Almost everyone has steps in their landscape. Usually, steps are needed to get to the front door of your home, but with some unique, sloping properties in Burlington, it’s also common to have steps in your backyard landscape. Think of steps as a design opportunity; they can do more than just take you from point A to point B.

In the “before” photo, you see a typical set of backyard steps. They are narrow, and the height varies from step to step- which is a safety issue.

The new steps in the “after” photo are much more elegant. Let’s take a look at what makes them better.

before after

Materials for Backyard Steps

Concrete pavers for walks and patios almost always have complementary blocks and pavers for walls and steps. The materials and colours match; the size and shape may vary as needed. The steps shown here match the patio below and the walkway above. Everything ties together. Even though they are separate spaces, there is now a visual connection between them.

How Wide Should Backyard Steps Be?

Backyard steps should be wide enough for two people to walk side by side. They should also be less steep than indoor steps.

The steps shown here meet those requirements. They look comfortable and inviting- notice how they are nestled into the landscape? If you are connecting two levels of a patio or deck, outdoor steps can be even wider.

Sitting Opportunities

Outdoor steps are great places to sit and hang out. When you have a party or group of friends over, you need lots of places for casual gathering. The steps shown are wide enough for sitting. The walls on either side of the steps make them even better. Even if you don’t want to sit on your steps, extra space provides places for potted plants or small lawn sculptures.

Steps to Fit Your Budget

If you have budget concerns, get estimates for different materials and widths of steps. Different varieties of manufactured interlocking bricks and natural stone are all good materials for landscape steps- and there are products available that fit in all budgetary ranges. Many offer features that payoff in the long run, like lifetime warranties.

Most landscapes are constructed in phases. If you install steps in an early phase, additional features can be added later. For the steps shown here, low level landscape lights could be added on either side of the steps. Some additional landscape planting is also a nice way to enhance steps and blend them into the surrounding yard.

Though sloped backyards can be challenging, with creative design work they can turn into a wonderful collection of places to spend time outdoors. In a yard with different levels of patios, walkways and gathering spaces, your backyard steps will become an integral and inviting part of your landscape.

If you’re interested in getting a head start on landscaping in the spring, contact us today for a consultation.