Concrete steps are built using concrete mix and a few other simple tools. This can also be an easy do-it-yourself kind of project. Concrete steps are durable and attractive and blend easily with the surrounding landscape. The concrete mix can be purchased from any concrete supplier in ready condition or can be prepared at the site of construction. Concrete steps are constructed with the help of wooden forms.
Important considerations for concrete step construction
The height of the raiser and the depth of the tread are important aspects to be considered before the construction of concrete steps. The step use is the factor that affects the construction parameters. There is a distinct ratio for the raiser and tread measurements, which can be sought from any concrete contractor or reference manual. It is important to keep in mind that the raisers and treads must be uniform in any given flight of stairs.
Concrete step construction
The base is first prepared for laying the concrete steps. The area to be covered with steps is cleared of dirt, stones and any other matter and is dug to a depth of about 6 inches. It is leveled and tamped and the forms are built on this surface. The forms are made of wood which can be easily pulled out once the concrete used becomes dry. The shape and structure of the forms will determine the design of the concrete that is poured into the forms. The surface is screeded and a float or darby used to level the surface area. Edgers and trowels are also used to finish the concrete. The concrete must cure for at least 24 hours before the supporting forms are removed. After the concrete is hard enough for use, it may be decorated according to the homeowner’s wishes.
An alternative to concrete steps
Concrete ramps are an alternative to concrete steps. However they are more beneficial if there is only a slight change in elevation. They can prove to be useful in case wheelbarrows, lawn mowers and other such equipment are used frequently. The only important thing to remember is the slope of the ramp which must meet certain construction specifications.