How to design garden steps

I have enjoyed visiting a large number of gardens over the years and I have been struck how much the design of garden steps can vary, and how good design can make a positive lasting impact on your garden.  I am not a garden designer, but here are 5 things to consider in the design of your garden steps:

  1.  Position- do carefully consider where you construct your garden steps.  Clearly you have to find a balance between practical access and style.  Ideally, steps will not be to close to the house.  You want to create a sense of space and journey.
  2. Scale-you need to consider the width, depth (tread) and the height (riser) of the step.  The scale used for garden steps is different than indoors.  So often you see garden steps that are to narrow.  Consider the proportions of your garden and design the steps accordingly.  Measure steps that you like from visiting other gardens.
  3. Materials– there are a wide choice of materials available, ranging from wooden sleepers to curved cast stone.  The materials used for the tread wants to be in keeping with the riser.  So for example choose a brick for the riser that compliments the paving step.
  4. Drainage- allow steps to drain easily.  It is best not to construct side walls above step height, which can hamper effective drainage and leave water standing on the treads.
  5. Construction- consider the safety aspects of the steps.  It is usual to construct decorative steps on a concrete base, so do seek professional advice.

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If you have any questions or would like further advice please call our sales advisors or email us at gardenstone@westminsterstone.com