How to Build Cinder Block Steps

5 Materials
6 Hours

I needed some steps going out the back of the garage because the step down was very far. After scouring the internet on how to build regular steps and watching a ton of videos on YouTube, I figured there had to be an easier way.
So, I drew up some plans for steps and started researching materials to build the steps out of. Then, another search. This time on using cinder blocks to build steps.
There are other videos out there but they didn't outline the process very well and didn't include the cap stones like I wanted.
So, back to the design board in laying out how these were going be installed. A quick trip to the hardware store to buy materials, some basic prep work and voila...simple, easy, and inexpensive steps anyone can do!
These were very easy to build and cost less then $100.
Below is a step by step video of my project and it only took part of the weekend to do!
The video outlines all the steps necessary to build these cinder block steps. The links below are to all the materials used in the build.
If you have questions, leave them in the comment section below.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 44 questions
  • Mary DiGiallonardo
    Mary DiGiallonardo
    on Jun 29, 2018

    Why didn't you put quick cement in the holes of the cinder blocks and on top to make sure the square ones wouldn't shift?

    • Debra Neeley
      Debra Neeley
      on Oct 11, 2019

      they are stacked, nothing keeps them from tipping left and right of the doorway. Dirt is the only thing stabilizing the bottom row closest to the house the top pavers do not lock anything together. Would be easy to remove later.

  • Marty
    on Jan 30, 2019

    I need to replace my out side steps b/c of termites this is in a Mobile home for side enterance sorry about spelling great idea but County would require some type of permanant railing so have any ideas? Right now steps going up and down both sides i only need one side Help What was the coast for the blocks??

    • Diane Kirsch
      Diane Kirsch
      on Oct 30, 2019

      i had a mobile home in WI, and had a set of metal stairs on my back (side) door...i think they were either Iron or wrought iron, but they came with the home, so i think they were in 'code'.

  • Lisa House
    Lisa House
    on Apr 4, 2019

    Can this be done without removing the concrete under the current steps? Is there a limit as to the height that can be achieved with the cinder blocks?

    • Jim Saurman
      Jim Saurman
      on May 7, 2019

      You can build them as tall as you want, but if you go above two or three steps, it would be wise to tie everything together with mortar, the way a real blockmason would do it. But if you use rebar and mortar to reinforce it, you could build it an unlimited height.

      As for removing concrete, I don't really understand the question, but the key is to make the steps have both a comfortable rise and run, the standard is 7 inches of rise, and 11 inches of run. Obviously that's for a "standard" stair, and many stairways don't conforms to that, but the further you get away from that standard, the more annoying the stairs become.

      If you already have a flat concrete pad, you won't have to remove it, you would just have to cut the concrete blocks so that you got the appropriate rise and run. You should start at the top and work your way down, so if there is an oddball step with a short rise, it should be at the bottom, not the top. But usually you can find a way to adjust the rise for whatever space you have to fill. If it's 24", then you could do three times 8", if it's 23" then you can do 8", 8", 7" or alternately 7.66" each. So there are plenty of ways to make it work no matter what you have in place already. You'd need a concrete saw of course to saw up the blocks, but it's not difficult.

Join the conversation

2 of 188 comments
  • Bec28955401
    on Oct 20, 2019

    YOU made

  • Neetsie
    on Jun 4, 2020

    Nice instructions. Just a comment re: painting the cement blocks. We painted some cement blocks for a different project. We bought a sealer first and painted that on. The cement blocks really absorbed it and that was OK. It was cheaper than paint and we actually gave it 2 coats with the sealer. Then we gave it 2 coats of paint. It may sound like overkill, but those blocks are going to look nice for a very long time. To answer someone's question at the top of this post, yes, you can paint cement blocks. But sealer will help you save money and help the paint for cement last much longer.

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