Natural Stone vs. Concrete Steps
Natural Stone Steps:
The wallstone choices that were discussed in the previous 2 blogs have corresponding natural stone step options. Whether your choice is Chilton or Fon du Lac, the complimentary three, four, and five-foot lengths needed to complete the project are abundant. Steps are important in landscape design as most retaining walls or landings will need some sort of step to bridge an elevation change.
On top of the pure aesthetics of the steps there are other subtle nuances within the choices that must be contemplated. Some steps are cut and have a smooth texture. This can set the steps off with a clean and polished look. Other times one will find the steps existing in their natural rock texture. This pairs wells will the wallstone and gives a naturalistic feel.
Since natural stone is typically uneven in its composition there is usually a fair amount of play to work with when installing. This leads to higher labors rates. On top of using a stone that is somewhat difficult to work with the cost associated with the steps themselves can be very high. The good news is there are a couple of choices that are local that can be of value. Living so close to the Kasota Stone of Southern Minnesota and to the Granite of Central Minnesota, one sure can’t go wrong in picking one of these. Their price can be substantially lower than some of the more spendy alternatives that come from Wisconsin, Canada or New York.
Concrete steps are very nice to work with. Most importantly they are very easy to stack and that can save a ton of time. They are also very nice looking. Many resemble their natural stone counterparts so much that Beds & Borders will use them often. Silvercreek, Belgard, and Versa-Lok all have excellent products that will match any wall. The best part is that they won’t break the bank.
Most of the time the step choices coincide with that of the wallstone. If you are not inclined to make those tough decisions then don’t be too concerned because the corresponding step and wallstone choices are usually seen close together in magazines and at the stone yards.
High-quality landscape design always shows off its material well. The stone steps you can see in the landscapes of Southwest Minneapolis and Edina will make it worthwhile to take a trip to this area to gather some good ideas. Always remember to take photos to show your landscape designer.
Up to this point, there should have been enough information given to get you going in the right direction. On top of gathering photos, I would suggest doing your homework. Start by partaking in an internet search of relevant materials. Clicking on the search engine image tab will show many views of one particular material. This is very helpful when teaming up with a designer. Once you have honed in on options, then schedule a trip to Gertens, Rock Hard or Hedberg to see the materials. This will weed out a lot of uncertainty. The last step is to ask your designer where an example of a project using that material could be found. This should complete all research. All this can be stressful, but in the end, you will be happy you took the time.