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Basic Stair Construction

Always check local code requirements before building any type of stair application. The steps below are general guidelines for building stairways. By understanding the basic installation elements, stairways can be easily incorporated into the wall installation.
  • Before excavation can begin, the rise and run of the stair treads must be determined and code requirements must be met. With that information, the entire base trench can then be excavated.
Our example here uses a base trench of 6 in. (150 mm) and a stair tread of AB Capstones and pavers.
  • Excavate to the necessary depth and width for each stair riser and thoroughly compact the entire area to 95% Standard Proctor with a mechanical plate compactor.
  • Check for level.
  • Starting at the first step, fill the base trench with 6 in. (150 mm) of wall rock. Rake smooth.
  • Compact and check for level. Stairs need extra compaction to avoid any settling later. Better compaction is achieved by backfilling and compacting in 4 in. lifts (100 mm) or less when able
  • Install blocks on the base material. Allow for a space of at least 6 in. (150 mm) behind the blocks for wall rock.
  • Adjust for level and alignment of each block as it’s installed.
  • Install wall rock in the block cores, fill any space in front of and behind the block. When backfilling behind the blocks, fill the entire area that was earlier excavated to create the base for the next stair riser. This should produce a level base for the next set of risers. We recommend backfilling and compacting behind the block in 4 in. lifts (100 mm) to achieve better compaction when able.
  • Rake wall rock smooth and compact with the first pass of the compactor directly on the tops of the block and then working in a path that runs parallel to the block. Compact to 95% Standard Proctor.
  • Repeat this process for each additional course of steps needed.

How Many Steps?

To find the number of steps needed, measure the total rise of your slope in inches (mm) and divide by 8 in. (200mm) which is the height of a step.
Number of stairs

Tread Options

Design Stairs

Excave para escaleras y compacte
Excavate for stairs and compact.

Instalar y nivelar los bloques sobre el material de la base
Install and level blocks on base material.

Llenar y Compactar
Level and Compact

Instalar la siguiente hilada de escalones
Install next stair course.

Continuar para cada nuevo escalón
Continue for each new stair

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