Birchfield Woods Cluster Association

Architectural Guidelines

Virtually all modifications to the exterior of your home must have prior approval of the Reston Association (RA) through the Design Review Process. As soon as you have decided to undertake a project, please submit your Design Review Application and work with our Reston Association Covenants Advisor. More information on this process can be found in's Application & Review Procedures.

Each type of modification, from air conditioners to windows, has specific guidelines for how it should be done and what approvals are required. Reading the guidelines for your specific project should be the first step in the process. Some information specific to our Cluster is below. Note that the information is unofficial; Reston Association maintains the official design guidelines for all Cluster Associations.


  • Deck Staining: Homeowners can let their decks weather naturally with no stain or stain the decks to match the house siding color, as was originally approved for our Cluster. Additionally, there are three transparent stains approved by the Reston Association Design Review Board: Behr "Natural Clear", Behr "Cedartone", and Behr "Browntone". To use a color not approved for our Cluster, you must submit a Design Review Application and obtain approval through the RADRB.

  • Fences: All fencing must be painted with Pittsburgh stain (not paint) white, and follow the Cluster Guidelines.

  • Window Grids and Screens: In April 2000, the Reston Association Design Review Board approved the Cluster standard option of removing window grids with the stipulation that all window grids on any house (front and back) be consistent, i.e., all with grids or all without. Replacement grids and screens can be ordered directly from Anderson Windows, (888) 888-7020. You will need the window glass size and the numbers and letters etched on the bottom corner of the window.

  • Light Fixtures: The original Cluster standard for light fixtures is no longer available. Lights not on this list MUST be approved through the Design Review Process. Approved replacements, available at The Home Depot, include:

    Front Light:
    Model # 6692400, Westinghouse Polished Brass on Solid Brass Steel, Internet # 204705310
    Model # 502526, Design House Jackson Wall Mount Outdoor Solid Brass Uplight w/Tail Piece, Internet #202500826
    Model # HB8053PSTL-01, Hampton Bay Wall-Mount Outdoor Wall Lantern, Internet # 100211873

    Rear Light:
    Model # 248560, Hampton Bay Outdoor Motion-Sensing Polished Brass Wall Lantern (6"w x 11"h x 7"d)

  • Additional information regarding Decks, Fences, Landscaping, Sheds, Siding, and more:
    Cluster Housing on