Our clients’ 1960s split-level home in Chamblee was outdated in its appearance and the way it functioned for the family. Years of wear-and-tear were visible, causing our client to exclaim, “Our house is falling apart!”
As is typical of a split-level, the layout of the main floor consisted of four small rooms. These compartmentalized little spaces made the home feel disjointed and cramped. The very low ceiling also contributed to a perception that the walls were closing in. Numerous doorways and walls caused congestion points and prevented good traffic flow throughout the space. This design prevented the family from having sufficient living area where everyone could gather together for large family dinners. Our clients were not even using all of the rooms on the main floor, and they were quite sure that removing walls would make the space work better for them. One of the tiny rooms on the main floor was the kitchen. “The kitchen was not our style,” explains our client. “The floor was covered in white tile with white grout, which is completely unsuitable for an active family.”
With the Atlanta Design & Build design team and an expert kitchen designer, we were able to make our clients’ existing cramped and small space become an extraordinary and functional kitchen, dining area and family room. They always wanted a tall vaulted ceiling, but that wasn’t possible because their current ceiling framing was made of manufactured trusses which could not be manipulated or altered. So we had to literally remove and raise the roof. We captured the essence of what they wanted and provided their open floor plan.
“Dale listened to our issues and ideas,” our client states. “He provided feedback and guidance and came up with a great design to open up the space and make everything work better for our family. He worked with us to translate our needs into our dream space.”
We are very pleased that Preston Sneed, Jr. (better known simply as Jr) has returned to work as a Carpenter for Atlanta Design & Build (ADB) after a five-year absence. We missed him!
Jr was born in Fort Benning, GA while his dad was in the military. His dad retired when Jr was seven years old, and the family moved to Marietta where Jr has lived ever since. As a young man, Jr was given the opportunity to assist his brother-in-law and ADB team member, Jamie Franks, with some small side projects. This was Jr’s first taste of construction and he really enjoyed it.
After high school, Jr felt under pressure to attend college because our culture emphasizes so strongly the importance of a college degree in order to be successful. He decided to attend Chattahoochee Technical College in General Studies, but he didn’t stay long. The classroom experience was tiresome for him and there was no program of study that captured his imagination and enthusiasm.
Today, Jr realizes the value of spending time figuring out what type of person you are before you choose college or the trades. He understands now that he prefers physical activity over sitting in a classroom or office all day doing mental exercises. He feels that not everyone is cut out for college—some people are more naturally inclined to physical labor. “I’m a doer,” Jr said. “I enjoy being outside and working with my hands. I’m a hands-on person.”
When Jr turned 18, Jamie Franks recommended him to H. Dale Contant and he was hired as a member of Atlanta Design & Build’s construction team. He stayed with ADB for six years, then he decided to try something different. Jr went to work for a lawn care company doing weed control and fertilization for five years. He describes that work as boring and mundane compared to the construction work he had been doing for ADB.
Returning to Atlanta Design & Build as a Carpenter
Jr is very pleased to have rejoined the team with ADB in February of this year. He enjoys the great sense of accomplishment he receives from his construction work, which he didn’t get from his lawn care job. “I take a lot of pride in the work I do,” exclaims Jr. “I love seeing the beautiful finished results of all our efforts. And I like knowing that I’m serving others by helping to build great additions and new bathrooms that delight the homeowners.”
2017 has been a great year! We’re excited to report that Atlanta Design & Build is growing and has had the pleasure of adding new members to our expert team. Please welcome Carl Davis, who joined Atlanta Design & Build as an apprentice seven months ago.
A Talent for Construction from an Early Age
Carl was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. When he was sixteen years old, Carl became acquainted with a preacher named Jimmy Dickerson who was actively involved in residential remodeling. Dickerson was busily putting up doors and windows for his customers and needed someone to assist him. So, Carl began working for him and discovered that he really enjoyed construction.
He worked for Dickerson on and off for ten years learning how to frame houses. He kept his eyes open, watched everything else going on around him, and in this way he started picking up on the trades. Other people began asking Carl to help them with their remodeling projects, so he found himself engaged in sheetrock work, painting and roofing. But framing continued to be his strong point.
In addition to construction work, Carl has a deep attraction to cooking. After high school, he attended the Virginia College in Mobile, studying in their Culinary Arts program to become a professional chef. Upon graduation, he began working for the Kitchen on George restaurant located on George Street in Mobile. This fine dining restaurant is focused on serving fresh, locally sourced and seasonal cuisine featuring fresh Gulf seafood. Carl worked there for about a year, along with several other graduates from the Culinary Arts program. He began to feel there wasn’t really a future for him in this field. He started once more working in the field of carpentry.
Starting Work with Atlanta Design & Build
Carl decided to move to Atlanta, having heard there were more construction job opportunities there. As he spent time searching, he filled in with jobs at IHOP and the Wing Factory. He was residing in a shelter in Atlanta when he first met H. Dale Contant. After performing some weekend work at his home, Dale encouraged Carl to interview for a job with Atlanta Design & Build on Monday morning. He was then invited to start work for ADB the following Monday.
Carl’s official title at Atlanta Design & Build is Carpenter Apprentice. He is skilled at installing windows, doors, framing walls inside and outside, and sometimes frames roofs as well. He also assists in building decks, does clean up, and whatever is required for completing a client’s project. His first time installing Brazilian wood on a deck amazed him. “With standard wood decking, you just pound the nails through the wood,” exclaims Carl. “This Brazilian wood has to be pre-drilled! The wood is so expensive that we had to measure everything with great care. It was quite a challenge, but the end result is incredible!”
“What I enjoy most about working for Atlanta Design & Build is the people—the crew,” said Carl. “They put a smile on your face from the minute you walk in the door. ADB invited me to their Christmas party and gave me a Christmas bonus after just one month on the job. I couldn’t believe it!”
Carl feels especially grateful for Dale giving him the opportunity to find his strong points, to help him learn new things, and to potentially become a project manager someday. Carl has already taken several classes—current building codes, lighting, business practices—and ADB has paid for them all. Carl doesn’t have a car yet, so he rides a bicycle to work—a mile and a half—every morning, and he’s usually one of the first ones at work! “Dale is always kindly checking on me to see how I’m doing. I call him my ‘father-away-from-home’. Every day is a challenge, but I thank the Lord that He keeps me steady.”
Outside of Work
Carl’s wife and 13-year-old daughter have now joined him in Atlanta. They’re very proud of Carl for the wonderful job he has. One of their favorite activities to do together as a family is to shop. Carl used to love to shop, but he says these days he’s slowed up on it. So he just gives them his wallet and lets them go at it, while he holds the shopping bags.
Outside of work, Carl still enjoys cooking and trying his hand at preparing different kinds of food. He likes to cook wild game that he picks up at the farmer’s market. One of his future goals is to cook rattlesnake, turtle and unusual organ meats. Yum!
One of our greatest pleasures from remodeling a home is seeing our clients’ goals and desires realized through our efforts.
At Atlanta Design & Build, we promise to enrich the lives of our clients and their families through a design that transforms their home environments to match their individual lifestyles.
We began sharing the transformation journey of our clients’ 1960s split-level home in October 2016. Through a series of episodes affectionately titled “Raise the Roof”, our HomeStyles Online readers were provided an insider’s glimpse of a renovation in process. Snippets of step-by-step progress have been shared; from the literal raising of their roofline to create their desired vaulted ceiling, to cabinet and flooring footage creating an updated kitchen and open floor plan family room.
If this “Raise the Roof” project has inspired you to want to open up your home as well, we would be delighted to help make that happen for you. Contact us at atlantadesignbuild.com or call: 770.565.8999
May is National Home Improvement Month and it is a great time to begin your home transformation. Remodeling in the Atlanta area offers numerous benefits to home owners who want to change their living environment without uprooting their family and moving. Home improvements can add more space for a growing family or older parent, improve energy efficiency and increase the resale value of your home.
“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” Dale advises “The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they protect themselves.” Atlanta Design & Build’s proprietary HOMEStyle System and processes were built with these safeguards in mind. We provide design and selection assistance to our clients. Communication is a priority of the HOMEStyle system. Our purpose is to listen and understand, design and plan to transform your home and enrich your life.
Below, NARI provides 10 steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.
Big congratulations are in order for Atlanta Design & Build’s wonderful Director of Administration, Vicki Wadsworth!
She was honored by receiving (in absentia) the NARI President’s Award from H. Dale Contant in Scottsdale, AZ at the NARI Spring Business Meeting, April 5-8, 2017. For 15 years, Vicki has served our company in multiple capacities, and since 2015 she has functioned as Dale’s irreplaceable assistant. We simply couldn’t do business without her. Thank you, Vicki for all you do!