Take the front entry steps of your home from drab to fabulous in a few simple steps. The steps are the first thing your guests notice when entering your home, and first impressions are important. Go beyond simply adding plants or decorative items to make them inviting by painting the steps, adding new railings or changing the type of steps. Changing your steps in small ways makes a big difference without costing you a lot of time or money.
1. Paint the Steps
This is a simple way to add color and dimension to faded steps. First, decide on the best color. Try to coordinate it with the door or siding color, if possible. Next, determine the best type of paint to use. If you have cement steps, use a latex-based paint; for wood steps use either a latex- or oil-based paint. Block off the steps for the duration of the project and let each coat of paint dry completely to ensure that the colors remain vibrant and to prevent premature damage.
2. Add Stone Veneer
Install an interesting stone veneer over dull cement or wooden steps. Pick the stone that will look the best with your house, withstand the climate of your area, and matches the size of your steps. Installation requires only a thin layer of mortar and is simple enough for the novice do-it-yourselfer. Start with the risers and then cover the treads. For a cottage look, extend matching stones into a walkway leading from the steps to your driveway.
3. Add Railings
Railings are a simple way to add dimension to your front entry steps. Choose a ready-made railing or make one yourself using wood, plastic or iron. Customize the railing to match your steps, home and yard. If you live in a log cabin, for example, use small logs. To add a customized or creative look, use recycled materials such as old car parts or PVC pipe to build your railing. Attach the railing to the house and steps using galvanized screws to prevent rust.
4. Widen the Stairs
Build extensions to widen the stairs using wood, rocks or cement molds. Regardless of the construction material of your current steps, you can extend them with cement using wooden molds and a trowel to smooth them over. Cover the seams or leave the seam between the old and new steps as a decorative element. For wooden steps, build or purchase the addition and bolt the two pieces together. Then secure the addition to your home and landing for safety. Cover the steps with rubber treads or carpet to conceal the seams.
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