New Front Stoop Railings - Part 1

September 17, 2017

If nothing else, 173 is an evolutionary beast.  Occasionally there are big alterations, but most of the time it's a matter of small, slow, subtle changes.  The front stoop is just such a case.  This picture shows how the front of 173 looked in the '70s :
(These are the original owners of 173 - so happy to have this kind of provenance!)
I think 173 must have looked so airy and crisp back in the day!  A far cry from the direction she was headed beginning in 1997.  Back then, the front stoop was the same as in the picture above, and wasn't really a stoop at all; instead -  just a few steep, narrow steps as you can see in this old grainy photo:
Then in '99 or so, I took down the old steps, and built a stoop which ended up looking like this:
Not too bad for a beginner.  The stoop was a couple years old by the time that picture was taken, but you get a sense of what is had become.  Then this happened:
I went and painted the railings white.  Not a big deal you say?  Well, that was the beginning of the significant exterior alterations that led to this:
It looked so fresh and crisp, I loved it!  But there's a dirty little secret...white hides a lotta sins - from a distance.  The fact is, the railings were getting old.  They had been stained with deck stain at least five or six times over the years, and the paint just wasn't holding anymore.  Besides that, I had made a construction error when building the railings originally in that I hadn't chamferred the top edges, so rain and snow simply sat there.  Once again, I didn't take a "before" photo up close, but this picture shows how the posts were beginning to get those splits that you just can't hide:
(Awkward shot taken from inside the porch, blown up and cropped.)
So, it was time to re-do the railings.  As is the case in almost every project at 173, I thought it over (overthought really) for weeks.  It isn't quite finished yet, but last weekend the stoop looked like this:
I decided to do one side of the stoop at a time...hate the thought of the mailman walking right off the edge!  The project is further along than that picture, but I'm reserving the rest for the final reveal, and with any luck, and the weather holds, we'll have railings in a few days!

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