How To Design Exterior Stairs

Kevin Brown

Designing Exterior Stairs

Getting around outdoors is usually easier than indoors since you don’t have to worry about permanent walls obstructing your path. However, when dealing with inclines, like slopes or hills, you’ll need to consider building outdoor stairs or an inclined pathway.

How To Design Exterior Stairs

Steps and stairs have advantages over sloping paths as they can cope with steeper inclines and connect the architecture of a home with the landscape design. Exterior stairs need to be durable and resistant to the elements.

How To Design Exterior Stairs

However, there is no need to compromise on style. Even highly functional stairs can look great if you choose the right design and materials. If you have identified an area in your garden that needs stairs, take inspiration from design classics.

The Floating Look.

How To Design Exterior Stairs
How To Design Exterior Stairs

Effortless stairs are visually appealing. Floating stairs, which seem to hover above the ground like bobbing on a lake, add sophistication to a landscape. However, the steps of floating stairs still need to be anchored to the ground.

The floating effect is created by the steps’ low profile, which slightly extends beyond their supporting structure. The anchor point remains invisible due to the low profile, giving the illusion that each step is floating independently. To achieve this look, stone slabs can be placed over a gravelled area, concealing the concrete support.

Another option is using wood, with a series of stacked mini-decks.

How To Design Exterior Stairs
How To Design Exterior Stairs
How To Design Exterior Stairs

To connect your home’s balcony, install external stairs. This may be necessary for fire regulations. Use the same materials as the balcony. Turn the stairwell towards the property to minimize visual impact.

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Include a balustrade and a rest point midway. Spiral staircases are a good option for connecting multiple levels with limited space. Consider water run-off for safety.

How To Design Exterior Stairs
How To Design Exterior Stairs

If you have two levels in the exterior of your home, a good option is to connect them with two terraces. If the land has been leveled, use wide steps to bring the two together. The key to getting the look right is using large, flat steps.

This is not recommended for a very steep garden.

Lighting Stairs.

How To Design Exterior Stairs
How To Design Exterior Stairs

Installing lighting in your external stairs enhances their appearance and improves safety and visibility at night. Light fixtures can be arranged in a non-uniform manner, allowing for a more unique and visually interesting design. Another option is to use LED lighting strips positioned under each step’s overhang, which adds a stylish touch.

How To Design Exterior Stairs
How To Design Exterior Stairs

If you want to make a statement with your home’s connection to the outside, there are few better ways than with a grand set of stairs. The look is equally impressive whether delivered formally or informally.

Wooden Steps.

How To Design Exterior Stairs

Don’t overlook the natural beauty of wooden stairs for the outside of a home. They may not be as long lasting as stone steps, but well maintained they will last a lifetime. Wooden steps work well with other materials, such as steel, rope, and glass panels.

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