A National Award Winning Porch Design in Potomac Maryland

    This porch design by Gilday Renovations received two awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The project won the Southeast Region which includes nine states (AL, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV and the District of Columbia). It then moved up to the national competition and was again recognized with a Grand award,

    NARI 2020 Awards_Res Exterior Over $200k_National Winner_ColorThe National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) hosts a competition for the best of the best home renovation projects each year. Association members submit projects for consideration in a wide variety of categories. Their presentations are reviewed by a diverse and impartial panel of their peers (architects, designers, builders). Judges select winners among those who have demonstrated exceptional results in home remodeling.

    What the Judges Had to Say

    “Beautiful project. Great design and use of the space. Very functional and great integration of indoor with outdoor.

    “This makes the home feel GRAND. It extends the interior space seamlessly. It looks as though it should have always been there”

    What the Clients Had to Say

    “The first time we met with Kevin Gilday he showed us a breadth of ideas, a lot of options. He was much more, let's say, thoughtful in terms of the aesthetics of how the porch would look.”

    “Before we met the Gilday design team, we had another company do a quote and design for us, but it was really a generic kind of thing that just didn’t feel right for the house.”

    “Gilday is structured and very professional and has a high care factor in what they're doing. Toward the end of construction, they added numerous finishing details that made the renovation 100% better than we expected.”


    A Porch Design That Completed the Incomplete

    This house is on a slope. The lower level/basement is at grade where the pool is located, and the main living level overlooks the backyard from above.

    An incomplete renovation had left two sets of French doors at the rear of the house. One set, on the main living level, was originally intended to open from the kitchen to a deck that would overlook the pool below. The other set, at the master bedroom above, didn't appear to have a purpose.

    Since they already had two patios, the clients decided they didn’t need a deck. Instead, they thought a porch would be the perfect place to enjoy views of the backyard, the pool area, and the surrounding landscape--and put those French doors to good use finally.

    The porch is the centerpiece of this project. Secondarily, we found a purpose for the French doors off the master bedroom by creating a petite “Juliet” balcony. Now the homeowners can swing the doors wide open for fresh morning air.


    To Make a Pretty Picture Required Problem Solving and Finesse

    There weren’t any “surprises” during construction. There were definitely issues but they were discovered preconstruction and then addressed in the design. There were, however, a few “extras” that had to be carefully considered to achieve the final result.

    1 Foundation Issues

    When we were evaluating the site to determine placement for our foundation for the slab patio that would be supporting the porch, we couldn't help but see that the footings at the base of the main house didn't go down 30 inches. They went down about a foot into the ground! So we proposed underpinning. Then the clients told us that they’d also had a longstanding issue with the existing raised patio: It seemed to have dirt falling out and washing out from underneath. We looked at it and couldn’t find a footing. So we underpinned the existing patio when we corrected  the house foundation. The owners were really happy about that. They knew something was wrong, but they didn't know how to deal with it. We guessed that perhaps earth was excavated away from the house foundation years earlier when the pool had been installed.

    2 Letting the Light Shine In

    We wanted the main beam on both the upper (screened) and lower (open) porches to be at least eight feet off the floor so we could have maximum light shining in. 

    Our challenge on the upper level was to get a reasonable pitch on the roof while achieving that eight foot interior height. We were able to do that but had to dodge a window in the second floor laundry room--which we did by building a copper box and recessing the roof back from the window to keep it clear.

    We also had to finesse our way around a window when designing the stairway from the upper porch to the patio below. A bathroom window was inconveniently in the way of where we wanted to place our upper landing. We pulled the landing twelve inches away from the house to effect a light well of sorts. So, when we put our landing in, it didn't cross in front of the window and block it.

    3 Extra Strength for Extra Safety

    Since we had a block foundation wall coming up at the point where we would join the porch deck to the house, we decided to take advantage of an opportunity to make it extra secure by through-bolting. We drilled through a 12 inch masonry foundation wall and threaded 15 inch bolts all the way through. We’d heard of recent instances of anchors failing on second story decks or porches, causing them to pull away from the house. This type of failure will not occur with this construction method. 


    Functional and Aesthetic Enhancements

    • Entry to the porch flows gracefully from the kitchen, continues down past a mid way landing, across the raised patio, and  arrives at the pool deck. The whole arrangement feels like it was always there. How could it not be?
    • The area below the porch is finished with a polished slab floor, a thick cedar lattice ceiling, and a ceiling fan. This makes a convenient getaway for swimmers who want to catch a break from the sun.
    • The stairway down from the porch is finished with wrought iron railings. We continued the iron railing around the perimeter of the raised patio which had been until now unfinished.
    • That theme is reflected in the “Juliet” balcony at the master bedroom level above. The owners were particularly happy about having the safety of that railing upstairs when their grandchildren visit.
    • Notice the spacing of the pillars. There are no center pillars. They are grouped toward the corners in order to leave a wide space in the middle for uninterrupted views. 
    • Custom built screen panels can be swapped out for glass panels to extend the comfort range on the porch when the season turns cooler.

    A Revival of Interest in Outdoor Living Spaces

    Over the past three years, we have witnessed an explosion in landscaping and outdoor living projects. Homeowners are expressing just how much they value outdoor living space. And they are rethinking how they experience life at home, exploring opportunities to make the outdoors more accessible, and creating new kinds of space for family gathering and quiet time. It appears that a porch can turn out to be one of the most versatile, comfortable, and most loved “rooms” in the house. If you’d like to explore some possibilities for yourself, you may view our complete porch design portfolio here.

    To learn more about the design-build process, download our eBook titled "How Gilday Renovations Integrated Team Delivers the Home of Your Dreams" to get an in-depth understanding. If you are considering a home renovation, please feel free to schedule a home renovation discovery session with Gilday today.

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