FRONT PORCH MAKEOVER
The original front entry of this home was in serious need of a makeover, and the finished product is a MUCH more welcoming front porch area! We partnered with Lowes, Target, Home Depot, Amazon and Faux Stone Sheets to complete this project.
The goals for this project were:
- Frame the porch area with cedar/stone posts
- Add a flag pole bracket and flag
- Move the water spigot
- Add decking over the concrete pad area
- Repaint the front door and trim
- With leftover materials, create a house number sign
Let’s begin with the before photos. This entry area was tired!! The main problem was the concrete pad. Aside from it being tired and drab, there was an exterior water spigot located right next to the front door. When the spigot was used, which was pretty frequently during the spring and summer months, it caused water to collect in the area and created a situation where the concrete was constantly stained due to the water just sitting there. Add to that issue, the area was in constant shade, so the sun didn’t assist in drying up the water and preventing green algae from growing. The spigot absolutely had to be moved, not only for aesthetic reasons, but for safety reasons as well. The algae was a slipping hazard.
We started with the post and the stonework under the window.
After removing the siding, we installed the cedar post. We used a 2x8x12 piece of rough cedar from Lowe’s for the post column. We ran the board through our table saw at a 45 degree angle on one edge and kept the other edge the original factory cut. We took the two 45 degree angle sides and butted them up against each other to form an L shape. Then we attached this L shaped post to the outside edge of the house. You can see in the photo below, the column attached and the siding removed.
The next step was installing the stone work under the window. In order to prep for this step, we needed to install plywood under the window in place of the builder installed styrofoam product (which you can see in the photo above). You need to have a solid surface to screw the faux stone product to.
We used Urestone Light, a product you can get from Faux Stone Sheets. We LOVE this product! It has to be one of our most FAVORITE products we’ve ever used for home improvement! It has the look of real stone, cuts with a saw, and installs with screws. It’s paintable, durable, affordable and absolutely gorgeous. And they have TONS of options, including faux brick, stone, and even wooden textures.
Before installing the faux stone sheets, we installed house wrap, and then installed a wooden “ledge” that would serve as the “cap” for the stonework. We decided to use pine pressure treated deck boards for this step, since we didn’t like the cap options available at Faux Stone Sheets. We ripped the boards down to about 3 inches wide, so it would just overhang the stonework by about an inch. Once installation was over, we used our Dremel with a sanding bit to rough up the wood and give it a stone like appearance. We then painted it to match the stonework.
In this next photo, you can see the stone going up! We wanted the bottom of the post to come out further than the stone on the house, so we used a 1×8 pressure treated board trimmed to fit installed below the post to give it some depth and raise it out further than the rest of the stonework.
Once the stonework was done, we stood back and admired our progress! What a huge difference so far!
MOVING THE SPIGOT
The next goal was to move the spigot! The spigot was moved down the wall toward the yard, where it would be closer to where it’s used the most. Once the spigot was relocated, we were able to pick back up with our carpentry projects! Where the new spigot came out, we added support wood behind the spigot. We didn’t want the spigot to just “come out of the siding” here. In our opinion, when you don’t take this extra step, vinyl siding tends to look sloppy in situations like this. The end result is a nicely trimmed area where the spigot comes out.
Now for the decking! We first framed and leveled the decking area with ground contact pressure treated 2x4s. The concrete was installed with a slope for water drain off, so it wasn’t a level area. We used shims to level everything up before the next step.
After the framing was built, it was time to add the TREX decking. With a TREX install, you can choose to use special brackets to hide the screws, which is a great product, however, we decided to go with small finishing screws for this installation.
With the porch decking installed, it’s already looking so much better, especially with that concrete pad covered up! The next step was to add in the post on the other side.
So, off the siding went again, and we prepped for the cedar post and stonework installation. We needed to install plywood in the area to give strength and a solid surface to attach the post and stone to. Then we repeated the process that we did on the other side. Since this stonework was going to come out farther than the other side, we installed 2 4x4s on the bottom where the stone would attach to. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture of this step.
The post was finished, and the door was given a fresh coat of paint! A few more added touches completed the porch makeover – the threshold of the door was given a coat of spray paint to change it from silver to black, a new LED porch light was installed, the flag pole bracket and flag were installed, and a super cute “hello” door mat from Target was added as a final touch.
With the leftover TREX decking, we created a house number sign, which we installed in the landscaping area near the front door. We framed it out with 1/3 cedar boards stained to match the door posts. (Please note, the sign numbers have been photoshopped to protect the privacy of the homeowner. These are not the real numbers). The sign is illuminated at night by a solar powered LED spotlight that was purchased at Home Depot.