How do I Choose the Best Patio Steps?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

When choosing the best patio steps, consider the material you want to use as well as the overall cost. The best steps are going to suit your patio and your home as well as your budget. It's also important to check with your city hall or appropriate governing body to make sure your patio steps will meet safety codes and building regulations.

Some countries and regions have strict requirements for step height and width as well as the use of railings on a staircase even when the stairs are built onto private homes. If the patio steps are to be used by the general public for any reason, or by family members with mobility considerations, a ramp alongside the step structure is usually essential. Also keep in mind that as a general rule, patio step widths should typically be larger than regular indoor stairs to allow for easier climbing in poor weather conditions.

For a well-blended look, you may want to consider a patio step style made in the same material as your deck. If you want to choose wood patio steps, it's best to ask advice from an expert in this area as to what will work best for your particular climate. Cedar and redwood are often considered to be two of the best outdoor decking and stair woods, but there are others. Having the wood steps properly sealed or stained is crucial in helping reduce the effects of wear and weather.

Brick steps can give a tasteful, solid appearance to a patio. If your house has a brick exterior, this may be the best option. Stone patio steps tend to be more expensive than brick, but can be more versatile in the types of house exterior and deck with which they tend to coordinate attractively.

A budget-friendly alternative to stone or brick steps is stamped concrete. Expert concrete stampers create faux brick or stone effects by using realistic textures and colors. Objects such as metal grates are pressed, or stamped, into wet concrete to make the texture. The concrete may first be dyed or paints may be added after the stamped sections are dry to create a mottled, stone or brick look. If you want to hire a stamped concrete contractor, be sure to check his or her past work and references.

Plain concrete patio steps can be a particularly low-priced choice, but the look is also often quite plain and utilitarian. Concrete patio step designs can appear a lot more interesting if they are part of a landscaped yard with planters on one or both sides of the steps. With any type of patio step material and design you're considering for your house, you should think of how easy the access will be, such as from the kitchen to the grill you cook on outdoors.

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