Well, after debating about rounded steps made with multiple stones, or finding the one perfect large stone, or using cement or wood, we finally settled on finding pre-cut stone stair treads. We'd seen them online and knew they existed somewhere. It was just a matter of finding them locally. We had great success at Stone Zone. The color was right, the size was right, voila – instant steps.
Ok, so maybe not that easy. They're very heavy. Very. Like, don't you dare load them into a car you fool (we borrowed a different vehicle and a trailer). I should also note, for others of the DIY mindset, that my husband prepared the site in a similar fashion to that of the stone patio: dug it out to the properly calculated depth, leveled it so it angled away from the house, and put down a gravel base. We used two 48-inch stones for the base and one 36-inch stone for the top step.
To move them in place my husband and I – to the credit of married couples everywhere – displayed some remarkable teamwork. We used a method he referred to as Egyptian where we rolled them on plastic pipes. I don't imagine the ancient Egyptians had plastic pipes but perhaps some other similar method of rolling. Once one pipe was released from the back, I quickly fetched it and positioned it in front. Very carefully and slowly we laid them into place. Then we both had to brace ourselves and use all the strength we had to adjust them by half an inch. Really, they are that heavy. Those beasts are in for good.
They were a tad more expensive than I anticipated but isn't that how it goes with projects like these? I really can't complain though. They're perfect for our yard.