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How to build garden steps

Updated February 21, 2017

Garden steps can be a wonderful addition to your home. You can build them without professional help by following these steps.

Cut two 1.2 m (3 foot) long timber sleepers. Sleepers are wood elements that support the floor. These will serve as the foundation for the steps. Use a square to make a cut line on all 4 sides of the timber. Support timber and cut along your layout marks on all 4 sides. You may use a crosscut handsaw to finish the cut.

Coat the cut ends of the sleepers with wood preservative.

Dig 2 trenches to accommodate the sleepers. Make sure they are level.

Drill a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) diameter hole 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) from the end of each sleeper. Use a hacksaw to cut rebar (steel reinforcing bar) into shorter lengths. Drive them through the holes and into the ground below.

Cut timber stock into pieces corresponding to the width and number of steps.

Place the timbers for the first step on the sleepers. Secure them with timber spikes driven down into the sleepers below.

Cut additional sleepers to fit behind the step, and secure each one with spikes. Fill in around and between the steps and sleepers with drainage gravel. Continue to add steps, sleepers and drainage gravel as you build the stairs.

Warning

Ask your local utility company to determine if any utility lines run below the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrush
  • Hacksaw
  • Electric drill
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Lumber
  • Rebar
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Shovel
  • Square circular saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Handsaw
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