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  • Blithe

    Just a guess: Concrete chips and cracks, and the repairs can look quite noticeable. My guess is that it’s a lot less expensive and a lot more convenient to cover the stairs with outdoor carpet, even if it needs to be replaced every few years, than it is to replace the steps. Typical renovations on our — Petworth — block included replacing the wooden porches with concrete, replacing wooden porch columns with brick, replacing wooden porch railings with metal ones, and bricking in the space under the porches — which used to be covered with wooden lattice screens. Later projects included redoing the wooden back porches. Once the newer concrete porches started to crack, some people had them covered with carpet as well.

    • webster_res

      My same guess. Ice and rock salt affect outdoor carpet a little different than concrete. I know we’ll probably need to have our sidewalk reparged next spring.

  • anon

    also probably provides greater slip resistance when wet.

    • Emilie

      +1 I know elderly folks who put down carpet to help prevent falls. They also added extra hand rails. No necessarily pretty, but helpful.

    • GBinCH

      This has always been my assumption, rather than the cost of fixing something. Always looks to me like a decision based around safety.

  • textdoc

    On a related note… can anyone recommend a contractor for repairing and/or replacing concrete steps/walkways?

    • marybindc

      Vaughan Restoration Masonry. (703) 823-5944. Just did ours earlier in the summer and they look great.

      • Thanks for the recommendation — much appreciated!

  • Petworth resident

    Great question! I’ve been wondering that too. The responses make sense, especially the safety side. However, I’m from Oakland and I can’t even tell you how many people have carpet on their concrete steps. Sure we get rain, but there’s no snow and slipping is just not a problem in the same way and there’s no issue with damage from rock salt. So…I’m not sure about warmer-weather cities.


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