I’m SUPER excited about some work we had done to the front of the house last week – keep in mind this is phase one of probably ten. As you know I do things slow around here for budget and sanity reasons. :)
I’ve talked about our tiny front porch many times over the years. I mean…I’d hardly even call it a porch. It’s a landing really. But even though it’s small I’ve dressed it up over the years:
Our front door opens in, obviously, so it’s never been a big issue to have flowers and stuff up there. The only night that worries me is Halloween – I have to take the flowers down so the kiddies can get up on the porch.
Things got interesting when we added the glass door last year (my solution to a glass front door without really having glass in my front door):
This door opens out, so it was a tight squeeze to get people in. I could have gotten rid of my flowers and plants, but I wanted both – pretty flowers and get people into my house comfortably. Is that really too much to ask? :)
The thing is – even with the flowers gone, it was still a little precarious. It happens every time we have people over – only one person can go up or down the steps at once. It was last year sometime when I started dreaming up a solution and I finally got the ball rolling a few weeks ago.
Our steps were ridiculously tiny for our house. When I started really looking at it I realized how goofy small they were. They were pulling away from the foundation quite a bit too – there was at least an inch between them and the house. But they just always felt unsafe to me because they were so thin. (I love the depth of each tread though – that part we kept.)
So last week the concrete company came to start the process. We had the first of our azalea bushes removed (the biggest one) and put it in the back. The rest will be moving back there too (I plan do to that part) and will be replaced with evergreen bushes that stay green all winter long. (More on that later.)
Our burning bush that was by the front steps was removed because it was almost dead from bugs that look like scale. (If parts of your bushes aren’t blooming look for that – you can kill the bugs if it’s not too far along, but ours was toast.) When they were done we were left with this:
You can really see how small the steps are here! They took the railing off and then poured the new, much wider steps.
We couldn’t walk on the new ones for a few days, so I got some other stuff done that I’ve been meaning to take care of. The teeny tiny ceiling on our teeny tiny porch has been looking pretty gross for the last few years:
I scraped the old paint, cleaned everything and then painted it in a light blue:
I’ve seen this done on big porches and not only does it look nice, it’s supposed to keep the bugs away. Bugs love to get up inside this area so we’ll see if it does any good. Either way it’s much cleaner and prettier now!
I also cleaned the light fixture glass. While I was up there I took down our house numbers (they used to hang above our front door). They were brass (really hard to see), and were a mess:
I cleaned them off and sprayed them in oil rubbed bronze to go with the rest of the hardware on the front of the house. I hung them up in a different spot where they’re much easier to see.
And of course, the flag came out. I feel like summer starts when the flag is waving again! The new steps make such a HUGE difference!:
Originally I was going to place the planters on either side again, but because I had them take the steps out to the left quite a bit more (I would have gone further to the right too, but I didn’t want to have to mess with the gutter) it worked out so much better to place them on the left going up the steps.
I am SO thrilled with it so far! I can’t even tell you how nice it is just to run up and down these and not feel like you’re going to fall off the side. :)
We didn’t have them extend the sidewalk part yet because we’re still deciding on some other changes we may make. Depending on what we do the sidewalk will either look different or we’ll have that extended:
The cement steps will be a different color for awhile but hopefully that will blend better with some time. If not I may stain all of it.
They’re back today to put the railing back up but…I really don’t want it. :) A few of you have commented over the years that we should take it down off the old steps, and I agreed, but because they were so small it didn’t feel like the best idea. Now these just feel safer in general, so I hate to add it back. My husband thinks it’s best to have it for safety reasons and I’m pretty sure we have to do it to meet code, so it will be reinstalled.
It’s still going to look SO much better!:
I grabbed a few shots at night too – I love our house with the landscaping lights I told you about last week:
It feels more grand and just fits much better with the house. No more teeny tiny steps!
I LOVE our azalea bushes, but as I mentioned, those will be moved to the back. They only bloom about two weeks out of the year and from December to April they are really thin and not so attractive. The lilies I have planted in there have been over taken by the bushes, so those will be moved too.
We need to have our exterior paint trim painted SO bad – we were told by a friend it’s to the point that the wood may have to be replaced soon if we don’t do it. So that’s on the list for this summer too. Who knows if it will all happen, but I’m thrilled with our new steps!:
Here’s a before and after for you:
LOVE it!!I’ve gotten a ton done outside lately – now I’m moving back in. :) I have a big project I’d like to get done inside that front door, but I think it’s going to have to wait till next month now. It involves ripping up all of this tile:
Wish me luck. :)
Do you have a big front porch? Or a tiny one like ours? Any solutions you’ve come up with to make it work better?