Incorporating steps into your next Holmdel, NJ, landscaping project could add interest and increase functionality in your client’s yard. Steps are an important element in a cohesive landscape design that can help set the flow of a property. Whether you’re adding stairs to the exterior of a house or using them in the landscape, visit our masonry supply yard for everything you need to create beautiful stone steps.
Why Add Stairs to Your Landscape Design Projects?
If a landscape features a steep grade, safely and easily navigating from one area to another can be challenging. Incorporating stairs will provide access to difficult-to-reach areas and improve flow around the property. Creating terraces can also help make a sloped landscape more functional, and stairs can form a connection between the different levels.
Steps can also help bridge a gap from the landscape to the house, improving flow from inside to out. Updating front steps can increase curb appeal and make entrances safer and easier to navigate.
Building Stone Stairs
Stone stairs are generally built using one of two different construction methods. Slab steps feature large, solid slabs of stone that form an entire step. You can also use smaller wall stones or concrete pavers to create tread and riser stairs. The client’s tastes and landscape design style will often dictate which method is best for a project.
Stone slabs tend to be quite large and very heavy, so they usually require machinery to put them in place. Starting with the bottom step, the slabs are laid in a bed of crushed gravel. The stones should be level, with a very slight forward slope for drainage. Each step should overlap the previous stone by a minimum of four inches and still allow enough room for a foot. The front edge of the stone will form the riser, so you want to ensure pieces are tall enough to create a comfortable stepping distance. Slab steps are quite impressive and will blend well with a natural landscape.
Tread and riser steps feature stacked wall stone or pavers that form the risers, with stair treads or flat stones forming the treads. They can be dry-stacked or use mortar, depending on the style and type of stone used. Tread and riser stairs have a more formal look and work well when paired with a patio or brick exterior.
Which Stair Layout Is Best for Your Project?
There are two common layouts for exterior stone stairs. A standard or plain staircase features a consistent width for each step. Alternatively, wraparound steps form a pyramid shape with each step increasing in size as they descend. Often the available space and size of the stair run will determine which layout will work best in a particular landscape.
A plain staircase offers only one direction of approach, but it could allow for a narrow or long flight of stairs. These standard steps are often a better choice when you have to span a steep incline or you’re working with a smaller area.
Wraparound steps are accessible from multiple sides, but because each step increases in size, they have a much bigger footprint. Their expanding size makes them better suited for shorter runs. The low, wide steps create a more relaxed atmosphere and can also provide additional seating for outdoor gatherings.
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