This week we’re helping a new homeowner make her house more insurable and a little more attractive too.

Kristin Saroski recently bought a one-story brick home that’s now turned into more project than house. Her insurance company wants her to make some home improvements. 

Most importantly, she needs a new roof. She decided to go with a metal roof for its strength, durability and aesthetics. The shake-style metal roof goes perfectly with her traditional brick home style.

The roof was installed by a company backed by the Metal Roofing Alliance. If you’re ready to upgrade to a metal roof, or just want more questions answered when it comes to a metal roof, check out

While the workers install the new metal roof, we work on other projects to satisfy her home insurance company.

Replace Columns

The double columns take up too much space and make the front porch look small, so we remove them and replace them with wood posts.

We place the posts under the porch ceiling and use a jack to raise the ceiling enough to take out the columns.

Once the columns are out, we screw down a metal saddle on the front porch for our new wood posts.

The saddle will keep the posts in place and prevent the wood from rotting at the base.

After the columns are securely in place, we add some trim to the top and bottom to give them a finished look and paint them to match the railing.

Build Handrail

Once the new columns are in place and secured at the top and bottom, we turn our attention to Kristin’s hastily installed handrail. Kristin glued the handrail down the night before an inspection from her home insurance company. 

Because it’s not nailed down, removing it was as easy as giving it a hard yank.

To put together a handrail that will improve both the looks and safety of this porch, we dig holes for the bottom handrail posts and set them with Quikrete fast-setting concrete.

We build a wood railing for the steps and the front porch. Before nailing each baluster to the top and bottom rails, we add some waterproofing by applying some wood glue.

After installing the railing, we paint it to match the fascia and gable. 

Replace Missing Brick

This missing brick on the side of the stairs may seem like a small repair, but it’s an important part of making the porch safe. 

A small bag of Quikrete pre-mixed mortar is ideal for this kind of job.

Watch how to do this here.

Paint Brick Porch

The brick pavers up on the porch floor don’t match the rest of the brick on the house, so we paint them with TracSafe Anti-Slip Coating and TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer from Daich Coatings to improve their appearance and traction.

We went to Home Depot to color match the coating so it’s the same color as the mortar. After two coats of the colored coating, we apply two coats of the transparent anti-slip coating.

We also put two coats of this on the brick steps.

We also:

  • Painted the fascia, gable and front door.
  • Removed the shutters
  • Rejuvenated the window crossbars with Armor All
  • Removed overgrown bushes and replaced them with new shrubs

Post-Production Thoughts

Kristin’s new home had some issues that caused concern for both her and her insurance company. Her roof had outlived its useful life span and the absence of handrails on the front porch and stairs was a red flag for the insurance company and concern for Kristin.

In addition to all of that, the house just needed some character. It wasn’t ugly, just bland. But now, her home has a whole new lease on life.

The new shingle-style metal roof will not only protect her home — it’s given the house a crisp clean look that was missing before.

The new columns and handrails are certainly safer, but they also add the structure, detail and character that the face of this house needed so badly.

The little bit of landscaping we added brings color and a “lived-in” feeling to the house while the pale blue door creates the “welcoming atmosphere that Kristin wanted so badly. 

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Products Featured in This Episode

Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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