Stoops and Steps
Reconstructing entry steps: design for longevity and guidelines for construction; building a wooden stoop.
The landing pad between house and front walk or city sidewalk, a “stoop” may be as small as a single step to the front door of a country farmhouse, or as tall and imposing as the stone steps leading to the parlor floor of a Brooklyn brownstone. The word “stoop” comes the Dutch term for “step,” and has become a handy moniker for all sorts of structures that provide access to the house or porch. Stoops and entry steps are ignored until they fall into disrepair. That’s when it becomes clear just how essential they are to appearance and safety. A stoop with missing or broken steps is not only a hazard, but also affects curb appeal.
RIGHT In locales like Nantucket and Charleston, where houses were built right on public sidewalks, turning the stoop so that it opens to the side is an elegant solution, permitting a landing wider than the door. ABOVE A single step would have sufficed—but this low, welcoming stoop becomes an Arts & Crafts-period porch with the addition of built-in benches and an arched trellis. The benches offer a place to sit or set packages, and bench sides also function as handrails.