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My Finished Front Porch Steps And Railings

I may have taken last week away from the blog, but y’all didn’t miss much. It took me until Friday to finish my front porch steps and railings. But all of that tedious finish work was so well worth the effort, because I absolutely love how these steps and rails turned out!

You probably noticed that I have a rogue wire hanging down on the side of the left column. I plan to add rope lighting along the front of the porch roof (it’ll be tucked away so it can’t be seen), so I do still have a few finishing projects that I still need to do on the porch.

But what a relief to have the steps and handrails finished!

If you missed any of the previous posts on this project, you can find them here:

At the end of that last post, I was so close to being finished with the building process, but I still had some trim to attach, plus I still needed to figure out how to cap the posts. Here’s how they looked then…

The only ready-made caps I could find at the local big box stores were for 4 x 4 posts, and since I had wrapped my posts with PVC boards, they were now about 5 1/8 inches square. And since I didn’t want to order something online and wait for them, my only option was to make my own post caps.

Using my speed square (this is a speed square, by the way), I marked a line all the way around each post at 38 inches from the step. Then I used those marks as guides to attach PVC base cap, which I mitered on the corners and installed upside down using PVC adhesive and 18-gauge finishing nails.

Next I cut two pieces of PVC board that were six inches square. I then ran one of them through the table saw on all four sides to cut the edges at a 30-degree angle, and then I adhered the two pieces together with PVC adhesive.

Around the bottom piece, I attached some pretty PVC moulding, mitered on the corners, and attached with PVC adhesive and finishing nails.

Then I used some 150-grit sandpaper to smooth and round all of the sharp edges on the top piece. I started the sanding using my electric sander (very carefully on a low setting!), and then finished by sanding it the rest of the way by hand.

And finally, I needed finials. I looked at all of the locally available, ready-made finials for outdoor posts (all of those three styles available locally 😀 ), and they just weren’t what I wanted. I had in mind something made of turned wood (naturally, because I love turned wood), but I wanted them kind of big, fanciful and whimsical. I didn’t want a standard run-of-the-mill finial.

I found loads of big finials online, but I didn’t want to wait for an online order to arrive if I didn’t have to, plus they were anywhere from $40 to $80 each, which seemed ridiculous to me.

So I decided to try to think outside the box and make my own fanciful finial. I decided to use two styles of furniture feet, both of which I found at Lowe’s, and stack them. One of them was just a big, round bun foot. The other was this turned foot. I did some sanding to round the flat bottom of the foot. The one on the left is what it looked like before sanding, and the one on the right is what it looked like after sanding.

So with all of my pieces ready, I could then finish up the post caps and finials. First, I attached the two-layered cap to the top of the base cap that I had already attached to the posts. And then I drilled a hole in the center of the cap and screwed on the big bun foot, and then on top of that, I screwed on the turned foot.

And with all of those pieces put together, wood filled, sanded, caulked, and painted, this is how it turned out…

I’m a VERY messy DIYer, as you can see. 😀

So I got my big fanciful, whimsical finials without paying $40-$80 each. These were more like $20 each.

And I love that they look like soft serve ice cream cones. 😀 It’s too bad they don’t have that curlicue thing at the top like a real soft serve ice cream cone! Maybe I’m strange, but I’d love that. It would make me giggle every time I walk by it. But even without that curlicue on top, I still smile every time I see those big ice cream cone-esque finials.

After all of the wood filling and sanding and caulking and painting and staining, here’s how the railing turned out…

The combination of the white post and supporting rails plus the black balusters plus the stained handrail looks just like I had hoped it would. I like how the black metal balusters tie in with all of the other black accents.

I’m just so glad this project is finished, and I’m so proud that I pulled it off, quite frankly! I’ve never build steps before, and while I knew I could build steps in general, I was so worried that my calculations and measurements would be off and I’d end up with wonky handrails or something. But everything seems to have lined up just like it was supposed to. What a relief!

And I love the wide steps.

They look so much more inviting and welcoming than the original narrow concrete steps.

Of course, the entire porch was nothing special when we bought the house.

This little front porch has come a long way!

If you’ve missed any of the previous projects that have gone into this front porch makeover, you can check those out…

And don’t forget to pin this post if you have porch step-building in your future! 🙂

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    1. Another amazing project. I’m making notes as I read all your front porch posts. My husband reads my list over my shoulder (knowing he is going to end up with a project) he says “ISO paper?” I replied all knowingly “yes, it’s the type of sandpaper she used, maybe it the brand” so I show him on the blog, he laughs and says “its one-fifty, that’s the grit!” 😜🙄 I guess I need glasses, but thankfully I didnt walk into Lowes asking for ISO sandpaper!

    2. I Agree 100%!! Im building a house and was trying to decide on trim color and porch details.

      Googled Front Porch Pictures and your house was about the 4th one listed and I was Stunned!! This is the perfect Modern take on a traditional look. I LOVE😍 the open feel of the black balustrade, the white finials(ice cream swirl would make me giggle, too), and pulling it ALL together the dark stained rail!!! PERFECTION!!

          1. What color and brand of brown stain did you use on the porch
            And what color exterior paint on the house?

  1. It looks amazing! It makes a big difference in the look of the house. I am hoping to build some wide steps to my front door soon also.

  2. Wow! I am amazed at the vision and fortitude you have for carrying out all those projects on that house! I bet it’s the best looking house on the block! As a side note, you probably want to sell the concrete, we didn’t do that and ours looks awful now because everything soaks into the concrete.

      1. We actually stained it 9 days ago and at first it was good but then we got rain after a week and it’s chipping off everywhere. I wish we had just sealed it right away because any color we use will show every chip.

        1. I’ve lived with a lot of concrete and it was never sealed in any of the houses we have owned. When it got ugly my husband just power washed it. Looked brand new again.

  3. Kristi! a project well done. Amazing. Makes all the difference. The planters are like the bow on a present and can picture them changing with the seasons. I love the shape of them with soft rounded sides. I also appreciate your foresight in making the sidewalk wider and like how the steps are places on the cement pad. I hope you will find some time to enjoy your front porch before the colder weather sets in. Sitting here very jealous….

  4. Looks good! Where did you get the large planters? I’m going to need several next year for our new patio. I’m so anxious for you to clear out the “courtyard” area outside the dining/breakfast (I don’t remember what it’s called) room windows so you can give us a full house progress shot. I had forgotten what it looked like when you bought it…it’s come SO far!

  5. The transformation of the house front is amazing. I like the offset of the steps, and those finials are so cute. That wide walkway and steps really enhanced the house.

    1. I do think a few of them get a kick out of seeing what I’m up to, and what I’ll tackle next. Of course, I think they’ll be even more pleased when I finally get some grass in my yard. 😃

  6. Absolutely beautiful! Your most beautiful work comes when you follow your heart and your style. I am here to learn from your creative process as you find YOUR perfection. Never stray from what pleases you. This isn’t a house designed by committee but one by you! Enjoy! I’d love to sit and sip on those steps!

  7. Oh my gosh, I’m gobstopped! The contrast of the dark wood and black rails with the white posts are stunning! You’ve managed to make PVC look like beautifully painted wood posts.

    Your ‘make shift’ DIY solutions like those post caps look like expensive custom made work. As always, you rock!

  8. Love love it! By far my favorite project of your’s. it’s just so wow. Takes the front of the house to the next level.

  9. I love reading your blog.. and I love those steps, your house is just beautiful Kristi I am always amazed at what you come up with. Thanks for sharing all you do with us.

  10. So inviting! AND in spite of all the building, you also added the large pots WITH plants! Am in awe of your vision, yes. And then you get it done. Wow.

  11. Absolutely worth all the time it took to complete. The new steps tie everything all together and it is a beautiful focal point for the entire front of the house!

  12. I love all your projects, but, all the work to the front of your house has to be my favorite so far. Can we say “Curb Appeal”. Wow! It looks fantastic.

  13. Do you have any idea how the wood ‘feet’ will hold up outdoors? I’m always afraid to use regular wood outside but there’s so little outdoor wood available – and if it’s pressure treated, you have to wait forever before painting. I’m assuming you’re using outdoor paint but I’m curious if that’s enough… On a side note – we have an old stone building in our downtown that has amazing corner pieces that look exactly like soft serve ice cream cones – but the building was built way before soft serve..lol!

    1. My experience in the past has been that as long as it’s really well sealed with caulk and paint, it’ll hold up just fine. I caulked the heck out of those finials so that there wouldn’t be any little areas where water could seep under or between the pieces, and then I used three coats of Sherwin Williams Duration exterior paint on top. I think that should be enough to keep it sealed for a while, but I’ll keep an eye on it. If I see any little hair line cracks in the paint, I’ll just do a quick touch up to reseal it so that water can’t seep through.

  14. Your front porch has been an amazing transformation to follow!! You mentioned that you’re planning to add rope lights, so I thought I’d recommend using LED Strip Lights…I’ve ordered them from https://www.ecolocityled.com and really appreciated their ease of application and the minimal energy usage. The staff at ecolocityled was also very helpful. I think the additional lighting will add a lovely ambiance to your porch and enhance the overall look of your home. I look forward to watching as you start filling in your landscaping and bringing your front yard to life!

  15. That is STUNNING! You should be so proud of that! Are you having a hard time moving on to other things? I would if I did that, I would just want to stand and stare at it all day.

  16. Kristi, (well, Matt, too, since you get to join the fun) this is spectacular. What vision you had to plan for this wide approach and now ice cream cones for dessert! I am imagining a cherry on top.

  17. Guurrrrlll! You knocked it out of the park with this one! I can only imagine what your neighbors & those that driveby think when they see the transformation if they didn’t slam brakes I would e surprised. There are more than one thing I love about all you’ve done in & to your house but this, this is just gobsmacking beautiful.

  18. I literally LOVE ALL of your trimwork/woodworking/builds. You have such an amazing eye for stacking the different elements, like the different pieces of molding to make the cap, or the balusters, supporting rails, and handrails. It’s amazing how you see each piece of the puzzle and can envision the endgame. You also had a really good vision about ending the wider steps onto the concrete pad. I’m amazed by the fact that by making everything bigger (concrete walk, pad, steps), the whole area looks bigger. I was thinking that by making those elements bigger, the porch would look smaller (and maybe even too small to really enjoy). But, I was wrong!

    This is so great! And you’ll be able to enjoy it soon, when the weather cools off a bit!

  19. Kristi

    Your creativity knocks my socks off. You are inspiring. We take possession of our fixer upper next week and although not my first rodeo show will definitely more fun this time around as I have someone to inspire me.

    On another note:

    A whole lot of people spend a whole lot of time taking about a whole lot of business they know nothing about


    Big minded people talk about ideas
    Medium minded people talk about current events
    Small petty ignorant minded people talk about other

    You ROCK!!!


  20. It’s not a curlicue, but I think a ball on top of your finals would look whimsical too!

    Love the wide steps. I’d love to see a wider shot of the finished front elevation like your two before pictures too.

    1. Ditto! Could you take a AFTER picture from the exact BEFORE photo location (the one with your giant tree) Beautiful job! Looks like such a happy little house😃

    2. I’d also love to see the view from the street area, like the other two pictures. Looks FABULOUS!

      And, just in time for fall and maybe get some annuals in the ground in front of the porch. Nothing that would be permanent until you have your plans for plants, but some added color for the fall and (hopefully) mild winter. In this part of Texas, we get two growing seasons – Spring and Fall. 😀

  21. Beautiful! Amazing transformation!

    Thank you for doing this. Your porch transformation has now convinced my husband that we need to “pretty-up” our concrete porch. Woo hoo! Home Depot, here we come!

  22. Love it! Ice cream cone is exactly what I thought when I first saw the picture and before reading anything about the finials.

  23. Oh my goodness! So classy and fabulous! I am in awe of your vision and talent. Love those wide not so steep steps!

    Curious. How will the stained pieces hold up to sun exposure? Will your big tree shade your steps?

    The west facing side of our house takes a beating from the sun and the painted wood pieces are peeling messes. Will stained trim hold up better? Or stick with pvc (like your posts and shutters)?

    Your porch is just lovely!!

    1. Time will tell, but I used a Thompson’s Water Seal penetrating oil product that’s made for outdoor use. It may have to be reapplied every so often, so I’ll see how it holds up through this winter and reevaluate next spring. I’ve been told that Thompson’s products aren’t great (I was told that after I had stained the porch and steps 😀 ), so if it has to be redone next spring, I might change brands.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I also will look forward to see how your steps hold up this winter. I am in NW Arkansas. We get the sun and heat like you, plus we can have ice, snow and hail in the winter. Tough on wood!

  24. So incredibly beautiful! I would love to see curlicue ice cram tops on the finials! It’s perfect the way it is, though, Love it!

  25. The porch looks great! I am curious about the rope lighting. Will you keep that up year-round or are you thinking ahead to Christmas? I would like to add rope lighting to my porch but I live in Zone 5 so I doubt the lights would survive our winters.

    1. The rope lighting is going to be more like general lighting as part of my front porch/landscape lighting. It’ll be hidden behind that front fascia board so it can’t be seen, but it’ll give general lighting on the steps and porch area.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I would appreciate a tutorial on installing the rope lighting. I’d like to see if I can make it work on my house.

  26. I am in awe! Beautiful! If this were my front porch I think I would find every excuse to run to the mailbox just to look at it from the street. Thanks for the detailed tutorial, our porch needs a make-over too.

  27. Oh my goodness! Your porch is beautiful and so inviting! As always, you amaze me with your talent and out of the box thinking, you girl are a true inspiration!

  28. Kristi, I bet you could make your own ice cream curlicu out of a scrap piece of pvc wood. It carved fairly easily with rasps, sanding etc. just anchor it in a vice. 🍦

  29. Have you posted how you fill and finish PVC?. I know you covered working with PVC and the texture with the shutter tutorial, but it didn’t have much filling required because how you assembled them. My mind remembers from a little research and found there was a resin you can use (detailed in a TOH video) but that little tube seemed not so easy to find, and seemed potentially pricey. I remember caulk may have been an option but there was a reason they preferred the resin. Do you just use caulk? If so, maybe make a video with some scraps on your technique.

    1. I actually ended up using this on both the PVC and the cedar boards on the steps:


      When I did the porch, I used regular all purpose wood filler because it said it was for interior and exterior use. That was a mistake. It hasn’t held up well. But this stuff seems to be much better. We’ve had lots of rain since I finished the steps and rails, and this wood filler hasn’t been affected by it at all. This is the only wood filler I’ll use on exterior projects from now on.

  30. Beautiful! You inspire me to try more Dyi projects. And I look forward to your post everyday. Thank you for sharing your failures and reworks as well. It reminds us, that not every mistake we make can be fixed, just need to go back to the beginning and try again.

  31. Oh my gosh I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new porch stairs and railings! So very professional looking and I LOVE all the design choices. Great job!!!!! Always so impressed at your project skills. 🙂

  32. Another post where I laugh and say, “I can’t believe it’s the same house.” Excellent job, again. The finials you created are whimsical and once you mentioned it, I agree that they remind me a bit of a soft serve ice cream.

  33. It certainly HAS come a long way and it’s perfect. Did you restain the steps and porch or has it held up so well that you only needed to clean it? What an undertaking this was but so well worth it, Kristi. Good for you!

    1. I restained the porch last week when I did a second coat on the steps. I was a bit disappointed at how quickly that stain faded just since I built and stained the porch a few months back. I think next spring, I’ll probably have to find a better product to use. This time I used Thompson’s Water Seal penetrating oil, so I’ll probably go with a different brand if it has to be redone next spring.

      1. Hi Krisi – just subscribed because it seems everytime I’ve reseaarched ideas over the last few years I end up at your site 🙂 Love your style and that you’re such an innovative diy’er!
        FYI – I used a wood stain with a sealer that is also sold at HD (online only I think) but you can get it quicker via Amazon Prime. The reason I mention it is that you said you will be looking for a different product to use and my small deck is also a very NEUTRAL med- dark-brown like your’s. It’s Ready Seal Dark Walnut Stain AND Sealer and only $33 for 1 gallon. I put it on about 3 years ago and am just redoing it next week. Probably not as glossy though. Yours came out beautiful!
        I’m going with the Colonnade this week on my shingled small ranch/bungalow. May have to test the Seagull you showed in the photo first though – love the way it looks on wood shingles!
        Thanks for continuing to be such an inspiration to us!

  34. the steps/railings/posts all look absolutely fabulous! with each post i am more amazed at your skill, persistence, and inventiveness!

    you inspire, and you show us real world issues that come up in the course of these amazing projects. when you hit an obstacle you merely regroup and figure out a way to solve the problem.

    again, inspiring!

  35. I absolutely love your porch! Before you did anything to the outside of the house (your before pictures) all I noticed was the rock siding on the left (if standing at the street). Now all I notice is the front door and the wide welcoming steps. The planters at the bottom are just a perfect addition–they don’t distract, and I like that. Thank you for being real on the true messiness of DIY! Keep it real!

  36. Another winner! Love seeing all the positive feedback!! Maybe you should do consultations on line for a fee….we send a pic and you give us your ideas!
    I could move right into your home. I like LOTS OF COLOR. It makes me happy when we have our long cold winters in Rochester, NY

  37. Beautiful! Love everything about this. While I’m sure it is far from feeling like Fall there, that dappled shade really makes it look like it!

  38. Gorgeous! I love everything you do. It’s so fun to watch it come to fruition. I’m happy to see the messiness, I’d hate it if you did such beautiful work AND were neat about it😆. Congrats on finishing that project.

  39. I’ve read everyone’s comments and nothing I can say, that hasn’t already been said….. So Diddo on all of the above!
    Your heart should be warmed today…..and you certainly do deserve it ♥️

  40. My heart just skipped a beat! Wowsie. As for being a messy DIYer…….until you mentioned it, that’s the norm for my hubby and me. If he had to clean every little thing up while doing a project…well….that’s silly. When we get rolling on a project…..we do it and then clean and it’s even more of a drastic change 😁
    You rock Christi.

  41. I love your whole porch/steps/front door!!! Does code require that you put in railings around the porch, too? It looks pretty without railings…so open. As a side note, I love how you took the pictures at just the right time of day. There’s something about dappled sunshine that makes my heart happy.

    1. My porch is low enough that I’m not required to put a railing around it. I’m so glad. I was planning on a railing at one time, and I was very nervous about what the steps with the railing would look like on a front porch that doesn’t have railing, but I love it. I think my porch is too small to put a railing around it.

  42. Gorgeous! I love the scale of the steps in relation to the porch and the combination of iron, dark decking and white trim just says “Welcome!!” to me. It looks so polished and adds so much to the whole house.

  43. What a transformation!!! The fruits of your labor a beautiful to look at! And that coral door just sings with all its pretty surroundings.

  44. Really lovely…rails look so nice, curious if you plan to use them on the rest of the porch or are keeping the open view?

    Yes, Seal your concrete, recommend Sika Concrete Sealant…you can put it in a Hudson sprayer or rolled on. We do ours every couple years, but in midwest…you might not have to do as often.

  45. I initially wasn’t a huge fan of the coral on the door, but now that your house isn’t naked anymore, I think it looks beautiful! I think the bright green of the potted plants provides really nice contrast while the little flowers tie it all in. I’m excited to see what it all looks like with landscaping. If I were you, I’d find as many plants in that bright green color as possible for the front. I don’t know quite how to explain it, but it just seems so complementary to your overall color scheme!

    I also really like how you can see the details of the music doors through the glass. It creates a nice little point of interest!

  46. Really lovely…rails look so nice, curious if you plan to use them on the rest of the porch or are keeping the open view?

    Yes, Seal your concrete, recommend Sika Concrete Sealant…you can put it in a Hudson sprayer or roll on. We do ours every couple years, but in midwest…you might not have to do as often.

    1. I decided to keep the porch open. I’m afraid putting railing around it would make it feel too closed in, and since it’s already so small, I don’t want to make it feel smaller.

  47. Looks great. I was wondering what you meant about the white with the stain for the top railing. Have you said what you are planning to do about porch railings? Will they mimic the handrails? I can’t remember if you have.

    1. Oh, I was just talking about the combo of finishes that I have on the railings on the steps. I decided not to put railings up on the actual porch. Since my porch is so small, I’m afraid any railings would just make it feel a bit jail-like. Keeping it open makes it feel bigger.

      1. Ha ha. I think a few of us were reading your post at the same time and thought the same question. Sorry to be asking one of the same questions. 🙂

  48. Wow, it looks so inviting now! I didn’t see them as ‘ice cream’ before you said that, but I totally get what you mean 🙂

  49. Love the steps & whole front of your home.

    I’m just starting to update an older mobile home on my son’s farm as my retirement home. I’ve pictured wide, shallow steps like this. Partly because of practicality for my arthritic family & friends who have difficulty with steps (also older furbabies). And partly because a landscaper friend says he always tries to do wide steps & wider walkways to show the open arms of hospitality.

    My color scheme is very similar to yours. I always want a berry red door, but your coral door really has me considering. It’s so fresh & inviting.

    You go, girl!

  50. Unbelievable! Your attention to detail and thinking outside the box, makes your “projects” masterpieces! Your porch and steps are beautiful. I also love your planters. I read a comment that said they wanted to live next door to you. I want to live across the street so your house is my view. I would love to bring a glass a tea or cup of coffee to you, when you need a break! Thanks for sharing!

  51. I so agree with you about the width of the steps being inviting. I also wanted to say thanks for giving your blog the ability to be pinned. So many don’t. I refer back to my pins of your work often.

  52. WOW!!! It makes your home feel so open and welcoming…..hard to believe it is the same house. I admire your patience and perseverance doing all that filling and sanding (my downfall) because it pays off in a big way!! Love it and welcome back.

  53. Maybe you should name your house Eliza Doolittle. 🙂

    You’ve taken a sad, neglected little waif of a house and turned her into a lady of charm and character.

    She’s lovely.

  54. Beautiful, well done, amazing, fantastic. All the positive adjectives belong here. Really, really nice Kristi. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Looks beautiful, Kristi! Now you just need a chair on the porch so you can sit back, relax and admire all you have accomplished! Cheers to you!

  56. I think I love everything about your whole front porch project! I especially appreciate you taking your followers along on the design and “how-to” journey with you. It just shows me how carefully you curate the details, and how creativity is such an important part on the process.

  57. I love wide, welcoming front steps, and yours are beautiful! Also, so glad to see you made a little engraving in the concrete by the stairs, we always do that too!

  58. Wow! STUNNING! Those steps really set off the front of your house. When you said in your last post you were going to stain the top rail I thought you ment the entire top rail and I was thinking it would make it kind of disappear from the road view, but the way you painted the underside white with stain on the very top is so classey looking and I LOVE the post caps. Magnificent job!

  59. Amazing, Kristi!! I bet people are getting whiplash when they drive by your house now. That beautiful porch and sidewalk changes everything!!

  60. Awesome craftsmanship! Again, Kristi — You never cease to amaze me! You are totally transforming your house into a Beautiful HOME!! Thank you for sharing.

  61. So happy to have you back, and grateful for your continued inspiration. Those stairs are gorgeous, and the pots are cool. I like seeing the photo with the mess in the background too – keeps it real for me as my projects create lots of chaos before completion.

  62. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your porch. The black and white railings are the perfect finish to it. Those crocks/urns of flowers are perfect on your new wide sidewalk. Great job and such a beautiful addition to your home. Don’t you just want to grab a lemonade and sit out there and watch the world go by?

    1. I’ve actually done quite a bit of that since I finished the steps and railings. 🙂 I take my iced tea out there and just sit and relax. I love being out there. Matt has spent some time out there with me as well (although it’s still too hot for him to spend a lot of time outside), but he really enjoyed it also. I like to sit and watch the comings and goings of my neighbors. 😀

      1. Kristi…it’s gorgeous! I love the coral door, I love the wide steps, the railings are too die for. Perfection! You deserve to sit out there and relax and see what the neighbors are doing! Nice job!

  63. First I want to mention that I (like everyone else here) are so glad that you ‘got back on the horse that threw you’! Pay no mind to the people who have nothing nice to say. That is what the DELETE key is for. Glad to hear that Matt will be taking on the role of fierce protector. My initial thought was for him to post the e mails of all the desenters and let US have at them. I have defended you in the past from mean commenters when someone attacked your plans and would not hesitate to do it again, as most of your readers would when called to arms. But alas, life is too short to be like them. And because ‘life is too short’ we are promoted that we should ‘eat dessert first’ and with THAT comes the ablsolute very need for a ‘cherry’ on top of your beautiful and creative finials! I humbly (we are all a little afraid I think) suggest you add a wooden ball (HobLob) to the top to add the finishing touch. Great job, but more than that, so glad to have the old you back!

  64. First I want to mention that I (like everyone else here) are so glad that you ‘got back on the horse that threw you’! Pay no mind to the people who have nothing nice to say. That is what the DELETE key is for. Glad to hear that Matt will be taking on the role of fierce protector. My initial thought was for him to post the e mails of all the desenters and let US have at them. I have defended you in the past from mean commenters when someone attacked your plans and would not hesitate to do it again, as most of your readers would when called to arms. But alas, life is too short to be like them. And because ‘life is too short’ we are prompted that we should ‘eat dessert first’ and with THAT comes the absolute very need for a ‘cherry’ on top of your beautiful and creative finials! I humbly (we are all a little afraid I think) suggest you add wooden balls (HobLob) to the tops to add that finishing touch. Great job, but more than that, so glad to have the old you back!

  65. WOW!! It is just beautiful! Come build me a porch! That porch has really transformed the front of your house. I love it!

  66. What an imagination! I didn’t notice the ice cream-esqe shape of the finials until you mentioned it. Those pots of flowers add the perfect finishing touch to your outdoor entry. Love it!

  67. Your porch is absolutely beautiful and the first thing I noticed were the finials. I LOVE them. The second thing I noticed were the planters. They are beautiful too. I never noticed the wire until you pointed it out. I think you are too hard on yourself. Your work is just wonderful and I wish I could do one quarter of what you do. Keep up the wonderful work.

  68. Kristi, it’s so PRETTY! I’m sure you are smiling ear to ear. I also love the planters, as there’s nothing more welcoming than flowers at your entry. I love the idea of the rope lighting under the fascia too, I can visualize it in my mind as a warm glow highlighting the porch floor.

    I too would love to see a street view! Bravo!!!!

  69. I’m a long time reader but possibly a first time commenter. These steps are amazing. We sold our fixer up almost a year ago after updating a lot but not everything. I’m living vicariously through your blog until we’re back in a position to take on another. Transformations like this b porch get me excited! White and stained wood with black accents is a timeless look that I will never tire of and widening the steps makes all the difference in the world. Well done!

  70. KRISTI!!!!! Your front porch looks so amazing! The transformation is truly stunning. I love the finials and never would have thought to stack the furniture feet like you did! Makes me want to really consider the aesthetics of our fence and porch a bit more. 🙂

  71. Yay! Love your finished porch! I’m another huge fan of the dark stain paired with the black and white. Also, I’m totally copying how you wrapped those porch posts. The other day in Lowes I was pointing out PVC boards and telling my husband, “These are what Kristi used to wrap her posts – I want to do that to ours too!” 🙂

  72. YAY! Absolutely beautiful! LOVE LOVE LOVE what you’ve done! I’m so glad you include clear, easy-to-understand-AND-FOLLOW instructions. Now I feel confident that I can tackle a job like this, too!

  73. Kristi,
    The next time you feel like walking away, do. Make your way to Mackinac Island, via ferry. From the ferry dock, walk to the Grand Hotel. You’ll be immersed in design affirmation. You and Carleton Varney (Dorothy Draper & Co.) see design the same way ~ his, ‘the design philosophy stressing the use of bright colors and the rejection of all that is impractical, uncomfortable and drab.’

  74. Kristi – this is my first comment and I couldn’t not reach out to you. These stairs are absolutely stunning and I am in complete awe of you. You should be extremely proud of your work – and I am looking forward to your future project completions!

  75. I love the front porch steps! Yes the finials do look like ice cream cones and are just missing the Dairy Queen curl! These steps make your home look inviting and beautiful. I think adding the plants at the end of the steps / railings added that inviting touch! Well done Kristi! BTW, I love your blog! I’ve been reading it for many years. You’ve given the me courage to do new things and buy power tools and use them!

  76. I knew the final porch would look good of course, but I didn’t realize what a huge difference everything together (raising the dipped roof, painting, wider steps and walk, etc.) would make! I swear your porch is bigger, brighter, and more spacious than it was. I had to keep scrolling between the before and after to see that you hadn’t added feet to it!
    Such an excellent outcome!

  77. Kristi,
    I am so inspired by your overall vision for your “fixer-upper”.
    My husband and I are about to embark on our second new build, but we have renovated two other houses before as well. This home will be a big Australian Country-style home, and your blog is a great source of inspiration, not only for ideas but also for DIY help and support. I love that you make what you want when you can’t buy it. I have a huge list of projects that I want to complete and I’m sure to be referring to your blog lots more as time goes on!
    I can’t help but say that your home looks “happy” now- I’m sure if she could talk, she would say “thank you!”

    PS Will you name your house? After all the amazing work you have put in, I’m sure it would be warranted!

    1. I would love to name our house, and then get a cute little engraved plaque for the front porch. But I’ve been thinking about what that name should be for about two years now, and I haven’t come up with anything. I think my mental block is that I keep thinking it either needs to include our last name (Linauer) or include the word Haus in it (since we have a German last name) or be a German word, or something like that. But (and I don’t mean to insult anyone) I just don’t think German is a pretty language, especially compared to any of the Romance languages. So after giving it so much thought off and on for two years, and trying to put together combinations of German words or words that go with Linauer, I’ve got nothin’.

      And I’m probably way overthinking it, and that’s where the problem lies. 🙂

      1. I too have German heritage- my maiden name is Ulbrich- and I agree that German is not the prettiest language… it always sounds so angry…lol.

        My parents have recently built a new house and they will name there home ‘ Oberholshiem’ which loosely translated means ‘ ( house) over by the wood pile’

        Good luck with the name- I think that “Linauer Haus” although obvious(!) sounds lovely though 🙂

  78. Wow, wow and WOW! There is such a huge, positive difference between the before and after. It looks so warm and inviting. I hope you get to enjoy that outside space soon.

  79. Just when I Think you can’t top a previous job you did it and then some!!!! Love…love…love the new steps!!! The whole porch with steps is just beautiful!! I will be moving in soon, is my room ready ?? Lol

  80. WOW! Your front porch and steps are absolutely stunning! I have a question- how did you learn how to do all the renovations on your home? You seem to be a master with all the projects!

    1. I’m pretty much all self-taught and I learn as I go. I really like to figure things out on my own, but if I get in a bind, I just head to YouTube.

      But it really has just been a decades-long process of learning how to do something, and then the next time, trying something that utilizes that first thing I learned while also challenging myself to learn a bit more and do something a bit more complicated.

      For example, I didn’t start out building custom built-in cabinets. Ten years ago, a project like that would have been way too daunting for me. But I could take a scrap piece of plywood, add some trim around the edges, set it on some wall brackets, and I had a pretty shelf. Then the next time, I realized that if I built a simple box and put the shelf inside the box, I had a small bookshelf. Then I realized that if I actually attached that box to the wall and added trim, I had a built-in bookcase. And then I learned that if I could figure out how to make a door, I could add that and have a custom-made built-in cabinet. But it all started with a scrap piece of plywood with some trim added to it.

      The process of doing that type of thing over and over again for the last 15-20 years, where I take what I’ve learned and just add a bit more and build upon it each time, has brought me to a point now where there’s not much of anything I wouldn’t try, and I feel very confident tackling just about any home-related project.

      1. Thanks Kristi for your response! You really have a knack for taking something that’s in bad shape and making it look awesome 🙂

  81. I love the results of a what I know was a long, tedious and sometimes difficult job. What I love the most are those “beefy” posts. So substantial! And they do look like soft ice cream cones. A little touch of whimsey!

  82. Well today you and I are on the same page! I immediately noticed the extra wires hanging there and thought…..uhm, no I’m not going to ask. She will undoubtedly tell about that soon enough…. had to laugh when the next thing I read was your explanation about them! Then when I saw the finished finials, which I adore by the way, I thought how much they looked like a DQ soft serve ice cream cone. Again, had to laugh when you pointed out the same thing. Now I have to say that personally I’m glad they don’t have the curlique on top….hahaha, that might’ve been over the top FOR ME! Even so, I bet I giggle at the thought of it every time I see those finials in the future. I love your vision and fortitude to get where you want to be with this house. I would love to know what your neighbors all think!

  83. Oh. My. Gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your creative ideas, perseverance, implementation, and results never cease to amaze me! 🙂

  84. So beautiful! The steps make the posts look further apart to me than they did without the steps. I just love it, can’t wait to tackle my front porch posts…thanks to your tutorial I’ll be wrapping mine in PVC also!

  85. FABULOUS!!!!! You are a genius!! I love.love.love the finial idea…..I have been looking for something different to use and that is the answer!!! I know your neighbors must love watching you turn this house into a showcase.

  86. Well, if that doesn’t say, “WELCOME HOME” or “WELCOME TO OUR HOME” I just don’t know what does! I’m glad it turned out so nicely!

  87. Truly lovely! The handrails are very pretty! But a couple of tips: left side of steps where they meet the stone wall, I see a good size gap. If that were here (N.C.) it would quickly attract snakes, mice, bees. You might want to seal it up. Also, where the top of the posts meet the porch roof….maybe seal that area to prevent bees. Looking forward to whatever is your next project.

  88. This is beautiful, as if it was always meant to be! The front of the house and walkway are so much more inviting! Terrific job!

  89. That looks fantastic!
    I didn’t understand your reply to a commenter a couple posts ago (the third, I believe about the stairs and railing) about how you were going to paint and stain various parts of the railing, but I thought, “it’ll look good even if I can’t imagine it in my head”, and sure enough, it DOES look good! And the construction of the steps if awesome!

  90. Wow! That is just beautiful! Oh, if I only had half the talent and vision that you have in your little finger, I would be happy woman! Really nice job, Kristi!

  91. Your eye to overcome something that you can’t find just amazes me. I have a son who does that also. It’s a great talent that not many of us have. So envious. The porch and front of the house is just an amazing transformation. Keep up the work. You inspire all of us.

  92. Wow- It looks amazing- so welcoming! I see comfy chairs or a swing with plump pillows, a cute table and of course, tall glasses of ice tea with a lovely breeze 🙂 Can’t wait to see all parts come together for you!!

  93. WOW!
    I see all the inspiration photos in this finished project and adapted for your house.
    I bet you’ll be getting swivelling from drivers now. Amazing curb appeal.
    I love the rope/LED lights for down lights.
    Have you considered an extra outlet for holiday decor?

  94. OK – I am blown away. The look is stunning, and the curb appeal is OVER THE TOP! What a
    gorgeous job you did. When I first saw it, I said “WOW” out loud! Thanks for sharing.

  95. I really like how the front porch turned out. The dark stain on the steps and porch looks so beautiful with the white. I do love the sweet potato vines in the pots too. It looks so homey and cozy. Great job Kristi!

  96. The whole thing is just WOW. I kept having to scroll back and forth. So much to look at. I didn’t think the staircase would be so wide when I was looking at your progress. I actually thought it was an optical illusion until you wrote that you love how wide they are. Wonderfully done. You nailed it when you said how it looks so welcoming now.

  97. How about molding some curlicues from polymer clay? It would be a great touch of whimsy on a lovely traditional facade.

  98. I just kept saying “Oooh! Oooh! Oooh!” Staring with the very first photo. The finials are the “cherry on top”

  99. Amazing. Beautiful. Yes, the steps are very welcoming. I love your pots of plants and their placement also. Now the finishing touches…a nice bench painted to match your front door and more plants? Or a furniture sitting arrangement…don’t know how deep your porch is as far as room for something like that…and a wreath for your front door? I love your blog and seeing what you do next! You are amazing!

  100. Oh my goodness I can’t stop staring at it! What a gorgeous porch completion! Well done, my dear. I would be hard put to decide whether I wanted to sit at the end of the sidewalk and look at the porch or sit on it and enjoy the shade! Just love it!

  101. Your home’s transformation is amazing! It looks so inviting and welcoming! You are an inspiration! Can’t wait to see what you share next!

  102. Kristi, i have to say when you first started on the front porch, i didn’t like it much. BUT NOW, WOW! i really like it. you did an amazing job.

  103. Good morning Kristi,

    Your porch is gorgeous, and I am not criticizing your work. In the photos the rise looks to be on the shallow side. Could you have gone with three steps instead of the four, and if so, why did you decide on the four? I am just curious about your design and/or thought process.

    I have learned so much by reading your blog, thank you.

    1. You know, I debated back and forth on that. Three steps? Four steps? I mean, I really wrestled with that decision. In the end, I decided to go with four for several reason. First, I just really like the look of wide, deep, short steps. But my main deciding factor was the fact that we really do believe this is our forever home. That mean (Lord willing) I’ll one day be an old woman living in this house. And since I’m only five feet tall (and will probably shrink a bit as I get older 😀 ), then my short frame and bad knees will probably appreciate those short steps more and more as I get older.

      Building code states that the minimum rise on steps should be four inches, and these are 4.25. So it’s just above the minimum allowed by code.

      1. Good to know, Thank you. I was wondering if long-term needs were a factor in your decision process.
        My forever home is in a 55+ community and I need to rework my front step. It is original to the home (built in 66) and is 8″ in height. I have porch posts, but no rails, and I am constantly worried that someone is going to topple over at my front door.

  104. Kristi;

    Absolutely LOVE everything about your new porch! The wide steps are so welcoming and the ice cream finials are so whimsical. Have you thought about adding a ball on top painted in the front door color? Not exactly a cherry on top, but close. 😉

    The transformation of the front of your home from when you bought it is really amazing. It is just beautiful. So glad you are sharing this transformation with all of us.

  105. I’m loving all of your choices on the front of your house! You have given me so many ideas! Thanks for doing what you do!

  106. Hello Kristi,
    I am a new subscriber to your blog. What beautiful work you are doing! I love color too!
    I have been painting and flipping furniture for the past four years, and have always wanted to remodel a little house. From the time I was very young, I watched “This Old House” and any other home repair/maintenance/remodel show I can find…. But, sadly, my husband has NOT been supportive of ANY of my creative endeavors. He sees project pieces as junk and quickly forgets about the profits I have made off of my makeovers. To make a much longer story short, we are getting a divorce and selling our nice (totally done) home, and I am purchasing a little fixer upper. Of course he says I’m crazy, but I say he’s just lazy. Anyway, I am glad to have found your brilliant blog as inspiration and guidance for all the projects that happily lay ahead of me. I am so excited, I can hardly wait to begin!

  107. Hi I love what you have done. I have a very tired deck much like yours at the beginning. I was thinking about doing something in composite wood as I’m afraid we wouldn’t keep up with re-staining. I wondered if you could you tell me what the dimensions of your stairs are?

  108. WOW! the transformation is incredible. It really makes it look like an inviting place. i don’t have a porch but i want to change the look of my stairs inside the house and also the railings. This is such a good inspirational point. Thank you!

  109. I love it all. You did a great job. I know it has been a while, but would you happen to remember the paint color on your house..I love it

  110. Wow! I started with your wood covered porch! Everything is so beautiful and inspiring! You have a lovely home!