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How Do I Choose the Best Porch Stairs?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The front of your home is the first thing a visitor will see, so it's important to take the time to make that presentation a pleasant one. More importantly, it is vital that you make it a safe visit for both guests and for you and your family. The best porch stairs will therefore be stable and well built, not to mention attractive and in keeping with the general aesthetic of the house. You will need to choose your porch stairs based on your budget as well, as various types of materials can range in cost.

Think carefully about how you intend to use the porch so you can make the best determination about the porch stairs that are right for you. If, for example, the porch will be used regularly as a living space, you may want to consider wider stairs that allow more people access at any given time. If your porch is quite small and is only used for access to the home, you can consider a smaller set of porch stairs. Making smaller stairs will usually open up more options for materials, as you will need fewer materials and can therefore choose higher quality ones. A set of brick porch stairs, for example, would be quite expensive if the steps were wide, but the stairs may be more affordable on a narrower staircase.

Attractive porch stairs add to the appeal of a home.
Attractive porch stairs add to the appeal of a home.

Aside from the expensive brick, other types of materials commonly used to make porch stairs include wood, vinyl, and concrete. The least expensive option will probably be concrete, and pouring a set of concrete stairs is not exceptionally difficult. It will take some time, however, not to mention a bit of planning, to ensure the concrete sets properly. Concrete is also not the most attractive option; the basic color of concrete is gray, though tinting the concrete is possible if you want to spend a bit more money.

Wood is perhaps the easiest material to work with when building porch stairs because it is easily adaptable and easy to cut on site. Wood can be susceptible to water damage, however, so it will be important to buy lumber that is either pressure treated or naturally resistant to water damage and bug infestations. Such woods can be costly, so be prepared with your budget. Vinyl is affordable, durable, attractive, and low-maintenance, but installing vinyl stairs can be difficult, as the materials must be pre-cut before purchase and installed properly to prevent buckling, warping, or loosening over time.

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    • Attractive porch stairs add to the appeal of a home.
      By: Cheryl Casey
      Attractive porch stairs add to the appeal of a home.