DIY Building Steps on a Slope (2022)


DIY Building Steps on a Slope (1)

Are you ready to learnhow to build steps on a slope? You’ve come to the right place. Today I’m sharing how I built these wooden steps into a slope in our backyard.

We installed a patio and needed a way to get to it from our deck, queue the walkway on a slope!

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (2)

We took it upon ourselves to build stairs into the hill in our back yard.

We thought it would be a nice compliment and really polish off our backyard makeover, not to mentiona great way to get to our new DIY patio from the deck.

Since the slope wasn’t too bad, we thought we might be able to get away with just a gravel pathway, but we wanted a more grand look.

We used ground contact pressure treated lumber for all the wood since it’s sitting in the ground.

How to Build Steps on a Slope



Once you do all your measuring (do it before you buy the materials), and get yourmaterials, you’re all set to begin!

Start by staining the wood where it will meet the ground.

We stained the wood and allowed it to dry.

Measuring The Slope

The formula for measuring how many steps you need is really simple.

It’s the height of the hill from top to bottom in inches divided by anywhere between 6 and 8 for this type of stair.

Because ours was 28 inches from the top of the slope to the bottom when you divide by 7, you get.. 4!

To get the height of your slope, put a stake in the ground at the top, wrap a mason string around the bottom of the stake, run the string to the bottom of the slope where you’ll have another (maybe longer) stake that you will level and tie it to.

Use a line level and pull the string tight, level it (making sure it stays tight) and measure from the line to the ground at the bottom of the hill.


Take the measurement in inches and divide to get the number of steps you will need.

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (3)

Prep The Ground

Prepare the ground by loosening the dirt and digging out extra deep along the sides like this…

You’ll probably have to do more digging once you get the structures in place, moving them around and refitting them.

Take your time, there’s no rush.

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (4)

Create The Stair Structure

Create U shaped structures like those below using the 2×8’s as side rails and 6×6 posts, cut in half for our 4ft wide stairway.

Use the 8 screw pattern. 6 screws to look like a 6 on a dice and 2 screws evenly spaced in the center.

Fit the first U structure up against the (stairs in our case)/building or where ever your first step will be.

Fit the second U shaped structure under the first one and move dirt around until you get the top step level both front to back and side to side.

Remember you’ve already measured for your project, so you should know how long your step should be.

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (5)

Assemble Stair Structure

Use reinforcement bar and/or wood cleats to connect the lower board to the upper board on the inside.

Looking at the photo above, the cleat would go between the new top step and the deck stairs, just inside the step. This connects the two 2×8 boards together.

Do this on both sides, making sure everything is even, square and level before attaching — you may have to dig out or shift some gravel around to get everything level at this step.

You can see the cleats on the inside, just behind each step, in the picture below (look closely!). Make sure your cleats don’t stick up too high or they’ll show after your get your stones in.

Continue these steps, adjusting them so everything stays level and square until you’ve reached the bottom of the hill or slope.

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (6)

At this point, we took the planned week break and resumed the following weekend.

Hardpack or Topsoil

When we came back, we stained the insides and top of the rails and backside of the posts before filling with dirt.

Most people will tell you to use a hardpack material as you’d use for the patio installation.

However, if we ever want to convert back to grass, we didn’t want all the hardpack. Instead, we wanted soil that had the ability to grow grass.

So, we chose to fill with topsoil. Pack that topsoil every couple of inches until you’ve filled your voids – leave room for stone!

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We left a 2-inch void to be filled with 3/4 inch decorative pathway stone.

Loose Stone Walkway Stairs

Because no one likes weeds, the first order of business is laying down landscape fabric.

Once the landscape fabric is in place, you can dump in your stones in.

Rake down and pack your stones to a nice level area. They will move around, they’re loose stones.

(Video) DIY How to Build a Stairs on a Hill or Slope Part 1

Steps On A Slope

Stain, landscape fabric, stones…

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (8)

Because I had another small project in mind, I ordered a wee bit too much stone.

So, with the leftover stone, we made a walkway from the new steps to the back door of the garage.

To get a nice curve, used a bender board. First, we dug a shallow ditch, put the board in it and made sure it was even and level all the way around.

We used a scrap piece of 2×4 to measure a 2-inch rim above the ground all the way around. Backfilling and using the provided stakes secured the bender boardto the ground well.

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (9)

After covering the walkwaywith landscape fabric, we added and packed the extra stone into the walkway.

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (10)

We also used some larger stones to border the inside of the walkway.

Keep going to see the finished product!

If I can do it, you can too! It’s easy to learn how to build steps on a slope, just take your time and go one step at a time. (pun intended!)

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (11)

Here is the finished project. Some solar lights and some flowers finish off the new gravel stone stairs on a hill and a gravel stone walkway!

Because it takes weeks for the grass to grow, I didn’t get a great photo for you.

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (12)

So this is what you get for now. That’s how to build steps into a slope!

If you liked this, you’ll love our Backyard Makeover!

(Video) Easiest way to build stairs on a slope or hillside

Because we did such a great job, we even had visitors!

DIY Building Steps on a Slope (13)

Related Projects

  • How to Install a Paver Walkway
  • How to Install a Paver Patio

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  1. Yes, they’re about 48″ each and you can take 3 steps comfortably. The riser height is about 7 inches. Hope that helps!

  2. Ara says:

    April 11, 20201:53 am

    Could you give the dimensions of your steps? How long are each of the steps/treads? They look about 48 inches each? Can you take 3 full steps on each Platform? How high is each rise?

  3. Scrappy Geek says:

    May 30, 201812:48 pm

    Hi Ali! I’d be very cautious doing this with a spring in your yard that makes the ground wet all the time. Chances are the stone would sink into the ground. I’d suggest consulting a contractor to see what they think!

  4. Ali says:

    May 30, 201811:07 am

    (Video) How To Use Guide Boards To Build Landscaping Stairs On Small Hillside - Easy Construction Projects

    Could u do this if u have a natural spring in ur yard?We have one and it makes the ground stay wet all the time.

  5. Scrappy Geek says:

    January 1, 20182:51 pm

    Hi Mick, I would suggest shortening the run of each step for the steeper area, making more steps over the steeper, but shorter distance. Hope that helps!

  6. Mick says:

    January 1, 20181:49 pm

    Hi there – this info is great. I need to build a stair walkway with varying degrees of slope. Close to the house it’s fairly gentle for about 50 feet, but further down it steepens for about 30 feet, then gentle again for about 20. How would you suggest designing these awesome steps for slopes that go from gentle to steep and back again? Thanks!

  7. Scrappy Geek says:

    May 11, 20172:47 pm

    Hi Tina! A recommended step height is typically 7″, so that’s where that number came into play. If you’re step height is 4 inches, you’ll need to divide 66 by 4 = 16.5, so either 16 or 17 steps. If your run is 336, you’ll need to divide 336 by 16 or 17 to get the distance for each step run for installation. Hope that helps!

  8. Tina says:

    May 11, 20172:28 pm

    If the rise is 66″ and the run is 336″ and the wood when together is 4″ x 4′ shape of U so the step rise is 4″. How many steps will I need? I am not sure where you got that 7 number from unless it is the middle from your 6″ or 8″ wood height. Thank you!!!

  9. Malia says:

    July 17, 20148:26 pm

    That turned out great! Good job with the stairs. I also love the view of your back yard.

    (Video) DIY How to Build Stairs on a Hill or Slope Part 2

Comments are closed.


How do you figure out how many steps are in a slope? ›

Another Method For Calculating Stair Layout on A Long or Steep Hillside

How do you plan steps on a slope? ›

Comfortable landscape steps have a "rise" of about 6 inches. Divide the height of your slope by 6 inches (or however many inches tall you've decided to make the rise of your steps). If, for instance, your slope is 60 inches tall and you plan to build steps with a 6-inch rise, you will need 10 steps.

How do you build steps for a hill? ›


What is the formula for building steps? ›

You divide the height by 7 inches; if, say, the floor-to-floor distance is 8 feet, 10 inches (or 106 inches), then you'll need 15 treads (106 divided by 7 equals 15.14). Next, you divide the height by the number of treads (15 into 106), producing the exact tread height (7.06 inches).

What is the standard slope for stairs? ›

The typical stairs slope for steep stairs varies between 50 and 70 degrees. Steep stairs like ship stairs, spiral stairs, and alternating tread stairs have typical slope between 50 degrees and 70 degrees to save space. The steeper slope shortens the horizontal run of the stairs so they take up less space.

How do you build rock steps on a slope? ›

Stone Steps on a slope ~ DIY Stonescape - YouTube

How do you build wood stairs on a slope? ›

How to Build Landscape Stairs - YouTube

How do you build wood stairs on a hill? ›

How To Build Wooden Steps To Prevent Erosion On Your Hill

How do you build steps on a slope with retaining wall blocks? ›

How to Build Stairs in a Retaining Wall - YouTube

How do you calculate rise and run for stairs? ›

Stairbuilding Rise and Run Calculations - YouTube

How do you calculate rise and tread on stairs? ›

How to Calculate Number of Riser and Treads for Staircase? - YouTube

What is standard rise and run of stairs? ›

What is code for rise and run of stairs? The 2018 IBC building code for rise and run of stairs is a maximum 7" rise and minimum 11" run (tread depth). The OSHA standard for rise and run of stairs is maximum 9.5" rise and minimum 9.5" run (tread depth). The IBC maximum rise of a single stair flight is 12.

How do you find the pitch of stairs? ›

Stair Pitch: How To Find Stair Angle - YouTube

How do you count stairs? ›

Should I count my stairs from the top or the bottom? You should always count from the bottom up to the top. For some reason people often (but not always) miscount a stair if they are counting downward.

How do I measure stairs? ›

How to Measure Stairs for Flooring - YouTube

How do I work out how many garden steps I need? ›

Church laid out a widely-used measure: twice the height of the riser plus the tread should equal 26 inches (66.04 centimetres). The number of steps is commonly calculated to be the change of level in the garden divided by 15 centimetres. Most stairs have three up to 12 steps.

Find out how to make patio steps from brick and concrete using pavers and provide access to patios and other areas of a garden

The principle of making steps in your garden is exactly the same as anywhere else.. Once you have marked out the area into which your steps will go, you need to work out the number of steps you’ll need in your flight.. Two concrete blocks are laid flat to form the shuttering or formwork for the concrete behind.. The treads were cut to size and laid from the same paving as the patio.. This should rise to the point the second step will be built which will ensure that the water runs off the front of the step, much in the way described above.. In this method you build the next riser on top of the paver or tread of the step below.. The easiest way to build steps like this is to build low walls with bricks or blocks where the risers and sides of the flight will be.

Sure, building deck stairs can be tricky. But in this story, we'll make it easy by showing you how to build stairs by estimating step dimensions.

deck screws Decking for risers and treads. From this point, you can measure the exact stair height and determine the stringer and skirt length.. Cut only the top and bottom of the stair stringer with a circular saw.. Screw a 2x6 the width of the stringers to the backside of the stringers with two deck screws into each board.. Nail on the second riser board and then screw on the two 2x6 bottom treads, leaving a 1/4-in.

Summer is quickly approaching which means it is almost patio season. Are you ready to relax and enjoy the season from your deck? The only downside to patio season is how hot it can get on your...

Now that you know Kee Klamp fittings and pipe are the perfect materials for a sturdy deck canopy, let’s look at some projects for inspiration:. Since the canopy is not wall mounted, he could easily move the structure if he wanted to let more sunlight into the space.. To create a similar project, you need Kee Klamp fittings , pipe , and Slope Down Tee fittings to create the triangular sides.. You could easily build a similar project to help block the sunlight on your deck.. If he wanted, James could easily adjust the fabric cover to let in more or less light.. Think about what you want out of a deck canopy.. You can design the perfect patio cover and build it quickly and affordably with pipes and Kee Klamp fittings.. Kee Klamp fittings and pipe are easy to use and adjustable if needed.. Once you finish your deck canopy, take a break and enjoy your newly shaded patio.. Before you know it, you will be enjoying your patio under the shade of a canopy you built.

A stone wall that is 3 feet or less is suitable for DIYers. Learn the traditional dry-stack method, which requires minimal digging and no foundation.

Dig down 12 inches into the ground to create a flat, level trench for the gravel base and first course of block, which will be below grade.. Dig into the slope as needed to create a 6- to 12-inch-wide space between the backside of the wall and the slope, for drainage rock.. Set large, flat stones along the front edge of the trench to build the first course.. Add or remove sand beneath each stone, as needed, so the tops of the stones are flush with one another.. Place a deadman every 4 feet or so, and dig into the slope, as needed, so the stones sit level front to back.. Backfill the wall with gravel as you go.. Fold the landscape fabric over the drainage gravel as you near the top of the wall.. Cover the landscape fabric and backfill behind the top of the wall with soil, as desired.. If you use cut stone, plan for plantable gaps when building the wall.

We designed this shed with money saving in mind. Even the dimensions are designed to make the most efficient use of lumber.

Cut 2x4s to fit inside the lines and toe-screw them to the plywood to hold them in place while you fill in the center studs and nail on the siding.. When you're done building the front and back walls, set them aside so you can use the platform to build the roof sections.. Line up the rafters with the marks and nail through the ridge and subfascia with 16d nails to secure them.. Start by cutting the gable end trim a little long and cutting the angle on the top.. Then cut the 4 x 8-ft. grooved plywood to fit the lower recess, and cut a piece of 1/4-in.. Mark and cut the side trim pieces.. Cut the side pieces.. Tips for Building a Storage Shed

Learn how to build a beautiful brick paver patio, using an attractive basket weave pattern that requires no cutting of the bricks.

And if you choose to build a square or rectangular patio and size it to fit the bricks, you shouldn't have to cut any bricks at all.. After the bricks are laid, you sweep sand into the cracks between the pavers to lock them in place.. Paving bricks Brick patio edging Compactible gravel Landscape fabric Sand 50-pound bag polymeric sand. Use stakes and mason's line to create layout lines for the patio.. Base the dimensions on the brick paver size; the lines should represent the outer edges of the brick, not the edging.. You can create a layout with just four stakes, but a better method is to drive two stakes at each corner, placed about two feet beyond the sides of the patio.. Place a line level on each layout string and adjust one end of the string up or down, as needed, so the line is perfectly level.. Slope the soil to follow the layout lines, measuring down from the lines as you go to maintain an 8-inch depth.. Rake the gravel smooth and level, slope it to follow the string layout, and tamp it so that it is thoroughly compacted.. Line up bricks along the edges to make sure the edging placement is accurate (so that you won’t have to cut any bricks).. Spray the sand with a gentle mist of water until it is thoroughly soaked.. Lay the first bricks, starting in one corner and running along the edging to complete a row.. Gently spray the patio with a garden hose to settle the sand in the cracks.. If you need to cut some bricks to fit your layout, you can use a hammer and masonry chisel or a circular saw with a masonry blade.. Alternatively, you can use an abrasive blade, but it may wear down quickly and won't cut as cleanly.

Climbing the steep hills on your property can get tiresome very quickly. You may be interested in solving the issue by building a staircase that…

It is possible to build stairs on a steep slope if you calculate the rise and run and use 6”x6” boards.. Whether it be digging a trench, calculating the rise and run, or installing cross beams, let’s take a look at how you can build stairs on a steep slope.. Dig a trench, drill the boards, and place rebar through them.. Stakes Outdoor string As many 6-by-6-inch boards as your measurements call for Rebar 12-inch spike nails Gravel/sand mixture Bricks Masonry sand. Installing stairs on a steep slope isn’t easy.. After you finish this set of steps, you’ll be ready to start installing your new staircase.. The bottom of the trench should be as wide as your staircase with arms that are 6 inches longer than your step length.. Do this for every step except for the top one.. Cut two 6-by-6s as long as your step length minus 6 inches for the top step.. Then, place a cross beam at the top of it all to frame the bottom step.. Repeat these steps as many times as needed until you make it to the top step of your staircase.


1. Easy DIY Steps on a Slope, How to Build Steps Into a Hill with Dirt Locker®, Steps on a Hillside
(Dirt Locker)
2. Stone Steps on a slope ~ DIY Stonescape ~ Landscaping with Rocks ~ DIY Landscaping
(White Cottage Company)
3. Construction of Concrete Stairway Start to Finish [ASMR]
(Take And Make)
4. Easy Build Garden Steps
(Danny's DIY and Garden)
5. Landscape Timber Stairs Ideas for Your Slope
(2 Minute Gardener)
6. How to Build Rustic Garden Stairs ⚒
(Give it a Grow)

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