BLD Approved™ Projects

The BLD Approved™ designation assures homeowners that their home is designed, built or remodeled to better accommodate the ever-changing lives, lifestyles and life stages of everyone in the home. It gives homebuyers’ confidence that their home will have ease of use and convenience features and will be more livable for more people.

Our first BLD Approved™ remodeling project shows the conversion of the entrance of a home from a plain stairs-only entry to a much improved sloping pathway with porch and roof.

About the Project

Remodeler : Louis Tenenbaum, Maryland,

Project Location : Chevy Chase, Maryland


This modest brick house has only two steps from the front yard up to the first floor. The family was making a number of improvements to the house and wanted to provide at least one way into the house that did not require the use of stairs. The grade change between the yard and the first floor was modest and (while the photo doesn’t reveal this) the rise from the sidewalk to the first floor was even less.


The entrance renovation replaced two short stairs with a gently sloped pathway – the sidewalk and first floor turn out to be at almost the same height. Rather than build a ramp, the team decided to create a gentle-sloping berm with the pathway on top. Also added was the porch and porch roof.


The new porch is also fully integrated into the appearance of the home and looks like it was always there. Not only does it significantly improve the appearance of the home, the porch roof provides weather protection for people who are entering and exiting. Because the porch deck is at the same level as the first floor of the house, the porch roof also keeps water, ice, and snow away from the front door, reducing the possibility of water infiltration.


Everyone can easily come and go from the house now.


Landscaping completes the renovation, making the result look like it has always been there.


The project combined the use of earth berms and retaining walls to create a natural, good looking, and permanent added-value feature to the home. Who doesn’t have rolling luggage? It is now very easy to roll it out of the house.