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The benefit of solid concrete steps is the durability, aesthetic options and longevity. Wood steps, which typically cost less, are usually unsightly and don’t last as long. Not to mention the maintenance required.
Masonry steps (brick or stone) typically look the nicest and are rather durable for the first 10-15 yrs but after that, the freeze / thaw cycle that we are subjected to in this part of the world will start to damage the masonry above ground. When most people think of concrete they think of plain concrete steps which may not be aesthetically pleasing.
Decorative concrete steps are not only visually appealing, but they are the most durable. You are combining the best of both worlds of strength and beauty. If done properly you are not able to tell the difference between masonry and decorative concrete.
The design options with Decorative concrete are limitless! Decorative concrete can be crafted to look old or new, like stone, brick or wood. They can look like hand chiseled barn stones, boulders and field stones, stacked stone, brick, old world travertine, slate, or even tile! The possibilities are endless.
Typically the cost is a little more, but it is comparable to masonry. Depending on the product, some masonry stone is becoming harder to acquire so that is driving up the price and concrete may be less expensive while providing the same look. There is a little more labor involved in the decorative part, but the longevity you receive in the durability of the product far surpasses its competition.