August 14, 2007

Brand New Front Stairs!

The handrails have been re-installed. Phew. This was not an easy task, given the scalloped point on which the handrails rest, at each step. We ended up just using a mortar connection at each scallop and at the handrail base, which rests on the bottom step. The original plan of installing steel rods, as reinforcement, would have cracked the handrails. Luckily, the handrails are heavy enough so that even with just a mortar connection, they are quite secure.
Jose and his crew still have a little bit of 'clean-up' work to complete... there are a few chips and cracks to patch on the stairs and guardrail stiles and one of the stairs at the sidewalk needs some additional sloping, so that water drains off the stair (currently it pools, which is a problem). Apart from that, the stairs came out okay and are officially repaired! And functional! And no longer a structural case study waiting to happen!
Jose and crew also removed the silver chain link fence, on the south side of the yard. The plan is for them to install a new fence, similar to the one facing the street, sometime this or next week. Once that is done, we'll start researching paving options for the front walk. In the meantime, we spread some mulch around, to avoid tracking mud indoors. Mulch has to be the best landscape material... especially when you live with a 125lb. St. Bernard.

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