Building Concrete Steps
for a Front Porch

Our How to Build Concrete Steps Guide

We hope our building concrete steps pictorial and guide will give you the necessary information upon which to decide if this project is within your capabilities.

As you will see, the most critical component is ensuring the framing is sufficient to hold the wet concrete in place until it dries.



Mary and I have been documenting the process for constructing concrete flooring for a front porch, the concrete steps, and a walkway to give you an up close and pictorial view of exactly how it is done.

In this section, we will show you how to build concrete steps with an aggregate finish.

concrete steps on attractive front porch
We'll show you the steps taken to build these attractive concrete steps

Siting the Concrete Porch Steps

brick front porch before building concrete steps
Brick front porch prior to concrete step construction
The first step in the process was to squarely position the porch steps. In this case the homeowner wanted the steps positioned on the front door. Finding the midpoint of the front door opening and extrapolating that point to the outside porch wall will give you the center of the step.

Once you have marked the midpoint you can then find the outer edges of the porch steps.

The next step is to align a square down the front of the porch wall as shown below, keeping in mind that you have to allow for the plywood form.

siting porch steps centered on front door
Siting the concrete steps on brick wall
Draw a line down the wall and use that line to fasten 2x4 framing as shown. Repeat the process on the other side.

attaching 2x4s to brick porch wall for to begin framing
Attaching 2x4s to brick porch wall for framing and forms



Lay Out the Stringers for Concrete Steps

In lieu of erecting the plywood forms and then measuring and marking the rise and run for stringers when building concrete steps, it is easier to lay it out before fastening the plywood as shown below. This is a critical step in the process and if doing so yourself, recommend you measure more than once to make sure it is correct.

laying out the stringers for the concrete steps on plywood form
Laying out the stringers on forms before attaching to framing

Attach the Forms

Now they began to attach the plywood to the 2x4 framing by nailing it in place. Because of the height of this porch, another section of plywood must be added. Again, they marked the stringer placement on the plywood before they attached it to the framing.

erecting first level of plywood form
Attaching first level of plywood form

attaching the second level of plywood to achieve desired height
Attaching second level of plywood form for desired height

Reinforce the Forms

They began reinforcing the plywood sheets by attaching 2x4s horizontally across the plywood to prevent it from bowing until the concrete dries. Notice the 2x4 top plate. That is added onto which they will affix the upper plywood panel.

attachign 2x4s horizontally to keep form from bowing
Reinforcing plywood forms with 2x4s place horizontally

reinforced plywood form
Reinforced plywood form for concrete

Prepare Brick Porch Wall

When building concrete steps it may be necessary to attach them to the brick facing on the porch. Once the plywood panels were in place, they began hammering out the brick along the the porch wall.

The holes, placed strategically down the wall will later be filled with concrete thereby attaching the steps to the porch's brick wall.

knocking out brick to accept concrete
Knocking out brick to accept concrete

knocking out brick to accept concrete
Brick wall ready to accept concrete

Position the Risers

After erecting the plywood panels, they began installing the framing for the risers on the steps. Each piece is cut to length and nailed into position using the rise and run lines they had previously marked on the panels.

installing risers for concrete steps
Installing risers for concrete steps

risers positioned according to layout
Risers positioned according to layout
NOTE: Notice how the bottom of the risers are cut at a 45 degree angle. This is a necessary step as if not done, you won't be able to seamlessly join one to step to the other.

bottoms of risers cut at 45 degrees
Bottom of risers cut to 45 degrees

Reinforce Entire Structure

Once the risers and forms were in place they began reinforcing the entire structure by adding 2x4s vertically and bracing the walls as shown. This perhaps, is one of the most critical components in the process to ensure the concrete steps are formed correctly. No matter the size of your concrete steps you just can't brace too much.

reinforcing entire structure to hold concrete
Reinforcing structure to hold forms in place

installing both horizontal and vertical bracing
Bracing both horizontally and vertically

Constructing Lower Section of Porch Steps

They then began to build concrete steps for the lower section in the same manner as the upper portion.

erecting the lower section of forms and risers
Began erecting the lower section of the porch steps

lower section of concrete steps formed
Lower section of steps completed

Fill the Cavity When Building Concrete Steps

With the porch steps framed, the next step was to fill the cavities between the forms with concrete blocks onto which concrete will be poured. The concrete blocks only fill the center of the cavity from bottom to top.

area between forms filled with concrete blocks
Filling cavities with concrete blocks

When Building Concrete Steps - Reinforce One More Time

The last step in the concrete-porch-steps construction is to reinforce the entire structure. Once the concrete starts pouring, there is no recourse. Therefore, the structure must be substantially reinforced to hold the weight and not create any bulges, gaps, etc.

adding additional bracing for concrete
Additional bracing is added to support structure

bracing in every direction
Note how it is braced in every way imaginable

braced from every angle
Another view of the bracing

Ready for Concrete

There is a lot of steps involved in building concrete steps so it is always good to see the concrete and pumping truck arrive.

concrete truck delivering concrete to the concrete pumping truck
Concrete pumping truck

concrete being poured at the top of the steps
Pouring the top of the porch steps

pouring concrete in lower porch step section
Working their way down the steps

Finishing the Concrete Pour

Almost done. As the concrete is being poured into the form, workers ensure it is spread evenly to fill any gaps or voids. Also note that workers also continue to monitor and add additional bracing as required to maintain the integrity of the form.

spreading concrete in form
Spreading concrete and monitoring the bracing

leveling concrete on porch steps
Leveling concrete on porch steps

Making It Aggregate

Since these are going to be aggregate porch steps, a concrete surface retarder is applied. This delays the hardening of the surface so it can later be hosed downed to expose the aggregate stone.

See our guide to concrete porch flooring for more information about applying the concrete surface retarder.

concrete retardant being sprayed over concrete
Applying concrete retardant

Finished Front Porch Steps

When the concrete hardens the forms are removed and the porch steps are exposed. As a finishing step, wrought iron railings were added.

finished concrete porch steps
Finished concrete porch steps

finished concrete porch steps with wrought iron railings
Finished concrete porch steps with wrought iron railings

Please Don't Go Yet!

Building concrete steps is quite a project and hopefully you now have a better understanding of what is involved. Be sure to see more of our concrete porch options below.



The secret to getting paid for what you already know
The Secret to Getting Paid for What You Already Know

Helpful Links

Popular Pages

What's New

Porch Designs

Porch Ideas for Mobile Homes

Find a Local Contractor

Build a Porch | Small Porches

Porch Columns | Porch Railings

Screened Porches

Porch Curtains | Porch Enclosures

Porch Landscaping | Vinyl Lattice

Porch Decorating | Porch Ideas

Navigation Aids

Home | Top of Page

Site Search | Site Map

Contact Us


Disclosure Policy | Privacy Policy

Legal Info

Please Join Us Here Also

Join us on Facebook for porch talk Join us on Pinterest Subscribe to get our updates. Thank you!

Get up to 4 free local contractor estimates for work you need done
Find a Local Contractor

Our Sponsors
Use the PCA Visualizer to design your screen door
PCA Products Complement any Home

The Porch Store
Porch Store - Custom Porch Products

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks for Your Porch Parts

Copyright© 2008-2020
All rights reserved.

Content and photos may not be reproduced
in any way without our written permission.

small rocking chair

Get up to 4 free local contractor estimates for work you need done
Find a Local Contractor

Our Sponsors
Use the PCA Visualizer to design your screen door
PCA Products Complement any Home

The Porch Store
Porch Store - Custom Porch Products

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks for Your Porch Parts

The secret to getting paid for what you already know
The Secret to Getting Paid for What You Already Know


Get Our Newsletter,
Front Porch Appeal
and a bonus!
Learn more!

Subscribe and also receive our eBook
Free eBook - Maximize Your Homes Curb Appeal We will use your email address only to send our newsletter and this helpful ebook on curb appeal!
Enjoy our back issues.

What's New
What is new or updated on our site
See Our Latest Updates

Get Our Porch Ideas Generator eBook
Front Porch Ideas Generator eBook
Ten Before & After Case Studies
Showing the Difference a Porch Makes!
Only $9.97

See Our Porch Illustrator eBook
Porch Illustrator Vol 1 & Vol 2 eBook
Over 300 Pages of Porch Illustrations
to Absolutely Inspire!
Just $9.97

Search Our Site

Porch Ideas Network
Porch Ideas Network
Listen to Our Podcasts
Plus Featured Builders and Landscapers

Have a wonderful day!

small rocking chair
We may earn a commission by referring you to some products on merchant sites. See our disclosure policy. Thank you.

Front Porch Designs Home | Return to Top
Contact Us | About Us | Advertise with Us | Search | Site Map
Media | Privacy Policy | Disclosure | Legal Notice | What's New

XML RSS   Add to My Yahoo!  
By Mary and Dave Morris, Copyright © 2008-2019 All rights reserved.
Content and photos may not be reproduced or copied in any way without our express written permission.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape