Ideas for Outdoor Steps

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Outdoor steps can help boost the curb appeal of your home. Selecting materials for the outdoor steps on the front of your home depends on the surrounding hardscape; you should always maintain continuity. You can be more flexible when you create outdoor steps for your backyard hillside; select from natural stone boulders for steps that flow with your landscape.

Pavers and Concrete Build your outdoor steps with concrete, brick and other manufactured pavers for a less-expensive alternative to natural stone. Select from the charming old-world style of cobblestone or the sleek modern look of stamped or stained concrete. Brick pavers are another beautiful choice for your outdoor steps; selecting from the wide array of colors and styles might be the most difficult part of your project. Pavers need to be sealed at least once each year to protect from moisture and staining. Stained concrete also might need to be re-stained as the color might fade over time, especially if you neglect regular sealing and maintenance. Hillside Stone Steps Create natural outdoor steps on a hillside with quartz boulders inserted into the earth. White quartz is a beautiful stone that you might be able to find by taking a hike through a field. Look carefully as most of the boulder usually will be buried, with only a small portion of the quartz showing on the surface. You also can find quartz boulders at your local landscape supply store. To install your quartz stone steps, dig out an opening on your hillside to fit at least half of the boulder. Insert the stone and compact the earth around it. Build up more soil beneath the boulder, if necessary, for stability. You can arch the stones up the hillside or line them in a row to create steps that will both fit in with and stand out from your natural landscape. Slate Slate tiles have a naturally rough surface with color variations that add to the beauty of the stone. You can tile over your outdoor concrete or wooden steps with slate to dramatically change the appearance of your property. Keep in mind that all slate is not equal; always choose high-quality tiles as some lesser-quality slate might flake off, and you'll have a disappearing step façade. You can install slate tiles with thinset mortar and exterior grout, followed by a sealer for both. Sealing your slate three to four times a year is a good idea to protect from staining and moisture retention. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance guidelines for the type of slate tiles you purchase.

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