How to Build Paver Steps Into a Hillside

Brenda Priddy

Building paver steps into a hillside is a somewhat difficult process. As with most jobs, the preparation of the steps is the most important part. Before you can install the pavers and risers, you must cut the steps out of the hillside.

Adding pavers to a hillside is rather difficult.

This is the most difficult part of the job and it could take several days to complete. Have patience and you will soon have a beautiful set of paver steps.


Always wear appropriate safety gear including safety goggles and work gloves when working with pavers. You should also wear a dust mask if you a susceptible to dust allergies.

  1. Plan the outline of the steps. Decide if you want to make the steps go all the way up the hill, or if you want to add a few steps to the steepest part of the hill. Mark the placement of the steps using wood stakes and string. Place a wood stake at every paving corner.

  2. Dig a sloped trench leading from the top of the hill down to the bottom. The bottom part of the hill should be dug out about 11 inches deeper than you want the bottom step. Dig out a dirt staircase where you want the paver steps to go.

  3. Measure the distance between each step. The rise between each dirt step should be about 1 inch less than the height of the paver risers. Adjust the height of the dirt steps as necessary. Make sure the steps are level.

  4. Mix the cement to a consistency of thick mud. Add a 1 inch thick layer of cement over the dirt steps. While the cement is still wet, fit the risers into the cement. Allow the cement to dry for 12 hours.

  5. Install another ΒΌ inch thick layer of cement over the top of the stairs. Fit the paver pieces onto the cement in the desired pattern. Allow the steps to cure for 48 hours before using them.