How to Build 6X6 Steps

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Things You'll Need

  • Wooden rod

  • Level

  • Straightedge

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Shovel

  • Sledgehammer

  • Rebar

  • 6x6 timber

  • Backfill (gravel, dirt, etc.)

  • 10-inch landscaping screws

  • Drill

  • Circular saw

  • Hand saw

  • Wood preservative

  • Protective eye wear

  • Gloves

Constructing 6x6 steps into your landscaping is not only practical but it looks good too.

Many times when running a walkway through landscaping, the grade becomes too steep for walking or there is a second elevation that needs to be reached. Stairs can improve access. Building 6x6 steps, or landscape steps as they are typically called, can help any project reach new heights.


Step 1

Drive a long wooden rod into the ground, then, using the straightedge and a level, mark the height of the second elevation on the stake with a pencil. Repeat for the bottom of the first elevation.

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Step 2

Measure between the two pencil marks to determine total height of all steps. Dividing the sum by 6, the height of one piece of timber and the height of the riser, will give you an estimate of how many risers you will need to span the height. Measure the horizontal distance with your tape measure to determine the depth of each tread and divide by the number of risers needed. For example: If the height you need to reach is 36 inches then it will require 6 risers, and if the distance you need to cover is 144 inches then the depth of each tread will be 24 inches.


Step 3

Dig two trenches at the bottom elevation with a shovel for installing 6x6 sleepers, cut to size with a circular saw and made level with the initial grade.

Step 4

Secure the sleepers with rebar driven with a sledgehammer into the soil through a previously drilled hole, located 6 inches from the end of each sleeper.


Step 5

Place a 6x6 tread on top, perpendicular to the sleepers, acting as the riser for the first step.

Step 6

Stack a second set of sleepers on top of the first set but perpendicular to the timber used as the riser. This will add depth to the tread. Create a box by adding a final side on the back of the stair parallel to the front tread. This forms a box that can be backfilled with loose gravel, dirt, woodchips or even cement to form the surface of the tread.


Step 7

Fasten each of the timbers to the sleepers below with 10-inch landscaping screws.

Step 8

Repeat steps 5-7, adding 6x6 sleepers and 6x6 treads for each of the remaining steps until the desired elevation is reached.


Freshly cut timber should be treated with wood preservative before installing.


Timbering can be heavy. Take caution when lifting.


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