After the construction of a country house or summer cottage, it becomes necessary to build an external staircase. Such structures outwardly do not differ from the classic ones, which connect the floors to each other, but they are stronger and more reliable. By right, the most reliable and durable are concrete stairs, which are produced directly at the construction site. It is very important to think over the device of a street staircase at the design stage. This approach will allow you to correctly position the building and make a street staircase as protected from external conditions as possible..
Outdoor stairs are very important in the household. They connect the house to the territory and connect parcels that are located at different levels. There are many options for outdoor stairs. The most common option is the entrance steps, and sometimes the entrance to the building is made from the opposite side. If the territory is located on a slope, you will need several steps, and maybe a whole flight of stairs. Very often the upper landing is connected to the terrace..
A street staircase is also suitable when using a high basement floor. Sometimes a second staircase is made for an additional entrance to the next floor. Two-storey cottages are often used as housing in resorts, in which the first and next floors are separate living quarters. In this case, the device of a street staircase is very convenient. Some houses provide a fire escape (escape ladder).
Outdoor stairs can be made in a suspended form, placing them vertically along the wall, which allows you to quickly climb to the roof or attic. Designs can be straight and curved. Long staircases can be separated by platforms. Small spiral staircases that have steps on one side only are very popular. All stairs can be angled, perpendicular or parallel to the outside wall of the house.
If the terrain has large elevation differences, so-called garden steps can be arranged in the site, which make the area more beautiful and ensure safe movement. They can cut into a slope or protrude. The protruding steps rest on special retaining walls, and those cut into the slope – on dense and compacted soil. In this case, the width of the street staircase must strictly correspond to the size of the track..
For decoration, you can use gravel, boards, limestone, short logs, paving slabs, sandstone or other types of natural stone. As a rule, gaps of 3 to 7 centimeters are left between the steps. To avoid the development of a too strong root system, it is necessary to remove the fertile soil layer and sprinkle the area with sand. On the sides of the paths, you can arrange a lawn, which will look very beautiful and impressive. The choice of the most suitable option for street stairs for a summer residence or a country house depends on the availability of free space, architectural ideas and technological capabilities.
Entrance steps and additional outdoor stairs for the second floor are often made of reinforced concrete, which is very reliable and durable. Concrete has a very high resistance to atmospheric precipitation, and steel bar reinforcement increases strength. Such stairs are made of finished blocks or monolithic, when concrete is poured into the structure on the installed steel reinforcement. In the presence of solid soil under the flight of stairs, concrete of the highest grade can be used without reinforcement. The staircase must necessarily be connected to the ceiling of the house, since a standard staircase is three meters high and weighs about three tons.
Ceramic bricks can be used to complete the steps, but it causes some difficulties when laying. If you want both the width and height of the street stairs to be within the specified dimensions, you need to choose the relative position of the bricks. The best option is to stack two bricks with pastels on top of each other. In order not to go beyond the set parameters, non-standard cropping is used. Brick staircase rests on a gravel-cement base or concrete foundation.
Ladders can be made of metal, which allows for the most difficult design decisions. As a rule, additional, evacuation or household street stairs are made of metal. In this case, the structure is assembled from profiles, fittings, angles, pipes of various diameters, etc. Stainless steel is often used. Elements can be connected by screws or by welding. To protect metal steps from corrosion, you can paint them. Sometimes the metal formwork is filled with concrete from 3 to 4 centimeters thick. The result is a combined and not heavy construction, which is also protected from corrosion. Forged stairs are distinguished by their increased strength, original design and durability. But they are quite heavy and expensive..
Sometimes the stairs are made of wood, mainly for wooden houses. To protect the material from decay, it is treated with an antiseptic and covered with waterproof paint. Fire safety is ensured by processing with fire retardants.
The choice of the required material depends on the financial capabilities and desires of the owner of the house. It is imperative to take into account the purpose of the staircase and its belonging to the general style of the building. It is better to arrange wood only in wooden houses, but all other options are perfectly combined with a variety of materials. Wood steps wear out the fastest. Stone, metal and concrete are the most durable. Metal and wooden structures sometimes make noise when walking. As for the concrete steps, they are the quietest.
Let’s consider the option of building a concrete outdoor staircase yourself. Before moving on to construction, you need to do some calculations. A drawing of a street staircase should be drawn up in accordance with the main technical requirements. Calculate in advance the height of the staircase opening and provide for the arrangement of embedded parts. Do not forget to consider what material the fence will be made of. Complete the project with the calculated dimensions of the stairs – height, width and number of steps. You must adhere to the exact dimensions from the very beginning, since it will not be possible to correct the defect in the future..
When making a street staircase, you need to remember some prerequisites and technical requirements:
Before pouring the stairs, the formwork is made. You must prepare all the materials that may come in handy for this stage – bars, plywood boards, boards, nails. Boards and plywood boards are fixed to the bars with nails. When performing this design, be careful not to create any crevices or gaps. To create a structure, it is better to use waterproof plywood with a width of 2 to 2.5 centimeters..
It must be used in combination with flat planks that fit together. In the future, this will simplify the finishing work. After pouring, the finished structure should not let the laitance pass through. It can be common for the entire structure or for each step separately. If you want to get the steps that are as even in size and height as possible, it is better to use the second option..
You can make the formwork for only one step and, if necessary, rearrange it to the next. Each board of an individual step is installed with a slight offset. The second step is set one centimeter below the top of the first. According to this principle, it is necessary to build the formwork for the entire staircase..
With such a difference, concrete will not be able to fall out of the boards, as in the photo of street stairs. If the formwork boards are placed in a different way, concrete may spill out of the lower steps. To prevent the concrete composition from crushing the formwork during pouring, make pegs-props on the sides.
Before pouring the concrete composition into the formwork, it is necessary to put a reinforcing cage. Steel rods, the diameter of which should be 10 millimeters, should be placed along the flight of stairs, and firmly connected with cross ties. The best option for reinforcing stairs is a mesh with cells of 150×150 millimeters. The metal frame will prevent possible cracks and breaks.
It is better to additionally strengthen the front edges of the steps of the staircase with transverse reinforcement. This technique will prevent crumbling. It is too early to pour the concrete solution, but it is necessary to install corks made of wood or metal embedded plates in pre-designated places. In the future, parts for the railing that enclose the stairs will be attached to these plates. After that, a drainage layer must be poured onto the bottom of the finished structure, which consists of gravel and brick chips..
Be sure to check this layer for voids. If there are any, it is necessary to cover them with sand. Try to compact and tamp the drainage as much as possible so that it is not below the level of the formwork. Then moisturize it. Before working on pouring a street staircase with your own hands, you should constantly wet the formwork and the adjacent wall.
After the above steps, you can proceed to pouring a concrete solution, which is mixed in a concrete mixer and consists of cement, sand and gravel in a ratio of 1/3/3. Do not prepare too thin a solution. At the corners of the prepared formwork, it is necessary to pour a layer of concrete mass. The minimum height is 10 centimeters. After each concreting, a short break of several minutes should be taken so that the pressure from the next step is better kept.
After this procedure, the steps must be leveled using special tools. It takes about two days for the concrete to harden. The formwork is removed after the concrete has completely hardened. After the completion of all construction stages, cladding is performed. Ceramic tiles, natural stone or wood are perfect for finishing reinforced concrete stairs..
You must remember that the staircase will be constantly exposed to various precipitation, humidity and temperature changes. For finishing, it is better to choose materials that are characterized by increased resistance to frost, moisture and temperature changes. Prefer materials that have a rough surface as they prevent slipping.
If the flight of stairs is small, there is no need for railings. For concrete stairs, an aluminum or stainless steel railing is ideal. They are welded to previously installed embedded parts or placed in special recesses. In case of potholes, sharp parts and chips on the railings, it is necessary to quickly eliminate them..
Along the edges of the outdoor staircase for the home, you can install small lamps with a downward direction for safe movement in the evening and at night. Options with solar panels are very convenient – they charge on their own. In addition, a cable external heating structure can be installed. This will protect the material from atmospheric precipitation and save time for clearing snow or ice in winter..
As with all things, outdoor stairs can collapse over time. Many dents and cracks may appear on them, railings may loosen, etc. How to carry out repairs correctly? If cracks appear in the stairs made of brick or reinforced concrete, they urgently need to be expanded and immediately filled with cement.
Rollers can break off concrete steps. In this case, you can use the metal corners with which they are strengthened. Metal corners are embedded in brickwork. If a concrete step slides out of place, the lower part should be reinforced with a steel brace or angle. A tread made of brick or reinforced concrete can be erased, in this case, a cement composition is applied over the steps over the entire steel mesh.
The wooden version is trimmed using a special solution, which consists of sawdust and epoxy resin. In case of loosening of the railing posts, the nests must be expanded, fixed with pieces of steel and filled with cement. If the bowstring collapses along the entire length of the ladder, an additional string should be installed on the side and attached to the main one with bolts. Another additional bowstring is attached to the platform beam.
If the platform beam is also destroyed, another one is installed from the inside and attached to the wall simultaneously with the destroyed one. If the rollers are damaged, a new hardwood strip is screwed onto them. If longitudinal cracks form, they should be pulled together with steel wire or a wooden overlay. If the creak of the steps bothers you, insert a thin film, well lubricated with glue, into the seam between the step and the riser..
Thus, a beautiful outdoor staircase will help complement the exterior of the house and make it complete. Remember that beauty alone is not enough, so don’t forget about the strength and safety of your outdoor staircase. You can do any design with your own hands if you strictly follow the technical requirements and all stages of construction. We recommend that you do not save on materials, so that later you do not have to constantly strengthen and repair the constructed staircase. If you find a defect, do not pull and repair it immediately..