Looking for steps to front door ideas during a renovation project or self build might at first appear to be low-priority, but the day-to-day usage of this feature means it must be made a key aspect of any house design from the outset.
Not only will the design of the steps impact how you enter the home, but also how other entrance and approach ideas tie together as a whole.
Considering the materials, size and style of steps while looking at front door ideas and at other elements, such as a driveway design or porch lighting, will serve you well. Here, we share some of our favourite ideas for making that entrance.
Steps to Front Door Ideas
1. Put a Modern Spin on Victorian Tiled Steps
Many older terraced or town house properties featured ornate and heavily detailed tiled steps that welcomed guests from the street. Often featuring eye-catching colours including blue, pink and red, the steps to a home were just an interesting as the rest of the design.
Pay homage to this traditional entrance design by repairing old tiles, or introducing new contemporary patterned tiles.
Retiling with a modern design has rejuvenated this terraced home's exterior, as has painting a front door and brickwork in a contemporary pastel colours. The result is charming, welcoming and grounded in the building's history.
2. Let the Home's Exterior Inform Materials
Just as you would an internal space, create a moodboard of materials and colour themes you feel suit your home's exterior design. This will allow you to experiment with contrasts and combinations.
If your home is predominantly clad in brick, this can be a nice chance to showcase the versatility of the material with different laying patterns. Or, if your home will be clad in a warm timber, a stone or other natural, robust material will be a good choice for steps.
Here, a light-coloured stone which captures the cream-colour of the first-floor's render creates the steps, while the red brick of the ground floor has been used to create small sidewall for safety (sometimes a stipulation of Building Regulations).
Finally, the porch ideas utilised bring together all of the elements while providing visitors with a place to shelter from the elements.
3. Illuminate Steps to the Front door
For those with a long approach to entrance from a gate or driveway, consider front garden ideas, landscaping and entry lighting as one scheme.
Extending porch lighting ideas into the garden or pathway will present a uniform and well-considered first impression.
For a pathway and the steps, use low-level light that will illuminate steps for safety, before lighting up the waiting area immediately outside the front door at or above head height.
Motion sensors on the porch will also highlight to those unfamiliar with the layout as to where they are heading, while automatic PIR lighting like this also deters unwanted visitors.
4. Make Small Front Door Steps Comfortable for Users
We've all had the experience of going to take a step and finding the riser is too small and falling slightly flat. When designing your front door steps, be sure to take in a visitor's expectation of height and depth.
Comfortable steps should be no less than 10cm in height and should be designed avoid an awkwardly deep or shallow tread.
This home's small steps are built using brick to match the cladding on the ground floor, but tie together the grey of the house and the yellow hue of the gravel driveway. Considering front garden driveway ideas at the same time as the steps has resulted in a united palette of materials and clear path to the door.
5. Create a Sense of Arrival with Wide Steps
Increase kerb appeal of a self build or large extension with a dramatic welcome.
What better way to show off your hard work and new home design than with a carefully considered front landscaping scheme and grand garden steps ideas.
This extended cottage in the Cotswolds certainly makes in impression when leading visitors from the driveway to the aluminium front door. Note in particular the dwarf wall of classic Cotswolds stone that lines the steps down continues the yellow resin bound driveway.
6. Opt for a Ramp for an Accessible Home
Although front door steps are the norm for homes built on slope, this won't work for many people building lifetime homes.
While it is slightly more tricky to plan a ramp to a front door – in part due to the required length of slope compared with the height of the door – a well planned entrance design can compensate accordingly.
Consider, perhaps, an L or U shaped ramp with a good amount of turning room and definitely measure up the room needed to manoeuvre from the car to the ramp in your plan for driveway ideas.
7. Refresh Existing Front Door Steps
If you're renovating an existing house and don't want to lose the charm of the current steps, there are certainly ways to update and refresh different materials.
Bricks can be tinted or painted to bring them more up to date with contemporary tastes, while flagstones and pavers are easily cleaned by using the best pressure washers available, or simply some soap and water.
Unstable or broken steps can always be removed and re-levelled or replaced in the same style as they originally appeared.
Finally, dressing steps with planters and lighting, as shown here, can bring an entrance to life.
Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.
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