Tuesday, May 8, 2012

front steps

This is the story of our front steps . . .

When we moved into our home, our steps looked like this. . .

functional, and intact. The home inspection didn't reveal anything amiss and we didn't notice anything either.

That winter, like almost everyone else, we were buried in snow. At least 5 feet here.

When the snow finally receded in the spring, we noticed the mortar between the bricks was literally crumbling underfoot. Even the gentlest toe nudge crumbled the concrete into dust.

For safety reasons, this clearly wasn't a project that could wait. We step up some temporary cinder block stairs while we drew up plans, priced supplies and materials, and Handyman arranged some time off work for our unexpected DIY spring project.

After a long weekend of concrete mixing and brick laying we had our new steps. . .

I spotted these planters sitting outside a cute shop in Napa Valley last fall.
Anyone know where I can purchase a similiar pair?

I don't even want to think about how much this would have cost if we hadn't done it ourselves. . .

Of course, I left the dirty & heavy work to Handyman and his Dad. I relegated myself to lunch provider, Home Depot runner for all the Quickcrete, and kid entertainer to keep the curious little one and his fingers out of the way. 

We still need to seal the steps and add handrails, but other than that, there are complete. One project down, 99+ to go. . .

Did last winter bring any surprise spring projects your way?

Linked up to SerenityNow, BNOTP, Debbie Doos, Making the World Cuter, LinesAcrossMyFace, NifyThrifty, CRAFT, HomemakerOnADime, MadeByYou, SingingThreeLittleBirds, SweetAnneDesigns, S3, HowtoNestforLess, NotJustaHousewife, CoastalCharm, Carolyn'sHomework, SugarBeeCrafts, ClaimingOurSpace, MyUncommonSliceofSuburbia, aBowlFullofLemons, CozyHomeScenes, theDelectableHome, BoogieboardCottage, theMommyClub, GingerSnaps, SavvySouthernStyle, NewlywedsOnaBudget, DIYByDesign, UncommonDesign, Michelle'sTastyCreations, LiveLaughRowe, ShabbyCreekCottage, FirefliesandJellbeans, HouseofHepworths, the36thAve, LovingThisCrazyLifeFindingFabulous, AtthePicketFence, TheShabbyNext, ALittleKnickKnack, 30HandmadeDays, CheeriosAndLattes, It'sOverflowing, MopItUpClassyClutter, SundayRoundUp, DIYShowoff, HomeStories, MakingLemonade, HomeStoriesAtoZ


  1. Hi Laura: It's devastating when something shows up that you were not prepared for, but you and handyman did a wonderful job on the new stairs. They look great..Happy Tuesday..Judy

  2. I am pleased with your visit .... and I'm following you in your blog. I also like family adventures and building up a happy family! By the way, I love your house, and the new front steps!!!!

  3. Love the new steps! I have seen those planters somewhere, maybe a catalog. I will look to see if I can find them again. I love them, so traditional.

  4. Really looks great! I love brick and if I find those planters I will let you know! I'm a new follower, great blog!

    Barbara @Chase the Star (fellow rookie blogger!)

  5. Your new steps look so good, I love the brick and granite combo. I bet you are glad to have this project crossed off your to-do list.

  6. Well, I'm super impressed with the handy man's craftsmanship! They look fabulous ... and sturdy. Ready to withstand a mountain of snow ...



  7. Nice job! Looks like a hard job, but well done. thanks for sharing with the newbie party.

  8. It looks amazing, so impressive!! Thanks for sharing and I am a new follower!
    Hope you have a great week!

  9. You did a wonderful job on the steps! I like the planter you are looking for. I did a quick search but didn't find the X design but found several like this: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM1674251001P?sid=IDx20101019x00001a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM2148392401 (seemed to be one of the better priced ones)

  10. Nicely done!

    Glad you were able to get that fixed - so wonderfully- right away! Really looks great!

  11. Fabulous job on the steps! Looks like it was a lot of work but well worth it. :-) Hope you have a wonderful night!

  12. gorgeous! and i love that your cape is really a cape, not a huuuge home with dormers and a big ol' porch, etc. to me, that is not really a cape. ours are capes, lol!

  13. I love what you did! wow, where did you find the stair treads in granite?? You must be in the East...
    I have seen those planters at Restoration Hardware and at Ballards....

  14. Love the redo, no fun when things go sideways but it turned out great! I am a new reader :) Tanya

  15. Your new steps look great, and even though you didn't plan to do them, I know you appreciate knowing they are safe. I have seen those planters several times in person. Maybe at a local greenhouse or Lowes or Home Depot. That's where I shop for garden stuff anyway. Hope you'll be able to find them because they are really pretty. Thanks for stopping by Your Cozy Home Party this week.

  16. I love the steps! Sometimes unexpected projects turn out the best. On the planters, I am not sure how handy you are but I saw this planter's plans on Ana White's site. Not exactly the same but still cute. http://ana-white.com/2012/04/plans/square-planters-finials Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday!

  17. The steps really came out great! It's too bad that this big problem didn't show up in your home inspection. Those unexpected expenses are one of those lovely parts of being a home owner. Thankfully you have a hubby who is handy like mine and you don't need to pay someone else to do all of the jobs.

    Thanks for linking up! Have a great weekend!

  18. Love the new steps! I love old brick, we have it in front of our house. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. Have a wonderful weekend.


  19. Great job on the steps. Thanks for sharing at wow.

  20. Laura,
    Y'all did a great job on the steps. The brick work looks great and I love the trends that you used!
    As you can see from our new project we did quite a bit of laying ourselves. Still have the BBQ area to go. But oh so satisfying to look at all the work when your through, huh?

  21. That looks awesome. My husband loves to do stuff like that around the house, but I don't think he's ready for that big of a project. Thanks for posting on Saturday Show and Tell, I hope you'll be back this week.


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