Building Stairs With Recycled Concrete

By Greg Vanden Berge

What a great idea using your old sidewalk or driveway to build a nice stairway for your front or back yard. Using the old concrete instead of sending it to the landfill. Wow talk about earth friendly. Who would have thought that using recycled concrete would create a beautiful center piece in your landscaping plans.

That's enough about that, lets get to the nuts and bolts of building the stairs. I came across the idea by visiting one of our favorite breakfast hideouts, in Fallbrook. I had been walking down these stairs for quite a while when it dawned on me that the stair steps where kind of jagged. When I took a closer look I had a problem figuring out, what the stair builder did, to create this affect. What kind of building materials did they use.

Then I realized it was recycled concrete in other words someone's old side walk. They even used the old concrete to make a few planter boxes and retaining walls. The whole area really looks nice. The landscaping designer had created a natural setting and it looked fantastic.

How Do I Get the Recycled Concrete?

The first thing you need to do is get some recycled concrete. If you are going to tear up a old sidewalk, driveway or patio in the near future, then you won't have to look far. If not it wouldn't be a bad idea to contact a couple of contractors in your area. Most of these guys would love to have someone haul away their demolished concrete. In other words, the money they save in dump fees, could be used to purchase more beer.

If you need a lot of building materials, you can always contact a concrete recycling plant for more information. Sometimes you can work a deal out with them, to drop large shipments of broken concrete off at your home. However, there's a good chance that they won't be able to drop these materials off, unless you have a large area, that is easily accessible.

Remember, contractors are in business to make money and don't be surprised if one of them says," No." Simply find another contractor or homeowner in your area that's willing to help. Most contractors aren't interested in doing extra work just to make you happy. No matter what happens, you should always be courteous and understanding. You never know, that mean old contractor just might change their mind.

Now That You Have the Concrete You Can Start Building.

I don't have a perfect formula for building stairs with recycled concrete. The best advice I could possibly give you, would be to start at the bottom, stacking the concrete in rows, creating steps and working your way up to the top. Who knows, I've written a few other stair building books, maybe this one's next.

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