If you want to give your home a more hospitable and welcoming feel, you can add a front stoop to your house. Front stoops became famous for the fact that families could sit around outside their home and engage the rest of the community. It tells neighbors that the family enjoys good company. Many homes and apartments already have this feature and you too could add it to yours. Here is how to build a front stoop:
- Get approved. If you need to secure building permits to have your do-it-yourself project approved, do it before you get started. You could get fined or delayed if you do not have the necessary documents and someone in the government finds out. Know your local building codes and laws before you proceed with construction.
- The design. You obviously do not want to build a front stoop that does not adhere to basic design principles and clashes with the design of your home or the surrounding buildings. Make sure that the design is practical as well. Anything that gets in the way of people coming in and out of the house or apartment is not at all practical. The front stoop should be separate from the landing and begin below it extending far enough from so that if the door opens outward, people sitting on the stoop won’t get hit. The steps should be wide enough for people to freely sit and walk on.
- Building the stoop. Once you have selected your design and style, you can proceed to building the front stoop. Assemble all your materials such as equipment, saws, cement, paint, wood, hammers and nails and the like. Always use galvanized bolts and exterior grade hardware for your deck or else it won’t last. Your foundation and framework need to be sturdy and strong. You can use rim joints and ledger boards to attach platforms to the building; make sure they hold. Below the frost line, submerge concrete piers or footings. To level your steps, you can set them on hollow blocks or bricks set in gravel or sand. Sand the steps and cover board ends with wood sealer before you start painting them. Use oil-based paint and stains and the steps and on any railings. You can also use tiles to cover cemented areas. Pitch a roof over your stoop to cover the steps. Cover that with shingles, lining and flashing material and make it match the rest of the building. Wood and lumber that are specially designed to be used on exterior fixtures should be used for the roofs and the deck. Pressure-treated or engineered lumber works best. Alternative access to the building is crucial so that people do not step on the stoop before it is finished.
- Safety measures. Always wear protective eyewear and gloves when working just to be safe. Try and not get cement on your clothes. If it rains, you have no choice but to go back inside and wait for it to stop. Be careful when working next to the street.
Building a front stoop is a good addition to any home. Make it right and enjoy many hours of just sitting and relaxing with family and friends.