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Porch Livin’

Holmes Custom Renovations Turns Ho-Hum into Happy Place

Article by Natalie Shawver

Photography by Matt Capps of Loveland Premium Portraits

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

If there’s one thing the pandemic has provided, it’s more time spent at home. With that comes the opportunity for facelifts and upgrades—things once put off that can now be completed. Andrew and Robyn Baker decided to add one such project to their to-do list. 

Their top priority? Trading in their 25-year-old cedar deck for something more functional. The Bakers’ dream vision included adding a screened-in porch onto their second-story home to take advantage not only of the new deck, but the space underneath it. Doubling the outdoor space meant more room for fun and family—even in the rain. It also meant saying goodbye to annual deck maintenance and a shaky structure. 

“I interviewed other contractors, but the further we discussed the project the more they diminished our vision and increased the price,” Andrew says. 

Knowing this was a large undertaking, the Bakers turned to renovation and home exterior experts, Holmes Custom Renovations, on a recommendation from a friend. 

“We went over every detail of our project with the HCR team—they made sure everything was covered,” Andrew says. “With HCR, we got exactly what we wanted for a very reasonable price.”

The family-owned, full-service contracting business opened 15 years ago—founder/owner Ian Holmes had an overwhelming number of requests from friends and neighbors to help them with their home projects. He saw a need and made it official, creating a business that provided custom renovations to homeowners. Ian now spends his days working with customers like the Bakers to fulfill their visions.

After sharing some Pinterest inspiration, the HCR team got to work on the Bakers’ wishlist, spending the next 12 weeks perfecting the porch project. Throughout, Andrew appreciated most how personable and responsive the team was. 

“I got to know the team members and talked to them on a daily basis,” he says. It’s this approach to their business and craft that sets HCR apart from other renovation companies. 

“Every project we do is unique—that’s the beauty of being a full-service remodeling company,” says Lori Holmes, VP of Marketing. “We have the ability to customize exterior projects to make the customer’s dreams a reality. Our expertise in outdoor renovations enables us to walk people step-by-step through the process—minimizing surprises.” 

In addition to the covered porch, the Bakers also wanted to incorporate bi-fold doors to create a seamless transition from indoors to out, plus increase their overall usable space. HCR opted to use Bi-Fold Doors by Infinity from Marvin, a completely customizable, multiple folding glass wall/door system that easily transforms fixed walls into flexible openings—inviting the outside in, and removing visual and physical barriers. The Bakers were extremely excited about this, because the screened-in porch allowed outside access minus the pests. 

“We live in a heavily wooded area, and I’m a mosquito magnet,” Andrew says. “This made the outdoors much more accessible to us all.”

As for the cedar deck itself, HRC replaced it with a Trex composite deck and Trex Rain Escape under-deck drainage system—a solution ideal for adding living space on a second story while keeping the space underneath functional. 

“It’s a way to maximize the space underneath the deck,” Lori says. “Previously, if weather was inclement, the Bakers’ entertaining area was eliminated—as was the patio space beneath the deck. By building a covered porch and installing the Trex components, they’re now able to take advantage of the new living space above and below during rainy weather.” 

Making upgrades in the midst of a pandemic might not be top of mind, but homes are being utilized like never before (working, schooling, child care)—upgrading your space to make it more functional isn’t a bad idea. Following the Bakers’ lead, Lori suggests adding screened-in porches or patio doors to let in more light. 

“Another great reason to consider a renovation—especially siding, windows or decking—is to make everything ‘healthy underneath,’” she says. “Oftentimes homeowners notice water damage, which can lead to mold, rodent and insect problems. Windows with seal failures or soft, bulging spots around the perimeter can lead to water and/or cold drafts coming in—signaling other problems as well. Decking needs to be replaced when splinters, cracks, cupped boards and rot appear. At HCR, we can inspect all of these and recommend solutions.”

As for the Bakers’ renovation? A complete, seamless success. 

“All summer we sat on the patio to eat our meals, watch TV and play with the kids,” Andrew says. “The end result was exactly what we envisioned. Because I know the quality of their work, we’re using them for our next project to replace our windows!”

HolmesOhio.com | 5843 Creek Rd., Blue Ash | 513.791.3230

let there be light?

tip one: Upgrade your windows to Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows. Designed by the experts at Marvin Windows and Doors, these windows are for the homeowner who wants low-maintenance, energy efficiency and traditional beauty all in one.

tip two: Swap your doors for French inswing, patio sliding or bi-fold doors. Elegant patio doors can add charm to any outdoor living space by bringing the outdoors in. HCR offers premium sliding, inswing French doors and Bi-Fold Doors by Infinity from Marvin. Thanks to the combined features of Ultrex pultruded fiberglass (an immensely thermally efficient material), and low-emissivity glass that reflects the sun’s heat, these features can help keep your home’s internal temperature stable, decreasing the workload placed on your climate control system and helping drive energy costs down.

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