Make the most of your outdoor space with Landscape stairs

get free estimate

from the landscaping experts

 Make the most of your outdoor space with Landscape stairs

Table of contents:

1. 5 Reasons for adding stairs to your landscape design

2. Advice before you build

3. Top material trends for outdoor landscape stairs

4. Best design ideas to incorporate stairs into your landscape 

Reasons for adding stairs to your landscape design:

Improved Accessibility:  Landscape stairs are an effective solution for navigating sloped or uneven areas in a yard, offering safe and convenient access between different levels. Their presence not only simplifies movement across varying terrains but also enhances the overall functionality of the outdoor space. By integrating stairs into the landscape, homeowners can comfortably and safely move around their yards, regardless of the natural contours of the land.

Better Erosion Control:   On sloped terrains, the introduction of stairs plays a crucial role in soil conservation. By providing a designated path for foot traffic, stairs significantly minimize the disruption to the soil, a common issue in such areas. This controlled movement not only reduces the wear and tear on the landscape but also aids in effectively channeling water runoff. As a result, stairs are instrumental in protecting the landscape from the detrimental effects of erosion, preserving the integrity and health of the soil.

Increased Property Value:  Well-designed landscape features, including stairs, have a notable impact on enhancing the value of a property. They bring a dual advantage of functionality and visual appeal, creating an attractive and practical outdoor space. This combination of utility and aesthetics is often appealing to potential buyers, who see it as an enhancement to the living experience the property offers. Consequently, such features can be a significant factor in elevating a property’s market appeal and overall worth.

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal: Stairs can significantly enhance landscape design, adding a touch of structured elegance. Their ability to be customized allows them to seamlessly complement the overall style of a garden or yard. Whether aiming for a modern, sleek look or a more natural, rustic aesthetic, stairs can be tailored in design and material to integrate beautifully with the surrounding environment. This not only improves functionality but also elevates the visual appeal of the outdoor space.  

Functional Outdoor Spaces: Stairs in a yard serve more than just a functional purpose; they effectively help in defining and separating different areas, creating distinct spaces for various activities. By incorporating stairs, you can delineate specific zones in your outdoor space, whether it be a secluded corner for gardening, a relaxed lounging area, or a dedicated space for outdoor dining. This organization of space through the use of stairs adds to the overall coherence and usability of the yard, enhancing both its aesthetic and practical aspects.

Advice before you build:

Do you need handrails?

The requirement for handrails on outdoor stairs can depend on several factors, including the height of the stairs and local regulations. In the context of Calgary, for example, city by-laws mandate the installation of handrails for any staircase that exceeds two step risers. 

Underground locates:

When installing outdoor stairs, it’s crucial to consider the presence of underground utilities. Prior to beginning any excavation process, it’s essential to contact “Click Before You Dig” or a similar utility location service. These services help identify and locate any underground utility lines, such as gas, water, or electrical lines, that might be present in the area where you plan to dig. This step is vital for safety and to avoid disrupting essential services. It ensures that the excavation for your outdoor stairs doesn’t inadvertently damage hidden utilities, potentially causing hazardous situations or service interruptions. 


When installing outdoor landscape stairs, it’s important not to overlook the aspect of drainage. Proper drainage is key to maintaining the integrity and longevity of the stairs. Without adequate drainage, water can accumulate, leading to potential damage such as erosion, shifting of materials, or even the growth of mold and mildew. Effective drainage ensures that water is appropriately channeled away from the stairs, preserving the structure and the surrounding landscape. It’s essential to plan for this in the design and construction phases to avoid any future complications and to ensure the stairs remain safe and durable over time.  

Top material trends for outdoor landscape stairs 

Architextures Steps:

The ultimate solution for modern landscaping challenges, especially popular throughout Calgary. Its large format and contemporary style make it a favorite choice for various settings. This retaining wall is particularly suitable for landscape stairs, whether in small or large spaces, demonstrating remarkable versatility. The crisp edges and clean linear appearance of this product allow it to effortlessly blend with both modern and traditional design aesthetics. Its adaptability and stylish look make it an excellent choice for those looking to enhance their outdoor space with a functional yet visually appealing element. 

Graphix Steps:

The Graphix wall, an ultra-modern double-sided retaining wall block, stands out as an ideal choice for various outdoor applications. Its design is perfectly suited for creating outdoor steps, framing garden beds, incorporating water features, and even constructing outdoor kitchens. What sets the Graphix wall apart is its varying depths, which, when combined with a unique but straightforward installation process, result in a striking 3-dimensional visual effect. This feature not only enhances the functionality of the space but also adds a dynamic aesthetic element, making it a compelling choice for those looking to infuse a modern and visually engaging touch into their outdoor landscapes.  

Borealis Steps:

The Borealis retaining wall offers an innovative solution that combines the rustic charm of a wood garden wall with the durability and low maintenance of concrete. Inspired by the traditional and modern use of railroad ties in landscape design, it is an ideal material for constructing high-quality staircases. This retaining wall is available in two attractive wood colors, ensuring it fits seamlessly with various design preferences. Additionally, its compatibility with the rest of the Borealis collection allows for a cohesive look in any landscaping project. The Borealis retaining wall block stands out as the optimal choice for those who appreciate the aesthetic of wood but require the practicality and long-lasting qualities of concrete in their outdoor spaces.  

Melville Tandem:

The Melville Tandem presents a modern and sleek finish as part of the innovative Tandem Wall System by Belgard. This system is notable for its unique connector design, which ensures structural integrity in both curved and straight walls. The design and functionality of the Melville Tandem make it a quick and easy option for step installations, offering an efficient solution without compromising on aesthetic appeal. Its modern look and reliable construction make it a preferred choice for those seeking to combine contemporary style with practicality and ease of installation in their landscaping projects.

Rosetta Irregular steps:

The Rosetta Step Collection skillfully merges the rugged, natural attractiveness of stone with the safety and comfort of uniformly rising steps. This collection is particularly notable for its Irregular Step line, which is ideally suited for creating staircases that have a free-flowing, natural appearance. These steps are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural stone while providing the consistency and safety features needed in a functional staircase. The result is a harmonious balance between the untamed beauty of natural landscapes and the structured, safe design necessary for practical use, making the Rosetta Step Collection a great choice for those seeking to bring a touch of natural elegance to their outdoor spaces.

Maya Stone Steps:

Maya steps, with their large, boulder-like design, are tailored to create outdoor stairs that seamlessly integrate with natural terrain. They are particularly effective in areas with steep slopes or significant changes in grade. These steps are an ideal solution for constructing a sturdy and attractive stone stairway, whether it’s leading to a boat dock, lake access, or any other part of your outdoor landscape. Their substantial size and variation in shapes add to the natural, rugged aesthetic, while the availability of four different colors ensures that they can be matched to a variety of styles and personal preferences. Maya steps are thus a great choice for those looking to blend functionality with natural beauty in their outdoor spaces.

Best design ideas to incorporate stairs into your landscape

Building a raised patio:

Front & Backyard Entry:

Down to a water way 

Best design ideas to incorporate stairs into your landscape

Building a raised patio:

Stone steps are indeed a stellar choice for accessing a raised patio, offering both practicality and a touch of natural elegance. They create a smooth transition from your garden to the patio, effortlessly merging these areas. The beauty of stone steps is in their timeless design, aptly complementing various patio styles, whether rustic or modern. The unique textures and color variations inherent in stone add visual depth to your landscape, enriching the path to your patio.

Known for their durability, stone steps withstand diverse weather conditions, ensuring longevity and safety, particularly crucial for elevated spaces like patios. Moreover, the design versatility of stone steps allows for customization according to personal taste and the overall landscape theme. Whether it’s the rugged charm of natural stone or a sleek, polished look, stone steps can be adapted to enhance your outdoor space, making them an ideal, aesthetically pleasing solution for connecting to a raised patio.

Front & Backyard Entry:

Choosing landscape bricks for front and backyard entry steps is a wise and elegant option that enhances both the look and functionality of your home’s exterior. These bricks are celebrated for their robustness and adaptability, making them ideal for beautifying entryways.

At the front of your home, brick steps can create a welcoming, warm path leading to your door. The bricks’ rich texture and diverse color palette lend an air of sophistication, easily tailored to match your home’s exterior and architectural style. Depending on your preference, the design can vary from straightforward and classic layouts to more elaborate patterns.

In the backyard, these steps can elegantly connect various outdoor spaces, like terraces, gardens, or patios, ensuring seamless and safe movement throughout your garden.

A key advantage of landscape bricks is their durability. Resistant to wear and various weather conditions, they offer a lasting solution for outdoor steps. Their textured surface also provides natural slip resistance, an essential feature for outdoor areas.

Maintenance simplicity is another plus – unlike other materials that necessitate frequent upkeep, bricks are low-maintenance, a boon for homeowners with busy lifestyles.

Incorporating brick steps in your home’s front and back entrances doesn’t just elevate its aesthetic appeal but also boosts functionality. Their classic appearance, coupled with enduring and practical qualities, positions landscape bricks as a top choice for enhancing your home’s entry points.

Down to a water way:

Landscaping steps that lead to backyard waterways such as private lakes, canals, or rivers can significantly enhance the charm and accessibility of your property. These steps serve as a functional and aesthetic bridge between your home and the natural beauty of the water.

When designing steps for such areas, it’s essential to consider both the landscape’s character and the practical aspects of accessing the water. For a cohesive look, choose materials that complement the surroundings. Natural stone or weather-resistant wood are popular choices as they blend seamlessly with the outdoor environment and are durable enough to withstand moisture and varying weather conditions.

The design of the steps should be in harmony with the landscape. For a more natural, rustic look, irregular stone steps can be used. For a sleek, modern feel, uniform, geometrically shaped steps may be more appropriate. The gradient and width of the steps should be carefully planned to ensure safe and comfortable access, especially considering that water areas can be slippery.

Incorporating safety features, such as handrails or non-slip surfaces, is also crucial, particularly in damp environments or if the steps are steep. Additionally, consider the impact of erosion and ensure proper drainage to maintain the integrity of the steps over time.

Landscaping around the steps can further enhance their beauty. Planting native shrubs, flowers, or grasses along the sides of the steps can create a more natural transition to the waterway. In the evening, strategic lighting can illuminate the path, making it safe to navigate while also highlighting the water feature.

Creating steps to your backyard waterway not only adds functionality but also invites interaction with the serene and picturesque element of water in your landscape. It transforms your backyard into a tranquil retreat, perfect for relaxation and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Google Rating


Based on 90 reviews

trusted care

When professional is what you want, professional is what you’ll get. We are your trusted team of landscaping experts who put your needs first.

schedule now

If you are looking for experience and quality landscaping in Calgary, look no further than Project Landscape. From maintenance to specialty projects, we do it all.

contact us

Questions? Our support has you covered. Get in touch with us today and let us take care of all your landscaping design and construction needs the right way.