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You Can’t Get There From Here. Grade changes in a landscape require steps to transition from one level to another, to prevent erosion, and for safety. Whether quarried natural stone, concrete (block or pavers), or brick, they should be solid and useful. The most common material for landscape steps is natural stone.
Step design starts with the style of the landscape and home. Steps add interest to the landscape and can make a statement at an entry, pique curiosity about the destination, or simply provide easy access to other parts of the landscape. Steps and stairs can be decorative, with or without rails, lit with low-voltage outdoor lighting from top to bottom, edged with plants to add color, curved or straight, with or without landings.
Correct sizing is important. The common formula for landscape step construction is a 6-inch riser and a 12-inch tread. However, riser heights from 4 to 7 inches can be used. The relationship between riser and tread should remain constant throughout the entire flight of steps/stairs. Wide steps are perceived as more welcoming and allow side-by-side climbing. Plus, wider steps also allow for container gardens or a private spot to sit.
Concrete steps and boulder wall lead from the front yard to backyard.
Curving steps with stone veneer and smooth stone caps.
An elegant limestone staircase with large-format treads leads to a luxurious outdoor living room.
This split asymmetrical staircase, divided by a built-in planter, leads to a saltwater pool.
Irregular boulder wall and Chilton stone steps add some rugged character to this backyard.
Stone steps cut from boulders blend right into this stacked boulder retaining wall.
A path from the front yard descends down this saw-cut boulder staircase past a basalt column bubbler and native perennials.
Natural stone steps with flagstone walkway.
Multiple sets of steps run up a steep slope which helps this family safely access their outdoor spaces and the lake.
Our Design-Build Process
This Wayzata landscape renovation is the winner of awards from NARI, MNLA, NALP and PLANET and includes a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, fireplace, cabana, renovated basketball court, and more.
In just 10 days, Southview Design transformed this Eden Prairie landscape into an idyllic setting for a wedding.
Minneapolis backyard landscaping includes a dining area, water feature, sunning patio, night lighting, and edible garden without feeling cramped.
Retaining walls transform a featureless slope into a multi-level backyard resort with a swimming pool, patio, wood-burning fireplace, and hot tub.
A national award-winner. Peaceful outdoor living with wetland views, bluestone pool deck, colorful gardens, and hot tub.
Award-winning lake home landscape combines natural materials with Midcentury modern design, making the most of the surrounding trees.