This afternoon I spent a couple of hours taking down a deck-style front step that had been built overtop of the original concrete steps. Because the crazy elevation of the yard means the drive and walk ways go down toward the house, the first step of the deck was short, the second was giant, and the third was also high. There was also no handrail where one needed to be. The result was that older people, like my mother and aunt, had a difficult time getting up the steps.
The deck-porch was solidly built and I guess it was about 15 years old. It was rotted in some spots, notably the railings, but solid elsewhere. It was difficult to get off – where I needed to pry was rotted, so there was no leverage. But eventually it came off (with a sledgehammer) and the original steps are revealed.
The original steps have just two risers to the landing and then another step up into the house. They appear in good shape – concrete covered with indoor/outdoor golf carpet. Clearly some updating to do, but that can wait until next summer. I just had to get the deck-porch off because with the new addition comes a leveled out elevation – no reverse incline to the house, but rather level or even rising in height a little. So, the old deck-porch wouldn’t do anymore.
Upon seeing the original steps I felt a sense of ‘right’ – these small concrete steps feel much more normal and appropriate for the house. They’re ‘right’, even with the awful golf carpeting. The deck-porch was wrong and I’m glad to see it gone. And I’m delighted that they’re in such good shape.
But now, with the deck-porch gone, I can see significant holes into my basement and a large rotted gap under the door. I don’t think those should wait for next summer’s repair list because I live where it gets to be really cold in the winter, so will make some calls to see about hiring a carpenter to fix these spots.
I had just made a list today anyway that involved having a carpenter come out and fix the jambs at the front door – and hopefully install new doors. The jambs are rotted and the hinge screws loosen up regularly, so definitely need to replace those. Would be good to also have new weather strips. So, all good reasons to call a carpenter.
Why not the company I hired to do the addition – which by the way they have not started yet (communication is not their strong point – I have no idea when they intend to start)? Because I have signed the contract and it does not include the front door and I would rather not do a ‘change order’ before the work even starts and I might as well just pay someone straight out for this work and get it done.
Anyway, I feel pleased that I’ve liberated the original steps and that they are so fitting for the house.