Maintaining Atlanta Design & Build’s Core Commitments: Our Clients and Our Team

At Atlanta Design & Build we pride ourselves not only on our commitment to enriching our clients’ lives, but also enriching the lives of our team of employees. In order to provide our clients with life-changing services, we employ construction industry professionals who are always striving to learn more about their craft. This is one reason we appreciate The Cutting Edge: Remodeling Education Expo hosted annually by the Atlanta chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). 

At The Cutting Edge, our team members earn six hours of continuing education credits towards meeting the requirements for earning or renewal of their NARI certifications. At this year’s expo in Atlanta, our team attended continuing education classes in vital topics such as, expediting job permits, enhanced customer care, and designing with the latest materials and techniques. Victoria Downing, President of Remodeler’s Advantage, delivered the keynote address. 

An investment in our people is an investment in our clients and their future projects. We value the opportunity The Cutting Edge makes for our team to gain important knowledge in such a convenient way, all in one day, so they can quickly get back to renovating our clients’ projects into a reality beyond their dreams! Our team members have proudly earned the following NARI certifications: Master Certified Remodeler, Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler, Certified Remodeling Project Manager, Certified Lead Carpenter and Universal Design Certified Professional. 

 

The History Behind Your Screened-In Porch

Thirty years ago, your grandparents’ porch would have originally been built on top of decks with general deck boards. This gave the porch an “added-on” look to the house, instead of what we now see as a wholly-formed, functional asset of the house. As the field has grown and materials have improved over the years, standards have changed in how homeowners view the concept of a porch’s presentation. What started out as plain deck boards morphed into plywood/carpet, which then transitioned into a tile setup that has now settled into tongue and groove (T&G) decking.

When porches were originally built with deck boards, they left gaps between the boards as they did not fully align. This resulted in an overabundance of bugs crawling up between the boards to investigate. The solution to this was stapling screens to the bottom of the deck and obstructing the easy access for insects. But what was thought to be a decent solution, actually resulted in an unhealthy, unattractive trap for all food, hair, and garbage that was dropped throughout everyday life. And with that brought to light, it was back to the drawing board for ideas. 

Next up was installing plywood on the deck so that carpet could be placed over top. This allowed for a smooth and comfortable surface, perfect for bare feet. But soon the cons of using carpet began to outweigh the pros, as natural elements took their toll on it. The “shelf life” of carpet immersed in the outside world is much shorter than that of carpet used indoors. And because of that, carpeted porches began to see a decline. Allergens, such as pollen and dust, were trapped in its fibers, and rain (or water in general) sped up the degrading process of the plywood underneath. 

Now, twenty years later, we find that T&G is the best option for a porch, specifically utilizing Brazilian hardwoods. This type of wood is more stable than your average American wood, as it will not buckle, warp, twist, or cup. T&G connects in such a way that removes the spaces found in the original plain deck-boards setup and stops the infiltration of bugs from below. It can get rained on without the fear of degrading materials, and with that beautiful, natural wood look Brazilian hardwoods can last from 50-100 years with little maintenance required. 

As the past thirty years have come and gone, they have shown us the evolution of the screened-in porch. From its visual representation as a household “add-on” to a functional homeowner’s necessity, down to the technical advances of how materials have been designed to build an affordable yet well-designed space. If the past thirty years have taught us anything, it is that there is always potential for a bigger and better result of creativity, and that this is only the beginning.

 

Three Current Trends in Kitchen Appliances

We all love our kitchen cabinet storage possibilities. Whether it’s a new dual-level silverware tray drawer, an Aventos-lift appliance garage, slotted storage spaces, or a fancy retractable spice rack, we love the conveniences that the trends in cooking tools now provide. Just as these trends improve efficiency in the kitchen, technology advances and procures new ways to look at and utilize kitchen appliances. Here are a few of our favorite kitchen appliance trends:

Microwave drawers provide easy access for the whole family

1) Microwave Drawers

An improved way to hide your microwave is through the microwave drawer. Instead of having a unit take up valuable counter space, a microwave drawer is aesthetically pleasing and places the unit under the counter.  The microwave drawer runs on tracks that extend out, which allows you to pick up your dish in one quick move, rather than reaching up above the stove for a hot dish. This is great for kids who might not be tall enough to reach a microwave above the stove, as it brings the appliance closer to their level, and provides a way to lock unsupervised access.

Custom built-in refrigerator blends with cabinets

2) Custom Fridge Look

If your current refrigerator does not compliment the style of your kitchen, hidden appliances may be a trend for you to consider. Built-in appliances allow you to customize your refrigerator to match your surrounding cabinets by using custom panel inserts! Whether you have a bottom-freezer and side-by-side configuration or separate refrigerator and freezer units, the objective of built-ins is to give you the option of utilizing front panels on your unit for a sleeker, custom look. 

You also have the option of a counter-depth model for your refrigerator unit. A counter-depth refrigerator will offer the same upscale built-in look without protruding 5-8 inches out from your cabinets. Counter-depth refrigerators come in bottom-freezer and side-by-side configurations, but they also allow for French door models to be utilized as well!

3) Updraft Exhaust is better than a Downdraft

More and more people are looking to transition their kitchen to either a more contemporary looking space or a modern farmhouse vibe, made popular by Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines. A question that tends to pop up as you remodel is whether an updraft range hood or downdraft vent would be better for ventilating your kitchen. This all depends on your needs, kitchen space, and ultimately your preference. Updraft exhaust is the most effective for venting smoke, removing odors, and allowing particulates to follow the updraft into the vent. This will help in keeping your kitchen cleaner as well as venting more heat when cooking with gas, frying, or grilling. Additionally, the unique style of an updraft exhaust hood will provide your kitchen with its own sense of character and charm.

Appliances are constantly changing as technology improves, and these are just a few options in the ever-expanding field. When you are revamping your kitchen, consider what investing in a few quality products will do to enhance not only your cooking but your overall kitchen experience. Don’t be afraid to step out and try something new and improved! We would love to help make your dreams become reality, because allowing us to help transform and revamp your kitchen space you’ll not only add more character to your home, but ultimately enrich your life in the process!

 

Considering remodeling your kitchen? See our Kitchen Remodeling Services for info on how we can help you achieve the perfect kitchen for your home.

4 Tips for Getting Organized this Spring

It’s that time of year again! Warmer weather means the itch for spring cleaning and organization has begun, and we are here to help. How you organize your space is defined by your home’s personality and day-to-day lifestyle routines; however, we’ve outlined a few unique options as well as some tried and true methods to help you obtain and maintain order in your home, and here’s how:

1. Begin the Purge!

The first step in getting your home organized is going through each individual room. Decide what is essential and what is just taking up space. Take this opportunity to start the deep cleaning you’ve been itching to do. As you purge, set limits on what to keep. An item not used for the past 12 months has gone through all four seasons. It’s time to toss it or donate it. Once you’ve finished purging, take stock of what storage you have and what new storage you might need for each room, both long-term and short.

2. Categorize

Now that you have decided on what items to keep, it’s time to categorize. Try to get an entire room done in one sweep. Completely clear out whatever space needs organizing and place items into their own separate storage containers. Open baskets or clear bins work well for this. Organization will demand a system of grouping, and the easiest options to base this on are “common use” and “occasion”. The things you use on a daily basis should be the easiest to access, so keep them somewhere eye-level, or at least in plain sight. Occasionally used items are better suited for high shelves, whether that be in-room, garage shelving, or in the attic.

3.Put Dead Space to Use

Finding a place for everything can be difficult, but incorporating built-Ins into the space inside walls, under stairs, and those awkwardly shaped corners can be great for storage. Built-ins can also add a nice accent to almost any room in your home, including your entryway. You will likely require some help from a contractor, but the order it brings to your life is well worth it.

Within the kitchen, dead space often comes in the form of a corner cabinet, the very back of the pantry, or a seldom-used part of your countertop. Products such as a lazy-susan style cabinets, pantry drawers, and pull-out spice racks can provide organization and easy access. Adding a built-in appliance garage can give unused counter space purpose, while cookware and trash can drawers can keep everything orderly and out-of-site.

4.Eliminate Clutter

Clutter has a way of creeping back in when we aren’t looking. Entryway tables, countertops, desks, kitchen tables, bedside tables, etc. Each one of these is a flat surface, a surface that seems to be a catch-all for whatever is in your hands. Consider what those items are–keys, mail, coats, bags–and make sure they have an appropriate place. When everything has a home, you can run through one-handed and be done cleaning up in less than 15 minutes.

Take a little time to think about how the clutter got there and what habits you need to change. Creating a system for everything, from laundry to clearing your email inbox, can help keep the chaos at bay.

One last note

If you’re not sure whether a room seems cluttered, take a picture so you can view it from different angles. This will help you determine what might look like clutter from a visitor’s point of view and give you a push to eliminate whatever looks disorganized.

 

Atlanta Design & Build’s HOMEStyle System helps uncover long-term needs you may not have considered. Addressing issues such as storage from the beginning can help keep you organized.

Essentials of kitchen lighting

The Right Way to Light a Kitchen

The kitchen is a central, multi-functional part of your home. It is the space where busy lives intersect, from weekly rituals of meal planning, meal-prep, and cooking to the sorting of the mail, random middle-school science experiments and the hosting of dinner parties. The right lighting in an area as versatile as the kitchen can be essential to the general atmosphere of the room, and that versatility calls for layers. A kitchen has the option of three different layers of lighting: ambient, task, and accent.

Ambient Lighting:

Whether the kitchen is blessed with an abundance of natural lighting or lacking in the general window department, ambient lighting is a great way to cast the main source of light. Focus on the ceiling along the main kitchen areas; the higher and brighter you place the fixtures, the more light will fill the kitchen space. This will give a warm, casual glow to the space. General lighting options can range from recessed lighting along the ceiling to hanging chandeliers, flushmounts, or pendant lights. 

Task Lighting:

A kitchen is an active space; there are counters for preping food, a stovetop for cooking, cabinets to maintain storage needs, and maybe even an island for extra workspace. This tends to ask for a more direct lighting in certain areas. Here is where task lighting comes in. Cabinets have a tendency to create shadows along the counter space as natural lighting wanes throughout the day. Adding task lighting along the underside of the cabinets can solve the shadows on countertops and around the pathways in the kitchen. Common options call for the use of strip lights or evenly spaced puck lights. 

Accent Lighting:

Accent lighting in kitchen after remodel by ADB.

Accent lighting can help bring depth and creativity to your kitchen. Adding sconces to the walls or showcasing art with cleverly placed spotlights can create mood lighting in certain areas of the space. Thoughtfully placed lights inside a china cabinet can allure guests with the shine of your best dishes. Toe kick lighting can be used around the prime lines and angles of the kitchen, whether that is under the lower cabinets along the kitchen or a centrally placed island. This can illuminate the kitchen floors in a warm glow that gives a welcoming feeling to guests or to the occasional late-night snacker. There is even the option of installing accent lighting along the insides of cabinets and drawers, which can brighten the darker corners of storage spaces. 

Lighting plays an important key in how you view and interact within the kitchen. By adding layers of different lighting throughout the space, you can create a different atmosphere for each and every occasion. Whether you overlay ambient lighting with task lighting, or accent lighting with a hint of ambient lighting, these layers of lighting will only add to the appeal of the kitchen. 

 

Check out our kitchen gallery for more examples of the right way to light a kitchen.

ADB Wins Three CotY Awards for 2018

Atlanta Design & Build was honored to receive three 2018 Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), Atlanta chapter. Each year, NARI-Atlanta members enter their completed projects in 29 residential remodeling categories. A diverse and impartial panel of judges selects the CotY winners based on select criteria for each category and recognizes the exceptional results of the projects entered with these prestigious Awards.

This year’s elegant CotY Awards Gala took place on December 11, 2018 at the W Hotel in Atlanta with a sold-out attendance. Chip Wade, Emmy-winning HGTV personality and Atlanta native, was the guest emcee who made the evening special for everyone in attendance.

Atlanta Design & Build won CotY Awards in the following categories:

1. Residential Bath $25,000 to $50,000
2. Residential Kitchen Over $150,000 with Team entrant Schuon Kitchens and Baths
3. Whole House over $1,000,000 with Team entrants Pella Southeast–Atlanta and PMC Building Materials 

We are so proud of the hard work our team puts in to each project we have the opportunity to transform. Contact us today about working together on your home remodel in 2019!

Residential Bath $25,000 to $50,000. Read more about this project.

Whole House over $1,000,000 with Team entrants Pella Southeast–Atlanta and PMC Building Materials. See all project aspects in this 4 part series transformation.

Residential Kitchen Over $150,000 with Team entrant Schuon Kitchens and Baths

Our client’s kitchen had fallen out of style and had a cramped feel. The homeowner wanted to impart a more stylish look keeping with the new homes being built near their neighborhood.  

The 1990s kitchen featured odd angles, limited cabinet space, inadequate work areas and congested walkways. The style was transformed with a large 54” x 108” Island, stunning granite countertops, new high-end appliances, superior Mouser cabinets, walk-in pantry, handcrafted copper exhaust hood, and custom garden window. Removing walls transformed this kitchen into an open, inviting space with greater capacity for entertaining, better traffic flow, maximum storage and expanded work areas.