Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Handy Homemaker Hints # 327

So you've got a back porch that maybe isn't all it could be? Did whoever built your house either forget to put in a step or two or did they put the step in at a bizarre angle so that you have to manuever your way around the open screen door to get at it and then descend from the porch directly into a small corner where the outside walls of your kitchen and bathroom meet? Well 'Plastic Pumpkins' reader "Not A Step To Stand On" from Virginia had this exact problem and he wrote in asking my advice on ways to solve his porch-dilema. The solution? Gravestones!

Many people look at gravestones and think "Why that's only good for marking the eternal resting places of the deceased and presumed deceased!" but here at 'Plastic Pumpkins' we like to think outside the oblong box... there are a hundred and one other uses for gravestones! For example, a line of headstones in several different shapes and sizes could be stood up along your property line to serve as a snazzy alternative to the standard white picket fence or use a simple cross design monument as a hatstand for your hall or foyer! So many stunning things you can do with the simple cenotaph!

In the picture above, we've solved "Not A Step's" problem by placing the base stone of a grave marker right beside his existing concrete porch. It's not only the perfect height, but it blends in seemlessly and looks as if it has been there forever. You're welcome, "Not A Step" and keep reading!

Seriously though, that actually is the base stone (that's the stone that the actual headstone sits on top of) from somebody's grave site acting as a step at my friend Dave's house. Dave works for a guy who does a lot of volunteer work for his church. He tells Dave that it's surprising the number of people who change their minds about gravestones after they've already been put up. Since Dave's boss has a lot of heavy duty machinery and hauling-type junk, he's the guy who picks up and disposes of the old unwanted stones, usually dumping them in a big ditch on his farm. Well, Dave saw this stone in the back of his bosses pick-up about to be dumped and a little light bulb went off over his head. A few hours later... instant back porch step! It's actually upside down, that brown line of discoloration around the stone would have been sunk into the dirt, but Dave said that the thing weighed 700 tons so it pretty much laid the way it fell. I love it and never even would have noticed what it really was if he hadn't of mentioned it. Makes me think about the future owners of his house... will they ever realize what it is they're stepping on every day?
So, do you live in a house that was occupied by others before you and if so have you taken a close look around you? Who knows what material those previous occupants used in their 'do-it-yourself' projects...

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