How to Build Cinder Block Steps
concrete wall image by bayu harsa from Fotolia.com
Breeze block is a cheap and easy way to build with concrete that doesn't require you to build complicated forms and wait for a liquid cement pour. The trick to building masonry steps that will last is to create a sturdy foundation.
Put some time and effort into the part no one will see, and the part they will see will look good and last a long time.
Create a stable foundation for your steps. The depth to which you will need to dig to ensure that frost will not buckle your foundation varies depending on where you live, so consult local building experts or the council's planning department. Spread a 7.5 cm (3 inch) layer of gravel down in the bottom of the foundation first. Construct the foundation out of breeze block, making sure to mortar blocks together with high strength mortar -- type M -- so it will not crumble. Build your foundation the same size as the bottom step.
- Breeze block is a cheap and easy way to build with concrete that doesn't require you to build complicated forms and wait for a liquid cement pour.
Lay out your steps on the foundation. Set the first step by placing blocks on the foundation in rows. Make sure the step is level, and mortar the blocks to each other and to the foundation by applying a thin coat of mortar everywhere two blocks touch. Set the second, smaller, step on top of the first, staggering the breeze block courses between the first and second steps to avoid lining up joints between breeze blocks. Mortar the two steps together. Continue in this way until your steps are complete. Use a water-cooled concrete saw to cut breeze blocks.
- Lay out your steps on the foundation.
- Set the first step by placing blocks on the foundation in rows.
Finish breeze block steps by laying flat stones on top of each step if desired for a nicer look, and finish the sides and fronts of the steps with mortar or stucco to hide breeze block edges. Allow mortar to dry and set before using steps.
Dave Jennings has been writing professionally since 2010. His articles appear on eHow, where he specializes in do-it-yourself projects and budget travel. Jennings holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban planning from Central Connecticut State University.