Month: March 2011

Go Outside and PLAY!

Deck AdditionHighlight Homes says “TAG!  You’re IT!”

Spring is officially here!  The birds are singing, lawns are returning to welcoming shades of green, first leaves are making their debut on the trees, and the glorious Cherry Blossoms are already in full bloom. People seem to smile a little easier as the outdoors beckon following a long, cold winter. What does Spring mean to you? Is it a time to gather with family, a season to visit with neighbors who’ve been hiding out in hibernation, a collection of moments spent in the garden as you weed, seed and grow your Spring garden, or a seemingly endless spell of outdoor grilling and entertaining to the enchanting hum of lawnmowers in the distance? Whatever Spring means to you, Highlight Homes can help you set the stage for one of the best Springs in recent memory.

Why just hang out in the backyard when you could be gathering in style in a beautiful outdoor living space? From expansive decks and trendy patios to tranquil water features and breathtaking landscaping, the talented team at Highlight Homes is primed and ready to help you make your home blossom in entirely new ways.  Imagine entertaining friends and family from an open luxury outdoor kitchen featuring stainless steel, warm timber, and stacked stone accents – the laughter mingling with the aromas of the incredible meal you are about to share, carried away on a breeze in the mild evening air. Envision endless afternoons spent winding down from a long, hard day at work next to your personal private oasis – a serene pond featuring waterfalls and a fountain, fully stocked with slowly meandering Koi fish and surrounded by exquisite landscaping offering plenty of shade.

Room AdditionNot a big fan of pollen?  No problem! With a custom designed sunroom by Highlight Homes, you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from morning to night from the comfort of your home without ever having to contend with the yellow stuff or the bugs. A sunroom makes an excellent addition to any home, offering a flexible year-round space for relaxing with a good book, hosting a gathering of friends and neighbors, playing board games with the family, or serving as a terrific kid’s playroom (a great option for homes without a basement). Whether focusing on the Great Outdoors or the cozy indoors, we’d love to meet you to discuss your Springtime Home Improvement Projects! To schedule a consultation with one of Highlight Homes’ talented designer/builders – call us TODAY at 678-873-9234, e-mail us at, or fill out our helpful online contact form and someone will be in touch with you shortly.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

The Ground Beneath Your Feet

Photo credits:
Photo credits:

Flooring replacement is a home improvement element that is very often needed, and too often overlooked. An outdated carpet can negatively impact the overall look of your home, as well as serve as a haven for dust mites, grime, and unpleasant odors. A good rule of thumb is to remember that the average lifespan of moderate-grade carpet is about 8 to 10 years, but factors like heavy traffic patterns, maintenance, pets and children can dramatically shorten that window. You can try hiring a steam cleaning company to freshen it up, but if those factors remain in place – how long will it last?  New carpet is just one of many options available to you, Highlight Homes list our top five picks for you below:

1)       Hardwood Flooring: Perhaps the most beautiful (AND most expensive) option in flooring, hardwood adds a sophisticated, timeless look to any home. Available in a wide variety of colors based on the natural wood and stain utilized, hardwood does require a certain degree of upkeep – anywhere from buffing and polishing in order to maintain its original sheen to stripping, sanding and refinishing to repair fading, scratches and unsightly nicks. The use of purposefully imperfect, eco-friendly reclaimed wood and the trendy yet durable bamboo are rapidly gaining favor among consumers. Hardwood floors can dent and scratch rather easily – so it might not be the best option around kids or large dogs that fall into the rambunctious category, unless you like your floors to have a little “character”.  Engineered wood – a real wood veneer over a plywood base – offers the look and feel of hardwood at a more palatable price. Unfortunately, they don’t hold up quite as well as the real thing.

2)      Laminate Flooring: This popular synthetic flooring option can mimic the look of natural materials such as wood or stone, is more durable than carpet, and often falls into a mid-range with regard to price – depending on your choice of manufacturer. It’s considered a wise choice for families with small children and pets because of its resistance to stains and proven record of superior wear. Top notch manufacturers like Armstrong and Pergo offer warranties, and boast that their laminates stand up beautifully to regular household use with minimal care and cleaning.

3)      Ceramic Tile: One of the most ancient forms of flooring, the use of ceramic tile in architecture dates back many centuries. As the name implies, these tiles are made of clay that has been fired in a kiln to increase their durability and enhance their beauty. Resistant to stains, fading, odors and allergens – ceramic tile is not only practical but can provide a lovely, clean look to the interior of your home. Manufacturers like Mohawk have been hard at work in their laboratories in recent years playing around with the look and feel of ceramic tiles in an attempt to mimic natural materials such as marble, travertine and slate. A chic twist on an old classic, ceramic tile can be found in great rooms, kitchens, foyers and hallways of multi-million dollar estates all over the world. A couple of drawbacks that bear mentioning include its inability to provide the same warmth of a carpet or hardwood, the fact that the grout that surrounds it is not resistant to stains and may not be quite so durable, and the ease to which it can crack when the house settles or something heavy is dropped on it.

4)      Linoleum: Depending on the manufacturer, linoleum can either be derived from natural renewable materials such as linseed oil and wood products like cork or synthetics such as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. PVC linoleum tends to be one of the least expensive flooring options, offering a wide range of color and pattern choices. Check out Mohawk’s Congoleum and Armstrong’s Linoleum for some very attractive options. Both manufacturers also offer a wide array of sheet, tile or plank vinyl crafted to have the appearance of natural materials – at nowhere NEAR the price. Bear in mind that the less expensive you go, the less likely your flooring will hold up over time. While durable and stain resistant, inexpensive linoleum can scratch and scar easily.

5)      Carpet: And so we come full-circle! While we may curse the occasional carpet stain, vowing to get hardwoods and never look back – the truth is that nothing quite compares with the softness and warmth of wall-to-wall carpeting. With so many colors, textures and patterns – from berbers, to frises, to shags – it’s no wonder why it continues to be a major contender in the flooring business. Manufacturers have really begun wising up, and have started marketing entire lines of stain resistant carpeting. It’s far better suited for impromptu wrestling matches between brothers or an all-girl slumber party. The higher the grade of carpet AND the pad underlay, the longer the life expectancy.  If stains are of particular concern, you’ll definitely want to consider a stain resistant variety and might even explore a multi-colored short-pile for a little added “camouflage”.

When you’re ready to select the ideal flooring to fit your family and have it installed by a team of professionals, call Highlight Homes at 678.873.9234. We can also be reached via e-mail at or through our simple-to-complete online contact form. We look forward to helping you and your family update the ground beneath your feet.

What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You

Lead Paint is often found on trim, baseboards, window frames, and doors in homes constructed prior to 1978. Photo credit:
Lead Paint is often found on trim, baseboards, window frames, and doors in homes constructed prior to 1978. Photo credit:

The EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

(Just Another Reason To Trust Highlight Homes)

On April 22, 2010, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began enforcing a requirement that all contractors, renovators, painters, restoration companies, roofers, plumbers, property managers, carpenters, electricians, and installers who work on homes constructed prior to 1978 become lead-containment certified under their Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Due to the large number of individuals and companies who were out of compliance across the nation at the time of the ruling, the date for certification was extended to December 31, 2010. Today, there are still a large number of professionals out there who do not meet the requirements set forth by the EPA to safely contain and remove lead paint particles when working on a home built before 1978. Highlight Homes is pleased to announce that we have been designated a Lead-Safe Certified Firm by the EPA since before their RRP ruling went into full effect. This means we have completed the training and are fully aware of the guidelines set forth by the EPA regarding the proper testing, handling and disposal of suspected lead particles in any home we are renovating or repairing. We are completely committed to the safety of our clients and their families, as well as the pursuit of ongoing education to make certain we are continually providing the very best levels of expertise to the people who select us to construct or improve their home.

Why is this important? While a homeowner will not be found liable for using an uncertified contractor (UNLESS the work is being completed on a rental property), the contractor they hire will be in violation of the law and may be forced to pay hefty fines. Needless to say, a homeowner could very well find themselves smack dab in the middle of a home improvement or maintenance project without a contractor. More importantly, improper containment and disposal of lead particles could prove hazardous to you and your family. Lead is a highly toxic metal that is particularly dangerous to children. For whatever reason their growing bodies absorb more of the metal, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to its damaging effects.  A percentage of kids linked to lead exposure – even in low levels – have shown signs of reduced IQs, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, reduced attention span, and impeded physical development.  Lead poisoning in adults can increase blood pressure, cause irritability, lead to poor muscle coordination, and damage the kidneys, nerves and brain over time. Paint that is chipped or peeling, or is converted to dust particles during a home renovation or repair can be ingested or breathed in by every member of your family.  Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

Although the use of lead-based paint in housing was banned in 1978 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is believed that nearly three-quarters of the homes built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint. It may be found on any surface, but is most commonly discovered on exterior-painted surfaces, interior woodwork, doors, and windows. If you live in a home constructed prior to 1978, you owe it to yourself and your family to work with only Lead-Safe Certified Firms. A list of these companies can be found on the EPA’s website – Highlight Homes is proudly listed there under our parent company, TyCam Development.  We welcome the opportunity to assist you with any necessary repairs or planned renovations to your home, and invite you to contact us to discuss your needs and wishes.  Our talented design/build team can be reached by calling 678-873-9234, by e-mail, or by filling out our convenient online contact form – a member of our staff will be in touch with you shortly.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Source: “Enforcement Alert: Compliance with New Federal Lead-Based Paint Requirements” EPA Newsletter – January 2010.

Pantone Reveals its 2011 Color of the Year

A breath of Springtime just in time for, well… Springtime

Photo Credit: Pantone LLC
Photo Credit: Pantone LLC

Late last year, Pantone – THE global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries – announced their 2011 Color of the Year, the whimsical and romantic 18-2120 (also known as “Honeysuckle”). With the first stirrings of spring alive and well throughout the Atlanta area, we felt this was a perfect time to reveal this hot color trend to our readers. This vivacious, playful pink is a perfect pairing for navy – another HOT color in interior fashion this season, as well as the ever-classic black and tried-and-true white. It can breathe new life into understated tones of brown, or blend with similar spring shades of lime green, lemon yellow, and true turquoise to completely transform a room with bold and happy hues.  Whether you elect to introduce Honeysuckle into your home by painting a few pieces of accent furniture or perhaps an entire accent wall, toss in a few throw pillows and artwork, or add some table linens and flowers to your tabletop – the result will be nothing less than utterly refreshing. Described as a “dynamic reddish pink” by the color geniuses at Pantone LLC – an X-rite company (NASDAQ: XRIT) – Honeysuckle is designed to be both energizing and uplifting. As 2010’s calm and relaxing PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise passes the torch to PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle, we hope that 2011 is every bit as vibrant and exciting as Pantone’s choice of color.

Photo Credit: Photogen
Photo Credit: Photogen

If you wish to breathe new life into YOUR home, we invite you to call upon the talented design-build team at Highlight Homes. Whether you’re interested in introducing new colors, updating the look of your kitchen or bath, completely redefining the layout, or building on a room addition or deck – Highlight Homes’ creative team of designers and craftsman can transform your vision into a wonderful and lasting reality. Call us today at 678.873.9234, e-mail us at, or fill out our convenient online contact form and someone will be in touch with you shortly!

Source:  PANTONE Press Release –  December 9, 2010