How to Build Portable Steps Out of Plastic

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PVC Pipe, traditionally used for plumbing and construction, can be used to create sturdy, durable, portable steps.
PVC Pipe, traditionally used for plumbing and construction, can be used to create sturdy, durable, portable steps. (Image: construction material image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

PVC is a durable, lightweight plastic material that can be used to construct steps and other projects. Inexpensive and widely available at most hardware retailers, PVC plastic steps are easy to assemble, disassemble, store and transport. PVC pipes are connected with PVC joint connectors, which remove the need for nails, hammers, and other tools. PVC sheeting can be used to cover the project, giving it an elegant finish.

Things You'll Need

  • 36, 12-inch pipe segments (per step box)
  • 8, three-way corner connectors (per step box)
  • 12, four-way corner connectors (per step box)
  • 4, 54-inch-by-18-inch sections of PVC sheeting (per step box)
  • 2, 19-inch by-18 inch sections of PVC sheeting (per step box)
  • PVC cement

Connect four 12-inch pipe segments in a line with three-four way corner connectors, ensuring that all empty connector openings face the same direction. Place a three-way corner connector on the ends of the assembly. Repeat to create three additional assemblies.

Lay two assemblies next to each other so that the empty openings face upward and toward the other assembly. Connect the assemblies with 12-inch pipe segments. Repeat with the remaining two assemblies.

Connect the two rectangles with 12-inch pipe segments between each opening.

Lightly glue the pipes on one of the sides and quickly adhere a 54-inch-by-18-inch piece of PVC sheeting. Press and hold for 30 seconds to allow the glue to set. Cut any excess away from the edges and sand until smooth. Rotate the assembly and repeat on the remaining three sides. Glue the 18-inch-by-18-inch pieces of PVC sheeting to the ends of the steps, allow the glue to dry for 30 seconds and cut away the excess. Set the project aside and allow the glue to fully dry for 24 hours.

Repeat the process to create additional steps. Steps can be stacked and set next to each other to form a staircase. Glue the pieces together to ensure stability by using PVC cement on the PVC sheeting and pressing the steps together. Do not use until the glue has completely set.

Tips & Warnings

  • Swab PVC cement on the inside of each PVC connector during the assembly process to glue the pieces together and ensure maximum stability.
  • Cut the excess PVC sheeting away by scoring it with a razor blade and breaking the excess away along the scored line.
  • Paint the finished steps with a paint-sand mixture to add traction.
  • Let PVC glue fully set before use.

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