You don’t should let the hills and slopes in your yard stop you from having fun with your outdoor space. With somewhat imagination (and a superb bit of sweat!), you possibly can change these negatives into striking features. The heart of the project is a sensible path and steps that give you handy yard access—no tromping via the mud. And the bonus is a series of new terraces, garden beds and sitting areas that may turn that largely wasted area into your favorite hangout.
But a whole lot of hills and slopes means you’ll face a more tough building challenge. In this article, we’ll show you particular strategies for planning and building durable steps, paths and retaining walls in a sloped yard. The process is similar for each. The key to guaranteeing lengthy life and little or no maintenance is to ascertain a strong, stage base. Otherwise your paths and steps will become a tippy, tilted mess within a season or two.
Path building methods are pretty straightforward; a novice can deal with this project. However stair building is a bit more complex. You must have some experience assembling paths or partitions on flat yards before taking over a project as big as ours.
Usually a project this giant would be a job for execs only. But the modular concrete block system we used vastly simplifies the process.
While the technical side of this project isn’t too difficult, the labor involved in a project this large may be daunting. You’ll need to dig out tons of soil and move dozens of concrete blocks. (Our step blocks weigh more than one hundred lbs. each.) The three sets of stone steps in this project, the 40-ft.-lengthy path and the patio would take you at the least 10 full days to complete. (Pros could complete it in 4 days.)
The modular wall blocks and natural stone steps steps are all designed to suit together in an easy-to-assemble system. House centers often stock one brand of these blocks, however you should also shop at full-service nurseries or landscape suppliers for a wider selection. Each manufacturer has a slightly different interlocking system, both an offset flange that additionally areas the blocks as you stack them (Photo 5) or an interlocking pin. The flange type on the block we chose is a bit simpler to use for small-scale projects like ours. All types are available in a number of kinds and colors. The “weathered” face we chose looks more like pure stone, particularly when it’s assembled in a mixture of block sizes. Make sure you check the fashion options in every manufacturer’s catalog, get a firsthand take a look at the block before you purchase, and compare prices.
Begin by laying out the approximate location of the trail and patio in your yard. Use a backyard hose at first, so you can simply adjust path positions until you discover the design you like. We suggest a 35- to forty-in.-wide path to let two individuals stroll side by side or pass one another, and at the very least a 35-in.-wide stairway. But there is no absolute rule here. Then mark the lines using spray paint and measure the slopes (Photo 1) between the approximate high point of the trail and the low points. Both these points signify approximately level path heights. Steps will carry you from one stage to the other. To determine the number of stone steps, measure the height distinction using a stage string line (Photo 1). Then divide that measurement by the height of the step block you plan to make use of (ours was 6 in.). The result received’t come out precise, but don’t worry. Plan for the smallest number of steps. You possibly can easily make up the remainder when building the paths, by raising the decrease path a bit or decreasing the higher path.