Both functional and aesthetic, patio steps can be made from almost any material you can imagine, from stone to wood. Mix it up and use multiple materials or match your existing patio for a balanced effect, but if you really want to impress the neighbors, remember the details.
A classic and often inexpensive choice for your patio steps, concrete steps can be purchased precast or installed and poured on site. Plus, you're no longer limited to that old-fashioned gray; concrete now comes in a variety of colors and can often be stamped to match existing brick work, or can typically be designed to match your specifications. Concrete, more than other types of stair step options, also lends itself better to common stair decorations, such as tread overhangs.
Add a note of rustic or fairy-tale charm to your patio by building natural stone steps. Made from large slabs of stone, natural stone steps are set into the earth, and each step is partially held up by the one below it. Natural stone can be purchased in a variety of colors from around the world, but if you want a real natural effect, find a quarry near where you live, or a supplier who sells local stone, for a true regional look.
Bricks and pavers
One of the most common choices for both patios and patio steps, bricks and pavers create a contemporary but classic look that many people love. Available in a variety of colors and shapes, bricks and pavers are versatile, sturdy options for your patio steps, and they can be used together in a design. If you choose brick or pavers for your patio steps, though, be aware that you'll need to keep up with them--mortar between the stones can and will eventually wear away.
Basic wood steps
If your patio is more of a deck or connects to a deck, basic wooden steps may be the way to go. Often more inexpensive than other options, including concrete, wooden steps are a basic do-it-yourself project that can be completed in a single day or weekend if you plan ahead. Purchase individual boards and cut them to size if you have the tools, or buy a kit that fits your step height and width requirements. Whatever you do, be sure to seal your steps after you install them, so they'll last longer.
Add a planter
After your steps are complete, add a little beauty to them by creating built-in planters or purchasing colorful ones. Planters with herbs or flowering plants can be set along the edge of the steps or on the patio to create a livable space outdoors.