Step Right Up & Shutter!

It’s been a busy month at The Duckling! We’ve been working hard to transform this house into a lovely swan, which has been no easy feat! But we’ve made some great progress with a new front step and new shutters.

When we first saw The Duckling, Patrick and I took one look at the front step and said, “that’s got to go!” We knew that we wanted something more in keeping with the Cape Cod feel than the pressure-treated lumber that was plunked down, clearly as a temporary fix. Although utilitarian, it was not exactly aesthetically pleasing.


See what I mean?

So we immediately began exploring our options and soon decided that a nice blue stone landing about six inches below the front door (rather than level like the landing used to be) was the right way to go. We dialed up our go-to guy Paul Renzi of Renzi Masonry and soon got to work on crafting a plan. And Patrick, itching to get started, got right to work demolishing the old front step.


Hubby unexpectedly uncovered the original brick landing – that was crumbling and had a random bristle brush still sitting on it. Weird.


See the brush? It was under the wood decking. WHO DECKS OVER A BRISTLE BRUSH?!

So with the deck demolished well before the work to rebuild was going to start, we were left with a crumbly old brick landing to try and pretty up with a door mat and some urns filled with pumpkins.

Crumbling brick front step be damned - we can still make it presentable!

Crumbling brick front step be damned – we can still make it semi-presentable!

Thankfully the semi-presentable landing didn’t have to stay that way for too long! Our team at Renzi Masonry called within a week and said we’ll be there this week! And so the “real” demo began.


When the back-ho, fill dirt and mobile dumpster arrive, you know it’s real!


No going back now! The old landing is gone and there’s a big hole!


The sunlight and shadows almost make this mess look romantic….almost.


That’s a whole lotta rubble!

So with all of the demo done, it was time to start building ‘er back up. We were so excited to come home to see what the team had done – it was like Christmas morning every evening at 5:30 at The Duckling!


Starting to look like a real landing!


Some gorgeous blue stone and brick!

Looking good!

And the finished product!

So in the end, the grading of the front yard ended up covering up most of the brick, but we expect there will be some settlement of that dirt and the brick will show up some more.

While all of the landing and grading work was going on, our handyman, Ken Morrison from Home Remedies, did us a major favor and got our new shutters up too. So literally in the course of a week, The Duckling had its frown turned upside down and went from this…



To this…

And after!

And after!

While we still have a way to go – landscaping, front walk, window boxes and some grass! – we’re pretty thrilled with how far things have come! Here are a couple more angles.



So that’s the biggest news here at The Duckling! Coming soon – some landscape demo, repainting the garage door and The Bucket List of Crazy (that oughta keep you guessing!)

Until then…


4 thoughts on “Step Right Up & Shutter!

    • Hi Jessica – thanks for your comment! I checked out your blog – so fun to see so many similarities between our capes. I noticed, that I think we have the same 2 panel doors and brass door knobs on all of the interior doors. Funny how those things can be uniform given the era of the house despite the miles that separate them! Have fun with your projects – I’ll look forward to following your progress!

      🙂 Carrie

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