We have had a "permanently temporary" front steps/walkway for about six years now. When we moved in to this house (good grief! really? 14 years ago?!?!) the original front deck and steps were rotting away and falling down. We jury-rigged it for a few years before Sam finally tore it down and put up a quick set of "temporary" stairs. He fully intended to replace the stairs with a deck within a year. And then life happened. Other projects became priorities. And so the "temporary" stairs became more and more permanent.
Sam and I had been discussing our future in the last few months. With the understanding that the kids are getting older, Sam's parents are getting older, and Sam will be eligible for retirement in eight years (not that I think he'll ever retire), we could potentially have a need/desire to sell this house in the near future. So we began listing projects that would need to have priority if we were to make that decision. The front deck quickly became project number one. And so we set aside our tax refund and hired a contractor: Beauchene and Sons of Canterbury. Rene Beauchene built my parents' house, works quickly, and does great work at a fair price. (Yes, Sam could have built it himself, but since he hadn't gotten to it in six years....)
Early Monday morning Sam tore off the old stairs and deck before going to work (my guy is awesome!). Mr. Beauchene and his son arrived and got straight to work. By lunch time I had a beautiful front deck, large enough for two chairs to set on for watching the sunrise together (as soon as the weather cooperates!).
It will get a coat of stain when the weather warms up. In the garden area we'll plant the near edge of the large deck (in front of the window) with tall white and pink flox, blue irises, blue asters, and pink astilbe. Each of the corners made by the two decks will have a tall pot with annuals along these lines:
And then more pots of annuals will be hanging from under the railing like this:
I can't wait for Spring to get here... of course, there's a snowstorm due in this afternoon...