(Photo by Susie Soleimani) A sweeping staircase in Brazilian cherry with wrought iron banisters curves gracefully to the second floor.

After 30 years of building homes in the D.C. area, Prem Puri retired in 2006. But to Puri, retirement meant he stopped collecting a salary — not that he stopped working. He still builds houses like this one in the Falconhurst enclave of Potomac, Md. Only these days, he donates the profits to worthy charities.

“I could drink a cup of tea, watch CNBC,” Puri said of retirement. “I like this better.”

Puri founded Classic Homes with his brother in 1983. They built more than 1,000 homes in Northern Virginia. Now Puri builds one home a year and uses the profits to fund the DD Puri Foundation. Named for his father, the foundation contributes money to the Patiala School for the Deaf and Blind in Puri’s home town in northern India. It also partners with Windle Trust Kenya to fund scholarships for refugees from East Africa.

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Asked how he chooses which causes to support, Puri said, “It depends on what touches your heart.”

This is the fifth home Puri has built where all the profits go into the foundation.

From the clever to the practical, the details are what stand out in this 11,500-square-foot home. A sweeping staircase in Brazilian cherry with wrought iron banisters curves gracefully to the second floor. Ceilings that soar to 22 feet in the living and family rooms create spaciousness. Tall windows fill the space with natural light. A limestone gas fireplace warms the family room, one of five fireplaces in the house.

Puri’s favorite spot in the home is outside it. A sandstone patio, which has a fireplace and cooking space, offers a serene spot to gaze at the trees that surround the house and the stream that runs near the 2½-acre property.

“I like the outdoors,” Puri said. “The lot is so private.”

The kitchen, with its enormous island, has all the bells and whistles for a serious cook. But its most clever design feature is the cabinet that is a door to a separate catering kitchen. It’s the perfect solution for anyone who doesn’t want the caterer’s mess seen by guests.


(Photo by Susie Soleimani) A sandstone patio, which has a fireplace and cooking space, offers a serene spot to gaze at the trees.

The home has two master suites. The first-floor one is well suited for an aging parent. The upstairs one has its own indoor and outdoor sitting areas, a wet bar, his and her closets, and an expansive marble bathroom with a remote-controlled electric fireplace.

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The fourth-floor loft area would make an ideal playroom for children. On the lower level, the wine cellar has a cedar ceiling and room for a tasting table. The media room was designed to re-create the theater experience with leather recliners and a coffered ceiling and walls. The exercise room has a rubber floor.

The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home also has an elevator and a four-car garage. It is listed at $3.595 million. An open house is scheduled for Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Listing: 9704 Spicewood Lane, Potomac, Md.

Listing agent: Shahab Nasrin, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

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