Inexpensive DIY Concrete Steps- Tutorial

Simple Concrete Steps Tutorial

DIY ~ Steps on the CHEAP!!

If you’ve ever priced steps for a yard treatment, let me tell you!  They’re not cheap.  We’re talking hundreds in some cases.  And for the size I wanted, well……..I don’t think so.  But, I still wanted them.  So I came home and talked to my husband and asked him, “is there any way you can make us some concrete steps for out there?”  And when I told him how expensive they were to buy he quickly said “SURE, honey.” :)  And, he did.

I now have 4 great concrete steps on a sloped corner that continues to be a thorn in my gardening side.  They function aesthetically as well as purposefully.  I don’t have the plants in yet to soften the look, but very soon.

I’ll let my husband tell you what he did.  I wish I’d taken pictures of the process, but I didn’t.  I do have a pic of the finished product, except for the plants that is.

  • Make a form out of 2 x 6’s (for whatever size step you want)
  • I nailed the form to a piece of plywood so the concrete wouldn’t run out on the garage floor, which I’d covered with a tarp.
  • I put some 6-7” rocks (large enough to suspend a grid [see next step]  to the middle of the form).
  • I made a grid with ½” re-bar and laid on top of the rocks to help make the concrete stronger.
  • In a wheel barrow I mixed up enough pre-bagged concrete mix to fill the form. I used 3, 80 lb bags of mix for a 5 ½” thick x 35” long x 23” deep step.  These are heavy suckers!
  • I colored the concrete with concrete dye (can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes).
  • I poured the concrete in the form tamping well with a rod, or stick, or whatever works.
  • Finish the top of concrete as desired.  We used leaves and some salt to “pock” the finish.
  • Let dry for 2-3 days, depending upon the outside temperature.  Don’t leave for too long or the form won’t come off.
  • I carefully knocked the forms off to release the steps.
  • I allowed them to cure another couple of days so they wouldn’t break when I moved them.
  • It was some work but only cost about $30 compared to A REAL LOT!!  And wife was happy…priceless!

Concrete step surface


One thought on “Inexpensive DIY Concrete Steps- Tutorial

  1. Alexis

    Hi Sue! I love the concept, and am thinking about adding that project to my own garden, but in looking at the costs, I can’t see how the cost was only $30. Did you already have some of the materials on hand? The way I look at it: 1 step = 3 x 80lb concrete + 2×6 + stain = $30 for just one step, perhaps more. Did I miss something in the directions?

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