Runde's Landscape Contractors 847-464-5056

The professional landscape specialists at Rundes are also experts in the field of Hardscaping. As a landscape design company that has been in the Fox Valley area for over 25 years we know how to design a beautiful yard, and as an Authorized Unilock Contractor for 20 years, we know our hardscape products and how to correctly install them to look great, and to last a long time.

From our many years of experience here's a few tips on how to prevent Steps and Stoops from going bad.

It all starts with the proper base. The base we choose on most projects is concrete. It’s a 6 bag mix with fibers- it's extra strong to prevent concrete from breaking but we don’t stop with just strong concrete. We rebar a cage with 1/2 inch iron bars that mold the particular step/stoop layout. We over do the iron cage because as many concrete companies will tell you, concrete will crack. The iron cage we encase in the concrete keeps the cracks to a minimum and usually allow only hair line cracks. This step does not alter the brick we glue over the concrete at all. Concrete is only the beginning. We need to keep the concrete from settling. To help achieve that we pin the concrete stoop to the home foundations.

We add posthole footings below frost to help prevent heaving, settling and use existing home wing walls that were poured with the original foundation – no need to reinvent the wheel -. If they are there and most times they are, we use them as support also.

We properly use flashing to prevent moisture from possibly entering the home from the bottom of the door down past the top of the foundation. This prevents wood rot and possible moisture from driving rains from entering the home. It’s a must have and it’s code.

The brick pavers we install over the concrete have a lot to do with the long term look of the project. Unilock offers many options. We only choose stones that are large 10-12” or bigger on most stoops/steps’ edges so there is more room for glue to adhere to concrete. Loose pavers are a thing of the past. Rundes tries to have a tread of 16-18” on each step and not to have small cuts. If needed we keep them in the middle and not on ends that can break off.

Finally we use the proper jointing sand. (Yes, there is a specific sand for sweeping between the pavers) and keep it the proper height. We seal with a top of the line sealer to keep out the moisture.

Several points were left out to keep this a brief educational snapshot. If you would like to know more of the details or have a project in mind, please give us a call.

Frame/Rebar/Footings and proper flashing
Runde's Step Construction
Concrete Pour 6 Bag Mix (Hardest Cement)