Build Outdoor Steps with SureWall and PebbleLock
Outdoor steps are an essential addition to landscape areas that not only add value and style but are also effective in maintaining stable and dry areas no matter the weather all year round. Is there an area of your property that you just can’t get access to because of steep banks or muddy pathways that get slippery during winter? Maybe you need part pathway, part stairs? No worries! With SureWall and PebbleLock permeable pavers, you’re going to get out there and tame that steep, hard to access garden path once and for all.
How can outdoor steps improve my garden?
It’s all about getting better access. You don’t want to slip over, and it will be so much easier getting the wheelbarrow in and out of those higher areas. By creating stable, puddle free outdoor steps, it’ll make your garden that much more enjoyable to be in. Whether it’s a few, well-placed individual steps, or a series of joined increments, you’ll want to mark out the entire pathway that you’re looking to transform. That way, you can work out where the rises are for your steps, and what areas you want to keep flat. Strol’s SureWall retaining wall system climbs in 200mm increments, so work out how best to blend your steps into your surrounding garden area. It might even be that you just want to build the odd, single step at various points throughout the path for those gradual inclines, or several steps right at the base of a steep area to get you from one level to the next.
- Clear any existing vegetation from the path to help visualise and map out how steep your bank is.
- Excavate about 100mm off the top of the path, especially if you’re looking to make the path even with the top of the surrounding garden.
- Think you might need drainage? This would be a good time to add any drainage areas to the side of the path if required.
- Mark everything out with pegs and string, making sure that each step is level.
What kind of steps can I build?
SureWall lends itself to either a single, front facing step, or by using SureWall Corner Posts at each end, you can easily create fully contained, three-sided steps. We recommend this if you’re building several steps in close proximity to each other. Mark out where each step will be and insert the required galvanised steel posts into holes in the ground. Remember to insert the 450mm post half its length into the ground, leaving only the 200mm above ground. Then fill the holes with ready-mix concrete and wait for them to set.
Once the posts are secure, you just simply cut your timber and slot it into place. If you added corner posts, secure the loose end of the timber to the face of the next step with Strol Corner Sleeper Stakes. You can also cap each step with more timber or keep it bare.
Create permeable steps with PebbleLock.
Building outdoor steps is not only about making your garden easier to access and less slippery, it’s also about creating an ‘all-weather’ pathway, so that come rain or shine, your path, steps, and shoes, stay nice and dry.
No matter whether you’re building enclosed or single facing steps, line the area directly behind the face that you want to pave with SureTex geotextile. This permanently separates your old soil from the new, permeable layers we’re about to put on top. Add a compacted layer of GAP20 Road Base, followed by an even 10mm layer of crusher dust. Your PebbleLock pavers will just press into place on top of the crusher dust. They are 600mm x 800mm and easy to cut, so you might want to design the width of your pathway accordingly. Fill the pavers with 8-14mm pebbles until the pebbles sit 10-15mm above the pavers and in line with the step.
PebbleLock pavers are permeable, so they’ll drain all water away from your path, but if you feel your garden should feel even firmer underfoot, now’s a great time to dig a drainage layer and lay a perforated pipe protected by FilterSleeve alongside the steps leading to another drain, then cover it using aggregate or the excess soil you originally took away.