Build Concrete Steps: what is it, materials and how to do
Concrete steps: what is it?
In many private garden areas, concrete steps can be seen. They allow you to make comfortable and beautiful the transition from one level of the site to another level. Concrete steps can be made of concrete, both ordinary, gray and decorated, for example, using stamps or painted using a special pigment of the desired color.
Concrete steps allow you to distinguish between areas of the site. In addition, they make it more comfortable for a person to move around his site, which is located on several levels. Even if the site does not have several levels, it is with the help of concrete steps that it is easy to create a multi-level land, giving it thus originality in its structure.
Concrete steps are used for easy descent, for example, in the basement. In this case, the option of decorating them is rarely chosen. The use of beautiful finish technology in principle is not as important in this case as ensuring the strength and durability of the steps leading to the basement.
Concrete steps: materials
For the manufacture of steps made of concrete, not only a cement mortar will be needed. It will be necessary to use gravel, sand, gravel, prepare boards for the construction of formwork. To give rigidity and at the same time ductility for the construction of steps, it is desirable to use a reinforcing mesh. You should also prepare equipment and tools that are used for laying and leveling the concrete surface.
It must be remembered that although wooden formwork boards are considered a good choice for working with concrete, they are highly susceptible to the negative effects of moisture. Experienced craftsmen are well aware of this, therefore they do not use the same boards for pouring different parts of the future concrete structure. If necessary, they try to protect the boards from moisture on their surface.
To fix the boards, craftsmen use self-tapping screws, rather than ordinary nails. Why? Everything is very simple. Then you can easily unscrew the screws and disassemble the formwork. If you choose nails, disassembling the formwork will be a big problem.
Concrete steps: how to do?
The concrete steps manufacturing process involves several stages.
The first stage is the preparation of the site for the future concrete structure.
Specialists in the field of concrete work do not recommend using soil as the basis for future construction. This is due to the fact that the soil structure undergoes changes if the ambient temperature is low. Cold influences the earth in such a way that as a result leads to deformation of the concrete structure. Therefore, experienced craftsmen always remove the soil layer. As a rule, the thickness of the layer that freezes in winter reaches at least 30 cm. And it is precisely such a layer that must be completely removed.
The reliability of the foundation depends not only on the fact that the soil is removed directly under concrete steps. Therefore, the craftsmen clean the soil, which will surround the steps by about 10 cm around the future structure. Then gravel is poured into the prepared depression. It acts as the basis for pouring cement mortar. Better if fine gravel is used. In this case, it will fit in evenly. Then moisten the covered area, tamping, leveling is performed. Then another material is poured – sand. Its layer can reach up to 5 cm. A material is laid on the sand, which performs a waterproofing function. So that moisture does not penetrate through the contact areas of the parts of the laid material, the seams are either sealed or welded. So it turns out to provide maximum protection for concrete steps from the negative effects of moisture on their base.
The second stage is reinforcement.
In order for the future concrete structure to turn out reliable and durable, you need to use a reinforcing mesh. In the case of the construction of the foundation, drilling is performed and reinforcement is inserted into the holes made. If we are talking about concrete steps, then important nodes are strengthened, and the steps themselves are covered with a reinforcing mesh.
The third stage is the construction of formwork.
Before making concrete steps, the construction of formwork will be required. This design, which will make it possible to give concrete the desired shape. As we already said, a tree is considered a good solution, but can be deformed due to the influence of moisture. Therefore, the craftsmen either use different boards, or make them moisture proof.
During the construction of the formwork, you can perform several actions that will help reduce the consumption of cement mortar and, thereby, reduce the client’s costs for materials. In the center of concrete steps a slight elevation is made. As a result, less cement mortar is used. Moreover, the masters remember that the mixture should be poured not less than 30 cm. It is possible more, but not less.
How is formwork done? It is assembled, fastened so that visually resembles future concrete steps. Particularly important is the strength of the formwork, because it will have to withstand the pressure of a heavy material – a cement mortar. To fix the frame, metal or wooden fixation elements in the form of stakes are installed on the outside of its sides. It is very important to accurately install and fix the formwork, since the future concrete structure will turn out in terms of quality and evenness from errors.
In addition to the fixing elements, the transverse elements that are needed to create future concrete steps are used. Their height can be 17 cm or more, the width can be at least 30 cm. The value of the height and width of concrete steps more often depends on what concrete steps the client wants to receive in their parameters. The transverse elements are attached to the sides of the formwork frame. As soon as the formwork is assembled, it is wedged, then its fixing is carried out. Such actions will help her withstand the pressure of cement.
The quality of the constructed formwork directly affects the quality of the future concrete structure. It is important not to make a mistake not only in terms of its installation and fixation, it is also important to monitor its condition during the pouring process. Otherwise, a situation may occur when you have to start all over again. Such situations do not occur when carrying out work with the participation of professional craftsmen. Therefore, if you want to get high-quality concrete steps, it is better to attract experienced workers. Independence in this matter is the wrong decision. Of course, if you yourself are able to work with concrete, then you will not need professional help. In all other cases, it is better to contact professionals.
The fourth stage is the pouring of cement mortar.
To save materials, namely, directly reduce the amount of cement used, crushed stone is added to the concrete steps grout. This material increases the volume of the solution without the need to mix it only from cement with sand. The addition of water is an integral part of the preparation of the solution. How much to add it? The master decides. He knows that a small amount of water will make it possible to make concrete stronger. A large number – concrete will turn out less durable. How to determine the exact quantity? Experience and professional knowledge allow the master to make the correct calculation and add as much water as needed to get the most durable concrete.
Once the solution is ready, it is poured into the formwork. After partially filling the structure from the boards, the masters tap on the boards to ensure that voids are not formed. If voids remain, this will adversely affect the strength of concrete. Again, such work must be carried out competently. Only an experienced craftsman is able to understand what is happening with the cement mortar.
The fifth stage is leveling.
During the construction of concrete steps, actions are taken that allow to give the concrete surface maximum evenness. Alignment work is being carried out using appropriate tools. At the same stage, the decoration process can be carried out, which allows you to get a concrete structure that is original in appearance.
The sixth stage is the dismantling of the formwork.
The construction of the boards must be removed after the concrete mixture has completely hardened. But the freezing process does not occur quickly. It often takes several weeks until the formwork can be removed. If the formwork is removed before the concrete has finally hardened, then the steps will change their shape and will look completely different from what the client planned.
Concrete surface decoration
The appearance of concrete steps can be left as is – just gray and even. You can order, for example, the execution of decoration using stamps. In this case, before application, a coloring pigment is used, which allows you to give concrete the desired color. Then the forms are applied, for example, in the form of tiles or cobblestones, stone or brick, etc. As a result, it turns out to simulate any surface. Concrete steps are transformed and become beautiful, able to become a prominent part of landscape design. You can simply paint the concrete in the desired color so that the gray color does not cause discouragement. Professional masters in the field of working with concrete can advise you on the choice of decorating a concrete surface, depending on your wishes and financial capabilities.
Concrete steps: about repair
Concrete steps – a building that is characterized by a long service life, provided that professional craftsmen engaged in their construction. But what if you already have such a design, only some steps have lost their external appeal? It is possible that they can be repaired, that is, in some cases, you do not need to take new concrete steps. Again, it all depends on what the master sees. He must inspect and evaluate the condition of the already used concrete structure. If repair is possible, he will advise you to repair concrete steps, for example, replace 1-2 steps.
Concrete steps have several advantages.
- First of all, it is durability. A well-made concrete structure lasts for many years;
- High strength – concrete, as you know, is one of the most durable materials;
- Ability to give concrete the desired appearance. Modern technology allows you to change the gray unpresentability of concrete. It can be trimmed so that only the eye of an experienced craftsman can distinguish concrete from other materials;
- The ability to withstand the negative effects of external factors. Concrete is not afraid of frost and heat, rain and snow.
Concrete steps are more beneficial at the price of construction. If you compare similar structures, but made of other materials, you will see a significant difference. Why pay more if you can pay a smaller amount and get beautiful concrete steps to help decorate your garden? All right! No need to pay more!
Concrete steps: price
The cost of concrete steps is from $ 100 for 1 step. But this is an approximate price. The cost may be different, which is affected by:
- Features of the installation;
- Structural details of the future concrete structure;
- Type of decoration of the concrete surface.
Of course, the number of steps affects the total cost. Need to climb or descent in the amount of 3 steps? This is 300 dollars in the simplest version. Accordingly, if the number of steps is more, and you want to finish them, for example, under a stone or pavers, you will have to pay more.
The cost of the entire structure is affected by the quality of cement. This material can be cheap or expensive. In choosing materials, we advise you to trust the masters. They know what materials to choose so that in the future concrete steps you will be pleased with their beauty and durability.
The final price of the work is affected by the moment associated with the delivery of the mortar to the facility where the concrete structure is being built. It can be brought ready-made. Accordingly, delivery will have to pay extra.
Concrete steps – a profitable solution when arranging your land or to create convenience in other places, for example, to build a descent into the basement. Our masters will be able to build them in the time you wish. We will make the construction exactly the way you want to see it.
We have professional workers who know how to work with concrete. Their structures are always smooth and reliable, able to withstand many years of operation. They are competent in carrying out actions at each stage of construction, they know what needs to be done to get a result worthy of a high praise of the client. Contact us, we are ready to take concrete steps that will satisfy you with their price and appearance.