells or broken coral. In other words, compacted sand can provide a sufficient base for a paver patio thats just going to have you walking across it.

Snap A Base Line And 2 Perpendicular Lines

Patio steps

Snapping chalk lines directly in the sand is the best way to keep your bricks running straight. For the running bond pattern, youll only need a baseline and two lines perpendicular to the baseline, offset by half the width of a brick. Mark the rough center and snap a line at right angles using this method:

  • Measure out an equal distance from the center and make two more marks .
  • Cross two tapes at the same measurement .
  • Snap a chalk line from point D through point A.
  • Then snap a second line half the width of a brick from the first line.
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    Add Paver Base And Compact It Tightly

    If you purchased bags of paver base, move them into the now excavated area using your wheelbarrow. If you ordered a mass delivery from a landscape supplier, youll have to endure the tedious task of shoveling it into a wheelbarrow only to dump it out moments later.

    Dump the base in consistent, even layers throughout the entire area and rake the base to spread it evenly. Periodically pause and use your hand tamper to ensure that the paver base is tight and compact. You will also went to lightly wet the area using the mister nozzle on your hose as you tamp it.

    I saved a significant amount of money by using a hand tamper rather than renting a plate compactor, but my forearms and biceps paid dearly for this decision. If you are using a hand tamper, I recommend tamping each square foot of your base approximately 100 times to ensure that your base is firm and secure.

    Need I remind you about the man who built his house on shifting sands? Making sure you have a solid paver base is well worth the extra time.

    PRO TIP: When your base is secure, measure, cut, and place your landscaping fabric over the top of the base. Secure it using landscaping nails. This step is optional, but it will greatly cut down on weed intrusion in the future.

    How To Design A Patio

    This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 35,970 times.Learn more…

    Creating an outdoor living area is a fun and lasting way to customize your home. An outdoor patio can complement your property with additional entertainment, dining, and seating areas. However, designing a comfortable and beautiful space does not necessarily require a professional. Keeping a few considerations in mind, planning your own patio space is easier than you might think.

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    Lock The Bricks With Sand

    Spread sand over the bricks, then sweep across the patio surface with a push broom to work the sand into the cracks. Sweep in multiple directions to reach all cracks, adding sand as you go until the cracks are filled. Gently spray the patio with a garden hose to settle the sand in the cracks. Spread and sweep more sand into the cracks, and spray again, until the cracks are completely filled and the sand is settled.

    How To Lay A Patio Next To A Building


    If you’re laying a patio next to your house, you will need to create what’s known as a fall meaning that your patio will need to be slightly sloping to allow water to drain away from your house and not collect by walls.

    This is done by inserting wooden pegs in a grid where you sub base will go, ensuring that the pegs go in between 12 and 16mm deeper for every metre away from the house. Pre-mark the pegs with a marker to make sure your measurements are correct.

    Then, at the sub base filling stage, make sure the aggregate just covers the tops of the pegs.

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    Add Fairy Garden Accessories And Miniatures

    Add in your fairies and any other miniatures or figurines. Start small to keep it simple at first. You can always make or purchase more accessories later.

    We decorated our miniature garden with fairies, a wizard looking into his crystal ball, and a small house. We use the same fairies in our winter wonderland small world.

    Measure The Area Of Your Intended Space And Paving Slabs

    Start by measuring the area that is to be paved and calculating just how much paving will be required.

    The area of your intended patio space is usually measured in square feet. To calculate this, simply multiply the length by the width of the proposed patio area.

    For example: if your proposed area is 15ft in length and 10ft wide, the measurement of this space is 150 square foot.

    To calculate the area of your paver, multiply the length by the width then divide by 144 as you will need to convert this unit into square feet.

    For example: if the measurement of your intended patio area is 25 meters squared and your paving slab measures 12 inches x 15 inches, multiply 12 x 15 = 180, then divide this by 144 which is 1.25 sqft.

    To calculate how many paving slabs you need for your project, divide your total project area by the total area of your paving slab.

    For example: 150 sqft divided by 1.25 sqft = 120 pavers

    Minster Tip: we recommend adding 10% to the total amount of pavers you intend to purchase, this will account for any broken slabs and any that need to cut to fit corners etc.

    If you need further assistance, Minster Paving can help you with this by recommending materials and suggesting a selection of sizes that can be combined to best cover the area.

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    How To Build A Raised Patio On A Slope

    There are three ways you can build a raised patio on a slope.

    #1: Either you remove dirt from the back area of your slope and build a retaining wall to keep the dirt OUT of your raised patio area, or

    #2: You add dirt in to raise and build up the whole level of the raised patio and build your retaining wall in the front to keep the dirt IN!

    #3. The third option is rarer, but it does happen. This happens when the area you want to build your raised patio on is already level. In that case, youd build your retaining wall all the way around, leaving room for an entry and/or steps.

    First, wed recommend that you determine the final height you want your raised patio to be, because that dictates the kind of raised patio with retaining wall youll build!

    For more details on how to build a raised patio on a slope, read on!

    What Is The Best Material For Outdoor Steps

    Built a nice set of timber garden stairs today up an ...

    Pavers are the best material to use, especially outdoors. Pavers can last for hundreds of years. Also, the wide variety of shapes and colors allows you to be creative in your design and favors installation in any space. Pavers match the design of your patio, or even your garden, especially if you choose a more natural color.

    Pavers are, by far, your best choice for patio steps. However, understanding what your alternatives are and why not to use them can help reinforce that decision.

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    Mixing Mortar In A Cement Mixer

    Pour about a quarter of a bucket of water into the mixer. Add half the sand, then the cement. Run the mixer, then add the rest of the sand and more water if necessary. Mix it thoroughly until you have a soft consistency.

    Dont allow mortar to dry on your tools. Clean them with a stiff brush from time to time. If using a mixer, wash the drum thoroughly after use.

    How Much Does It Cost To Build A Patio Step By Step

    Most will spend $1,000 to $2,000 to add 48 wide stairs. On average, the cost is around $100 per tread. Doing the project yourself can save on the cost of labor. The cost of materials to build a set of stairs is often $100 to $500.

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