How to Lay Out Brick Steps

Building Brick Steps can be done a few different ways but the numbers/lay out really don't change. There is a measurement that the steps have to rise to and there is a measurement of where they stop then run.

Lay Out Brick Steps
  1. Laying out your new brick steps will depend on how you plan on building them, since they need to be on top of concrete people tend to build different box forms out of 2x6 and other board sizes then stack them on top of each other before they pour the concrete. however, the problem doing it that way is the top or bottom step could end up a different measurement.

  2. Building them with a 2x12 as a stair stringer you can be in total control of the rise / run and if your building the brick steps for a deck or porch it could save you time and money. Save time by avoiding stair / rise problems then save money by using less lumber and a lot less concrete.

  3. Figuring out the lay out you need two numbers, 1st the height from the top of the deck, porch, etc, to the ground. 2nd is the width of the brick. Lets start with the brick, a standard brick is 8x4x2-1/2 [or 8" long 4" wide and 2-1/2" thick] so lets say we want 3 bricks wide on each step with a 2" lip hanging out past each step below, our per step RUN would be 10". Next let say we are building the stairs to go on a deck and the height is 37-1/2". [the RISE] Ok to keep it simple we will use 8x2-1/2x2-1/2 bricks for the risers for every step, knowing that they are 2-1/2" tall/wide we would then figure out a rise that can work out they our materials we are using [1-bricke+1-brick+1-brick=7-1/2"] that will be our per stair [RISE]. Now that we have 3 measurements, Stair rise, Step rise and step run. Take the overall stair rise [our example was 37-1/2"] then divide it by the step rise [ours was 3 riser bricks or 7-1/2"] {37.5/7.5 =5} now you know that you need 5 rises and or 4 stairs [you will always have 1 less stair then risers when doing the math like we are]

  4. Then the lay out would need to be 7-1/2" rise and 10" run to work out with the bricks used in this example. [or every 10" of run it would rise by 7-1/2"] start with your total rise measurement and try to buy your materials around what will work out best for the measurements / needs of your project. [all projects will be different] If building box forms level down from where the stairs start [or from the top of the deck the are attaching to] then measure over the total run and start your first box there. If your building them with a stair stringer cut two stringers out then get them leveled and nailed in place. Use 1x? [1x4, 1x6, 1x8, etc] to form the risers on the stringers then fill in the open area under the stringer with dirt. [stay about 2" above the bottom of the stair stringer with the dirt following the stringer all the way up] compact the dirt then pour the concrete out flush with the top of each step going up, after the concrete sets up remove the riser forms and its ready to brick. [note: stairs are different sizes use the thickness of the mortar line to help find a [STEP RISE] measurement that works.