Month: November 2012

Shades & Highlights: Things We Like November 2012

TOOLS  © Muharrem Kartal Dreamstime.comWith Thanksgiving so close, we can taste it – each member of the Highlight Homes family reflects on our many blessings for which we are most thankful. We are thankful for the chance to do the work we love and the wonderful people for whom we are blessed to serve. While we normally devote our monthly “Shades & Highlights” article to people, places, companies and trends that inspire the design and implementation of our custom home construction and renovation work, we would like to take this opportunity to shine the light on a handful of local charities that inspire us in a completely different way. This holiday season, let’s give those less fortunate than ourselves something for which they can be truly thankful:

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Christmas House 2012 – Now through December 9, 2012 (Closed Mondays through Wednesdays, plus Thanksgiving Day) – Located at 4475 Dudley Lane in Atlanta’s highly revered Chastain area, the 2012 Christmas House showcases the work of some of the Southeast’s finest designers. Tickets are $20 and proceeds benefit Atlanta institution, The Alliance Theater, which relies on the generosity of donors to continue to provide “exceptional education programs that reach aspiring teenage playwrights, educators from over thirty-five Georgia schools, acting students of every age and over 70,000 school children each year.” Shuttles to the Christmas House are available from the Chastain Horse Park at 4371 Powers Ferry Road .

Atlanta Community Food Bank – In its 33rd year, the ACFB acquires more than 35 million pounds of food and groceries each year, which is then distributed to over 600 non-profit partner agencies in 29 counties throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.  Needless to say, they can’t do this alone. They require the assistance of volunteers and donors in order to feed Georgia’s hungry month after month. To make a secure online donation, plan your own food drive, or learn how you can volunteer to help, visit the ACFB website.

Atlanta Day Shelter for Women & Children – This “place of hope” for homeless women and children in Atlanta relies heavily on donations in order to provide food, clothing, education and support nearly 100 people in need on a daily basis year-round. A donation of $25 can purchase a state of Georgia birth certificate and legal identification for a woman applying for a job, a donation of $60 can feed a family of 3 for a week; and a donation of $100 can pay the deposit on an apartment. In addition to monetary contributions, the Atlanta Day Shelter is also seeking donations of new unwrapped gift items such as clothing, gift cards, toys and more for its Christmas project. Last year, the Shelter was able to provide more than 1,700 personalized gift bags and this year, they hope to do even more.  With your help, they can!

Habitat for Humanity – Did you know that nearly 2 billion people around the world live in slum housing and over 100 million are homeless? Habitat for Humanity takes a global approach to providing decent shelter to those in need in hopes of eradicating poverty.  Habitat for Humanity is continually seeking donations of materials, volunteers to aid in the construction of homes for homeless victims of everything from natural disasters to war, and monetary contributions to fund their efforts worldwide. Since the organization’s founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built over 500,000 homes and helped more than 2.5 million people all over the planet. A portion of their current efforts is devoted to helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Click here to donate directly to the Disaster Response Fund to aid our neighbors in the Northeast and victims of similar disasters.


Image Credit:  TOOLS  © Muharrem Kartal |

Highlight Homes Has Tongues (and Tails) Wagging

Local Renovation and Custom Construction Company’s Latest Project Involves Unveiling of Perk -n- Pooch – a Unique Dog Wash and Coffee Shop in Sandy Springs

COMING SOON!!  Perk-n-Pooch - Located at 6690 Roswell Road in Sandy Spring, Georgia!
COMING SOON!! Perk-n-Pooch - Located at 6690 Roswell Road in Sandy Spring, Georgia!

Highlight Homes has become accustomed to tongues wagging over the distinctiveness and quality craftsmanship of their work, but to set TAILS wagging is an entirely new “animal” for the local renovation and custom construction company. With their latest commercial project nearing the completion phase, Highlight Homes looks forward to expanding their fan base to the four-legged variety. If all goes according to plan, the doors to Perk -n- Pooch will open in time for dogs of the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs area to get gussied up before Christmas Day.

The wholly unique vision of local residents, the Guerrisi family – Perk -n- Pooch is a combination dog wash and coffee café located at 6690 Roswell Road, Suite 360 in Sandy Springs.  As Bassett Hound rescuers and avid coffee drinkers, “Perk –n- Pooch” is an amalgamation of two of the Guerrisi’s great loves – dogs and a piping hot cup of joe. In addition to a coffee counter and dog wash stalls, Perk -n- Pooch will offer free wifi, a small retail section and professional groomer (available by appointment.) Dog owners are welcome to wash their dogs themselves or pay a nominal fee to have someone do it for them while they relax and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee from local gourmet coffee supplier, Lakehouse Coffee. Also on the menu at the café portion of the establishment are an assortment of teas, fresh fruit smoothies, and D’lites ice cream.

“The location is terrific,” explains Tracey Vasallo, Perk -n- Pooch Business Manager. “There’s a wonderful park nearby and a popular gym right next door. Dog lovers can enjoy a day at the park with their pooch and then pop by our shop for a wash and a coffee before heading home. Busy dog owners can drop their pets off to be groomed while they work out at the gym, and then reward themselves with a low calorie, low carb, low sugar D’lites ice cream. Joe and Renee wanted to create something special for dogs and dog owners alike that boasts the appeal of a neighborhood coffee shop. I know they’ll achieve that, thanks in part to the hard work and talent of the team at Highlight Homes.”

Birds Eye View of the NEW Perk-n-Pooch Floor Plan by Highlight Homes
Birds Eye View of the NEW Perk-n-Pooch Floor Plan by Highlight Homes

Construction of Perk -n- Pooch does not mark the first time the Guerrisi’s have called upon Highlight Homes for their renovation skills. In 2009, the family hired Highlight Homes to help them with a kitchen and living room remodel that was later featured in Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine. They have since hired the company to convert their carport into a carriage house-inspired garage and have recommended Highlight Homes’ services to numerous friends and neighbors. When it came time for the Guerrisi’s to start their exciting wet-nosed, coffee-fueled venture, they knew exactly who they wanted to call to bring their vision to a stunning reality. Once construction is complete, the Guerrisi family and Tracey hope to open Perk -n- Pooch in mid-December 2012. Much like the shop, the Perk -n- Pooch website is also under construction, but should be up and running soon at  To stay up-to-date on the latest Perk -n- Pooch news, be sure to “like” them on Facebook.

In a strange twist of fate, Highlight Homes’ last commercial project also involved canine-related construction as the team built an addition to Red Oak Animal Hospital in College Park.  Small business owners in the Atlanta area who are seeking bids for an upcoming commercial construction project – pet or non-pet-related – are invited to call the Highlight Homes team at 678-873-9234 to discuss their plans. In addition to commercial work, Highlight Homes also performs gorgeous residential renovations and custom home construction. To learn more about Highlight Homes and view samples of our work, please visit us online at

South Makes Big Gains in Rebounding Remodeling Market

Highlight Homes Follows the Lead by Performing More Renovation Projects than Custom Home Construction in 2012

We're excited about this latest "measure" of the housing and renovation market in the South!
We're excited about this latest "measure" of the housing and renovation market in the South!

There was a time when Highlight Homes was all about new home construction. It wasn’t merely the bulk of our business, it WAS our business. As the housing market began to shift in 2007 and 2008, we saw the need to adapt or suffer the same fate of many other fine homebuilders in the Atlanta area who are now extinct. Turns out the gamble paid off. While home sales in Atlanta are finally back on the rise – showing an increase of nearly 12% in year-over-year sales in September 2012 (National Association of Realtors®) – remodeling continues to perform strongly, particularly in the South where Highlight Homes is based.

As we make our way to the end of 2012, the clear winner in Highlight Homes’ project book would have to be home renovations. According the National Association of Home Builders, the same holds true for many renovators and general contractors across the nation as the Remodeling Market Index (RMI) showed an exciting rebound in third quarter 2012 to levels reminiscent of 2005.  The latest RMI showed marked improvements in current market indicators, which include maintenance and repairs, minor additions and alterations, and major additions and alterations. In a recent press release, NAHB Remodelers Chairman, George Moore, Jr. indicated that home owners are once again investing in their houses as home prices begin to stabilize.

Most importantly, future indicators – such as calls for bids, proposal appointments, committed work and project backlogs – showed a significant rise in every region, climbing six solid points in the South – its highest level since 3rd Quarter 2005. As more and more homeowners make the choice to stay in their current homes and the housing market continues to stabilize, we believe there will be an increased confidence in the age-old practice of viewing one’s home as an asset. While the recovery has been slow – and is far from over – we are pleased to report that these are all good signs.

Highlight Homes invites you to follow the trend with us!  Why wait to take care of that much-need repair or much-anticipated change? We can work within your needs and budget to help you transform your home into something you LOVE again. In addition to basic home repair and maintenance, Highlight Homes specializes in:

  • Kitchen and bath remodels
  • Whole home renovations
  • Outdoor living spaces
  • Water features and landscaping
  • Basement finishing
  • Room additions
  • Decks and patios
  • And so much more

To schedule a no-obligation consultation, we encourage you to contact us by calling 678.873.9234, e-mailing us at, or filling out our helpful online contact form.  To learn more about Highlight Homes or view a virtual portfolio of our work, please visit us online at

“September 2012 Real Estate Data – Monthly Housing Summary.” National Association of Realtors – (online November 8, 2012)

“Remodeling Market Index Climbs Five Points, Returns to 2005 Levels.” (online November 8, 2012)

Image Credits: STICK RULER © Dana Rothstein