One of the things that has been on our wish list since we bought our house was replacing the front stairs with a proper porch. The entire setup for getting from the driveway into the house was poorly thought out by the prior owners, and decidedly in need of some improvement.
That project got pushed to the back burner, however, while we dealt with more urgent things like getting a garden in, taking down trees that were fall hazards to the house, etc. This past winter, however, we noted that our concrete front stairs had developed a hole... and it was quickly (and alarmingly) getting progressively larger! So the porch project got bumped to the top of the list.
While the world was still buried in snow, we had people out to look at it, forked over some money, and secured ourselves a spot at the top of the list for getting a new porch!
As you can see from this picture (from when we bought the house), the original setup included a weirdly placed wooden set of stairs from the driveway down into the yard, and a very basic set of concrete steps up into the house. We've since moved the wooden stairs to a more logical place (in line with the house door). We had an interesting time ripping the concrete stairs out. Tip: even completely hollow, those suckers are heavy! Thankfully, my Jeep never says no to a challenge. :)
Once we had the stairs ripped out, we had to clean up the space underneath. (Apparently the previous owners thought that it would be a great idea to dump broken porcelain and other random junk under there.) Once it was all shoveled out, we raked it (mostly) level and were good to go!
The babies were not the least bit impressed with this development, however, as it prevented them from using their beloved doggie door!
To make sure that no one tried to go out the front door and accidentally killed themselves during the week it took to get footers put in and the deck built, Eric helpfully taped the front door shut. For extra emphasis, he wrote "NO!" on every piece of tape. :)
I found this quite helpful but, again, the babies were less impressed. Promises of a proper napping porch and sentry station seemed to fall on deaf radar ears as they tried in vain to convince us to restore their doggie door throughout that week.
After interference from uncooperative weather, confusion about the permit situation, and a little arduous digging, the finished product proved to be more than worth the wait!
We wasted no time moving our glider (my awesome birthday gift last year) up onto our new porch. We have thoroughly enjoyed snugging under a quilt on (often still chilly) Saturday mornings for glider coffee, or taking a glass of wine out after dinner for a few minutes of quiet amidst our busy weeks.
I have designs of planting a climbing rose in front of it, but for now it's perfect!
The dogs have decided it's awesome as well - very official looking to supervise from, and very cool to nap under on hot days.
We're thrilled to have an entire summer and all of the fall to enjoy our new porch!