The front stoop, before and after:
Now to be honest, this pretty stoop was not our original plan. In the interest of both time and money, we had asked our neighbor/contractor to put in a simple cement block, perhaps topped with flagstone or pavers or tiles or something, for a cost of $600-800 or so. We wanted a second opinion though, so we found this guy who had a great rep and said he did concrete. So he came to take a look -- turns out he's more a mason than a concrete guy. His proposal -- complete with cut bluestone -- was definitely the more expensive option, by a factor of two. But it sounded great, and the end result looks great...and in the end I think when selling a house that the front yard and stoop make a lasting first impression, so I think it's worth it.