Front door step ideas please

grievousangelMarch 22, 2009

Hi all, I'm at a loss for what to do with my unsightly front door step. It's currently non-level/square and covered in old mastic. Any ideas that wouldn't look out of place on my 1922 house would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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You really could do several materials. It looks like your house is siding, so brick might look out of place, but concrete would work, although it's not nearly as decorative. It also seems like you'd want to extend it over to the left side of the door some, too. Wood is another options, although that has some maintenance issues, but if it's covered it might not be too bad. Concrete with slate over top?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 7:45PM
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It's hard to take a guess with not seeing much more. What style is the house? What sort of landscaping do you have?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:27AM
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You know, I'm not quite sure what style it is. Maybe you could help me with that too ;) Here are a couple more pics. The flowering tree at the rear right of the lot has been replaced with bamboo and a couple of Japanese maples.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:32AM
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The door step is completely covered so wood sounds like it'd be the easiest option. Painted? Stained? At any rate, it definitely needs to be extended out left.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 2:00AM
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What is the rectangular framed thing on the house to the left of the step? Is it possibly something that isn't meant to be blocked?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:08AM
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The rectangular thing vents the crawl space. There are about a dozen all around the house. I'll definitely verify before I do anything.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:25PM
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You know, I'll bet this isn't the first steps this house has had. Notice the white 'beam' to the right of the steps. It's truncated at the bottom exactly at the level of the bottom of the door, like that was the original bottom and the steps replaced with something lower. It looks like the step has been poured or placed after the new siding was put on too.

I don't think brick looks bad against vinyl/aluminum siding, but I think slate would look really good. I have a prejudice against wooden steps/stoops and it's just a personal thing. I have found them to be slippery when wet, needing maintenance if painted, and it's a choice for porches in my locale on older, established homes simply because it's cheaper than pouring concrete and modern looking 'decks' stuck on homes when it's not historically accurate. You house, btw is very pretty.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 11:50PM
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Thanks! I think you're right about the door. In fact, marks on the interior floor indicate the front door was formerly located about 12" to the right.

The house started out as about 500 sq ft. It was then moved to its current locations and had the two bedrooms added on. Many changes over the years.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:08AM
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I was wondering why the stoop was offset to the right so much. That would do it. You know something, that empty area of stoop is begging your for a large pottery urn filled with flowers. LOL. My mind goes immediately to entrances and urns, can you tell I own greenhouses?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 5:32PM
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That's a fabulous door. Did you paint yourself? Do you know the colors, trim, door, siding? Wonderful choices, it looks fantastic.

I think the most practical thing would be a wooden step that you could paint similar to the wall or trim color so it blends and looks original. All your existing exterior is wood, so I'd personally want to stay with a wood platform for this reason.

The wooden 'platform' will have slats to allow ventilation i.e. not interfering with that vent on the lh side, yet it would still allow you to expand the stoop over the vent. You could also build over the existing concrete stoop, thus saving money for cost of removal.

It just needs to be made wider so that it's symmetrical (same dimensions on each side of the door - it looks like the trim on each side of the door is already equal distance - the area to the right of the mailbox and left of the vent), and of course the platform needs more depth (jutting out further to a comfortable position).

Urns or planters flanking this doorway would look spectacular.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 1:55AM
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If you did build a wooden, slatted platform, I think I'd bring up up to the original step level, just slightly below the bottom of the door, so that when one walked out, they didn't have to immediately step down. It would also solve the truncated white beam suspended in mid-air, on the right lol, and not occlude the little vent space.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 9:54AM
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I was thinking of a pebble like finish on the step. Here's a site that just gives an idea of pebble ideas. The cool thing with that is you can buy pebble runners and mats that would tie in and give it an earthy feel.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:37AM
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Thanks! I bought the house 95% complete so I can't take credit for the color choices but I definitely love the work the restorers did! The colors are as follows:

Door: Benjamin Moore "Cottage Red"
Body: Benjamin Moore HC-31
Trim: Benjamin Moore HC-32

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 9:56PM
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I think I'm leaning towards wood at this point. I think it'll "blend" better with the house and will definitely be easier to do. Plus, it's a quick demo if I don't like the results. What do you guys think about an overhanging red deck and yellow risers? Too much red?

Either way, I'm definitely getting some pottery containers. Thanks all!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:08PM
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I think a wood landing would look real nice. Of course with the Flower Pots.

Good luck
What a beautiful house!

The porchguy

Here is a link that might be useful: My Album

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 9:29PM
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You can cover it with wood, granite, sandstone, bluestone, slate, etc. as long as it is one large piece. I would avoid joints; a front door threshold should look substantial and not be likely to deteriorate over time.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 1:03PM
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Well, I wondered why you called yourself Porchman, until I looked at your albums. LOL. Your porch is prettier than my interior floors!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 8:19PM
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Not that you asked, but looking at your pictures, your "sidewalk to nowhere" in the front of your house is really confusing to a first-time-viewer. What were they thinking? Practicing the side-step dance? I think while you are re-doing the front step, you should also tie in the arch of the entranceway with matching colors and/or materials, so people don't have to guess where your front door is. And if you are really motivated, move the sidewalk over so it goes directly to the front entrance. (Yes, I've been watching too much HGTV!)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 3:07PM
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Regarding the "sidewalk to nowhere", my guess is that someone planned to build a front door/entryway there since the house was relocated to the current location and the actual/original front door is now on the side. I know I've had the thought...but now that mention it, it'd be way easier to move the walkway then move the entryway. Hmmm, new item for the low priority list.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:39PM
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I finally finished a small Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) deck. It won't be that shiny when it dries. The urns have been bought and the flowers are germinating, best part, the planter will cover the "floating trim". Thanks for the good ideas all!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 7:33PM
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WOW! I have to say that looks fantastic. Great choice. Where do you come across teak? Do you have to locate online, locally, or hire a carpenter?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:40AM
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Thanks! I picked up the Cumaru/Brazilian Teak (aka poor mans teak) at the local lumber yard. They had the real thing but it was going for over $27/board foot (compared to $3.25/board foot for the Cumaru). However, there are plenty of online places that'll ship it to your door.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 2:17PM
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What an improvement! Nice work.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:19PM
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That is absolutely beautiful and you did a great job. Awesome wood, nice finish. Really makes an impact at the front door.

I am curious, though, why you didn't take that dummy board from under the door jamb, and make the steps more level with the bottom of the door, and bringing it up to its former height? You'd have caught that board hanging in mid-air at the same time. Rationale of what I am not seeing?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:49PM
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Thanks for the nice words. At the current height, 2x8s lined up perfectly with 1.5x4s screwed directly onto the old concrete. Making it any higher would've required long rip cuts and joisting shenanigans which I wasn't sure I could pull off decently.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 6:38PM
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Don't blame you, knew you had a reason and knew I couldn't see it. Thanks for indulging me.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Want to see a picture of my 'custom' step?

Are you ready?

Ok....promise not to laugh. have the right to laugh. I won't hold it against you.

Actually, this is the original stoop to the house that we're remodeling this year. We had a contractor over and he kept complaining because the concrete platform sits uncomfortably low under the door, the distance obviously not up to code, so he built this for us on a whim...a temporary wooden step. I painted it and threw some of that rough tape on it to prevent us from's really a pathetic looking thing, but temporary.

Trust me, I can't wait to see it go. Especially after seeing your beautiful Teak!

BTW - that's my old dog Cody (17 yrs) and the Chi is my beloved Chewy - I had to put Chewy down this past weekend due to congestive heart failure. I miss him dearly, he was such a little lover boy. He hadn't a clue to his own size...he'd charge Pit Bulls though he weighed all but 4 lbs! LOL.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:16PM
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Awww, that's sad :(

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 2:13PM
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