Natural stone stairs will support any style of Houston landscaping. It is true that stone is the most expensive hardscape element, but it is also true that stone offers the greatest return on investment in the form of maximized curb appeal and increased property value.
If you have the funds to invest in nature’s one true hardscape, stone staircases built into the landscape elements in your yard will add more dimension, drama, and interest than virtually anything else you can imagine.
In spite of the flat grade of the Houston landscape, we can build staircases of stone in any yard using special landscape architectural techniques. We actually build steps that are 2 inches or less in height. The stair steps are exceptionally long and wider than the stairs inside of homes. This creates the impression of a magnified size that is actually the product of horizontal dimensions as opposed rather than vertical rise.
This means we can built natural stone stairs built into any hardscape, garden, or outdoor building without having to use truckloads of fill dirt to make your yard “hilly.” By the same token, though, some of you near bayous in Houston have hilly yards with steep slopes and grades. The construction technique we use to build stairways also works in these terrains as well.
This is because, if you are climbing a steep grade across a wide, flat step, you only have to step up 1 and ½ inches at a time, you really don’t have to walk up the steep hill—you actually feel like you are gliding up the hill in a gentle rise.
With this in mind now, visualize all the hardscapes and buildings you never would have imagined as being places that could have decorative stone steps incorporated into their design.
Natural stone stairs can be built into any patio that is slightly sunken or slightly raised above the surface. Just a few very long and wide steps rising an inch or two at a time will make that patio stand out like a grand stage of star attraction for your next outdoor party.
Think about a swimming pool with an all natural stone stairway. See the stairs actually built into the patio and leading down into the water in places. Imagine how such a staircase would work in conjunctive geometric relationship to a waterfall that empties its contents into the deep end of the pool.
You can also see how any building will just compound in architectural beauty if a few natural stone stairs are added to its entrance. Outdoor kitchens turn into luxury kitchens the moment a staircase leads to the interior dining and living room area that is every bit as good as the interior of a luxury custom home.
Don’t worry about natural stone stairs making you slip and fall when it rains. Stone can make you do anything. Technically, nothing else can either. However, people slip on wet concrete all the time. Stone can be rendered very safe when wet by working into its surface a powerful, natural tread that will hold your foot in place even if it’s drizzling around you.
This is one of the reasons why natural stone stairs are so expensive to build, and it is also one of the reasons they are worth every penny they cost. It takes millions of years for rain to wear down stone. You’ll be fine in the meantime as you comfortably walk over them for the remainder of your years.