Calculating the amount of concrete needed for steps is essential for any construction project. Whether you’re building outdoor stairs or an internal staircase, getting the calculations right will ensure you have enough material and help avoid waste. Below is a guide on how to accurately calculate the amount of concrete required for your steps.
Step 1: Measure the Dimensions of the Steps
Before calculating the amount of concrete needed, you need to know the dimensions of your steps. The key measurements include:
 Rise: The vertical height of each step.
 Run: The horizontal depth of each step.
 Tread: The surface area where you step.
Example Measurements:
 Rise: 7 inches (0.58 feet)
 Run: 11 inches (0.92 feet)
 Tread: 36 inches (3 feet)
Step 2: Calculate the Number of Steps
To calculate the number of steps, divide the total vertical height by the rise of each step.
Formula:
[ \text{Number of Steps} = \frac{\text{Total Rise}}{\text{Rise}} ]
Example:
If your total rise is 42 inches (3.5 feet): [ \text{Number of Steps} = \frac{42 \text{ inches}}{7 \text{ inches}} = 6 \text{ steps} ]
Step 3: Calculate the Total Volume of Concrete Required
To calculate the total volume of concrete needed for the steps, you’ll need to find the volume of one step and then multiply by the number of steps.
Volume of One Step:
The volume ( V ) of one step can be calculated using the formula for a rectangular prism:
[ V = \text{Rise} \times \text{Run} \times \text{Tread} ]
Example Calculation:
Assuming each step has a rise of 7 inches (0.58 feet), a run of 11 inches (0.92 feet), and a tread of 36 inches (3 feet):

Convert measurements to feet:
 Rise = 0.58 feet
 Run = 0.92 feet
 Tread = 3 feet

Calculate the volume of one step: [ V = 0.58 \times 0.92 \times 3 = 1.60536 \text{ cubic feet} ]

Calculate the total volume for all steps: [ \text{Total Volume} = V \times \text{Number of Steps} ] [ \text{Total Volume} = 1.60536 \times 6 \approx 9.63216 \text{ cubic feet} ]
Step 4: Convert to Cubic Yards
Since concrete is typically sold by the cubic yard, you will need to convert cubic feet to cubic yards.
Conversion Formula:
[ \text{Cubic Yards} = \frac{\text{Cubic Feet}}{27} ]
Example:
[ \text{Cubic Yards} = \frac{9.63216}{27} \approx 0.357 \text{ cubic yards} ]
Conclusion
Calculating the amount of concrete needed for steps involves measuring the rise, run, and tread of each step, determining the total number of steps, and then computing the volume of concrete required. Always round up to the nearest cubic yard when purchasing concrete to account for spillage and overexcavation.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your project goes smoothly, and you have enough concrete to complete your steps effectively!