Today was a very productive day on the front porch steps replacement project. And even though the scope of the project has expanded we are still (almost) on budget and on schedule.
Once the existing steps were removed it was obvious that the opportunity had presented itself to clean-up and clear-out the area under the stairs. I weeded and tidied the area and then realized that a more permanent solution would require landscape cloth and bark mulch. Off to the Home Depot (the closest store that sells the supplies I need).
I put the landscape cloth in place to keep future weed situations in check.
Next is the bark mulch. Sadly, I forgot to get a picture of the 10 bags of bark mulch loaded inside my car. It was pretty cool looking.
Once I was home with the bark mulch I loaded it onto the cloth and spread it around as evenly as I could.
As you can see in the bark mulch photo, the existing landing is still in place. Moving it was a significant commitment and I needed to be sure I was prepared for the next step.
I constructed the replacement landing nearby and once my Sweetheart came down to inspect the progress of the project, I had her assist me in moving it into its rightful place.
Here it is in place.
Once in place, it was time to add the planks for the top.
The tool that you see on top of the decking is my new Ridgid cordless drill. Everything on this project has been put in place using screws. I am a late convert to the use of screws for construction. I have always been a hammer and nail type of guy. However, now that I have used screws, I’m converted. No more nails. Except…
When I was putting the stair stringers in place I used nails.
Sadly, this is the only part of the project I had to take apart. If you click on the photo you can see along the inside edge of the top stair and line. That is a piece of plywood that the top of the stringer attaches to. I left it a little too tall and it just looked odd.
The shitty thing is that while screws are easy to take apart, nails are a nightmare. Even so, late in the day I managed to take the stringers off and cut the strip of plywood down to size.
I have to admit that I am quite proud of the end result. They look great and they are as solid as a brick structure.
No matter how much fun and learning today was, tomorrow is the real test of my skills.
This morning I cut the long form stringers and have them ready to place first thing tomorrow morning. This will be an exciting time seeing as it will involve some ladder work. As always, safety will be the most important consideration when doing this work.
Hopefully tomorrow night I will be posting pics of the final project. Stay tuned.