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. Previously 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.

Review the dock and boathouse transformation here. Next up, part 3 gives you the pleasure of roaming inside the fabulous upper level of the home and we conclude the series by venturing inside the terrace-level to share this large project’s incredible design metamorphosis.

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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

Marietta Lake House Transformed | Part I

Dock and Boathouse Remodel

Our Atlanta Design & Build team has received so many compliments from many of you regarding the “Raise the Roof” project featured in our monthly eNewsletter, HomeStyles Online, and blog series in 2017. We’ve decided it is time to begin a series highlighting another amazing project that our team recently completed for a client that lives on a lake: a dock, boathouse, gorgeous addition and home interior renovation. Watch the video below for the first part of the transformation:

Lake House Transformed

Continue reading Marietta Lake House Transformed | Part I

ADB’s Deep Sea Fishing Trip

A few weeks ago, Dale Contant arranged for a quick 3-day road trip and deep-sea fishing expedition for our employees, their spouses, and several ADB “partners”.

The group of twenty embarked from Orange Beach, Alabama on a 10-12 hour deep sea fishing frenzy aboard the “Shady Lady”. What a marvelous adventure to be aboard this legendary custom-built sport-fishing vessel! Red snapper prevailed as the catch of the day. When they returned to shore that evening, the group’s fresh catch was cooked to their individual orders, resulting in a delicious meal for everyone. There was still plenty of remaining fillets to package and share with everyone, including those team members unable to join the whirlwind event. 

Thank you, Dale, for the wonderful, satisfying experience and team-building summer fun!  

Boat Photo Courtesy of Shady Lady Charters (

ADB Thanks RTA’s Jan Jordan

Atlanta Design & Build recently had the opportunity to thank Jan Jordan, former Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Atlanta (RTA), for the incredible good she has done over the years for so many others. 

Rebuilding Together Atlanta (RTA) is a non-profit organization that we at Atlanta Design & Build applaud and help support. Volunteers from the Georgia Power Company and leaders in the community started RTA in 1992. RTA works to assure low-income homeowners, particularly older adults, military veterans, and people with disabilities live in warmth, safety, and independence. Everything is provided for free to these individuals. The goal is to make a sustainable impact in partnerships with communities. Dale Contant holds the purpose of RTA in such high regard that he served on their board for several years.

Jan Jordan was the Executive Director at RTA for over a decade until her retirement in 2015. She was inspired to get involved with RTA due to her past experiences of working in the non-profit field. “Working to help others always motivated me to do more,” explains Jan. “It gave me a sense of pride and joy!”

During Jan’s time as Executive Director, there was an increase in new organizational partnerships such as major volunteer groups, civic clubs, skilled trade groups, housing organizations, and the City of Atlanta. A corporate partners program was developed that provided funding which allowed RTA to do even more in the twenty-two communities it served. “My best experiences and memories were seeing the look on homeowners faces after we finished a rebuild,” Jan shared.

Camille Kesler, current Executive Director of RTA, revealed that the organization has always wanted to return the favor to Jan. So as a gift, they hired a lawn care company to work on Jan’s three acre yard. For two days and with a crew of five, the overgrown ivy was removed, limbs and debris removed, the lawn mowed, mulched and new pine straw installed. “My husband Carl and I will always be grateful for this gift from ‘Team RTA’,” Jan emphasizes.


After retiring from RTA and having open-heart surgery, it became difficult for Jan to navigate the steps leading from the back of her house to the outside courtyard. “But another precious gift came our way from Atlanta Design & Build,” says Jan. “Now with new steps and railing, I can go up and down the steps with no fear of falling. Thank you, Dale, Vicki, and the ADB carpentry team.”

ADB is so pleased to be able to show our appreciation to Jan Jordan for all she has done to help our community. In her indelible fashion, Jan expressed her appreciation as well:  “Thanks to the staff, RTA Board of Directors, and Dale Contant, President of Atlanta Design & Build for the wonderful gifts.”

Best Kitchen Remodeler in Atlanta and Top 550 Remodeler for 2018

Atlanta Architects magazine recently created a list of the best kitchen remodelers in Atlanta. We are excited to announce that Atlanta Design & Build was chosen as the 5th Best Kitchen Remodeler in Atlanta!  We invite you to view the ranking and see a photo and description of one of ADB’s recent award-winning kitchen remodels. The article also mentions our teams’ numerous credentials, our proprietary HomeStyle® System, and additional awards received. We are honored to receive this recognition as another validation for why you can count on us to give you the exceptional kitchen remodel you’re envisioning for your home.

Atlanta Design & Build is also pleased to announce that we placed at #158 on the Remodeling 550 list for 2018. The Remodeling 550 list includes the industry’s top full-service remodelers across the nation.

Remodeling magazine, the trade publication that sponsors this annual list of professional remodelers, stated, “Hard work certainly has paid off for this year’s Remodeling 550. The top 300 full-service remodelers earned 8% more in revenue in 2017 than they did in 2016. Not only are these firms bumping up their revenues, but they’re also actively creating better places to work.”

We want to thank you, our clients, for trusting us with your magnificent projects. Without you, we could not continually achieve this Remodeling 550 status. We appreciate your business, but even more we treasure the relationships we have built with you over the years.