A Visionary Leader: Atlanta Design & Build President Dale Contant

Part 1: The Professional Side

Dale receiving a NARI Lifetime Achievement Award from Tom Miller, the National President of NARI, in April, 2018

Dale Contant is the President and Principal Owner of Atlanta Design & Build. ADB has been in business since 1996 and is one of the few National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Accredited Remodeling Companies in the nation, and the only one in GA. Dale’s commitment to raise the level of professionalism homeowner’s can expect when contracting a remodeler has motivated his active involvement in the remodeling industry.

He is a licensed contractor in the state of Georgia. Dale holds NARI credentials for Master Certified Remodeler (MCR), Certified Remodeling Project Manager (CRPM) and Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). He has also served in leadership for NARI at both the local and, for 15 years, at the national levels; holding NARI National officer positions since 2013 culminating in 2018-2020 as National Chairman of the Board. He also spent 5 years on the board of Rebuilding Together Atlanta, an organization assisting elderly homeowners and veterans with major home repairs.

Formative Years: Raised on the Job Site

Dale was born in Ft Lauderdale, FL, and later his family moved to Boca Raton where he lived until his mid-20s. His father was a contractor, and he began spending time on construction sites helping his dad work on residential projects when he was 8 years old. Dale studied drafting in high school, and began junior college with plans to become an architect. His interest, however, changed to construction.

In his early 20s, Dale married and the couple decided to move to the North Carolina mountains. Dale built his first home there, and pursued the path of a contractor. Several years later, when the opportunity presented itself, he became a licensed insurance agent for a local insurance agency. He credits his sales acumen to his time spent in insurance sales; the company he worked with had extensive sales training based on well-honed, time-tested systems. Dale and his wife, Keely, remained in North Carolina for 7 years before accepting a regional management position with the insurance company and relocating to Marietta, GA in 1988. In 1989, having several years of sales behind him, Dale began using his knowledge of both construction and sales and returned to his field of preference as a salesperson for a sunroom company.    

This is the first home Dale built for his family over 35 years ago in Boone, North Carolina.

Branching Out on His Own  

Once his family began growing, and his wife stopped working full time, he picked up much side work. Clients, who hired him for these weekend-warrior style jobs of building decks, and outdoor projects, complained of the unprofessionalism from contractors, saying they rarely returned calls or showed up on time. Recognizing a lack of integrity and consistency inherent in the construction services side of business and the need for what he refers to as old-fashioned construction principles – of “doing what you say you are going to do” – birthed the concept of Sun-Fun Remodeling. (Having fun working while the sun was shining.)  Equipped with the type of work ethic instilled in Dale from a young age, he “stepped out onto a plank” and went into business on his own. As Sun-Fun and its processes evolved so did the scale of projects contracted.  This shift to more extensive renovation projects prompted the name change to Atlanta Design & Build to represent better, who the company had become.   

From the beginning, Dale’s business foundation was sound, and he credits many of the “steppingstones” throughout his early experience with guiding him to launch his own business. He not only learned to have a consistent work ethic from his dad, but he also realized he wanted marketing for his business that went beyond word of mouth and referrals, something his dad never did.  Dale is motivated by always wanting to be better than he was the day before, achieving challenging goals, and providing well for his family. He thrives on being a part of a team and finds the blessings are threefold: personal development, creating rewarding careers for others, and client satisfaction.

A Shared Heart: Teamwork & Professional Satisfaction

Dale Contant ADB President with employees

Professionally, Dale enjoys the challenge of going to meet a client, seeing and hearing about their pain issues with their home, and imparting a vision to them that resolves their problems and makes them excited about their home again. He strives to deliver a high level of service and wants to help improve client’s lives. Dale strives for collaboration with clients and team members to produce exceptional and creative design ideas.  It is our heart’s desire to transform their home to enrich their lives. 

With his team, it is gratifying to see employees enjoy what they’re doing, and it’s rewarding to watch people thrive in a stable career that allows them to flourish both personally and professionally. Much of ADB’s customer base is repeat clients and referrals. Dale’s greatest satisfaction is having a client who becomes a devoted fan of ADB. When asked about his company’s culture, he says, “like any company, there are ups and downs, but the team works together, playing to one another’s strengths and supporting one another in weaker areas.” He credits the stellar teamwork of ADB with team building meetings conducted once or twice per year, and also an annual company fishing trip. Dale also cultivates a “culture of learning” wherein contractors become certified and establish themselves as professionals in the industry through extensive training, in addition to their time spent in the field.

Check out Part 2 of our blog coverage on Dale. Read his kernels of wisdom on starting your own business, how he defines success, and a bit more of his story!