Adding outdoor steps to your yard is an excellent way to enhance its functionality and overall value. After all, you want to use your outdoor living space effectively, particularly when you have steep slopes or areas that are challenging to navigate. When you have upper-level decks and patios, outdoor steps are also helpful. Naturally, when installed, you want to ensure your steps have a thoughtful and beautiful design. You never want to hire a contractor that haphazardly designs your stairs without considering the proper dimensions, placement, or other essential elements. Here are some of the best landscape design practices when installing outdoor steps.
Break Up Your Outdoor Steps
By “break up” your outdoor steps, we mean that having ten straight steps in a row doesn’t look as appealing as having four stairs with a landing, and it’s a much safer design. Falling down ten stairs is painful. Falling down four steps is also severe, but the effects won’t be as devastating with a landing. This consideration is beneficial when you have young children or elderly parents living in the home.
One of the gravest mistakes you can make with the layout of outside steps is placing them in an area that hurts the overall design of your outdoor living space. For example, think about deck stairs. They can block light if you put them right in front of a window. Therefore, you must be careful that your steps don’t obstruct a desirable view.
If you have an upper-level deck with a patio underneath, your deck steps shouldn’t obstruct your view when sitting on your patio. You also don’t want a poorly-structured deck using up valuable patio space or your patio steps impeding traffic flow. The point is that you should easily see from and navigate your outdoor living space.
Always Prioritize Comfort
Another overlooked aspect is how your steps feel. We don’t mean you need to walk outside with shoes to determine how your outdoor stairs feel. Instead, we imply that you should have a natural gait when walking up and down any stairs. In other words, people with narrow or broader feet should be able to traverse your steps comfortably.
The best landscape design practices will boil down to your wants and needs. Some people prefer steps with long treads. On the other hand, if the steps are part of a walkway, you can cluster them so you can slowly make your way down the path to the lower level of the patio or up the path to the upper level. One popular choice is a natural stone stepper. If you choose natural stone, not every step will be the same, offering a natural versus rigid appeal.
Spiral StairCases Might Work for Some
One option that people don’t always consider is a spiral staircase. These can be a lovely addition to the right property, appearing like a piece of art. Spiral staircases are more aesthetically pleasing when custom versus pre-fabricated and work best in outdoor living spaces with limited space or pair well with contemporary outdoor living spaces.
However, if you’re living in a townhome community, you must consider that not all HOAs allow homeowners to add spiral staircases to their properties. If you’re on a budget, they can also be costlier. It would be best if you investigated this before hiring a contractor.
Always Put Safety First
Finally, you want your outdoor steps to be safe. There are strict building codes that designers and builders must adhere to when installing outdoor stairs, such as lighting step treads and handrails. However, this isn’t always a guarantee if you don’t hire a professional or the right company. Safety should always come first to ensure you, your family, and your guests avoid injuries.
Contact Lanham Construction today to inquire about patio design, sunroom installation, adding a new driveway to your home, and more. We have the services and expertise to ensure your property looks its best before the summer emerges.
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