All posts by Dale Contant

Welcome Caio to the ADB Team

photo courtesy of Holland Reid Photography

Atlanta Design & Build gives a hearty welcome to our newest employee, Caio Nunes. We are very pleased to have him on our ADB team!

Caio (pronounced Kyle) is originally from Brazil. Construction has been his passion since childhood.  For the past 14 years, he has honed his skill and expertise working with hardwood flooring.  

Caving in North Georgia

Caio and Sydney Contant met through friends and have known each other for 10 -11 years, right around the time she started working for ADB. His quiet demeanor brings to mind the adage, “still waters run deep”.  Sharing many common interests; sports, the outdoors, working with their hands and carpentry, to name just a few, their friendship continued to blossom culminating with their wedding in June, 2017.  When ADB’s recent hiring need arose, we looked no further than our own backyard to find the needed team member. 

Caio has been working as a Carpenter Apprentice since October. His construction background and skillset equip him to be an asset to the team.  “My work with ADB involves helping the guys,” Caio explains. “I learn as I go, hands-on. I want to take it slow and learn everything completely. I eventually want to get my license to be a carpenter, but I also want in-depth learning from experience, not just book learning. I haven’t yet worked with ADB long enough to stand back and admire a project from start to finish, but at the end of each day I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. This work is my calling and I enjoy doing it so much!”

Caio appreciates the professionalism of ADB, and also likes the family environment. He notices that Dale Contant is very considerate of his workers and treats them like a part of his family.

Outside of work, Caio still enjoys sports, and camping.  He especially enjoys spending time with Sydney.  Having purchased their first home, Caio and Sydney Nunes are planning to raise chickens in their backyard.  Even more exciting, they are now anticipating the arrival of their new baby boy. They are elated at becoming parents.  Dale and Keely are also thrilled to be first-time grandparents.  We look forward to sharing pictures in our January edition of our eNewsletter, HOMEStyle Online.  

Marietta Lake House Transformed | Part 4: The Finale

Terrace-Level Interior

We have been featuring a stunning lake house project Atlanta Design & Build recently completed. First, we focused on the dock and boathouse, and then on the home exterior. Part 3 gave you the pleasure of roaming inside the fabulous upper level of the home. We conclude the series here as we venture inside the terrace-level to share its incredible design metamorphosis. 

before

Originally, the terrace-level interiors were dark and offered very little living space. Our clients envisioned a large wide-open space with a welcoming fireplace in the middle, as in their upstairs. Our ADB team installed the biggest, open, double-sided direct vent fireplace available. The sunroom addition provides the homeowners a bright space to work on art projects and other hobbies. It is the perfect location for the kids and grandkids to play, with simple, durable and easy-care finishing materials. Each of the two bathrooms are unique and beautiful with floors and walls of tile in a soothing earth-tone color scheme. This terrace-level interior, along with the adjacent outdoor patios, is the ultimate area for large-scale entertainment and hosting parties lakeside.

    

The extensive glass windows in the addition provide an abundance of light and a gorgeous panorama of the lake. Our team enlarged the concrete / flagstone patio, added an underdeck system, and stacked stone to posts creating an inviting and comfortable space for all.  

The project was not without challenges; the terrace level walls not matching the walls of the main level above, and the floors of the existing structure not being flush with the new.  ADB accomplished a seamless transition from the existing to the new sunroom. Jamie Franks, Sr. Project Manager, stated, “We’re pleased that everything is functioning well and the appearance is impressive!”

Our clients are thrilled with their finished project. “Atlanta Design & Build is an amazing company for doing extensive, complicated, design-intensive remodels!” they expressed.

  

photos courtesy of Barbara Brown Photography

Marietta Lake House Transformed | Part 3

Redesigned Upper Level Interior

Previously, we featured the dock and boathouse and home exterior of the gorgeous lake house project that our Atlanta Design & Build team recently completed. Moving inside the home this month, you will get to experience the amazing redesign of the upper level interior. Our clients envisioned wide-open spaces using beautiful craftsmanship, natural materials and simple lines modeled after Gustav Stickley and the Arts & Crafts movement. They desired intricately designed cabinetry, furniture, and fabrics that harkened back to the day when honest, genuine craftsmanship was trendsetting.

Kitchen before and after

Our clients looked to Atlanta Design & Build to come up with some ideas and solutions that would open up the interior space in their home, bringing in lots of light and breathtaking views. “The home’s existing upstairs interior desperately needed updating—it was frozen back in a 1970s-1980s style,” commented Dale Contant, ADB President “The space felt dark, closed in, and the homeowners could not take advantage of the beautiful views of the lake.” 

A glass solarium that previous owners added to the back of the house, had water leaks and structural issues.  ADB removed the solarium and replaced it with an expansive addition. Several of the original walls in the upstairs living room were removed and the space was connected seamlessly to the new addition. The upstairs was transformed into a substantial great room that measures 24×37 feet long. This spacious room accommodates dinners and entertaining for family, friends, or business associates with ease.  

Massive windows that soar 19 feet from the floor to the ceiling ridge of the great room provide amazing views of the lake. Our team removed the roof from the main living room and installed skylights as well as clerestory windows adding to the ambiance of under-stated grandeur.  Box beams of hand-hewed reclaimed wood give the ceiling special depth and character. 

At our clients’ request, the flooring was constructed of authentic reclaimed wood from old barns. After removing the original flooring of 2 1/2 inch-thick solid brick pavers, ADB built another floor upon which to install the beautiful pine flooring. All of the Victorian pine millwork and trim was finished on site with each piece precisely ripped to the various widths as required. 

before

A huge, open, Isokern double-sided vented fireplace – their largest size available – with an all-natural stone surround was installed. The team first had to remove the existing two-story high, solid masonry fireplace before they could build the new fireplace. “The fireplace mantle was a solid reclaimed oak beam and our client requested lights and outlets in the mantle,” explained Jamie Franks, Sr. Project Manager. “So we chiseled out places in the back of the solid block of oak for the outlet, transformer, main control, and wiring for a touch switch. This was a new procedure for our team, and we are very proud of our accomplishment.”

after

ADB opened up the kitchen so it now offers wonderful views of the lake while the homeowners are preparing meals. The handcrafted ceiling beams were designed in the Craftsman style. Custom cabinets were tastefully crafted from quarter-sawn oak and include special Stickley-style details. SubZero and Wolf appliances are faced with matching wood panels so they blend into the cabinetry. Quartzite countertops with a honed finish, natural stone backsplash, and the custom vent hood set off the kitchen beautifully.

before

“Dale was wonderful from the very beginning in helping us believe that all our ideas could actually be achieved, no matter how complex or complicated,” expressed our clients. “And Jamie, the project supervisor, was amazing with additional remodel ideas and wood craftsmanship details. Our favorite aspect of the finished project is the beautiful great room!”

In our November HOMEStyles Online issue, we will venture inside the terrace level of this amazing renovation and describe the interior redesign with photos for your enjoyment and inspiration. Sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter, HOMEStyles Online, to be the first to receive updates from our team and gain inspiration for your next remodeling project.

after photos courtesy of Barbara Brown Photography

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ADB’s Steven Roberts Achieves NARI Success

The 9th annual NARI Atlanta Golf Tournament in August was an overwhelming success. Atlanta Design & Build would like to express our pride in and appreciation to Steven Roberts, Sales and Design Consultant.  Not only was Steven part of the team that won the 2017 event, and with his new team placed third in this year’s event, he was this year’s event Chairman. This is his third year of involvement in some level of planning for the tournament, and his first year as Golf Committee chair. 

The golf tournament was held at Bear’s Best in Suwanee that boasts a collection of Jack Nicklaus’ favorite golf holes from Nicklaus designed courses around the world. The planning committee consisted of four other NARI members and also received a tremendous effort from NARI Atlanta’s new Executive Director, Kathryn Stempler. Steven and the other committee members met their goal of obtaining participants in each category. The event enticed over 50 golfers, 18 hole sponsors and a handful of other trade partner sponsorships to participate. 

“Steven was able to secure sponsorships for all 18 holes, lunch, and the beverage cart, again far exceeding what was accomplished last year,” Kathryn Stempler remarked. “Steven was creative and motivated in his determination to obtain more sponsorships and more golfer registrations than in 2017 and his hard work really paid off.” 

“We had great participation this year,” agreed Steven. “Sponsors, volunteers and especially the players turned out in numbers we have not seen in years!”

“The Golf Tournament fundraiser was incredibly successful this year,” Kathryn Stempler attested. “NARI Atlanta raised over $5,000, which almost doubles last year’s revenue!” The money raised allows the organization to enhance the member benefits of continuing education, networking mixers, Contractor of the Year Awards Gala, a newly initiated social media strategy which highlights members and promotes the NARI Atlanta brand and several other improvements that make engaging with NARI Atlanta easier and more meaningful for members and homeowners, alike.  

Steven eagerly accepted the chair position this year and is looking forward to continuing his involvement next year due to his love for the game and interest in helping NARI grow and prosper. He hopes to improve the tournament at all levels next year with the continued participation of the committee members and the support of Kathryn. 

“We are looking forward to the 2019 event which we have decided to move to the first week in October,” Steven explained. “We are excited about the new date and believe playing in the early fall will bring even more interest and participation to this annual event.”

Marietta Lake House Transformed | Part 2

Complex Two Story Addition

One of Atlanta Design and Build’s favorite projects this year is a spectacular lake house renovation in Marietta. Last month we described the beginning stages that included a new retaining wall, dock and boathouse. Read on to see the project continuation of a large addition that transformed the original 1983 structure into an up-to-date dwelling.

The clients’ original desire was “to redesign the living room and extend it with an addition with high ceilings and large windows to open up the house to the lake view.” We partnered with Robert W. Platt, AIBD, the principal residential designer at Habitations, LLC., to engineer the plans for the new addition according to our clients’ vision. 

“The natural wood exterior was in remarkably good condition,” Robert says. “Obviously the homeowners took very good care of it. The existing home projected a classic lake look, with V-joint tongue and groove vertical cedar siding and soffits in a clear finish. The homeowners wanted the new portion to blend with the existing so that it appeared to be part of the original building.”

An old, pre-engineered glass solarium on the back of the house was replaced and the shallow room beneath expanded outward 15 feet. Originally, the lower level downstairs included large expanses of glass. The bottom section was a two-foot tall awning window that opened out, with a five-foot glass window wall above it. The floorplan rotated around a central fireplace that acted like a pillar spanning from the basement to the roof. The homeowners wanted open double-sided masonry fireplaces on all levels.

Our clients envisioned a high vaulted ceiling with open beams in the living room. The existing living room ceiling was much lower, vaulted only in one direction, and no open beams. “We cut out the vault inside the house and took the roof off the living room, extending the house out 15 feet,” Robert describes. “The new space and the existing space were treated as one single, enormous room with one roof covering it.”  The new vault is more conventional, vaulting in two directions like a traditional church building. This gave the space tremendous volume. The new roof was about five feet higher than the surrounding roofline, which gave opportunity to install clerestory windows, providing lots of light to the living room. 

The exterior glass wall facing the lake is three stories high and required an unconventional device for safely holding up the heavy extended roof. “Inside the wall is hidden a very incredible, sophisticated steel moment-frame,” Robert explains. A steel moment-frame is an assembly of I-Beams and columns, rigidly joined together to resist lateral wind and earthquake forces without the assistance of additional braces or walls. Robert continues, “We designed it and it was built by Simpson Moment Frame, fabricated to very close tolerances. It was shipped in several pieces, put together on site, and then bolted to the concrete floor. This is the first time we’ve ever used this type of frame, but we are very excited about it. It will keep the homeowners safe forever!”

  

  

Top Left: The extended solarium; Top Right: Before; Bottom Left: A view of the new deck;   Bottom Right: The garage and side deck entrance.

Our clients expressed their delight: “Our desires have been beautifully addressed with our remodel. Dale’s engineer helped figure out how we could have huge three story windows. Atlanta Design & Build is an amazing company for doing extensive, complicated, design-intensive remodels!”

Enjoy watching the drone footage of this project’s exterior provided by TimberTown.

In our October HOMEStyles Online issue we will venture inside this amazing renovation and describe the interior redesign with photos for your enjoyment and inspiration. Sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter, HOMEStyles Online, to be the first to receive updates from our team and gain inspiration for your next remodeling project.

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Sydney Takes On a New Role at MAGIC Camp

Mentoring a Girl in Construction (MAGIC) Camp is a free, one-week camp designed to introduce middle school and high school girls to exciting careers in construction. It takes place at multiple locations in Georgia, one of which is Gwinnett Technical College, as well as Wichita, KS. Each day has a separate emphasis that lets young women, 14 years and older, have hands-on experience in several areas of the construction field. The camp covers topics from safety classes, to carpentry, electrical, welding, heavy equipment and beyond. Tuesday is Carpentry Day.

Atlanta Design & Build’s Project Manager, Sydney Contant Nunes, has been volunteering at Gwinnett Technical College on MAGIC Camp Carpentry Day for several years. Every year she has impressed the MAGIC Camp instructors with her skills in leadership, so gradually she has been asked to take on more responsibility. 

In years past, Sydney was the keynote speaker for Carpentry Day, and provided oversight without hands-on involvement in the carpentry lab. During the girls’ lunch break, she gave a presentation about carpentry and how a woman can make her place in an unconventional field. She would give a brief history of herself and her involvement/progression at Atlanta Design & Build. Sydney shared a slideshow of Before and After photos of projects for which she had been the project manager. She also displayed informational spreadsheets on how to begin a career in the industry from point A to point B, depending on whether the girls prefer learning by book at a technical college or are more hands-on driven and would like to start working in the field. 

Last year, in addition to her presentation, Sydney was also one of the carpentry lab assistants providing a watchful eye during the hands-on building class. 

This year Kathleen Torrence, the woman previously in charge of the carpentry lab, was retiring and asked Sydney if she would be interested in filling in for her as carpentry lab leader. Sydney energetically took on the larger role, which meant she was directing the girls as they actually performed physical carpentry skills. Four female Gwinnett Technical College carpentry students provided a lot of great help while she instructed 18 high school and late middle school girls in completing their carpentry projects.

Continue reading Sydney Takes On a New Role at MAGIC Camp