Month: March 2010

All Decked Out

HighlightHomes ad for Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine - Apr09 - photoAdding a Deck to Your Home Equates to A New Outdoor Living Space AND Could Increase the Value of Your Home

As Spring begins to take hold, the days grow longer and the temperatures grow warmer – the desire to “go outside and play” will be stronger than ever. Wait ’til the motors of the lawn mowers begin humming in the distance and the scent of a backyard barbeque envelopes you on a Spring day breeze.  This is the perfect time of year to enhance your home by adding a deck! At Highlight Home Restoration, we don’t just build rooms and decks – we create unique living spaces where you and your family will make memories together for years to come. Imagine the al fresco parties and neighborhood grill-outs. Consider taking some of the family dinners out of the dining room and setting them under a canopy of stars. Allow yourself to dream of relaxing to the sounds of nature while sipping on sweet iced tea and reading a good book from the comfort of your brand new deck. Your backyard should serve as your sanctuary – your escape from the hectic world of carpools, rush hour, spreadsheets, and deadlines. You deserve an outdoor space that says RELAX the moment you lay eyes on it.


Personal enjoyment aside, adding a deck to your home has several benefits. Not only does a deck extend your living spaces to the great outdoors – if done properly, it can also add to the aesthetic beauty and overall value of your home.  It’s a less expensive option than building a room addition, but serves the very much the same purpose by allowing the homeowner to expand their living area.  Think of it as an open- air parlor or family room. Consumer Reports recently referred to a deck addition as a “high return item” and Remodeling Magazine found that more than 85% of the cost of building a wooden deck could be recouped during resale (2007 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report).

In addition, many outdoor “extras” can serve a useful purpose while adding appeal for potential future buyers. An added outdoor fireplace or fire pit can add an air of romance, while providing warmth for four-season enjoyment.  A water feature adds an ambiance of tranquility while helping to block street noise. Landscape lighting is always lovely after the sun has set, increases the viability of your outdoor space after hours, and highlights some of the best features of your home. A gazebo, pergola or trellis can offer shade from the hot afternoon sun and provide privacy from closely situated neighbors.

Importance of selecting a quality contractor

Some decks can be built two- to three-stories off of the ground. It is imperative that you hire for quality over price when the safety for your family and your guests are at stake.  A deck expert or qualified contractor will be up-to-date on all of the required building codes, and will be licensed, insured and registered. The experienced team at Highlight Home Restoration is all of those things and so much more.  We build things to last, so you can expect years of enjoyment out of your Highlight Home Restoration deck.

Alternatives to a deck

If your home or lawn is not designed to house a deck, there are many ways Highlight Home Restoration can help you design and build outdoor living spaces to fit both your home AND your family. For flat lots, a gazebo may add the same effect a deck would. Perhaps a flagstone patio with a pergola and open fire pit is the best option for your family. We can also help you create a backyard oasis with koi pond, screen-in your current patio or build a glassed-in sunroom.  The only limits are your imagination and budget!

How to get started:

  1. Begin by deciding the PRIMARY use for your backyard. Do you have young children who would enjoy a playground? Do you LOVE to entertain and envision a built-in outdoor kitchen complete with Tiki Hut? Do you prefer a quiet refuge where you can reflect and relax?
  2. Consider which materials and elements you’d like to incorporate.  Are you a stone and timber fan? Do you like water features? Do you like lots of greenery or are you looking to establish a classic English Garden?       In other words, what is the overall theme to your backyard dream?  Whatever you choose, it should complement the style of your home.       Also, be honest with yourself about the landscaping – if you are a low maintenance kind of person, you need to focus on mostly hardy plants.  Don’t forget things like sun exposure – if your yard gets lots of afternoon sunlight, your dream of a shade garden may not be in the cards.
  3. Keep in mind the limits of your property and city/home owners association rules and regulations.  Do a walk-around of your yard to learn where the problem areas may be. If you have a favorite tree you’d like to keep or an old shed you want to get rid of, make note of it. Then do a little research to learn what obstacles you may face with your HOA or city.  Some of these issues can be worked around, but it’s always better to know up front.
  4. Take pen to paper.  On one page, make a list of all of the above – primary use, favorite elements, and possible problems.  On another, make an elementary drawing of what you see in your mind’s eye.  This is just a “jumping off” point, and a really good designer can take your vision to entirely new heights.
  5. Baby Steps.  If budget is an issue, know that you can always build your backyard oasis in bits and pieces.  Begin with a design, and then break it into steps. You may want to work on building the garden one year, then lay the hardscapes the next – or build the deck first, and add on from there.      Don’t look at it on the whole, but as an ongoing process.
  6. Call Highlight Home Restoration!

Let your home blossom this Spring! It can grow in new directions you never even dreamed of.  Call on the experts at Highlight Home Restoration at 678-873-9234.  We are happy to come out and evaluate your home and lot, listen to your wishes and needs, then draw up exciting plans and give you an estimate for your NEW outdoor living space. What are you waiting for?


“Adding a Deck: A Cost-Effective Way to Protect Your Home’s Value”.  US News & World Report.
Roberts, Gretchen. “Planning Your Outdoor Space”.  HGTV.
Roberts, Gretchen. “Patio Planning 101”.  HGTV.

Read All About It!

Highlight Homes Debuts First Issue of

“Highlight Homes Herald”

The Highlight Homes Herald - Image

Like any good builder and renovator, Highlight Homes recognizes the need to make some “renovations” of our own at times and work hard to continue to build upon past successes. 2009 bore witness to a major revamp of our company’s website –, as well as the addition of our Highlight Homes blog containing informative articles about the renovation and residential construction industries, helpful tips on home maintenance and remodeling, and the latest company news. We also officially launched our new renovation division – Highlight Home Restoration – which specializes in kitchen/bath remodels, room additions, decks & patios, basement finishing, whole home renovations and much more. The main inspiration behind all of these changes is our desire to provide the best possible service to our current and future clients.

As we continue to evolve into the New Year, March 2010 kicks off with the debut of our monthly e-newsletter – The Highlight Homes Herald. The Herald is designed to help us keep in touch with current clients and affiliates, as well as those we’ve worked with in the past. Each of them has played a valuable role in contributing to the past and future success of our family-owned and operated business. Most importantly, it gives us the opportunity to say THANK YOU each month, and keep our readers informed of the latest industry news and trends. Each issue will contain a word from the founder of Highlight Homes – Tony Pourhassan, as well as useful advice, special offers and important links to related websites. If YOU would like to join our mailing list and receive a copy of The Highlight Homes Herald each month, please follow this link to fill out our online contact form or send your request via e-mail to  We welcome your suggestions for articles you’d like to read about in The Herald and on our blog. If you feel inspired by what you read in The Herald to make some renovations to your existing home, we look forward to your phone call at 678-873-9234 to discuss your family’s unique needs and Highlight Home Restorations’ exciting solutions.

Do You Have A Good Roof Over Your Head?

Good Roof ImageMake Sure You’re Completely “Covered” in Time for April Showers

It’s an age-old phrase – “April Showers Bring May Flowers”. While we all look forward to the rewards of Spring, we sometimes need to guard against the unfortunate after-effects of a harsh winter and prepare for the less than sunny side of the coming months. Heading into what is often considered the rainy season, you may want to start your home maintenance measures at the top – your roof. Follow Highlight Home Restoration’s easy steps for a quick roof inspection, and learn about the most common causes of roof damage.

1) Look UP!

You can do a cursory inspection on your own to look for potential issues before calling in a professional.  It’s as simple as looking up, and knowing what to look for.  Begin on the inside – head up to the attic and look for discolorations on the roof deck , ridge beam, sheathing and  rafters.  These discolorations may indicate a possible leak. Mark any areas you find with chalk, so you can find them later. If there are any visible holes in the roof, push a wire to the roof’s surface so you can find them easily when you (or a professional contractor) are on top of the roof. If you suspect you may have a leak, at the next rain – run up to the attic to check for moisture. Remember, whenever you are in the attic around insulation – it’s always wise to wear loose fitting clothing, gloves, eye protection and a face mask.  You should also inspect the ceilings in all rooms, especially under the roofline. Don’t forget to check in closets and behind furniture for telltale signs of mold and spots. Spots on the ceiling are possible indications of a roof leak, and it may be time to enlist the help of a professional!

2)  Look OUT!

Your next step should be to inspect the roof from the outside. Stand back from your house and assess the condition of the surface, flashing, valleys and eaves. If you have difficulty seeing, try a pair of binoculars. Make sure the ridgeline is horizontal and the rafters are straight. Sagging may indicate a structural problem, which may require a professional. Also look for dark streaks or spots – these could be from algae or mold growth on your roof, a common problem in humid areas. While algae growth is less than attractive, it rarely affects the longevity of your roof. If you DO decide to replace your roof because this issue affects the overall beauty of your home, consider replacing your shingles with an algae resistant product. Also, keep an eye out for buckling in the roof, curling of the shingles or missing shingles.  While each of these may be the result of improper installation, if caught early enough they can help you prevent costly damage in the future. A professional roofer is your best answer. Replace shingles or elements of your roof rather than replacing the entire roof. Next, peek around for damaged flashing. Flashing is galvanized metal or aluminum sheets designed to serve as extra protection against roof leaks. It is most often placed where roof lines intersect, around chimneys and skylights, and at vent fans and roof valleys. Flashing is easily replaced and – if caught early enough – could save you from pricey repairs.  For the brave of heart, you can inspect your roof up close and personal.  Exercise extreme caution when mounting your roof. Climb a ladder that is sturdy and in good repair. Wear shoes with good traction, have someone on the ground to spot you and walk on the roof as little as possible. While up there, check for shingles that are broken, curled or missing. Look for nails showing. These are all indications that the roof needs repair. Inspect flashings around chimneys, plumbing vents and attic vents for rust or broken seals. Also, check gutters and downspouts for rust or damage. Use a screwdriver to scrape areas of wood with noticeable damage. Rotted areas require replacement or repairs.  Lastly, observe the surface of your roof closely. A loss of the granular surface from your shingles can reduce their ability to protect the decking. from moisture.  Please keep in mind that if your roof has a slippery surface or steep lines, it may be best to leave the “up close and personal” roof inspection to the professionals.

So Now What? If your roof appears to be in good condition and there are no leaks, make sure to re-check it each Spring. However, if you find a leak, something should be done about it as soon as possible.  Call in a professional to follow-up your inspection and evaluate the necessary next steps. Most legitimate companies no longer do “leak repairs” or patches.  If a roofer fixes a leak on a roof, he may be held liable if the roof leaks later on – even if the leak is in an area he did not work on!  At Highlight Home Restoration, we are committed to being here when you need us. That means we make good choices and are committed to only doing work that will last. We don’t take risks and that means you can count on us. If your roof leaks and you can’t fix it yourself, you may need a whole new roof. If you don’t, we’ll tell you.

If you decide you need a new roof, consider quality over price point.  It is very difficult to determine the price of a roof replacement without actually seeing the home first. Some companies will give you a low price over the phone and hope to talk you into paying much more once the project begins. Most companies provide free estimates, but make sure that you confirm that fact before they come out to look at your home. Most times, the main determinate of the cost of your roof is the size. This will be significantly greater than the interior footage of the house. This is due to the fact that the slope of the roof adds to the size, and the width of the eaves add even more. The second factor of cost is the type of material that you prefer to use. A tile roof is two to three times the cost of a standard composition roof.  Make sure your roofer is not only licensed, but is also experienced, insured and has a large enough crew to handle the removal of the damaged materials and the swift replacement of your roof.

Why do roofs leak? Mother Nature can take a serious toll on the life of your roof. Georgia has seen its fair share of tornados, hail storms, downed trees and high winds.  Whenever your home weathers any of these occurrences, follow the steps above to check for damage, and then call a professional before the next storm hits. Other problems can occur because of improper installation and the steady passage of time. The good news in all this is that most asphalt shingle roofs can last as long as 20+ years. Roofs made with organic materials – such as cedar shake – may not last quite as long due to splitting, discoloration or termite damage. Highlight Home Restoration is a division of Highlight Homes, LLC – Atlanta-area builder of custom homes. We are well versed in building homes from the ground up – therefore, we are well prepared to help you tackle every sort of home maintenance issue. Roofing is one of our many specialties. If you feel your home may require roof repair, we invite you to call us at 678-873-9234 to schedule an evaluation. To learn more about Highlight Homes and Highlight Home Restoration, please visit our website at  All of our contractors are registered, licensed, and fully insured. Don’t get “soaked” by an inexperienced or less than honest contractor, call Highlight Home Restoration TODAY for integrity, affordability and quality craftsmanship.  For other helpful home maintenance tips, read our blog “Spring Clean From the Outside In!”


“Do You Need a New Roof?”

“How to Inspect Your Roof”

Join the Highlight Hundred Club!

a cash giftHighlight Home Restoration Launches Exciting NEW Referral Rewards Program

Like most small businesses, Highlight Home Restoration depends upon good old-fashioned word of mouth to grow and flourish in today’s tough economy. That said, we also understand that many of our clients could use a “bailout” of their own these days. This month, Highlight Home Restoration – the remodeling division of Highlight Homes, LLC – is excited to announce the launch of our NEW Referral Rewards Program, The Highlight Hundred Club. For every customer you refer to Highlight Home Restoration, you will be given the choice of $100 cash or $200 off your next Highlight Home Restoration project* (see terms below).  If you know someone who is considering a remodel of their kitchen or bath, wants to add a room to their existing home, is interested in finishing their basement, wishes to develop their outdoor living space or needs a general home maintenance contractor – just give them our name and phone number (678-873-9234) and/or e-mail address (, and we’ll do the rest! Make sure to tell them to mention YOUR name when they contact us. Once their job has been completed and paid for, you will receive the choice of a check in the mail or a discount off a future remodeling project of your own. It’s that simple! Do you know someone who is in the market for a one-of-a-kind custom home? For every customer you refer to Highlight Homes, LLC, you will be given the choice of $500 cash or $1,000 off your next Highlight Home Restoration project* (see terms below).

We truly appreciate the fact that our clients recommend our custom home building and renovation services to their friends and family, and we want to make sure they know it! What better way to say “GEE, THANKS for the referral!” than with cold, hard cash? If you would like to receive some of our business cards to hand out to your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors – please contact us with your request at 678-873-9234. Thanks in advance for your part in helping us spread the word about Highlight Homes, LLC and Highlight Home Restoration!

*Official Terms and Conditions of “Highlight Hundred Club” – Highlight Home, LLC’s Referral Reward Program. No purchase necessary. Referrals must be for new customers. Referrer’s name must be mentioned at time of project inquiry, and customer may be asked to provide contact information for the referrer in the event that Highlight Homes does not have it on file. Payment of $100 or discount of $200 will be awarded to referrer via mail within 4 to 6 weeks of successful completion and payment of Highlight Home Restoration project, and payment of $500 or discount of $1,000 will be awarded to referrer via mail within 4 to 6 weeks of successful completion and payment of Highlight Homes custom home. Referrers may receive more than one reward. Offer subject to change without notice.