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I M P R O V E M E N T ATLANTA It’s All About the Flex Space

How shelter in place changed the way we use our homes p. 25

JULY/AUGUST 2020 | ATLANTAHOMEIMPROVEMENT.COM

Find A Pro

Atlanta’s top professionals and places AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

Recycling Done Right

5

WAYS TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF YOUR HOME

Earth-saving tips for sustainable living p.19

Wellness Within Your Walls p. 21

Award-Winning Projects Professional organizations celebrate the best of the best among designers, builders, landscapers & more p. 49

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contents

 Award-Winning Projects  Recycling Done Right Earth-saving tips for sustainable living



It's All About the Flex Space How shelter in place changed the way we use our homes

Photos courtesy of (top) NARI Atlanta; (bottom L to R) Tara Fust Design, photography by David Canon Photography; Alex Smith Garden Design, Ltd.; Nandina Home & Design, photography by Oh Schmidt Productions.

Professional organizations celebrate the best among designers, builders, landscapers & more

6 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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contents 21

Wellness Within Your Walls

5 ways to improve the health of your home

12

17 10 publisher’s letter

A fresh look

17 the heart of home improvement

Giving a shoutout to local Atlanta buisinesses who lent a hand during COVID-19

68 profile

Outback Deck brings the joy of the outdoors to homeowners with expertly crafted decks, patios and outdoor living spaces

on the cover: This front porch oasis was created using items from Ballard Designs. Make it your own with the Sunday porch swing ($1,099), Palmetto indoor/outdoor rug ($29-$349) and Giardino armchair ($249). www.ballarddesigns.com

• Shower maintenance • The scope of handyman services • Repairing versus replacing an HVAC system • Concrete wall repair • Keeping your siding long-lasting • Additional waterproofing in the basement • Using windows to make your space feel bigger

• The difference in types of vinyl flooring • Garage door insulation • Recognizing a failing roof • Using window treatments for a consistent exterior look • Installing gutters

Photos courtesy of (top left) Wellnes Within Your Walls; (middle left) Pike Nurseries.

Home Service Pro Partners Answer Questions About:

8 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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Photos courtesy of (top left) Wellnes Within Your Walls; (middle left) Pine Nurseries.

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

A Fresh Look We have all certainly seen a lot more of our homes these past few months, giving us plenty of time to review, critique, enjoy and improve. Many have had to carve out spaces for children's schoolwork, home offices, a workout area and, of course, plenty of room for gathering to binge-watch your latest vice. And then there is the kitchen! In the 21 years we have been in our home I know I have never cooked so many meals consecutively. (Whew, I forgot how much my college-age son eats!) At first, I was excited to just be home. So many of us have been balancing work and family for so long it was a bit of an adjustment to slow down. Having lived on constant deadlines for most of my adult life, I started making lists...endless lists. Menu plans, grocery lists, cabinets and closets to be organized, areas of the garden that needed a facelift, rooms to be painted and, of course, the constant cleaning! There was about a two-week period where my son and husband feared that if they sat still for too long they would either be planted, painted or disinfected! I'm happy to report that I now have several “after" photos and my project lists have gotten shorter. With each project completed I always think, “Why didn't we do this sooner?" In this issue of My Home Improvement I am excited to find more lists! We have 17 award-winning projects to inspire you with your own list of home projects. 10 opportunities to improve your post-pandemic home for added flexibility and use of space. 5 ways to improve the health of your home and hundreds of Atlanta resources to help you complete any size project. Check out Find A Pro on atlantahomeimprovement.com to find everything from painters to plumbers and more.

Happy Home Improving! Patti Stephens, Publisher

s r a t S g n i s i The R y of the Home Industr

te for your nominate and/or vo to om t.c en em ov pr meim Go to www.atlantaho

favorites.

Photography by Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency.

To learn more about us, go to: AtlantaHomeImprovement.com AtlantaHomeImprovement.com, follow us on (@MyHomeImprovementATL), (@MyHomeImprovement) and (@ATLHomeImprove).

10 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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of 2019 BEST Shower Enclosure Company

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Home Service Partners Q

SHOWER ENCLOSURES

Q A

Is there an easy way to keep my tile and grout clean?

There are a number of “tile and surface cleaners” that will do the trick on soap scum and mineral deposits, but they all require some elbow grease. Mildew is the biggest problem. A well-designed shower can minimize this nuisance by allowing the space to dry out after use. Showers should David Drexler be properly ventilated with an overhead vent fan and all surfaces, especially the shower curb, should slope in toward the drain to prevent water from pooling against the shower walls or shower door.

Drexler Shower Door & Custom Glass Years in Business: 66 Associations: NARI, BBB A+ Rated 404.351.4141 www.drexlershowerdoor.com See ad on p. 11

CONCRETE

Q

What are the benefits of repairing my block or poured concrete basement wall with Fortress Carbon Fiber?

A

It is guaranteed to permanently stabilize foundation walls against lateral loading. Installation is fast with minimal disruption and mess, no excavation is necessary. It does not create obstructions in the room, which could reduce floor space. The reinforcing material will not corrode, mildew or weaken over time. The Michael Cangemi repaired surface can be painted or parge coated. The home maintains a higher resale value than when repaired with more obtrusive steel alternatives.

B-Level Concrete SE, Inc. Years in Business: 19 Associations: NARI, BBB A+ Rated,

HANDYMAN SERVICES

Q

What is something homeowners don’t think is within a handyman’s scope of work but actually is?

A

The primary thing that most homeowners may not realize is in a handyman’s scope of work is the comprehensiveness of the skill set. Most handymen can perform a multitude of jobs requiring various trade disciplines (i.e. carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc). The advantage to the homeowner is the Doug Parker, Owner convenience of a “one-stop-shopping” experience.

ANDY OnCall® Handyman Service Company

Years in Business: 20 Associations: TrustDALE Certified, BBB A+ Rated 770.640.6050 www.andyoncallroswell-gwinnett.com See ad on p. 28

HVAC

Q

Does a larger HVAC system offer better performance?

A

Bigger is not only not better, it may be worse. Your heating and airconditioning must be matched to your living space. Geography, square footage, insulation value, window type and amount, along with ceiling height are all part of the calculations required Bill Mashraky to determine the “right size” of equipment. Cool Air Mechanical Comfort Consultants are trained to make recommendations based upon these and other factors.

Cool Air Mechanical

Years in Business: 10 Associations: NATE, BBB A+ Rated 770.266.5247 www.770CoolAir.com See ad on p. 9

WATERPROOFING

SIDING

Q A

What can I do to avoid bad maintenance habits?

Soft wash the house every year and do routine touch up painting. We leave at least half a gallon of paint for completed jobs so customers can do touch-ups. You should also keep a soft bristle brush around to clean around windows and other areas that get moldy or dirty fast. Treat your house Charlie Dallavalle like your car. Routine oil changes and wash it regularly.

Painting Plus Years in Business: 21 Associations: NKBA, HBA 770.971.1577 www.paintingplus.com See ad on p. 38

Atlanta Apartment Association

770.516.4476 www.b-levelse.com

Q

I have a sump pump and still get water in my basement. What are my options?

A

If you have an existing sump pump and are still having water problems you need to have an experienced and knowledgeable foundation waterproofing company look at the issue. An Engineered Solutions project manager is fully qualified to completely diagnose the issue and design the best Derek Ritchie solution to address the water issue permanently. We are also the only company in Atlanta that has full time Structural Engineers on staff.

Engineered Solutions of Georgia

Years in Business: 13 Associations: Guild Quality®, BBB A+ Rated 678.290.1325 www.esogrepair.com See ad on p. 16

See ad on p. 66

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s Q&A

For more information go to Find A Pro AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

WINDOW REPLACEMENT

Q

How can window designs make a small space feel bigger?

A

Natural light always makes a room feel bigger than it is. Bay or bow windows physically extend the room outside to open up a room, creating a cozy interior nook with three-dimensional Mark Cantrall views. Look for windows with narrow frames that allow for more glass and dynamic views to truly bring the outside in. Large picture windows or floorto-ceiling windows without grilles on the glass genuinely provide the feeling of being outside, no matter the size of the room.

AVI Windows & Doors Years in Business: 10 Associations: NKBA, HBA, NARI 678.297.1111 www.aviwindowsanddoors.com

FLOORING INSTALLATION

Q

What is the difference between vinyl and luxury vinyl flooring?

A

Vinyl, also called resilient flooring, is a solid piece of flooring that comes on a typically 12-foot wide roll. Luxury vinyl (LVP or LVT) comes in smaller individual pieces of vinyl material. Care and maintenance Elisabeth Stubbs are identical for both products, what differs is the installation method.

Enhance Floors & More

Years in Business: 35 Associations: BBB A+ Rated, Mohawk Five-Star Retailer

770.565.3808 www.enhancefloors.com See ad on p. 36

See ad on p. 2

Q

How can I spot a failing roof and what should I do to fix or prevent that from happening?

A

Some aging is obvious—if your roof is more than 15 years old, it is time to get a new one. Sometimes, the roof can age and become discolored due to the sun. Shingle granules Chad Cruce tend to come off over time and can accumulate in the gutters. Algae can even grow if a roof does not have enough sun exposure. Check to see if your roof has any oxidation from the sun, any significant amount of algae, and/or if there is evidence of granules from the shingles coming into the gutters and downspouts.

Q

Should all my windows in my house have the same window treatment?

A

Some people prefer to use the same window coverings throughout their home to create a consistent look, especially across the front of the home, but it is not necessary. We feel it is best Andrea and Sean Zare to pick window coverings based on the needs and style of the individual rooms. We offer many different shades with a white or “streetside” lining that allows a consistent look without using the same treatment. There are also shade options that mimic the look of blinds and shutters from the outside.

Team Roofing and Construction, LLC

Classic Blinds & Shutters Design Center

Years in Business: 35 Associations: NFIB, BBB, GAF 770.872.7973 www.teamroofing.com

Best of Houzz (2016-2018)

See ad on p. 4

Q

I hear a lot about R-value. What is it and why is it important?

A

R-Value is a measure of thermal efficiency. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating properties of the door. A well-insulated door will keep out cold air and keep the floors above warmer in the winter. A non-insulated garage door will allow more outside temperature in, and that can John Nale increase your energy use. An insulated door may raise the garage temperature by as much as 10 degrees and that is often the difference between cold and freezing which is important.

Overhead Door Company of Atlanta™

Years in Business: 85 Associations: GAHBA, IDA 404.872.3667 www.overheaddooratlanta.com See ad on p. 7

WINDOW COVERINGS

ROOFING

GARAGE DOORS

Years in Business: 23 Associations: BBB A+ Rated,

678.822.0928 www.classicblindsandshutters.com

GUTTERS

Q

What are important things to keep in mind when having gutters installed?

A

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a gutter system is performance. A gutter's primary purpose is to repel debris and capture roof water. It is Tom DiGregorio and Joe Rusk also imperative that your gutters' downspouts divert that water away from your home, thus protecting it against water penetration, structural and concrete settlement issues.

AquaGuard Foundation Solutions Years in Business: 25 Associations: Supportworks, NARI, BHA, GREC, ACCG

770.419.9111 www.aquaguard.net See ad on p. 37

See ad on p. 20

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Creating Backyard Balance and Serenity Atlanta’s connection to nature is inescapable, from its vast canopy of trees, to the gentle meandering of the Chattahoochee River through the city. Life outdoors in Metro Atlanta is a given, if not an uncompromised requirement. While the elements of outdoor design, like earth, fire and water are constants, the way those take shape changes over time. Of course, the first step in creating, or even recreating, an outdoor oasis is an inviting welcome mat.

Some winters in Georgia can be mild, which means enjoying the outdoors can be a year-long adventure. With that in mind, consider Fescue, an evergreen grass, for your welcome mat. While other lawns go dormant in the late fall, cold season grasses like Fescue thrive in the winter. Rebel® Supreme Fescue is medium blade grass that should be maintained at 2 – 3 inches in height; that gives it a thick, almost bushy texture. It is also very shade tolerant, making it a perfect match with Atlanta’s abundant trees. Setting Boundaries: After creating a lush, verdant foundation, use hardscapes – non-plant material – to create boundaries and flow. Stone pavers provide a path to conversation points in a yard. Integrating stones into the lawn itself remains a classic design because it leads people from one area to the next – a patio to a pool, a garden to a grill. Pavers provide form and function. Whether you place the pavers yourself or have someone do it for you, Kerri says homeowners will want

to make sure the stones are level with the grass for easier maintenance. You should be able to take the mower right over them with no issues or use a weed-eater if the area is small. Life by Firelight: Fire and water continue to be staples of backyard living, but there are some trends landscape architects are noting. “We’re seeing lots of patios and fire pits, but not as many fireplaces or cook stations,” Kerri says. Once constructed, fire pits require much less maintenance than a fireplace or a second kitchen and they allow for that “sit around the campfire” feel. Fire pits also can be constructed right in your lawn, creating a natural mix of hard and softscapes. Swimming pools or fountains can transform a backyard and can also help balance hard stones with soft, barefoot grass. The sound of cascading water can create a calm, serene feeling, that calls you back to nature. Layer Up!: Lastly, layer up your yard for that perfect outdoor sanctuary. After your sod is laid, start adding borders of low flowers, taking into account when they bloom and how long those blooms last. Then, add taller shrubs and finally trees. This layering guides the eye and creates interest and even conversation pieces that will keep the party going well into the night. For more information on creating a thick, luxurious welcome mat for your yard, contact the Certified Turf Professionals at NG Turf at 770-431-1344.

Photo courtesy of Kerri Hallahan, Outside Landscape Group.

Rollout the Welcome Mat: “Grass is your usable space, it feels open and welcoming and draws you out,” says Kerri Hallahan, operations manager at Outside Landscape Group and NG Turf client for more than 10 years. The lawn is your foundation for your outdoor space, so Kerri suggests a foundation of premium sod. Zeon Zoysia is known as the barefoot grass because of its soft texture underfoot, and it’s versatile. Zeon boasts a dark, rich color and a fine leaf blade, it is also thick and lush, which means weeds will struggle to get through it. It is also very traffic tolerant, making it perfect for outdoor entertaining. “Zeon is so soft to the touch,” Kerri says. “It is probably our favorite grass from NG Turf. We’ve used it on projects for several years now.”

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Photo courtesy of Kerri Hallahan, Outside Landscape Group.

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The Heart of Home Improvement Giving Back During the COVID- Crisis Sometimes it’s a small, simple gesture that makes someone’s day. At Piedmont Hospital’s 7 a.m. shift change on April 27, relieved frontline workers were thanked with beautiful spots of color as Pike Nurseries gifted them with over 1,000 Columbines. www.pikenursery.com

Masks, gloves and gowns have become the latest fashion staples in the post-corona world. To help with the shortages surrounding these crucial PPE items, many local Atlanta design studios stepped up to the plate to fill this urgent need for healthcare workers and community members alike: Home to quality, hand-crafted furniture, Bjork Studio shifted some of their production to create and donate masks to healthcare workers, friends and clients—including Atlanta Best Media! 1200 Old Chattahoochee Ave., Atlanta. www.bjorkstudio.com

•Makers of luxurious towels

and linens, Peacock Alley converted their manufacturing from bed sheets to cotton masks. They have donated over 3,000 masks to local hospitals and other frontline workers. 349 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE., Suite A6, Atlanta. www.peacockalley.com

Photo courtesy of (top left) Pike Nurseries.

•Thanks to their incredible Better Tomorrow Solar is giving you the chance to help the planet and your community when you install your next solar projects. All commercial and residential contracts signed between April 1 and July 31 will have their net profits donated to local COVID-19 relief efforts. Additionally, projects signed in 2020 will receive a 26 percent federal tax credit. www.bettertomorrowsolar.com

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team of sewing experts, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams pivoted their production from crafting upholstery to making non-surgical masks and gowns for workers on the front lines. 3081 Peachtree Rd. NE., Atlanta. www.mgbwhome.com

Adapting to the quick changes of the COVID-19 pandemic, HomeAid Atlanta was able to move their annual Essentials Drive online for 2020. This year donors were able to social distance and shop online for their donated items using Amazon Smile. Over 47 thousand much-needed items, like diapers and baby wipes, were distributed across 23 local Atlanta shelters to assist some of the area’s most vulnerable population thanks to the generosity of Atlanta’s community. www.homeaidatlanta.org

17 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com Preferred Contractor 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

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Sustainable Living Recycling Done Right According to one 2019 report, the US recycles only 35 percent of our waste—a much lower rate than other developed countries. Hopefully these tips will help clear up some of the blue-bin confusion and get you on your way to becoming a mean, green, recycling machine!

DO NOT RECYCLE

Paper & Cardboard: • Make sure to flatten cardboard boxes or else they can clog the machines • Remove staples from magazines and booklets • If you take your items to a facility, your paper will need to be sorted into magazines, newspaper, and office paper • No food stains, items like pizza boxes and takeout containers go in the trash

Aluminum & Steel Cans: • Need to be clean and dry, things like leftover tomato sauce and soda can contaminate a batch during processing

Glass: • Check with your recycling service first, most counties no longer do curbside recycling for glass. However, there are drop-off points around the city where you can take it • Needs to be clean and dry

Photos and illustrations courtesy of the City of Atlanta, photography and illustrations by the Recycling Partnership.

Plastic: • Needs to be clean and dry • Check the number to see if it is a commonly recycled plastic. Numbers 1, 2 and 5 are the most common to recycle and include things like soda bottles, food packages, laundry detergent and milk jugs. • Number 4 plastic is primairly plastic bags, which can not be recycled in curbside programs. Bring them to your local grocery store to recycle (this includes produce bags, sandwich bags, even cereal packaging so long as it’s clean and dry.)

Can I recycle broken electronics, paint and building materials? Yes you can! Atlanta’s CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) hosts recycling events around the city and takes difficult items like appliances, paint and more for a small fee or you can swing by their main location on Hill Street during regular business hours. Check out their website for a list of fees and accepted items at www.livethrive.org/charm. Got Styrofoam? Drop-off your Styrofoam take-out containers and egg cartons at your local Publix. To learn more about the recycling services available in your area, check your local government website.

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Wellness Within Your Walls 5 Ways to Improve the Health of Your Home Studies show that indoors, the very place where Americans spend about 90 percent of their time, has pollutants two to five times higher than outdoors. Poor ventilation, synthetic building materials, cleaners and pesticides are all culprits that can lead to elevated rates of hormone disruption, asthma, cancer and more. But spending time in our homes doesn’t have to be a toxic experience. There is a clear opportunity to change our thinking about the relationship of energy efficiency and health to make wellness construction a positive driver of economic and health outcomes.

There is a clear opportunity to change our thinking about the relationship of energy efficiency and health to make wellness construction a positive driver of economic and health outcomes.

“As an interior designer, I had been putting myself in harm’s way,” said Jillian Pritchard Cooke, founder of Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW). “For years I walked into homes with high levels of toxins. Through WWYW, we improve global health and wellness by certifying people, places, products and programs.” WWYW uses a 10-step holistic approach to wellness in living spaces known as the Healthy Living System™. This system encourages a more thoughtful approach to selecting materials and furnishings for living space, coupled with maintenance and lifestyle strategies for continued health and wellness in the home and community. WWYW has designed numerous certification courses with the goal of further educating both professionals and consumers in making more wellness-oriented building desicions.

21 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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To help reduce the amount of toxins in your space and improve your living environment, WWYW offers these five tips:

1

An HVAC air filter with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 or more can more effectively trap unwanted small particles from circulating in the home. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles it traps.

2

A HEPA filter vacuum can trap 99.97 percent of airborne particles. Most standard vacuums only blow particles back into the air, but a true, top-rated HEPA filter vacuum cleaner with a built-in HEPA filter can provide important allergy relief.

5

Household cleaners can be the culprit for many health problems. Whenever possible, choose non-toxic, botanical-based cleaners. When heavy hitting disinfectants with chlorine are necessary, people should properly protect from fumes with gloves and a bandana or mask. “We believe we can improve health and wellness by supporting similar-minded companies and suppliers to ultimately help homeowners improve healthy living inside their homes,” said Cooke. “Our mission is to connect the global family with healthy, eco-sensitive products and strategies that result in beautiful, sustainable, non-toxic living environments.”

Photos courtesy of Wellness Within Your Walls.

3

Similarly, air purification systems vary. With many options on the market, there’s one for every budget and need, whether it’s a HEPA filter or a whole system upgrade. Be sure to check with an HVAC specialist for the system that best fits your needs.

4

A water filtration system can improve the quality of a home’s drinking water. Since 2012, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has analyzed over 32 million state water records and found contaminants, including industrial solvents, weed killers, refrigerants and the rocket fuel component perchlorate. You can access the database and locate water analysis by zip code at www.ewg.org/tapwater. 

For more information, visit: www.wellnesswithinyourwalls.com Jillian Pritchard Cooke is a 30-year sustainable design veteran who was driven by her own journey with cancer to create Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) and design healthy living spaces while reframing the conversation around wellness construction. WWYW educates and certifies trade professionals, manufacturers and consumers on eco-sensitive practices and strategies with a focus on building healthier living environments.

23 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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6/29/20 3:27 PM


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6/26/20 4:21 PM


It’s All About the Flex Space How shelter in place changed the way we use our homes These past few months have brought many changes to how we live, especially how we live in our homes. We’ve gone from going to the gym and the office and school to bringing our entire lives literally in house. We’ve had to get creative and given new meaning to the term “flex space." But in doing so, we’ve made our homes into more than we ever thought they could be. In this issue we are reexamining how we live at home and bringing you some helpful tips to get more out of your everyday space.

25 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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F R O N T P O R C H R E V I VA L

Placing your furniture between posts or columns ensures clear views for looking out, plus provides nice framing for curb appeal. BY BOYCE DESIGN & CONTRACTING

Sprawling front porches with wide, welcoming stairs and a porch swing were once a staple of homes in the South, but over time they slowly fell out of favor to the privacy of the backyard. But with all of this social distancing, homeowners now ache for the chance to see a familiar face. What better way to do that than with a front porch? Here are some tips to create an inviting space in front of your home from Boyce Design & Contracting: • Make sure you establish clear boundaries between seating and pathways. Nothing is less welcoming than picking through furniture to get to the door. • You don’t need a complete redesign to give your porch an updated look. Consider smaller changes like updating the light fixtures or giving existing furniture a new coat of paint; even giving the floors and railing a good scrub can breathe new life into a porch. • If you want to get a little more involved you can update the railings, columns or flooring for a completely new feel. • Replace your old furniture with something new, cushioned and comfortable to make your porch more comfy. Black or a neutral color is best while adding seasonal pops of color with throw pillows. • Make sure to include surfaces in your furniture so your guests have a place to put down that iced tea.

Boyce Design & Contracting, www.boycedesign.com

Photo courtesy of NARI Atlanta, photography by Boyce Design & Contracting.

Design Tip:

26 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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WO R K F R O M H O M E

Did You Know? Studies have shown that houseplants can boost your mood and increase your productivity by up to 15 percent.

BY NANDINA HOME & DESIGN

Working from home—love it or hate it, but lately we haven’t had much of a choice. While not everyone has the space for a separate office, we can all benefit from having a dedicated workspace. Whether that’s a full room, cozy nook or just a spot at the kitchen table, Nandina Home & Design has some tips for creating a workspace that works for you, not against you: • Choose a spot that has some natural light and good ventilation. You want your space to feel light and airy, not confining.

Photography by Oh Schmidt Productions.

• Clutter is just an added distraction, so make sure all your office supplies and paperwork have a place where they can go. Use colored storage bins or bold printed folders to keep your space looking stylish and organized. • While you need to focus on your work, that doesn’t mean forgoing a little decoration. Try adding cut flowers or a nice houseplant to your workspace. • You decorate your desk at the office, right? Why should home be any different? Post photos of your loved ones, inspirational quotes to get you motivated or a few pieces of art to add a little character. • Mindset is half of the work-from-home struggle. Make sure that you set hours for yourself and only do work things during that time and at the space you have claimed for your workday. Everything outside of that space is ‘home’ and should be used for relaxing and spending time with family. • Don’t drop your routine! The commute may be shorter, but it’s still important to wake up at the same time and get dressed. This tells your brain that it’s time to work and helps you focus better. Resist the temptation to sleep in and instead enjoy an extra cup of coffee with your newfound time instead.

Nandina Home & Design, www.nandinahome.com

27 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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THE NEW HOMEROOM

Photo courtesy of Alair Homes Decatur, photography by Gregory Miller.

Did You Know? White boards are good to have, but dry erase markers also work on windows!

BY ALAIR HOMES DECATUR

Distance learning has been a trial for us all, but you can make it easier, even fun, for your kids to learn from home by using these tips from Woodward Academy: • Have a dedicated space, whether it’s an entire room, a desk or a bed. • Don’t underestimate comfort. A few pillows or a soft blanket can go a long way to helping your kids get focused. • Make sure the space is clutter free to cut down on distractions. • If you don’t have the space to dedicate one room for homeschooling, try hanging sheets or a tablecloth to create a partition. This adds some color and can even be used as a makeshift green screen for video projects. • Shelving and storage bins can be used for easy organization and packing things away when school is done, especially if you’re homeschooling in a shared space like the kitchen or dining room table. • Make sure to use a soft light source to reduce eyestrain and make the environment more comfortable.

Woodward Academy, www.woodward.edu

29 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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H O M E WO R KO U T S

Design Tip: Consider putting a small refrigerator in your gym so you can always keep some cold water and energy-boosting snacks on hand.

Having a dedicated place to exercise is a great way to keep you motivated toward your fitness goals. It also means you don’t have to worry about incorporating gym equipment into your living room or office space. Leigh Spicher of Ashton Woods has these tips for designing a functional home gym: • A gym should go on the first floor, garage or in the basement. Aside from the hassle of carting heavy equipment upstairs, weight limitations and structural reinforcements are added concerns. Not to mention the noise if someone is on the floor below you. • Design your gym for more than one user. Maybe you like the treadmill and your partner lifts weights, make sure you have room for both and leave some space to workout together too! • You will want to use durable, waterproof flooring like rubber or vinyl. Next, consider the type of exercise you will be doing. Weightlifters will want flooring with more texture while dancers will want material with a little more bounce. • Start small and work your way up. Investing in a gym can be expensive and you want to make sure you are committed before doing an entire renovation. Begin with a set of free weights or a yoga mat before moving to full-scale equipment.

Ashton Woods, www.ashtonwoods.com

30 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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GET ORGANIZED

Photo courtesy of Tara Fust Design, photography by David Cannon Photography.

Did you know:

You can create a boutique-like look with matching hangers. Classy, black felt, no-slip hangers are great for tight spaces, while white wood hangers create an elegant look for larger ones.

BY TARA FUST DESIGN

Just because we’re spending more time at home doesn’t mean we want to spend more time looking for things. Now is the perfect time to get those clothes organized. Here are some bedroom closet tips from Order by Kate to get you started: • Streamline your wardrobe and only keep the items you LOVE. Not like, but LOVE. • Next, organize your clothes by season. Put aside your winter clothes and feature your warm weather clothes for spring and summer. • Once you've organized by season, take it a step further and organize your clothes by color, then sleeve length. • Treat yourself! Upgrade to a custom closet and get the storage that best fits your wardrobe needs. • Add lighting to highlight some of your accessories like shoes and purses to really give your closet that high-end look. • Utilize colored or patterned storage bins to hold items like scarves, hats and gloves while also adding a bit of style. • Lastly, walk into your new, beautifully organized master closet and start the day off right!

Order by Kate, www.orderbykate.com

31 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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6/29/20 3:59 PM


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The business Melissa Bean, Owner of 5th Generation Contracting, and her husband, Wayne, have been running an award-winning remodeling firm for more than 15 years in East Cobb. Beginning with Melissa’s great-great grandfather, the family has been remodeling and building custom homes since the mid-1800s. Melissa learned the value of making and keeping lifelong clients from her grandfather who taught her the business and inspired her to run her own remodeling firm. Melissa is honored to be sharing this passion and these values with her children—working alongside her daughter and sonin-law, Laura and Brian Tenuto, and her son, Grant Bean, who are the 6th Generation of the firm. 5th Generation Contracting delivers an extraordinary product and client experience through its unique design-build process. Developing trusting relationships with clients is key and 5th Generation does this time and time again by demonstrating how to align their words and actions with their client’s home investment plans. Each client is taken through a custom design step so that the details of the project are fully mapped out before construction begins. The firm builds projects such as additions, kitchens, bathrooms, whole house remodels, basements and custom homes.

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6/26/20 4:23 PM


SIMPLE HOME MAKEOVERS

Photo courtesy of Gina Sims Designs, photogrphy by Cati Teague Photography.

Design Tip: Painting a dark room too light can actually make it look dingy. If you’re painting a space with limited natural light, go for a more saturated color and then brighten it up with light-colored furniture or art.

BY GINA SIMS DESIGNS

Does spending lots of time at home leave you tired of staring at the same old walls? Give your space a quick makeover for a change of scenery. Gina Sims Designs has these tips for giving your design a quick refresh: • Reuse pieces you already have, like art, by pulling out different colors with some new throw pillows. • Area rugs are another fast fix. You can never go wrong with a neutral color or choose a striking pattern for some contrast. • Buying some new art is a great way to support local businesses and give your walls a new look. • Paint! Pinterest, magazines—you can find inspiration for color palettes everywhere. A simple change in color can dramatically change the feeling of any room.

Gina Sims Designs, www.ginasimsdesigns.com

35 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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Ready for new floors?

Here’s a quick quiz to help you find the best flooring for you: In what room will you replace the flooring? a. Living room b. Bedroom c. Kitchen d. Bathroom What is most important to you? a. A timeless look that won’t go out of style b. Flooring that is comfortable, soft, and warm c. Flooring that is easy to take care of d. Durability How many kids and pets (combined total) live in your home? a. 0 b. 1-2 c. 3-5 d. 6 or more Is moisture a concern? a. No, the floor will not be exposed to water b. Only if I had a flood c. Sometimes the floor will get wet d. Water gets on the floor every day What is your budget? a. $$$ b. $ c. $$ d. $$$$ What factors would make you choose professional installation versus doing it yourself? a. I’m making an investment and I want the job done right by a professional. b. I need a professional because I don’t have the right tools. c. My floor is uneven and I don’t know how to correct the problem. I need an expert’s help. d. A professional crew that does this every day can do it much quicker than I could. Tally up your answers. If you got more of this letter: Mostly As: Hardwood floors are a great choice for you. This option is beautiful and timeless but requires more care than other flooring. Mostly Bs: Carpet is for you. It is budget friendly and cozy. Mostly Cs: Luxury vinyl or laminate is what you should look at. The perks include being scratch resistant, water resistant, and both products offer an array of great wood and tile visuals to choose from. Mostly Ds: Ceramic/porcelain tile is what you need. The durability and fact that it is waterproof make it the best choice for a bathroom. BEST of 2018

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K I C K B AC K A N D R E L A X

Did You Know?

Photo courtesy of Avalon Custom Homes, LLC, photography by Rustic White Photography.

Rectangle shaped rooms offer better acoustics than squares. Place your screen along the short wall to get the best sound.

BY AVALON CUSTOM HOMES, LLC

Movie theaters may be closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a movie night from home. With many new releases hitting the small screen early, now is the perfect time to set up a home theater. Here are some design tips to help you recreate the movie theater experience at home: • Choose a room with as few windows as possible to block out natural light. • If you do have windows buy heavy curtains, blackouts work best to shut out natural light. • Bright colors and semi-gloss paints will reflect light from the screen. Choose dark, matte colors instead. • Hardwood floors, vinyl and tile all cause an echo. For a smooth sound experience, make sure your theater has either wall-to-wall carpeting or a lot of rugs to cut down on the noise. • Screens should be placed at eye level, not up, for the best viewing angle.

Source: www.diynetwork.com

39 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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6/30/20 11:36 AM


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Did You Know?

Photo courtesy of Wade Works Creative, photography by Chip Wade.

t

TA K E T H E P L U N G E

You can install pool automation that lets you control your lights, temperature and more from your phone, tablet or computer.

BY WADE WORKS CREATIVE

Pools, spas and hot tubs can make for a wonderful addition to your backyard space. They can be a quiet oasis for relaxing, a space to exercise or a fun hangout spot to cool off in the summer heat. Mark Thompson of the Georgia Chapter of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance offers this advice for designing the right pool or hot tub for you: • Consider what you are looking for in your pool—relaxation, recreation or exercise—and choose an appropriate size and depth from there. • Make sure your contractor has a pool certification. Being a member of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance with the Certified Building Professional certification for builders or service companies is a good start. • Minimize maintenance by installing a salt, UV or ozone generator (or a combination of all three) to help with sanitization. • Always hire a professional to maintain the water chemistry, as unbalanced chemicals can damage your pool's lining and equipment. • Cut down on energy costs by investing in products such as variable speed pumps and LED lights.

Georgia Chapter of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, www.chapters.apsp.org/georgia.

41 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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6/29/20 4:00 PM


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Today, we are all doing more at home and Etowah Group can help transform your backyard into an exciting new living space with outdoor entertainment centers, kitchens, pools and play areas. Using distinctive stonework and cascading gardens, Etowah Group creates welcoming outdoor living areas that naturally enhance the beauty of your property. From Buckhead to Atlanta’s northern suburbs, Etowah Group custom designs live, work and play environments to match your family’s lifestyle and interests.

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Landscape • Design • Construction 6/26/20 4:24 PM 6/8/20 10:46 AM


0:46 AM

HOME GARDENS FOR FOOD & ZEN

Did You Know?

Photo courtesy of Alex Smith Garden Design, Ltd.

Even if you don’t have a yard with full sun, you can still grow vegetables. Leafy crops like kale and lettuce, along with root crops like carrots and potatoes, don’t need full sun to thrive.

BY ALEX SMITH GARDEN DESIGN, LTD

With people spending more time at home, many are interested in improving their outdoor space, especially in terms of vegetable gardens. Jamie Rosenthal of Roots Down has these tips for making your garden a more productive and fruitful space: • Before buying any plants, consider your sunlight. Morning sun is the best light, since the harsh afternoon sun can burn most plants, even sun-loving ones like tomatoes. • Always plant more than you need in case pests or disease claim one of your seedlings. This way you have a back up. • Take a look at your family’s typical eating habits and grow vegetables you eat often. • When planning your garden space, map it in zones going out and away from your home. • Zone 1, the closest to your home, should be for high-use plants like vegetables and herbs. • Zone 2 is for plants you don’t need daily access to, such as flowers or berry bushes. • Zone 3, which is the edges of your lot, should be for low-maintenance plants, trees and shrubs.

Roots Down, www.rootsdownga.com

43 July/August 2020 My Home Improvement AtlantaHomeImprovement.com

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6/30/20 1:26 PM


From the championship games to your backyard, CBA Sports has you covered • Outdoor and indoor court construction • Designed specifically for your home and family • Over 15 games and activities on a single court • Authentic Sport Court® brand surfaces and components • We do synthetic lawns as well! • Serving Atlanta since 1992 Showroom location

CBA Sports | 3115 Medlock Bridge Road | Norcross, GA 30071

www.cbasports.com | 770-797-9990 024-047_0720_10 Ways.indd 44

6/26/20 4:35 PM


KEEP IT CLEAN

Did You Know? To clean means to remove dirt and impurities from a surface; to disinfect means to kill germs on a surface. Make sure you clean a surface before disinfecting to get rid of the most germs, dirt and grime.

Keeping our homes clean has become a top concern over these past few months, and increased time within our homes gives us reason to clean more as well. To help you keep your space spic and span we’ve complied these important tips on maintaining a cleaner home:

Cleaning & Disinfecting: • As a general rule a solution of diluted bleach or a solution that is 70% alcohol is an effective disinfectant against most diseases. • Make sure you adhere to the manufacturer’s listed contact time for any cleaner you use. Not doing so can result in killing fewer germs. • If you need to clean against a specific disease, like the flu, the EPA has a list of cleaners that can be sorted by the diseases they are effective against. • Some cleaning companies offer chemical fogging services, which releases disinfectant as a mist, allowing for greater coverage of an area and covering hard to reach spaces.

Cleaner Air: • Air filters are rated on the MERV scale, which goes from 1 to 20. It rates how small of a particle the filter can trap. Higher numbers mean smaller particles. • Most residential homes use filters 16 or below. • For people with severe allergies or health problems, consider getting a HEPA filter instead (MERV 17-20). However, before purchasing any new filters, check your HVAC’s specifications to see what types of filters are compatible. The wrong filter can cause the unit to lose efficiency and increase energy costs.

Source: www.cdc.gov

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National CotY Winner Residential Landscape Design/Outdoor Living Under $100,000, Johns Creek

Metro Atlanta’s Decks and More Wins Two National NARI Contractor of the Year Awards Decks and More, a metro Atlanta-based remodeling company, recently won two national Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards from NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The winning categories were Residential Landscape Design/Outdoor Living Under $100,000 category for a home in Johns Creek, and Green Residential Exteriors for a Buckhead home. “It’s always rewarding to win a CotY Award, since the entries are judged by a panel of remodeling peers,” said Frank Pologruto, president of Decks and More. Johns Creek: “For this busy family, we teamed up with Southeastern Underdeck to replace an outdated deck with a beautiful two-level outdoor entertainment area,” said Pologruto. “First, a pressure-treated engineered beam was installed to support the new wooden deck with its Chippendale handrails, custom corbels and diagonal decking. Below, an under-deck system made of custom aluminum panels was installed to protect the ground level from the weather.” Buckhead: “The couple in this Buckhead home had the house custom-built, but the back deck was too small and didn’t span the home,” said Pologruto. “They asked us to design a low-maintenance deck to provide easy access to the backyard with a wide, sweeping view. To avoid installing railings, we designed a grand, 28-foot-wide staircase that gently descends to a landing before reaching the ground. Where the old deck made you feel cramped and confined, this new outdoor deck is gracious and open.”

Decks & More was founded in 2001 by Frank Pologruto. They have won over 100 awards and specialize in creating outdoor living spaces, home additions, as well as remodeled bathrooms and basements.

1060 Medlin Street | Smyrna, GA | 770-235-6929 | www.decksandmore.biz

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AWA R D - W I N N I N G P R O J E C T S

Award-Winning Projects Designs that Stole the Show

T

he home improvement industry is packed with talent from inspiring designers to visionary remodelers and astounding architects. Every year, professional organizations across the country award outstanding examples in their field. Here is a round-up of some of the most jaw-dropping projects by local industry pros.

Photo courtesy of NARI Atlanta.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is an organization dedicated to the remodeling industry. Their CotY (Contractor of the Year) Awards are given at the chapter, regional and national levels for industry recognition in 48 different categories.

2019 NARI Atlanta CotY Award Residential Kitchen Over $150,000 Artisans of Atlanta, Inc.

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Photo courtesy of NARI Atlanta.

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2019 NARI Atlanta CotY Award Residential Addition $100,000–$250,000 Small Carpenters at Large, Inc.

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Photo courtesy of NARI Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of NARI Atlanta.

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2019 NARI Atlanta CotY Award Entire House and Residential Historical Renovation/Restoration $250,000–$500,000 Alair Homes Decatur

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Photos courtesy of NARI Atlanta.

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2019 NARI Atlanta CotY Award & 2020 NARI Regional CotY Award Residential Bath Under $25,000 Professional Home Improvement, Inc.

2019 NARI Atlanta CotY Award & 2020 NARI National CotY Award Green-Residential Exteriors Decks & More www.atlantadeckbuilder.com With more than 20 years of experience, Decks & More specializes in creating outdoor living spaces, home additions, porches, decks and patios, as well as remodeled bathrooms and basements. Decks & More has earned over 100 awards, making it the most award-winning deck contractor in the metro Atlanta area.

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Photo courtesy of NARI Atlanta.

Photos courtesy of NARI Atlanta.

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2019 NARI Atlanta CotY Award Residential Interior Under $100,000 Construction Ahead www.constructionahead.net

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From Kitchens…to Bathrooms…to Poolside… Hire a NARI Atlanta Member

NARI Atlanta – Connecting Homeowners and Remodeling Professionals www.nariatlanta.org 048-067_0720-Award Winning Projects.indd 54

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AWA R D - W I N N I N G P R O J E C T S

Photo courtesy of Georgia Urban Ag Council. Photography by Planters.

The Georgia Urban Ag Council (UAC) is a professional organization for those in the gardening and landscaping industry, supporting environmental and economic policies that further the mission of sustainable landscaping. The annual GALA (Georgia Landscaping) Awards showcase the extraordinary projects of their many members.

URBAN AG COUNCIL GEORGIA

GALA Grand Award Design/Build/Installation: Small Space Planters

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Photos courtesy of Georgia Urban Ag Council. Photography by (top) Flowerworx; (bottom) Southern Trillium.

GALA Distinction Award Seasonal Color – Residential Flowerworx

GALA Distinction Award Design/Build/Installation: Residential under $50,000 Southern Trillium

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BEST of 2018 CONTEST

of 2019

Winners BEST

BEST Underdeck Systems Company

UNDERDECK SYSTEMS COMPANY

Bringing Indoors and Outdoors Together Southeastern Underdeck Systems, LLC 2755 Faith Industrial Dr. • Buford, GA 30518 Cell: 404.405.0754 • Main: 678.765.7686 • Toll Free: 855.238.5695 • Fax: 678.765.0601 •

Email: seud@southeasternunderdeck.com • www.southeasternunderdeck.com

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Photo courtesy of Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA) is a not-for-profit, professional trade association dedicated to the Atlanta home building industry. Their annual OBIE Awards are in recognition of design excellence in the metro-Atlanta area for over 100 categories.

Gold OBIE Award Whole House Renovation over $500,000 Vincent Longo Custom Builders

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Gold OBIE Award

Photos courtesy of Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

Best Interior Merchandising – Detached Model $500,000 - $599,999 Studio 5 Interiors, Inc

Silver OBIE Award Best Specialty Room Southland Development Services

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Silver OBIE Award

Photos courtesy of Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

Best Kitchen over $50,000 Innovative Construction, Inc

Gold OBIE Award Basement $75,000 and above Colonade Enterprises, Inc.

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Gold OBIE Award Best Kitchen under $50,000 Copper Sky Renovations

Photos courtesy of Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

Photos courtesy of Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

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Silver OBIE Award Single Family Builder - Detached $1 Million to $1.2 Million Chathamtbilt Homes

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Photo courtesy of Pineapple House Interior Design; photography by Galina Coada Photography.

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the oldest and largest professional organization for interior designers with over 13,500 members and 6,000 industry partners nationwide. The annual Design in Excellence Awards are held by every chapter to recognize outstanding work in a variety of fields including residential, commercial and multifamily.

2019 Georgia ASID Design Excellence Awards Residential Model Home Amber Gizzi, ASID and Christine Villwock Pineapple House Interior Design

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PROF I L E

Masters of the Outd

Outback Deck, Inc. delivers on customer service and expertise for unmatched outdoor l By Jennifer Colosimo

It’s inevitable that homeowners envision a refreshed backyard skyline once warm temps start, and a beautiful place to enjoy it is a good place to start. Metro Atlanta’s Outback Deck, Inc. is known for guiding consumers through creating incredible outdoor

spaces with longevity, durability, the highest safety standards, unmatched service and a reputation for creating backyard envy amongst neighbors. We’re asking, how soon can work begin?

Starting with Outback Deck has its perks. By partnering with the best brands in the manufactured decking industry (TimberTech AZEK, for example), they’re able to provide the most well-designed, best-looking materials, as well as reasonable project timelines and top-notch warranties. Outback’s relationship with “best-in-class” materials vendors also gives them a competitive advantage when it comes to pricing and service—truly the best value your investment can buy.

THE TREND TOWARD “ONE AND DONE” LETS YOU

SUPER-LOW-MAINTENANCE FINISHED PRODUCTS SUCH AS PVC OR

BROWSE

CAPPED COMPOSITE DECKING, ALUMINUM, COMPOSITE AND WROUGHT IRON RAIL

FREE YOU FROM CONSTANT REPAIRS, COATINGS,

PRODUCTS THAT

INTENSE CLEANING AND WARRANTY ISSUES.

BRYAN MILLER, (L (L TOTO R):R): BRYAN MILLER, JOHN GWALTNEY JOHN GWALTNEY

“Our expertise in designing safely-built outdoor living projects is the hallmark of our brand,” says Bryan Miller, Outback founder and senior partner. “We offer a Built-Safe Guarantee with every project we build. The staff and crews are experts in carpentry, hardscaping and finish work. Every job is supervised by a full-time project manager whose training and experience provide the consumer with a 5-Star Experience.”

Photography by (left) CatMax Photography; photo courtesy of (right) Outback Deck, Inc.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that the company is celebrating 10 years in the decking industry in 2020, with two decades of experience doing remodels. Their philosophy rooted in service states that the best way to serve consumers is through their company’s core values: trust, confidence and care. That culture provides a promise to consumers that makes you feel safe doing business with them.

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tdoors

utdoor living spaces in Atlanta.

With safety as the first priority, Outback ensures that all deck connections are properly attached and fastened, builds every deck according to the International Residential Code, exceeds the Georgia-required Deck Prescriptive and applies its own trademarked safety requirement to every project.

Photography by (left) CatMax Photography; photo courtesy of (right) Outback Deck, Inc.

“Because decks are made from mostly lumber products, there is continuous movement occurring,” says Miller. “This movement never ends; it’s the nature of wood. It must be combated in order to create a safe environment for our customers and their families. We say that every Outback Deck is built the same from the ground to the surface. It’s a reliable process that sets the standard for safety in the industry.”

Reface or Rebuild?

Here’s where it starts to get fun. The trend toward “one and done” lets you browse super-low-maintenance finished products such as PVC or capped composite decking, aluminum, composite and wrought iron rail products that free you from constant repairs, coatings, intense cleaning and warranty issues. (And they come in endless color options.) That means you can invest in your deck without ongoing expenses—enjoying your outdoor space, not working on it.

“Many consumers believe their existing

Plus, Outback’s signature 5-Star Experience includes guidance through every decision of the project, a journey that honors exactly what the client envisions, educating them along the way so their choices are informed and confident.

Modern lumber treatments aren’t built

“We constantly educate customers via our website, our initial visit to their home, through our design process and during our proposal presentation,” says Miller. “This interactive process sets us apart, and offers the consumer multiple touchpoints during which to ask questions, evaluate their project and determine what’s best for their home and budget.”

deck structure can be refaced with new decking, railing and lighting. But it is very difficult to determine whether or not the lumber they have is in good enough shape,” warns Bryan Miller.

to last more than about a decade, so if your existing deck is 10-15 years old, then it likely needs to be replaced, not resurfaced. “Resurfacing a deck without replacing the structure is like painting over a rusty car and expecting it to look brand new for another 10 years,” Miller says.

Sounds like it’s time to get outside.

Resurfacing isn’t impossible, according

Outback Deck, www.outbackdeck.net, 501 Hickory Ridge Trl., Ste. 150, Woodstock, 678.262.4113.

to Miller, but the only person who can recommend this option is a

The content for this article is brought to you by Outback Deck, Inc.

professionally licensed engineer.

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