We bought our house in Lumpkin County in 2015 (how time flies), and it had a perfectly serviceable front porch. I loved the open feeling of it, and the size was welcoming. However, as with many porches, (something we often rectify for clients) it had started to sink.
As mentioned in previous blogs, if the soil beneath the porch is not compacted properly when installed, the porch will sink. If the porch is tied into the roof structure, it could impact the entire roof of the house.
A year or two after moving in, we noticed that the porch was starting to sink – noticeable because the porch became uneven and the roof line changed. Also, the wood decking started to rot. The step in the front (Image 1) is green from contact with the soil. It later developed a large hole.
Bigger & Stronger
Because Jason is Jason, (and bigger and stronger are always better) he took on the porch project from the ground up. He removed all elements of the porch, jacked up the roof and started compacting the soil beneath. In the process, he uncovered an enormous cavity under the wood that housed snakes and who knows what else.
Once Jason poured the concrete slab, he added steel posts where the columns had been. Around the posts, he created hand-cut stone bases for each pillar (Image 2). The bases took two men four days to create because each stone was cut to fit on all four sides.
The Patio Process
Then came the patio. After the concrete was poured, Jason laid stone starting on the outside edge of the patio (Images 3 & 4). The stones are cut roughly on the edges and then placed on a bed of mortar. Each piece is laid and leveled.
Suiting It to the Site
The other thing that I liked about the original porch was it had a ramp so that a suitcase, wheelchair or person could go from the driveway to the house without any steps. I asked Jason to create the same thing but with a pretty curve to reflect the curve of the driveway on our steeply sloping lot.
The three boulder steps, leading into the side yard, were left natural, which works with the boulder installed in the first step. The grey and yellow sandstone of the patio blend nicely with the grey green of the house and the palate of natural colors on our lot.
The design of the new front entrance is even more open and wide than the original. It welcomes people from two directions. And, because of the large overhang, our guests are protected from the rain.
We are busy, like you, with all the activities of life. We had to make time to do this upgrade on our house. We had to live with the disruption of having a stone landscaping project installed. We also know the joy of it when it is completed.
Do you have a project that you do not want to put off? Contact Art of Stone Gardening. We will work with you to determine your needs and make your home and life more beautiful than ever.