Home | Blog | Planning | Garden Care | Evergreens | Deciduous | Flower Beds | Plant List | Site Map |
Facebook Like With Thumbs Up spacer Twitter Bird Logo spacer

Rocks And Wooden Steps On A Slope Or Bank

Rocks and wooden steps on a slope make a great outside feature. Natural or commercial stones can be used. There are varying degrees of incline in many landscape slopes. Many people feel their bank or slope is an eye sore.

Below is a suggestion for you to think about to improve the look of any hill top or slope area. Build wooden steps up the bank and surround the steps with stones. Building wooden steps can be done in one day.

Rock Wall

Rock Wall

Wooden Steps

Wooden Steps

The photos above show you wooden steps and natural rocks around the steps. This particular slope had about a 45° incline. The wall was put in when the house was being built. This job was done after the stones were on the bank. You can apply the stones first or build the steps first. Vinca was planted next to the steps, spreading down over the rocks. Let's walk through the stages of this project.

Materials Needed

  1. Tape Measure, square, level and pencil

  2. Pressure treated lumber

  3. Power screw driver, drill and decking strews

  4. Power or regular saw. If using a power saw, always wear safety glasses.

Herbee's Extra Buzz Tip

As always, plan the entire project first before diving in. Measure the length and the width of the entire slope. This will give you an idea of how many stones you will need. You can use different size stones throughout the bank area.

A recommendation, if buying commercial stones, bring your measurements to the supplier and they will help you decide on the amount you will need.


  1. Any vegetation alive must be killed off. Wait at least one week to make sure all grass and weeds are dead.

  2. Rake out the ground as smooth as you can.

  3. Use the commercial landscape fabric, jute. If this product is not available in your area, regular landscape fabric is fine. The advantage of Jute is the burlap texture. This will hold your stones in place.

  4. Start building your wall from the bottom up. Put the first layer all the way across the bottom of the slope. Use some of your biggest stones on the bottom. Continue working your way up the slope arranging the stones in a manner so they won't slide. Using different sizes will help secure them in place.

  5. Your top layer should be right over the crest of of the slope. This layer should be considered as the finishing step. Larger rocks look good across the top row. Doing the larger stones on the bottom and top will give you a sturdier wall, as well as a balance appearance.

Making Wooden Steps

In the job above we removed the rocks where the steps were to be placed, and cut frames using two by eights. You can also use two by tens, depending on the length of the slope.

You will need to cut through the landscape fabric or jute and set the frames into the ground. Put the frames on either end length wise on the slope, as far apart as you want your steps. (3 feet for us) Put a level across the frame and adjust as needed. This is important to ensure you have a good start toward level steps.

Cut ten two by four runners to hold the steps in place. Take decking screws and attach the runners where each step will be built. Make sure the runner is level, front to back. When attaching the runner on the opposite frame, make sure it's level to it's mate on the first frame.

Use one by six decking boards and cut three foot lengths. You also can get a heavier board such as a two by six if needed. Cut two or three decking boards per step. The number of boards on each step is determined by the pitch of the stairs. Attach with deck screws.

Add an extra board on the top step. This landing adds a nice little touch into your garden area. Wedge is few extra stones under the frame to improve the stability. You could also put some under each tread.

Many different ground covers are available to enhance the stairs area. Let vines cascade over the rocks.

Your square is used when cutting the boards and lining up the frame. Use the level on every step to ensure your steps are straight. These are very basic steps in applying rocks to a slope and adding steps. We actually built two eight foot steps on either end of the wall area.


Herbee's Hot Buzzing Books For You




Your amount of lumber and width of steps will solely depend on the how steep and long the slope area is. You can either leave the wood its natural color, stain it, or paint the steps to match your home colors or other outdoor features. You can also use stones, creating a wonderful outside investment for you and your family to enjoy.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

How To Install Wood Fence --- Install Decks

Ideas For Retaining Walls Including Finished Rocks --- More Outdoor Features



New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box.

Facebook Like With Thumbs Up

Twitter Bird Logo






[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Subscribe with Bloglines

top of the page

Copyright© 2015 - 2017
No photos or materials can be reprinted without the permission of this web site.