The new awning and front stairs are complete

We’re in hopefully the last week of work right now, as various punchlist items get taken care of and we get ready to move in. One item I discussed several weeks ago in “Offing the Awning” was the poor appearance of the front canopy. I’m happy to say that this has now been successfully resolved and we have a beautiful new canopy in front which ties in much more tightly to the overall design of the house:

The fir from the canopy, door, and stairs now tie together beautifully.

The puck lighting underneath the canopy provides just the right amount of light to illuminate the wood.

The fir stairs provide a warm entrance and the aluminum underneath offers a minimalist support structure.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the finished product. This is one of a handful of items we pushed back on very hard from a design standpoint, and although it felt stressful and unsatisfying at the time, I’m really glad we insisted on this refined approach. It cost me a few thousand dollars in the end, but since we’re still using the steel frame of the original canopy inside of the aluminum/fir casing, it’s still providing some value. UPDATE: Kevin from Build pointed out to me that although the finished cost of the canopy is more than originally spec’d, not a penny of the cost was actually wasted due to the fact that the steel frame is simply acting as the skeleton now. Fair point.

Not to be overlooked, the fir stairs are also the result of pushing back against a proposed solution (steel) that we never got comfortable with. The lesson for this phase of the project is: if you aren’t comfortable with a certain material, insist that it be eliminated as an option early on. Occasionally you will be pleasantly surprised by such things, but more often, you know your tastes better than anyone else does.

Costs accrued during this stage:

Front canopy fabrication (Twisted Metalworks)$1,000.00
Galvanize front canopy (Scott Galvanizing)$416.00
Aluminum for redone canopy (Alaskan Copper & Brass)$687.00
Aluminum anodizing for redone canopy (Hytek Finishes)$300.00
Delivery of anodized aluminum for redone canopy (Pacific Delivery)$130.00
Delivery charges (Pacific Delivery Service)$352.00
Miscellaneous materials (Compton Lumber)$1,198.00
Aluminum fabrication for redone canopy (Special Projects Division)$832.00

15 Responses to “The new awning and front stairs are complete”

  1. Yolanda Says:

    It’s beautiful! I like how the 3 elements tie together. I’m curious how you think the fir will wear, expecially the steps? The doors are somewhat recessed into a portico-like structure, but the steps are exposed quite a bit to the elements. How is the wood finished?

  2. foo Says:

    the steps look like they will be incredibly slippery in the web … how are you dealing with that issue?

  3. Jacob Says:

    Much improved. I like it.

  4. Dan Says:

    Definitely looks like the right choice. So much warmer and inviting and that’s no easy feat with a minimal, modern home.

  5. Mike D. Says:

    Yolanda: Yep, wear is definitely something to keep an eye on. Fir is extremely soft. As of now, the fir is sealed with several coats of sealer/varnish.

    Foo: There’s some walnut-shell granules mixed in with the sealer coat in order to maintain a grippy finish. They look smooth, but when you run your finger over them, they feel grainy.

  6. RJD Says:

    Like the new awning a lot. Ties in so much better with the overall exterior look of the house. Edges of grass looking a little ragged in your pics, haha. I sense a weed whacker purchase forth coming. Welcome to lawn care.

  7. Kevin Says:

    What is the yellow-ish square on the door in the first picture?

  8. Mike D. Says:

    RJD: Yep, I will be purchasing the $99 cordless Black and Decker weed wacker today, in fact.

    Kevin: Ha. Just a sign that says “finished floors… socks only please”.

  9. Terry Says:

    How would those fir stairs perform in rain, ice, and snow? Would you not worry about slipping without a textured finish?

  10. Mike D. Says:

    Terry: As I mentioned in the comment above, there is texture spread on top of the fir. It’s mixed into the finish. That said, I agree that they will not be a zero maintenance item. Keeping them clean is probably the biggest item for me.

  11. Jan Frost Says:

    I like your awning. We are building a portico. The lights in your awning would be perfect for our use. What type are they?

  12. Mike D. Says:

    Jan: I believe they are these.

  13. Jan Says:

    Thanks!! We have interior WAC lights, and the distributor said they didn’t make exterior-rated ones. Here they are!! Just as the architect planned. I am glad.

  14. Mike D. Says:

    Jan: Actually, I don’t think these are exterior rated :)

  15. Jan Says:

    ok, suitable for damp