When looking for stone front step ideas, knowing where to start can be daunting. You may have seen neighbouring houses with steps that you like but are unsure if they suit your home. So, where do you start? What options are there? How much will this cost? Let’s go over a few things to think of when considering new front entrance steps for your home.
Styles of Front Steps
There are endless shapes, layouts and designs of front steps. Let’s narrow it down to a few styles:
Wallstone and Paver Front Steps
These steps are constructed out of pre-cast wall-stones for the steps’ rise (front face) and capped with pre-cast pavers for the tread (top depth). This style will give an architectural feel to your efforts and will blend well with the exterior of your home if you choose materials that complement the materials facing your home. This style gives a structured look and seamless flow from the house to the front steps and suits any home exterior, including siding, brick, and natural stone.
Natural Stone or Porcelain Tiles
Natural stone or porcelain tiled front steps are a step up in quality and appearance from pre-cast wall stone and pavers. Natural stone tiles come in “square cut” or random sizes. Square cut tiles will generally come in 3 to 5 different sizes, enabling the designer to choose several laying patterns. Random cut stones are what most people would call flagstone and give a very natural appearance. Natural stone tiles can be made from limestone, sandstone, granite, quartz, among other naturally occurring stone types. Each type will have different colours, textures and densities and will age very well compared to pre-cast products. These tiles can be glued or mortared to cover the concrete on your porch and can overlay existing or newly built concrete steps.
The same principle will apply using porcelain tiles. It’s important to select an outdoor-specific porcelain tile with a greater thickness than indoor tiles and a slip-resistant coating.
Large Random or Dimension Cut Natural Stone Slab
In addition to tiles, natural stone is also sold in large slabs or thick “dimensioned” cut steps. The slabs give a very natural look as if the house was built around these already-in-placed stones. These steps can be seen on every architectural home and are growing in popularity with estate homes in southern Ontario due to the stone quarries in northern Ontario. Dimension cut flagstone slabs give the same natural and rich appearance, with a more architecturally structured feel and come in varying lengths and depths.
Accessories to your front steps, such as lighting and railings, provide safety and a more luxurious and custom look. Lighting provides nighttime visibility and can be artistically designed to illuminate features on your steps, house or gardens. Much like wearing accessories with your outfit, front steps accessories set your entrance apart. Lighting can be built within your front steps and used as spotlights shining upward onto objects or structures. Railings also proved safety on steep or numerous steps and are an extra layer of protection on winter days. Constructed from wrought iron, plastic, vinyl or wood, front step railings can be placed on a single side of your steps or each side. They can be custom manufactured with specific details to suit your home. Flower planter boxes and pots are other accessories that are often overlooked. These flowering arrangements are usually filled with annual plants that bloom throughout spring, summer, and fall. This simple accessory can add some pop to your front steps. If done correctly, it can also complement your existing front flower beds or even eliminate the need for perennial flowers.
Executing our front step ideas takes equipment, skill and quite a lot of labour. Our team of landscapers will need equipment to excavate the area, bring in the base material, and move the new material of pavers or stone around on site. Trucks and trailers are needed to haul equipment and material to and from the site, and building the steps is time-consuming, and experience and skill are needed to create a lasting product. All of this adds up, leaving many people surprised at the cost of new front steps, which will range from $4,000 for a couple of small steps to upwards of $10,000 for a larger area with higher-end materials.
Hiring a designer may not seem necessary for something as simple as front steps. Still, if you aren’t sure where to start, a designer can complete a drawing and show you in 3D what the concept will look like, allowing you to make changes before construction begins. A good designer will help you pick material finishes that suit your house’s exterior and architecture, build steps with the correct sizing scale, and pick up on other opportunities to enhance the design or potential structural issues or needs.
ABOUT ARISS LANDSCAPE
At Ariss Landscape Inc. we provide exterior renovations of residential properties with expertise in interlocking and concrete driveways, excavations, and foundation wrap waterproofing.
Established in 2004, our team of professional landscape contractors also design and build other aspects of the landscape, with an eye for architecturally sound designs. During the winter season, we provide commercial snow removal services.