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If you live in the city, you may not have a porch. You may instead have a stoop. This is a raised structure in front of your home with several stair and a railing that leads to the entrance. Unlike a porch, a stoop is without a roof. It is a spot where people in close-knit urban communities socialized. 

Friends, children, and passing relatives may hang out and relax in front of your stoop. These sturdy and well-designed stairways can be quite beautiful and add to the aesthetic of certain neighborhoods. You may put out small pieces of furniture on your stoop or flower pots. These are the sorts of things that can make a stoop even more appealing as a social space. 

Although most stoops are made of quite sturdy material, they are still subject to wear and tear. Some stoops are very old—well past their prime. Yours may be one of them. It may not be possible to repair the discrepancies you spot in your stoop. You may have to replace the structure altogether. 

Here are a few signs that it is time to replace your stoop:

1. Serious Cracks

A hairline crack in your stoop can be resolved with a bit of patchwork. However, if you see a significant crack, then the space may not be salvageable. A large crack suggests that forces beneath the surface of the stone have weakened it to a point that is irreparable.

2. Crumbling Stone

Most stoops are made of high-quality stone. If this is starting to crumble along the edges of the steps, then you will need to replace them. There is no easy way to patch up stone that is disintegrating. In any case, it is usually more cost effective to replace the material.

3. Sinking Stoops

If the stairs on your stoop have begun to sink, it is a sign that the foundations of the structure have weakened. The best move is to have new stairs installed.

If you believe it may be time to replace your old stoop with a new one, you should call a professional. Before making any final decision, you should get the advice and assessment of an expert. Replacing a stoop is a major project. You want to make sure there is good reason to undertake it. Calling a professional can give you that assurance. They can also provide you with the expertise you need to have the new stoop installed.