Grand Prize Award Winners at PRO Metro DC Remodeler of the Year Awards

On Saturday, February 3rd, 2024, some of us attended the PRO Metro DC Remodeler of the Year Awards gala. We aren’t the best schmoozers, so it’s a big deal when we can mobilize anyone from the team to go to something requiring cocktail attire on a Saturday night. We were glad we did and as always enjoyed the camaraderie  typical of PRO events. 

Rust Construction submitted for two awards: Residential Interior Over $500,000 and Residential Landscape Design/Outdoor Living $100,000 to $250,000. We won the Grand Prize for the Landscape Design/Outdoor Living category.

When the award was announced we were told that we were the only company to have received a perfect score on their submission across all of the categories. Pretty cool!

Residential Landscape Design/Outdoor Living $100,000 to $250,000

Our clients’ goals for this outdoor living project were:

  • To reproduce the precast columns from the existing porch on the opposite side of the home
  • To have minimal impact to the existing garden, outdoor chimney, and patio
  • A “substantial feeling” open ceiling of rafters and beams
  • To use materials that complement the existing elements of the circa 1925 home and contemporary gardens.

Our Challenges

Existing Conditions:

The patio, chimney, and much of the outdoor landscaping were pre-existing to the pergola. The clients required that these features be integrated into the overall design with minimal impact to create the feel that the pergola had been there for a long time.

The need to build around existing buried utilities and not disturb the landscaping on the site’s steep slope made for additional logistical challenges.

Design Iterations:

The project went through a complete evolution starting with a design to enclose the existing porch on the other side of the house and ending up with the final design.

Structural Steel & Precast Columns:

The engineering required a continuous steel post inside the hollow precast columns. This required that the steel posts be set with very little margin for error before the precast columns were lifted over top of the steep posts and lowered down.

These custom precast columns designed to replicate existing precast columns elsewhere in the house were necessary to create the sense of integration with the rest of the home’s exterior.

Old Growth Wood:

The clients were adamant that they did not want contemporary materials typically used for pergolas, such as plastic, or even thermally modified products, such as Kebony.

We were at an impasse on an acceptable wood product until we could source oversized heart pine beams salvaged from a warehouse in Richmond, Virginia.

Once on site, we cut the wood to specification and installed it.

The repurposed beams were able to create the “substantial feeling” that the clients wanted to accomplish.

Rust Construction Our Work Outdoor Living


Rust Construction worked to exceed the clients’ goals for the project. The project presented an opportunity to demonstrate craftsmanship and the ability to overcome significant logistical and technical challenges.

The resulting pergola is an architectural element that fits within the overall context of the clients’ property and is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening outdoors.

This project was completed in March 2023.

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