How to Revive a City Stoop | Ask This Old House

24January 2020


Shopping List:
½-inch 1×4 board []
Sandpaper []
Painter’s tape []
Wood glue []

Tools List for Reviving a City Stoop:
Gloves []

Shopping List:
Kousa dogwoods []
Coleus []
Crape Mrytle []
Fiberglass planters []
Crushed stone []
Potting soil []
Compost []
Low-voltage LED lights []

1. Start by removing any and all weeds that have grown in through the cracks in the sidewalk.
2. Add planters in key locations to add visual impact to the stoop.
a. Pour crushed stone at the bottom of the planters for drainage.
b. For soil, add a mixture of 2 bags of potting soil per 1 bag of compost.
c. For plants, Jenn planted two kousa dogwoods, which she underplanted with coleus. At the top of the stairs, she added an additional planter with a crepe myrtle.
3. Add lighting for added security and to highlight the planters at night. They can be plugged in if there’s already power run to the outside.

Jenn recommends removing weeds by hand or with a spray of vinegar, salt, and dish soap.

Jenn used fiberglass planters for durability outside. She started with a layer of marble chips for drainage, then filled the containers with a mix of potting soil and compost.

For the plants, Jenn used two kousa dogwoods underplanted with coleus. On the stairs, she planted a dwarf crape myrtle.

Jenn added low voltage landscape lighting under the trees for safety and drama.

All of the tools and materials for this project can be found at garden centers and nurseries.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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