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Home is where the heart is.

When Dee and Christina O’Dell bought their traditional red brick Georgian home in Charlotte, they were planning to stay there a for few years, but found no other property as good a fit for their family’s needs. Then the back deck started falling off the house. And that changed everything.

“The house has good bones but when the deck started falling off the house last summer, it pushed us to make the decision about what we were going to do,” says Christina O’Dell. The family decided to stay and invest in creating an outdoor entertainment area more ideal for year-round enjoyment.

The O’Dells hired Advanced Renovations to design and build a multi-level, 800-900-square-foot space off the back of the house. “My husband and I are both ‘Type A’ people who like to have all the details in front of us,” O’Dell says. “We chose Advanced Renovations because we liked their in-house design/build option. It was a good fit for us.”

“Design/build projects tend to flow smoother,” says Duane Johns of Advanced Renovations. “There’s no need to worry about meshing different ideas and personalities and the communication process is easier from the beginning. The design/build process eliminates finger pointing. ”

The O’Dell’s new backyard retreat includes an L-shaped covered porch that connects to the house off the kitchen and living room. The space includes a fireplace with a wall-mounted TV above, vaulted ceiling complete with ceiling fan, honey-stained tongue and groove boards and cove lighting around the perimeter. The defining element is a built-in brick planter with fragrant gardenias, which separates it from the stepped-down, uncovered patio created with large pieces of bluestone edged with a rowlock brick border.  The project took three months to complete and the O’Dell family is enjoying the area for the first time this spring.

“The look is classic, clean and timeless,” says O’Dell, who adds that the only challenge was matching the original red brick from 1987. Luckily, Advanced Renovations was able to do it.

“The rest of the house really fits our family’s lifestyle, so we made the investment to turn this into our ‘next stage’ home,” explains O’Dell. “While we contemplated a move before the deck fell off, we discovered how much the house worked for us.”

Advanced Renovations made the process easy and the results beautiful. “From the beginning, Advanced Renovations provided us with a project plan, complete with a three-month calendar,” O’Dell says. “No other contractor provided that and they were as committed to following the timeline as we were.” She adds that the collaborative working relationship they had was very unique and successful.

To discuss your next home renovation project, contact Advanced Renovations at 704-799-3999 or

This story was published in Urbanhome Magazine

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