How to build steps with sleepers

14th March 2019
How to build steps with sleepers

Sleeper paths are great for all weathers, natural and look great in any garden. Our experts explain how to build steps from sleepers.

If your garden is on multiple levels, steps are the best way to bridge the terrain. If you’re looking to create a path with some steps, sleepers can be a great material to use: read on to find out how.

Step 1. Mark the sit and plan

Start by using a builder’s line and pegs, fixing a parallel rectangle of where you’d like to build the steps from. Work out how many treads and risers you need; you’ll need to measure vertical and horizontal heights and distances of your flight of steps, so mark the back of the tread and hold one end of a long spirit level to the top of the peg.

You will need to divide the vertical height by your riser height and use the tread-riser combinations chart to find the tread length you need.

Step 2. Strip turf, mark treads and dig

Use a spade to strip away the turf from your marked-out area. Use lines to mark out the back of the treads, setting back extra space so you have enough room to work. Shape out the steps with a spade.

Dig a trench for the first sleeper. Drive in pegs levelled with a spirit level to mark the surface of your footing.

Step 3. Concrete the footing and build steps

The footing of your steps doesn’t have to be made of concrete but adding concrete to this part will mean that you have increased strength and density. Concrete the footing and add the sleepers up the path; you can add gravel to the steps if you’d like too if you have longer steps and gaps between each one.

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