For a year we lived in our nice new home with a small set of temporary steps to the front entrance. It was functional but not comfortable or appealing but we waited for the ground to settle at the suggestion of our builder. This spring we contacted a few local masons soliciting estimates for some kind of stonework steps. Only one bothered to get back to us but he turned out to be the right guy anyway.
Kevin Reilly, of Kevin Reilly Masonry, looked over our situation and suggested a solution that had not occurred to us: stack two large stones as steps, and forget about building some kind of mortared stone steps. This had a few advantages: it didn’t require footers, it can be adjusted later if there’s any substantial settling, it’s a clean and simple look, and it was not as labor-intensive for Kevin (which was important as he was already booked with work for the season).
After measuring and ordering the stones, Kevin and his crew prepared a gravel base at just the right height to make the steps an easy and natural progression to the door. Somehow they slipped the bottom stone into place with about 1/4 inch to spare and without dinging the siding. The slab was 10 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and weighed almost 3,000 pounds and it fits like a glove into the entrance recess. Imagine slipping a Buick into a refrigerator carton without dimpling the cardboard–we wish we were here to see how they managed it.
The top stone was positioned into place and then they added a flagstone walk from the driveway to the steps. We love the look. Earlier we had changed out the front exterior lights including next to the door, and later we started our landscaping. All contribute to a transformed front entrance that we’re quite happy with.