Our house was built in the mid-80s. Consequently, there is always some sort of repair or update that needs to be made.
One of those updates/repairs we have deferred for many years would be the front porch steps. They have been gradually, but steadily, sinking for the 22 years we have lived here. A dozen or so years ago, when we had some foundation repair done, the company that did the work theoretically raised the steps about an inch.
That made little to no difference, and I'm not sure they raised them at all. A few months ago, I measured length from the top step onto the porch landing -- one foot. It had gotten to the point we had guests come in our back door. It was no longer acceptable.
Because I have challenges with anything concerning construction, I asked around of some friends who know about these things. The consensus was I need a "concrete guy."
Wife graciously agreed to take on the job of finding someone. What she quickly learned was it's difficult to find someone in the concrete business to do a small job like this. They are more interested in the big jobs like pouring driveways and such.
That makes sense, but that's not what we needed. With some research and persistence, she found three different folks who would come and take a look and give us a bid.
One never showed up, although he called a couple of times and said he would. (He called again after the work was done. Too late.)
Two guys came, both of whom I liked, but the second one seemed much more professional. While the first one wrote his bid on the back of his business card and sent an email because I asked him to (which had little additional detail other than his bid), the second one emailed a bid with much detail, with a description of what his crew would do. He was also easier to communicate with.
Unfortunately, his bid was a good bit higher than the first guy. But with her sharp negotiating skills, Wife was able to talk him down some. We accepted his bid.
His folks did a great job. They jackhammered the steps, as well as the pad of aggregate at the bottom of the steps, and replaced both. It took a couple days and it was loud and messy, but the finished product is more than satisfactory. Where there once were two steps, there now are three, and ascending them is now easy.
A few weeks prior to that, we had our back deck stained. This is where Wife and I spend a good bit of time these spring evenings before it gets intolerably hot, so in addition to the stain, we have spruced things up a bit and we're enjoying our time out there.
So, front and back have gotten a bit of a makeover. Results below.
|Deck, different view|