The main living area of our clients’ 1990s home was divided by walls into segmented rooms for the kitchen, dining room and family room. This resulted in confined spaces that interrupted traffic flow when hosting get-togethers. Our clients came to Atlanta Design & Build expressing the desire for an open kitchen remodel that would enhance their entertainment of family and friends. They wanted their kitchen to be brighter and more welcoming. They also felt the need for increased storage, including the creation of a large “to-die-for” walk-in pantry in the space taken by the laundry room, which they wanted to relocate upstairs.
The ADB team designed a new open floor plan that perfectly met our clients’ needs and desires for their kitchen, and it impacted their other living spaces as well.
The plan involved the removal of a primary load-bearing wall expanding from the front exterior wall to the back exterior wall of the home. Both an 18-foot steel beam and a 10-foot LVL beam were placed into the ceiling to support the load. Also removing the wall separating the kitchen and dining room, created the free-flowing expansive openness desired. See the before and after floor plans here.
The spacious new kitchen has now been completely opened up to the dining room and family room, with no barriers between them. The one large open space with improved traffic flow offers ample area for work, eating and entertaining. Removal of the walls has brought more natural light into the kitchen from both sides. A single narrow wall was purposely maintained in just the right location to furnish beam support and privacy to the powder room—removing it from the sight-line of the kitchen. Continue reading Open Kitchen Remodel Designed for Entertaining→
As Atlanta Design & Build celebrates our 20th Anniversary, we also salute our amazing Project Manager, Sydney Contant, who has been with the company eight years now. Sydney was born and raised right here in Marietta. As a child she loved sports and was active on the swim team, earned her black belt in karate, and played soccer for many years up through high school. Her other main interests were art related. While in high school she studied photography, linoleum carving and printing, painting and pottery.
Growing up she didn’t learn much about the construction industry from her father, H. Dale Contant, since she didn’t accompany him while he worked on ADB projects. However, shortly after high school, with Dale’s encouragement, Sydney decided to try her hand at working for her father’s company. “I most likely would not have chosen this as my career path, if my father had not given me the opportunity,” said Sydney. “I’m glad I took the offer!”
In the beginning: Apprenticeship
Sydney worked as an apprentice for five years under ADB project managers, Mike Pike and Jamie Franks. Everyday she would learn something new. With Mike, she learned more about the rough end of remodeling—demo, grading, digging footers (LOTS OF FOOTERS!), framing, and trim work. With Jamie she learned more about the finishing part of the job—paying close attention to all the small details. Each part of her training was just as important as the rest.
Eventually, Dale challenged her to study for the Certified Remodeling Project Manager (CRPM) certification exam through the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). “That class was intense!” said Sydney. “It lasted eight weeks, with just as much reading and paperwork as a college course. I would never have had confidence in myself to take that class if my father had not pushed me in that direction.” Sydney is very proud to have passed the test. It has opened the door to a whole new world in the industry for her.
Sydney Contant, Project Manager
With the CRPM under her belt, Sydney’s official title at ADB is now Project Manager. Her main job responsibilities are: creating schedules for her projects; selecting her sub contractor team; meeting with subs to walk through each job at the beginning, middle and the end; reviewing sub contractor quotes; communicating with customers; demolition; framing; trim work; reviewing sub contractors’ work; ordering materials, and meeting with inspectors for all trades. Her detailed note taking throughout the various stages of each project helped win Sydney the “40 Under 40” award this year from Professional Remodeler magazine. This award commends the best practices of remodeling’s best and brightest professionals under 40.
One of the things Sydney enjoys most about working for ADB is the fact that it is a small company. Teamwork is crucial, since the team members all depend on each other. A job would not be able to be completed without everyone’s hand in it, at least at one point. “Considering the length of time the majority of the people have been at this company, we have grown to be almost like a family,” Sydney said. “We trust and rely on each other.”
Sydney also enjoys every day bringing something new. She has the opportunity to continuously learn. One day she will be helping out at one of Mike’s jobs with the whole crew trying to jack a room on a house back to level, and the next she will be installing trim and doors on one of her own jobs. Or changing a window out. Or assisting a customer in choosing the perfect paint color, etc. It’s always something new.
Outside of work
Sydney spends the majority of her free time making art of all kinds for friends and family. In the past couple of years, the artwork that has taken up most of her time has been letterpress, stained glass, wood working and painting. In the past she has enjoyed screen printing, linoleum carving and printing, photography, woodblock carving and printing, pottery, and much more. She hopes to have time in the future to learn more about all printing processes and marble making, among many other arts.
Other activities Sydney enjoys include scuba diving with her father, traveling, and minor gardening. She stays active trying out hole-in-the wall restaurants around the city, camping, caving, hiking, exploring Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park with her boyfriend and three dogs, and spending time with her friends and family.
“I am one of four daughters in the family,” Sydney explains. “My parents had my older sister and then me. They wanted a boy and decided to give it one more shot and ended up having twin girls. I have always been a tomboy—I’m the boy they never had. My older sister lives locally, while the twins are currently living in other states, but we all remain very close. We (10 of us including all of the significant others) get together for Sunday dinners as often as all of our busy schedules allow.”
Atlanta Design & Build is celebrating our 20th Anniversary this year. We also celebrate the 11 years we have been blessed with the accomplished skills of our Project Manager, Dave Newell.
Dave’s Early Experience in the Building Industry
Dave describes himself as a “good ol’ country boy.” He was born in Kennestone Hospital right here in Marietta, but he moved away to Florida when he was just 15. While living in Florida, Dave began working in the building industry alongside his future father-in-law. That five year stint was the first experience he had in construction and he learned everything on-the-job.
After that Dave moved to Indiana to work for Bristol Pipe, a company that manufactured PVC pipes. He was the Assistant Foreman on the nightshift at the factory, until he decided at age 35 to move back to Georgia. He returned to his roots just one year before Bristol Pipe unexpectedly closed the doors on its Indiana facility. Dave considers his move back home a very fortunate one.
Join us in congratulating our Sales and Design expert, Steven Roberts. He earned his NARI Certified Remodeler (CR) credentials by meeting all the requirements for the CR designation. This includes a minimum of five years continuous experience in the remodeling industry with commitment to NARI’s code of ethics. Steven was also required to complete 16 hours of continuing education in the remodeling field. He then passed a one-day written exam covering general remodeling practices and business.
We are proud of Steven Roberts receiving his CR designation! This is one way to be assured that you have a dedicated, experienced professional working on your project.
At Atlanta Design & Build we know it is very important to protect the health of your family and pets during a remodeling project. We make it our top priority to maintain a clean and safe job site while your project is ongoing. One of the more serious hazards is the airborne dust that is stirred up by our work. This dust could migrate throughout your home and pose a problem to your health. We know the value and how important it is to contain and eliminate all types of worksite dust, which includes dirt, debris, organic matter, drywall, cement, silica and sawdust. Not only that, we are dedicated to protecting your personal belongings from the dust as reasonably possible. To that end, Atlanta Design & Build has developed an extensive dust control plan and best practices, investing in the newest dust control technology.
The following items are included in our dust control plan:
Atlanta Design & Build’s production team joined 100 registered attendees at the 2016 Cutting Edge Educational Remodeling Expo presented by NARI Atlanta on May 11 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Victoria Downing, president of Remodelers Advantage, was the keynote speaker. This fabulous Expo also offered CEU educational seminars, an exhibit hall featuring 50 renovation vendors, interactive round tables, and a post session networking event. Remodelers Advantage team members and 30+ top industry leaders presented the seminars and round tables. H. Dale Contant started out the Cutting Edge in the morning. After attending and presenting at a WSB-TV lunch & learn Home Services Seminar, he returned as Master of Ceremonies in the evening. Quite a line-up of players sharing their skill and expertise!