Month: September 2012

Twice as Nice

Requests for Dual Master Suites Growing

The addition of a second master suite is a growing request from homeowners.
The addition of a second master suite is a growing request from homeowners.

At Highlight Homes, we’re accustomed to taking unusual requests. We welcome them, actually. Our team of designers and craftsman understand that every renovation we complete is a reflection of a homeowner’s needs, dreams, and unique personality. A man cave made to replicate an old English pub, a master bathroom that is reminiscent of a European spa, a sprawling kitchen makeover that would make a professional chef weep with joy – no problem!

One of the unusual requests we’ve been receiving lately is quickly becoming a new standard – dual master suites. These spaces often consist of spacious quarters with plenty of closet space and an attached bathroom. Some reasons for this rise in dual master suites requests include:

  • Friends who wish to co-own a home – think of roommates who are all grown up, ready to move out of the city and into the suburbs.
  • Rising trend toward moving aging parents into the home with their grown children – a spacious bedroom honors them and gives them a place they are proud to call home.
  • The desire to truly be the “hostess with the mostest” – easily accomplished when providing sleeping quarters that match your own in space and décor.
  • Some couples may choose to “keep the love alive” by providing a separate bedroom for the spouse who may have an issue with snoring and doesn’t want his/her better half to be denied a good night’s sleep.
  • On occasion, a secondary master suite is utilized for a spouse or family member who is combating a terminal illness.

The good news about this rising trend is that this addition could very well add value to your home when it comes time to sell. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report, the recouped costs associated with addition of an attic bedroom could be as high as 72.5% and a master suite addition could be somewhere in the neighborhood of 60%.

If you’d like to discuss the addition of another master bedroom suite to your home, contact Highlight Homes’ talented design-build team for a no obligation consultation. We can be reached via e-mail at, by phone at 678.873.9234, or through our convenient online contact form. To learn more about Highlight Homes, view a complete list of services we provide, and sneak a peek at our online portfolio, we invite you to visit us online!

Image credit:  BLUE BEDROOM © Colleen Coombe |

Cite: “Cost vs. Value Report 2011-2012” Remodeling Magazine. (online, 9/27/12).

Shades and Highlights: Things We Like September 2012

In this latest installment of Shades and Highlights, the design-build team at Highlight Homes would like to shine the spotlight on a number of people, companies and design trends that inspire us. That’s right, even gifted craftsmen like ours look outside the walls of our own office for inspiration from time to time. We do so to constantly grow, learn and improve so that we might inspire YOU with our original custom home and renovation designs.

  • Not only is Gingery (SW 6363) a striking earthy orange paint color by Sherwin Williams, it's an affordable way to warm up the look of your home's interior by putting a little "fall on your wall" this season!
    Not only is Gingery (SW 6363) a striking earthy orange paint color by Sherwin Williams, it's an affordable way to warm up the look of your home's interior by putting a little "fall on your wall" this season!

    Fall Colors: As the temperatures start to drop, it’s easy and affordable to “warm up” the interior of your home through the use of beautiful fall paint colors. Try a splash of Sherwin Williams’ earthy orange Gingery (SW 6363), luxurious deep Burgundy (SW 6300), or rich dark chocolate Marooned (SW 6020) and put a little “fall on your wall” this season.

  • Zana Dillard of Dillard & Company Realty Group: Builders often build more than houses. In this industry, relationships with trusted sources and word-of-mouth are key elements to a company’s success. Zana has proven herself to not only be an excellent advocate for Highlight Homes’ work, but she’s also an outstanding and highly respected licensed associate broker, senior marketing specialist, and certified luxury home specialist who has personally closed more than $120 million in residential sales since 1998. She is the first president of the luxury homes division of Keller Williams. To learn more about Zana and her realty group, visit Dillard & Company online.
  • Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine: Not only is this beautifully wrought publication a great local resource, the fine homes displayed within can serve as inspiration to your own future renovation projects. While we hate to suggest that you cut photos out of a pristine issue of AHL, you could collect the images that really speak to you in a “Dream Book” as you plot and plan an upcoming remodel. Not only will the “Dream Book” help you shape your projects, it will serve as a valuable communication tool between you and your contractor/remodeling company. Learn more about the “Dream Book” in our article, Inspiration Accumulation.
  • Weather Stripping: This simple tool is available at any big box home improvement store or mom and pop hardware shop. While the current early fall temperatures invite us to open the windows and let the fresh air in, there will come a time when you’ll want to keep those nasty drafts out. There’s no time like the present to prepare for that inevitability. Weather stripping is a cost-effective way to save on energy costs, improve the comfort of your home by reducing air leaks around windows and doors, and can be easily installed by the homeowner him/herself.

Check back every month for a new edition of Shades & Highlights from the design-build team at Atlanta home remodeler, Highlight Homes. To learn more about Highlight Homes and the services we provide, we invite you to visit us online at

To schedule a no-obligation consultation with Highlight Homes to discuss remodeling your home in time for the holidays, call us TODAY at 678-873-9234!

Atlanta Designated a Rising Star among Top Renovation Markets

Georgia-Based Highlight Homes Invites Homeowners to Make their Home a Rising Star in their Local Neighborhood

Image credit: Downtown Skyline ©1998, Kevin C. Rose –
Image credit: Downtown Skyline ©1998, Kevin C. Rose –

Earlier this year, Hanley Wood – publishers of Ecohome, Ameican Dream Homes, Remodeling Magazine and more – released their Residential Remodeling Index (RRI) for 2012. The RRI designated the 20 best performing markets from a Top 100 List that consisted of Mid-and-Southwestern cities Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Houston, Dallas and Austin among the top performers; and Cleveland, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia among the list’s “Rising Stars.”

As a Rising Star, Atlanta has shown one of the biggest jumps from last year’s numbers as it makes its way into the RRI’s Top 20 for the first time – climbing 40 spots to peak at #18. Also making the Top 100 list from the proud state of Georgia was Augusta at #61.

“In addition to the fact that many homeowners are opting to stay put in their current homes due to a lagging housing market and lack of security with regard to the economy, many of the homes that were part of the housing boom in Atlanta during the mid-90’s through 2008 are in need of repairs and renovations,” explains Georgia-based Highlight Homes’ principle, Tony Pourhassan. “Add to that a trend toward college students moving back in with their parents following graduation and elderly parents moving in with their adult children, and many renovation companies are receiving an increased number of requests for projects that include expansion of space, such as room additions, basement finishing, garage conversions, attic conversions, and even additions of a second story on a ranch home. More and more homeowners are viewing a home renovation as a viable and cost-effective solution as opposed to packing up and moving.”

Highlight Homes serves all of metro Atlanta and the surrounding area. The design-build firm takes its clients from the planning phase all the way to completion – on time, on budget, and above expectations. Among its many specialties – including custom home construction, Highlight Homes focuses on:

  • Major and Minor Kitchen Renovations
  • Bathroom Remodels
  • Whole Home Renovations
  • Sunrooms and Deck Enclosures
  • Patios, Porches, and Decks
  • Landscaping and Water Features
  • Basement Finishing
  • Garage Conversions
  • Room Additions
  • Man Caves and Home Theaters
  • Window and Door Replacements
  • And So Much More!

If you are a homeowner in or around the metro Atlanta area who is considering a home renovation, Tony and his talented design-build team at Highlight Homes invite you to schedule a no-obligation consultation by calling 678.873.9234, e-mailing, or filling out a helpful online contact form today!  With Atlanta listed as a “Rising Star” among the Top Renovation Markets, it should follow that your upcoming renovation makes your home a rising star within your neighborhood. To learn more about Highlight Homes, please visit them online at

Credit: “City Watch: A closer look at the 20 best-performing markets on our Top 100 list.” Remodeling Magazine. January 2012.

Image Credit: Downtown Skyline ©1998, Kevin C. Rose –

Make a Move or Make a Change?

Georgia Housing Market Continues to Sputter; Remodeling Index Holds Steady in the South

Georgia homeowners are finding themselves asking the question, "Is it time to make a move, or time to make a change?"
Georgia homeowners are finding themselves asking the question, "Is it time to make a move, or time to make a change?"

According to the National Association of Home Builders’ Improving Market Index (IMI) – a nationally recognized measurement tool of the number of metropolitan areas that are witnessing an improvement in the local housing market – the list has grown to 99 markets showing signs of recovery across the nation. That number is up from just 80 markets in last month’s IMI, and is representative of metropolitan areas in 33 states, including the District of Columbia. Unfortunately, the current index does not include any  cities from Georgia. As a matter of fact, the only three Georgia cities that were on the IMI last month – Hinesville, Warner Robbins, and Rome – fell off the list this month.

On the other hand, in a Remodeling Market Index (RMI) report released in late July by the NAHB, current market conditions and future indicators for the second quarter of 2012 – such as backlog of jobs and three months of project commitments – show that the remodeling market is holding steady in the South. Comparing the numbers from both reports, it would appear that more Georgia homeowners are apparently opting to stay in their current home and remodel, rather than sell in a down economy.

A well-executed remodeling project is an excellent way to mold a home to fit a family’s current needs. If more space is required, a garage can be converted to another room, an entire floor can be added to a ranch to transform it into a two-story house, a basement can be finished to create more living space or a room can be added onto the home. If the home feels old and out-dated, a thoughtfully planned revamp to the layout and décor could mean all the difference in the world. By bringing a trifecta of structural engineering know-how, exquisite design taste, and quality craftsmanship to every project we undertake, Highlight Homes is able to not only accomplish the project with which we’ve been tasked, but to also exceed our clients’ expectations.

We don’t think it’s right that you and your family should feel “stuck” in your home. Your house should be your escape from the world outside, a place worthy of the phrase “Home Sweet Home.” We understand that your family is the highlight of your life, we just truly believe that your home should be, too!  While it might not be a wise time to make a move, it may be the perfect opportunity to make a change. We invite you to contact us for a no-obligation consultation where we can discuss your wants and needs, as well as some possible solutions. Call us TODAY at 678-873-9234 to get started!  You can also reach our experienced design-build team by e-mailing or filling out Highlight Homes’ helpful online contact form.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!


NAHB Press Release “Remodeling Marketing Index Adjusts Downward from Recent High, Future Market Activity Steady” (July 26, 2012)

NAHB Press Release “List of Improving Housing Markets Expands to 99 in September” (September 10, 2012)

Choosing the Right Candidate (for Your Home Remodel)

Vote Highlight Homes!

VoteChoosing the right candidate is a subject that is particularly top-of-mind for many Americans today. Amidst a flurry of speeches and campaign rhetoric at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, blended with an endless throng of campaign ads and a fair amount of mud-slinging, voters will have to make up their minds as to whom they will grant their vote come November. Whether they choose according to party lines, via their individual moral compass, or by the power of a Magic 8 Ball, at some point – the American voter will have to make their choice.

In our business, Highlight Homes is extremely familiar with the concept of choice. We understand that there are dozens of contractors and builders out there vying for your home remodeling projects – firmly believing that they are the right candidate for the job. We understand this, because we are one of them. The thing that separates us from the masses is that we don’t just believe we are the right candidate – we know we are.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t always use research to guide their choice – they use the Magic 8 Ball approach, and make their decision according to price. At Highlight Homes, we have built a solid reputation in Atlanta for the quality of work we provide – and quality comes at a price. So while we may not come in at the bottom with regard to the price of our job estimate, we assure you that the results will exceed your expectations.

When you are prepared to launch a home remodel and wish to find a qualified home renovation company to design and complete the job for you, we highly recommend that you take the following into consideration to measure your choices – rather than basing your decision solely on price:

1)      Word of Mouth – Word of mouth is a free and valuable resource, and – for Highlight Homes – is representative of up to 75% of our business through referrals. When planning something as significant as a modification to your home, it’s wise to look to friends, family, neighbors, and business associates for advice regarding general contractors and professional renovators they have used in the past or have heard good things about. Take word of mouth one step further and visit the company website to see if their methods and philosophy fits with your own, examine the work they’ve done, and read all of the reviews and testimonials you can get your hands on. Perform a web search and look for any negative feedback, as well.

2)      Ask the Advice of a Local Real Estate Professional – If you feel you need a more professional perspective when it comes to word of mouth, very rarely will you find a resource as valued as a local realtor or broker when searching for a qualified remodeler. These folks often have their finger on the pulse of the latest trends and best return on investment for most remodeling projects and frequently have a direct line to a skilled contractor or design-build firm.

3)      Professional Organizations – It is always wise to dig a little deeper in order to discover if the general contractor or design-build firm you are considering for your next home renovation or improvement project is above board and will not leave you standing in the midst of a half-finished home while they take off with your deposit. Some companies may take your project to completion, but their craftsmanship is shoddy, they may not have filed for all of the necessary permits, or they are not properly insured and licensed and your project may end up costing you far more than you originally planned in the long run.  One way to guard against any of these scenarios from happening is to look into the company’s/contractor’s professional affiliations. If they have none, that’s probably not a good sign. Many of the professional builders organizations in Georgia and the United States require a membership fee to join as well as a review of business practices – in other words, they’ve already done a lot of the research for you.  Highlight Homes is pleased to announce that we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and are members of the National Home Builders Association, Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA), Certified Professional Home Builders of Georgia and the GAHBA’s Remodelers Council . Highlight Homes is also the proud recipient of several Obie Awards – a great honor in the highly revered Atlanta Home Market, in addition to being a certified Earth Craft House Builder, Energy Star Partner, and LEED Certified Home Builder – fully committed to protecting the environment by promoting green initiatives in both design and construction of the homes and home additions we create.

Bear in mind that your home is not only one of the biggest investments you will make in your life, it is also the place where your family lives, loves and laughs day in and day out. It should be entrusted to a home renovation candidate who is most concerned with pleasing the people who live in that home and less concerned with profits.  If you elect to VOTE HIGHLIGHT HOMES for your next home renovation project, we welcome your calls at 678.873.9234 and your e-mails at To learn more about Highlight Homes, view our work, and take a peek at our professional affiliations, please visit us at