Archive for category Atlanta Home Builders
I was excited to get a sneak peak last week at one of Atlanta’s most exciting new developments, a residential high-rise tower in Midtown called No2 Opus Place, part of Opus Place Atlanta. Designed with a focus on culture and wellness, the tower and pavilion at 98 14th Street in Atlanta’s Museum District are being called “live / work / play” luxury homes. I’m linking a video by BHHS with some great footage and details of how this project came to be.
Atlanta.Curbed.com has an article with new details of the just-opened sales gallery, renderings of the tower, and photos of a model unit at the development, slated to break ground in October. While the project isn’t scheduled to be completed for two years, sales incentives like a second parking spot and and preferred pricing are being offered now for early buyers. Prices are starting at $750,000 for a 1 bedroom 1 bath and up to over $12M for custom penthouses.
It will be exciting to see how this begins to take shape over the next year; it’s a really unique location with a condo lifestyle unmatched in Atlanta and there are a lot of “healthy building” and green concept being incorporated. I’ll do a follow up with more details on that- it’s really unique! As always, feel free to reach out to me for more information!
I’ve been part of a really great discussion on Facebook about what people want in their dream home. Whether you are building your dream home from the ground up or renovating to enhance your existing home there are a lot of decisions to make. I decided to compile the advice and experience from the discussion because I think they have come up with a lot of great ideas. Real estate purchases are some of the biggest investments most of us will make in our lifetimes and great vision and planning will go a long way in making your house a home. I’m going do a series of posts with these ideas and I hope you’ll weigh in with comments, via email, or on my Facebook page with the things that make your home a dream.
I’m starting at the beginning with the big “whole home” items and I’ll be posting more over the next few weeks with advice for your dream kitchen, master suite, and outdoor living:
Let’s start with the big picture, the Whole House decisions:
- One of the first things to choose are plumbing fixtures. The fixtures you select may have proprietary stems and valves in the wall and the plumbing rough-in happens early in the build. So the style and brand will need to be selected early. Working with a great designer will guide you in making those decisions and getting the proper valves in the proper locations early.
- A good electrician that can also provide lighting design advice really helps (especially in a large house you want great lighting!) Make sure you have a plan in hard copy. It will help you down the road and if you ever sell the house as well if someone wants to make changes.
- Skylight tubes are great for natural light.
- Smart house technology:
- System controls lights, AC, security, and surround sound from an iPad or tablet.
- Centralized AV panel for the whole house including outdoor lighting, audio, and security.
- Remote app access via tablet or smartphone to control security, HVAC, etc. I’ve recently installed “Nest” systems in my house and love the fact that I can change the temperature in my home from my cell phone.
- USB charging stations built into outlets.
- USB outlets in bedrooms, kitchen and office
- Pop up outlets in the kitchen that are hidden until you need them.
- I’ve seent outlets so disguised in tile you can’t find them. I’ve heard its costly, but it sure is beautiful. This one below is a bit raised, I’ve seen them totally flush, but can’t find the picture right now. Houzz is a great resource for pictures of ideas.
- Everyone agrees – Heated floors throughout! They were said to be costly upfront but a total money saver over time by lowering heating costs and much healthier (especially for anyone with respiratory issues of any kind)
- People love hardwood, bamboo and cork flooring not only for the look but for ease of cleaning and helping with people with any allergies.
- Cork is forgiving on the knees, back, and feet and like hardwood, cork can be stripped and refinished. One commenter said she preferred a lighter finish on cork because her darker finish showed nicks, scratches from dogs and every bit of dust. It’s the look currently, but will need refinished so much sooner.
- Adjustable closet shelving in utility closet and kids closets. ELFA shelving from The Container Store was mentioned as a great option. It is able to adjust in kids closets for when they grow and as their needs change. Beautiful adjustable shelving can be pricey but it makes a large closet glamorous too.
- Max out your main floor storage! Make the steps into drawers, built–ins around the fireplace, banquette storage, mud room closets. Think about how much stuff you use and like to have within reach on the floor you do the most living in.
- Soft close drawers and cabinets.
- Christmas tree closet – slide the tree inside fully decorated after Christmas and then brings it back out next year.
- Shelving built in between the studs (rather than built ‘out’)
- Outlets in the fireplace mantle for Christmas decorations
- Elevator and handicap accessibility planning:
- Retired but very active friends didn’t put an elevator in when they built their dream home but they designed the house to accommodate one later as needed. Can’t hurt to plan ahead!
- All the doors were built wide enough to be handicapped accessible but were trimmed out to normal widths for resale. If they find they need it, they can take the trim down and voilà!
- Stair treads that are wider than builder grade are important- architects will automatically plan on builder grade measurements but wider stairs are a huge safety and comfort issue.
- Pocket baby gates around stairs. It’s like a pocket door but it’s a gate instead. Also, helps with pets.
- Green Design:
- Geothermal HVAC is incredibly energy efficient and doesn’t dry the air out as much in the winter (in part because it’s electric heat), and utility bills are SO low. Add the option to condition the air to prevent itchy skin in the winter.
- Solar panels
- Tankless water heater- never run out of hot water again! May need several in various areas in large houses or you’ll need a mini tank to give you instant hot water in all locations so you won’t be running the water and wasting that while you’re waiting for hot water!
- Nontoxic paints
- Dual flush toilets throughout the house – a great water saver
- Closed loop or gravity plumbing
- Whole house humidifier to keep winter air comfortable.
- Full house water filtration with carbon filter
- Whole house generator: a must during the aftermath of ice storms or windstorms!
- Central vac system
- Redirect all gutter to a tank for irrigation. There are systems out there that help you conserve water for outdoor use.
- Laser air cleaner in HVAC system that makes air in the home super clean.
- Mud room with hooks for storage and shoe bins and closets. Add a chalk board or magnetic message board to keep track of activities.
- Drying racks in laundry that are fixed to wall for hang dry. Flat drying racks that pull out in laundry for sweater drying. Big laundry sink for messes.
- I’ve written about solid wood garage doors here before and I still think they were a great choice for adding a lot of curb appeal and value to my home.
- Built-in dog crates
- A raised shower in the mudroom area – like the ones they have at dog washes – so you can bathe your dogs (without killing your back) on their way back inside if they are muddy, etc.
- Pestban is a system installed in the walls they can be serviced from outside that keeps out bugs and pests
- Recommended resources: ‘The Not So Big House’ that has less to do with size than how to use space that meets your family’s specific needs
- Professional designer up front to help with your interior colors and fixtures.
- Smart house systems installation.
Now it’s your turn; what advice do YOU have for building your dream home? We’ll be bringing you more on specific rooms soon, but its been so much fun to get everyone’s ideas! Head over to my Facebook page to join the discussion.
I had originally posted about my friends Lauren and Greg DeLoach when I started this blog a couple years ago. Greg is a contractor and Lauren is an interior designer. They are the complete design/build team. Now, they’ve made it big time, and I am so proud of them. Atlanta Homes Magazine recently featured a beautiful home they partnered with local architects Spitzmiller and Norris on.
It’s just another example of their talents. I will add that after working with Spitzmiller and Norris, they recommend them very highly. They also enjoyed working with architect Stan Dixon. As always, I recommend calling them for your design and contracting needs, but be prepared for a wait as they are booked a couple months out. Lauren is managing 3 small children, so right now she only works with Greg’s clients, but I’m sure in the future we’ll see her branching out from that as well. With work like this, it would be a shame if she didn’t.
Best wishes and much success, Lauren and Greg!
I’ve recently had a few listings that a few Atlanta real estate agents called “contemporary”, and although the homes themselves would not be called contemporary it seems that anything different than what Atlantans are used to seeing being built by builders around 2005 gets labeled contemporary. I’ve had agents tell me contemporary doesn’t sell in Atlanta.
I want to be the first to disagree and talk about the contemporary trend in metro Atlanta real estate.
When I first started in real estate in 2002, I may have agreed. I saw builders all building the same things – brick and stone with a lot of mixed media in between. The floors plans all had a similar feel.
In 2013, not only do we have a different audience in Atlanta, but also we have a very global influence on our home designs and clients’ desires. Those from NY, California and yes, many places in between have been seeing modern architecture and finishings a lot longer than here in the heart of the South where oriental rugs and draperies seem to be the preference.
I was inspired to write this post this morning after reading an article in my daily Prudential e-news. The article which I’ll post below is about Legos and the simplicity their new design holds.
I find myself starting to move everything in my house to “white” or variations of it. I like the simplicity, the ability to add accents in different seasons and have a new look all the time. Sometimes when life is crazy, the best retreat is to a room that is clean and simple. It’s relaxing to me. I guess that’s the Zen feel that many look for.
Anyway, I hope we continue to see more structures in Atlanta that are “simple” with clean lines, and our children can take the monochromatic Legos and really “create” versus copying the picture off the front of a box. I like the lesson learned here, and I think I’ll find this set for my son for his birthday.
Lego, the Tool of Young Modernists
|By Christopher Hawthorne|
|RISMEDIA, Thursday, August 29, 2013— (MCT)—Over the last couple of weeks, a tiny monochromatic skyline has been growing in my kitchen.Since opening Lego’s new Architecture Studio, my daughters (who are 9 and 4) and I have been putting together, dismantling and redesigning a group of about 10 buildings. We’ve kept the results on display on a shelf above the sink.Because the Architecture Studio includes bricks in just two shades — white and transparent — the buildings we’ve created all seem to be related, at least distantly, to modern architecture. This is a decidedly Corbusian color scheme; as my 9-year-old put it, gesturing in the direction of a house she’d made, “If that was hot pink, it wouldn’t look modern.”Even her barn-like structure with a pitched roof looked as much Cliff May as old-fashioned stable, thanks in part to a transparent ground floor. The limited palette also seems to make the kit more forgiving — nearly any design looks pretty good in all white or the Lego equivalent of all glass (or a mix).Lego has produced a number of architecture-related products, but they’ve tended to be kits to design a single famous building: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, for example, or the Sydney Opera House. The Architecture Studio is closer in spirit to the original Legos, the ones that allow you to build whatever you feel like building.And as Edwin Heathcoate, the British architecture critic, pointed out recently, there’s something to be said for simplicity and open-endedness in toys. Part of that is nostalgia, I think, for a pre-digital age; but you can’t argue with the number of accomplished architects who talk about playing with Legos or wooden blocks as a formative experience. In that sense it’s surprising Lego didn’t release a set like this years ago.
The Architecture Studio comes with a pretty thick book featuring interviews with (and design advice from) architecture firms, including Tokyo’s Sou Fujimoto and the Swedish office Tham & Videgård. But it’s as much a collection of conceptual essays on the nature of architectural play as instruction manual — and to be fair, this is a product pitched at a target audience older than my kids, really teenagers and up.
I decided I liked the limited color scheme: It made the ungainly buildings I put together seem to come from the same architectural family as the ones the girls made, even if the shapes and sizes were quite different. I suspect more than a few kids, though, will open the box and immediately wish for brighter colors.
As I thought back on the time we’ve played with the set, I realized something surprising: The only time the three of us spent a sustained period of time using it together was right after we first took it out of the box.
The 1,200 pieces in the set come all mixed up in a bunch of small pouches. Before we built anything we decided to sort them by type as we all sat on the floor. That took a full hour. It was strangely meditative. A rare quiet descended on the house as we tossed the little bricks into growing piles.
Settlement Road Property
A Rezoning Application has been filed with Cobb County by John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, Inc. (“JWHN”). The application is seeking to rezone approximately 24 acres of the Settlement Road Property from R30 to R20 OSC (Open Space Community). While the current zoning would permit approximately 30 single-family homes, the requested zoning would permit approximately 45 single-family homes in return for more open space.
*A copy of the application can be found on the Vinings Homeowners Association website
Special Evaluation Task Force
The Board of Trustees of the Vinings Village Homeowners Association has established a Settlement Road Committee of homeowners from Areas V, VI VII and VIII to evaluate the situation and make a recommendation to the Board. Jim Polk has agreed to Chair the Committee as Representative of Area VII.
In order to assist the committee, the VVHA is requesting that Vinings Village homeowners provide their opinions, ideas and recommendations to their Area Representatives regarding this important Zoning. The VVHA welcomes any and all correspondence, and appreciates your efforts in responding to this important matter. The VVHA will keep the Community apprised as the Committee’s work progresses.
Please respond to Contact@viningshoa.org or directly to your area Representative.
Maybe you’ve watched the television show Flipping Out on Bravo, maybe not. I get a kick out of it because sometimes when I’m dealing with (or a client is dealing with) builders and designers we probably feel how the star, Jeff Lewis, often feels in this program.
I have a real life Vinings/Buckhead answer to the remodeling/building nightmares: Cottage Industry Construction, owned by husband/wife team Lauren and Greg DeLoach. They have been friends and clients of mine for years.
Greg is a builder with a building degree from Georgia Tech and Lauren is a designer with a degree in Interior Design from the University of Georgia. Lauren regularly works with Greg’s clients drawing plans, space planning and making selections. Greg is amazing at keeping the project on time and on budget.
Everyone will have to sell their house someday and I often get calls when people are remodeling or building wondering what a prospective buyer’s preference would be, or asking me how important something is.
Greg and Lauren have a sense of what needs to be done at what price point with houses. She can select lighting fixtures for a $300,000 house or a $3M house and make them both look timeless and current.
On the TV program, Jeff Lewis does both design and building as well and he has a staff that he’s constantly firing or having issues with because it really is a tough job to marry the two.
Trying to keep on schedule (and on budget) is always a challenge and by working with a couple that is literally married I think the builder gets the answers he needs a lot quicker from the designer!
Greg, Lauren and I had a standing joke that I could sell all of their houses in “1” day. I think it took 3 days one time. Anyway, their talents of building, design and experience are worthy of making note. I want the DeLoach’s to start their own TV program, and of course I want to be the agent to sell all of their gorgeous houses!
Cottage Industry Construction has two projects going on in Buckhead currently, joining with great names in architecture locally. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
I’m including some pictures and their contact information if you know of someone interested.
So stay tuned!