I cut the existing columns at their half way point then rebuilt everything from the ground up....by myself :). i saved about $3,500 on labor and the total cost of the project was about $1,350. I used PT decking and stained it after it had time to fully dry. The stair entrance was moved from a straight shot up to the front door to the side approach (as shown). I found some large slate stones during construction and used them for the new walkway. I like the idea of making the approach more of a thoughtful event rather than the "eisest" way to get to the door. It also added a more private feel to the front of the house while minimizing the elevation to one step instead of the original four. I wanted the porch to reflect the italianate character of our house. I restored and reused the spindles and rails.
Location: Cohoes, NY, US