When the Walsh family decided to embark on the construction of a vacation home, they presented an architect with their must-haves.

They needed enough bedrooms and accompanying bathrooms to house their four adult children and five grandchildren; they wanted a pool out on the rear porch; open spaces for family time were also a must. They even gave the architect a floor plan of their home in Charlotte to give him insight into their tastes.

That vision came true in 2016 when they moved into their brand-new home on the Isle of Palms. When they bought the property, there was already a home on the lot. The crew from Priester's Custom Contracting made sure the old structure was leveled and the custom home was ready for the Walshes to move into on July Fourth of that year.

“We wanted it to have style and substance at the same time,” Mary Beth Walsh says.

The home is two stories, not including the drive-under garage. There’s a rooftop deck, good for sunbathing during the day and storytelling over drinks at night. Walsh says they were pleased by the outcome.

Tommy Priester, the contractor, says the house is entirely different from its predecessor on the same lot. All of the materials are new, save for some salvaged barn wood from Upstate New York. The barn wood was used for beams and wall accents in some of the common space and bedrooms.

It’s also outfitted with key features for guarding against the stormy weather that coastal homes can be subject to. These include Andersen impact windows and a metal standing seam roof.

“I’d say one of the requirements of living on the coast is wind-borne debris protection,” Priester says.

Apart from the functional aspects of the home, an emphasis was put on family space. One of the bedrooms has four sets of bunkbeds where Walsh’s grandchildren can sleep.

The kitchen, dining and family room areas are interconnected so when one person goes to fix a snack, they aren’t cut off from the group. There’s a media room upstairs where the family can gather as well.

The deck in the back of the home is a masterpiece in itself. Like the front porch, it’s fashioned from Ipe, a sturdy and weather-resistant Brazilian hardwood. There’s a covered space, complete with outdoor furniture. And there’s the pool.

The elevated pool has its own support system with the deck wrapping around it, Priester says.

The property is less than an acre, but the house is surrounded by trees, which Walsh says helps with privacy.

“I think the hardest thing in building the house was building a new constructed house in the midst of houses that have been in place for the last 20-plus years,” Priester says.

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