Ideas for Outdoor Steps on Inclines

Updated April 17, 2017

Dealing with a steep incline can be a challenge. Whether it is a steep drop to your house or a sharp incline up a hill, steps are essential. Steps have to be easy to climb and descend without posing too much of a risk. There are many styles of outdoor steps that can help deal with steep inclines. Outdoor steps can be made from a variety of materials including bricks, concrete, wood and paving slabs.

Terrace Style

If the incline is too steep for a direct set of steps, terracing is one option. By staggering the level of the ground, it allows you to install several shorter flights of steps. The landscaped terrace can be turned into a feature of your garden by using wood planks to hold the soil up. These can be painted bright colours or shaded to match the colour of your steps. Place the steps at opposite ends of the garden with a paved path to follow. This will create a winding path through your garden that features several short sets of steps.


Create landings that can be used for a variety of purposes by zigzagging your steps. These landings can be a place to catch your breath when climbing the steps, a place to stand and admire the view or simple extra garden space for plants and ornaments. Paving slabs and bricks are the best material to use for this style of steps as they are easy to build up into platforms and capable of taking heavy loads. Turn the landings into features by adding seating or plants to each one. Adding crazy paving onto the landing can add a touch of individuality and break up the pattern of steps.

Long Shallow Steps

To avoid having high steps, create a longer stairway. This allows you to have shallow steps which are easier to navigate. The disadvantage is that the long row of straight steps may not be practical or visually appealing. To break up the harsh line, consider using wood as the material and curve the steps. This will create a winding route along the incline. Landings can be added at regular intervals. Placing a seat on one of these will provide a rest from the steep incline and a good vantage point to overlook the garden.

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About the Author

Alan Faeorin-Cruich has been writing and editing professionally since 2001. He has worked for publications such as "FLAGS Press" and "3DK." He specializes in legal and business topics. Faeorin-Cruich has a bachelor's degree from Edinburgh Napier University.