Giving Back

Case Design/Remodeling was selected from companies across the country to receive
Ply Gem’s 2011 ‘Designed Exterior Giveaway’ and gifted it to Virginia volunteer Gary Gaal.

A rendering of the completed exterior makeover. Credit: BSB Design People

A rendering of the completed exterior makeover. Credit: BSB Design

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Gary Gaal began volunteering in the 1990s after taking an EMT course while an assistant scoutmaster with his son’s Boy Scout troop. With encouragement from his fellow Pentagon colleague where Gaal works as Chief of the Exercise Branch in the Army Operations Center and who was at his post on 9/11, he first began volunteering for the Wintergreen Ski Patrol, leading him to use his EMT skills during the off-season with the Franconia Volunteer Fire Department and later with the Police Department as an Auxiliary Police Officer. Fast forward to today and Gaal has logged in nearly 19,000 volunteer hours to the Fairfax County, Virginia Police and Fire Departments as well as the Wintergreen Ski Patrol and Rescue Squad.

Gary Gaal in front of his home during renovations.

Gary Gaal in front of his home during renovations.

“I see people on the worst day of their lives and try to make it better,” Gaal says. ”

Both positions as a police officer and firefighter put me on the front line of public safety in two of the most dangerous jobs in civilian life. I work every hurricane, flood, snow storm, and manage the scene at auto accidents and any other disaster that may occur,” such as this week’s earthquake in the DC Metro region. Gaal says he is especially proud of becoming a Fire Unit Officer which puts him in charge as the first arriving engine officer.

With so many volunteer hours logged in, Gaal was an ideal candidate for Case Design/Remodeling Inc.’s Exterior Home Makeover. Case, a full-service residential remodeling firm with offices in Falls Church, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland, was selected from companies across the country to receive a $50,000 prize from Ply Gem, a leading manufacturer of exterior residential building products.

After winning this exterior home makeover, Case wanted to gift it to a deserving community member. They found that person in Gaal, 60, who has not only logged in nearly 19,000 volunteer hours to his community, but who also was at work at the Pentagon on 9/11 and activated the Army Crisis Action Team. With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this year, Gaal continues to give to his country and community with his volunteerism while encouraging others to do the same.

“We are honored to receive the 2011 Ply Gem Designed Exterior Giveaway,” says Bruce Case, president of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. “And we are even more thrilled to turn around and give the award to Gary Gaal, who, after serving his country in the military, continues to help citizens of the Fairfax County community with his volunteerism.

Gary and Luise Gaal's Alexandria, Virginia home before the renovations began in mid-August.

ary and Luise Gaal's Alexandria, Virginia home before the renovations began in mid-August.

“The Case award is just incredible. There is no way I could afford even the new windows,” says Gaal, who moved into his now almost 40-year-old home in 1991. “My wife is ecstatic. She has wanted new windows and doors for the last 10 years… and she is excited about the possibility of having a portico.”

Paul Cuzzolino, second lieutenant of the Franconia District Station of the Fairfax Country Police Department who has worked closely with Gaal for the last two years, says, “Gary uses his coolness and ‘bedside manner’ when dealing with those in crisis, not over or under reacting and getting the job done. Patience and understanding are his strong points.”

In keeping with Case Design/Remodeling’s Case Cares initiatives, which recently included building a home with Homes for Our Troops for an injured Iraq vet, Case wanted to gift the award to a deserving community member and requested nominations from area organizations including Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) throughout the region and also Fairfax County’s Police and Fire Departments.

Case Design/Remodeling will give Gaal’s home an extreme exterior makeover valued up to $50,000 with windows, siding, stone veneer and accessories from Ply Gem; roofing from GAF; an entry door system from Plastpro; garage doors from Wayne-Dalton; insulation and weatherization materials from Dow Building Solutions; and architectural design services from BSB Design.

“The application of The Designed Exterior by Ply Gem, combined with products from GAF, Plastpro, Wayne-Dalton and Dow, will completely transform the look, energy efficiency and maintenance level of Mr. Gaal’s home,” says John Stephenson, vice president, corporate marketing and communications, Ply Gem. “We’re looking forward to joining with Case to give back to this dedicated community member so that he can spend less time maintaining his home and more time doing what he loves – volunteering.”

We’ll follow progress to the Gaal residence here on For additional and to comment on the project, as well as to receive expert remodeling tips, visit The 2011 Designed Exterior Giveaway Facebook page at and follow @PlyGemNews and @CaseDesignInc on Twitter.