Concrete blocks are used to build fence walls, buildings and any number of landscape features like planter beds and barbecues. You can also use blocks to build stairs in your garden or yard. Concrete blocks lend themselves easily to stairs. They come in a wide range of sizes and colours. Select the block that complements your landscaping and will provide you with the depth of step you prefer. You can also opt to install a plain grey block and paint the sides and tops of the steps.
Dig an area for the foundation 6 inches below ground level. Smooth out a level space for your steps. Compact the soil with a hand tramper.
Dry set the blocks to build the stairs. Arrange the blocks to form a design that you like. Measure the length and width of the base of the steps with a tape measure. Remove the blocks.
Measure and cut 2 by 4s to match the base of the stairs. Secure the pieces together with nails to make a frame for the concrete foundation. With a rag, spread cooking oil on the inside of the frame. Place the frame on the ground where the steps will be installed.
Combine pre-mixed concrete and water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Shovel 6 inches of concrete into the frame. Smooth with a trowel. Let it set overnight.
Mix mortar until it is doughy. Spread 1/2-inch of mortar on the concrete foundation and set your first row of concrete block.
Set another layer with one less row of blocks to create your first step. Smooth mortar on the top of the first row and set the second row on top. Continue in this manner until you have completed your steps. Let the mortar set for 48 hours.