interior porch view

New Porch project – completed!

We recently finished a new rear porch for a homeowner on Daniel Island.  The project was designed to include the owner’s vision of symmetrical “gazebos” on either side of an open deck.  One of the challenges of this project was incorporating this vision with a home which was not symmetrical.  The image below is of the home before we added the porch.

porch project - before the new porch was added

The end solution is a balanced facade which, while not symmetrical, is harmonious with the existing home.  We also carefully selected materials, including the timber framing style details and standing seam metal roof.  These provided subtle enhancements to the overall home without overpowering it or seeming out of place.

Below are a few photos of the nearly completed project.

rear octagonal porches porch ceiling details deck railing detail porch framing detail interior porch view

Excerpts from Home Show presentation, part 1

This past weekend, I was invited to present at the Charleston Home + Design Show on “Charleston HOUZZ Worthy Homes”.  I focused this presentation on trends in three areas of the home that are typically high on a homeowners list.  Kitchens, Bathrooms and Storage.  For this first excerpt, I’ll focus on the Kitchens.

Grand Pavilion Blvd - kitchen

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchens are often the social center of the home.  We do many things in the kitchen other than simply cook – we eat, we socialize, we do homework, we pay the bills… The list could go on, but the point is the kitchen is extremely important for many reasons, including the preparation of food.  With that in mind, here are some important features that many people are looking for in today’s kitchens:

  • Spacious aisles, with enough room for multiple persons to maneuver around each other
  • Eating/seating area – this should be outside of the work zone (or work triangle) of the kitchen
  • Open communication to adjacent rooms – people don’t want to be isolated if they are working in the kitchen.  They want to be able to interact with what is happening nearby.
  • Lighting is incredibly important.  Natural light is wonderful and should be incorporated as much as possible.  But, artificial light is at least as important in order to provide optimal task lighting at the work surfaces at all times of the day or night.
  • Clean or open countertops – people want as much work surface available as is possible.  A lot of countertop appliances are being housed in cabinets to keep the work surfaces open.  With the increased popularity of microwave drawers, these appliances are also becoming more often located in the base cabinets.

Octagonal porch – In Progress

porch framing

Octagonal porches – in progress

I stopped by a project under construction this afternoon.   We’ve designed this project to have two symmetrical octagonal structures.  The portion in the foreground will be an open porch, while the far section will be screened in.  Between the two will be open deck space.  The framing on this project was challenging, utilizing timber construction details and difficult angles.  But the team at Renaissance South Construction has done a tremendous job of executing the design.  I am always excited to see the progress on this project!

10 things you need to know about wood stud wall construction

Most houses constructed with wood studs utilize 2×4 or 2×6 studs.  Each size has advantages and disadvantages.  I have detailed some of the basics below:


  • actual dimensions: 1.5″x3.5″
  • sufficient strength for homes in most regions
  • allows for R-13 to R-15 insulation, if using traditional batt insulation
  • most regions will require additional rigid insulation in addition to batt insulation between the studs
  • less expensive than 2×6 construction


  • actual dimensions: 1.5″x5.5″
  • stronger than 2×4 construction and may be required in certain regions
  • allows for R-19 to R-21 insulation, if using traditional batt insulation
  • some colder regions will require additional rigid insulation in addition to batt insulation between the studs
  • more expensive than 2×4 construction

Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of the wall type with your architect.