Stone block steps on a hillside is the long term for what is commonly associated with a retaining wall. And they have a lot of uses not just for aesthetic but also for pragmatic ends. The retaining wall provides you with a good way to climb the hill side with much gradual ease, unlike the traditional dirt roads that can actually pose in dangers for those who are not used to rural setups. The intriguing effect is a bonus to the safety and the ability of the wall to retain the features of your hillside from erosive tendencies. Here are the steps in building your own stone block steps:
- Inspect the vicinity for cracks, drainage problems and many other factors that can affect your stone block steps. You will need to see how your stone blocks will fit in the overall scheme of things. How is the water flow from the surrounding area? Will it have dangers of erosion? Is the area secure for building a stone block stairway to begin with? These are questions that need to be answered before you make a decision to construct.
- Get a permit from your municipality for unimpeded construction. Coordinate with your municipality engineering office to help you. You do not really need some engineer to help you with this if you are able to do all the physical labor, but you will need a permit from experts for safety and legal purposes.
- Estimate the grade downhill. You need to first determine the percentage of grade of your hill upwards before you place in your steps. That will also provide an insight of how much you can modify or dig in the hill without making it unstable.
- Closely estimate the dimensions and number of steps. It is often best to go large and thick on your stones. This ensures safety of footing and ascent of the people who will be using it. The rise height and tread concepts as in normal stairways still hold for this project.
- Make room for the stone blocks by digging, starting at the bottom. You can start by digging. Mark the very edge of the stone block stairway as you have initially calculated. You will not have stairway handles, so make sure that the stone slabs are as even and as stable as possible. This is to ensure that it will last long enough and weather all the changes that the terrain undergoes due to weather and other natural activities.
- Compact the block into the dug area. In place of bolts and screws on wooden stairs, your stone blocks get “locked” in place by means of totally compacted sand and dirt. A compactor usually does this job pretty well.
- For a high ascent, consider dividing the steps with amply spaced landings. Landings give breathing room for your hill climbers.
- Adjust previously installed blocks as needed in the succeeding attachment of all the stone blocks. You might find eventually that you calculations did not fit the actual terrain. Make adjustments as necessary.