Fall In Love With Your Backyard!


(Classic Chastain Park home porch addition)

Autumn is officially here! We’re spending our weekends tailgating with friends, grilling out on the patio, and finally enjoying enough cold weather to cozy up with blankets around a fire pit. As much fun as it is to go out exploring pumpkin patches and fall festivals, some of the best memories of the season can be made right at home.

(Morningside home with backyard dining addition)

If you’ve been dreaming of an outdoor space to make the most of your home and your family time, Home ReBuilders’ Atlanta design build team can make it happen! We’ll walk you through the styles of outdoor dining areas – including covered patios, screen porches, decks, custom-built awnings, porch additions, and more. We can even help dream up and build your outdoor gaming area – such as a bocce ball court, a playground for the kids, or an oversized chess set. Custom touches, such as outdoor lighting, a fireplace, hardscaping, an outdoor kitchen (with built-in wine fridge, of course), and planters will give your outdoor space a complete, cohesive look while inviting guests to eat, drink, and play.

(Morningside Tudor Craftsman backyard fire place addition)

An outdoor dining area can be a game-changer for so many reasons:

Deciding on a Kid friendly restaurant preventing you from getting “out”? 

It can altogether eliminate the challenges of getting the kids ready to go out to eat at a restaurant. Instead, you can go “out” to eat in your backyard!

Love to cook or have a dietary restriction you can’t easily find “out”?

If you love to cook, an outdoor kitchen can give you a new outlet to showcase your talents on the grill.

Does you family’s restaurant tab prevent you from going out? 

By having a special place to eat at home, your family will save money while still enjoying something different than dinner around the kitchen table.

Do you and the kids spend all your time inside working or at school?

It just feels more fun. Dining al fresco somehow feels more indulgent, more laid-back, and more lighthearted than dining inside. Plus, the magic of the fall season is that your backdrop will be gorgeously-hued leaves and crisp breezes.

None of the above reasons apply to you? 

It’s great for adding value to house

Home ReBuilders’ design build team of in-house designers and contractors can design the perfect outdoor dining space for your family, just in time for tailgating and autumn bonfires! This holiday season, the best place to grill some burgers, toast marshmallows, and make fall memories with friends and family could be right in your backyard!


Ready to come home to a home you love?

Call Home ReBuilders at 404.876.3000 or email


Home Design: Unplugged

Digital Detox: Transform Your Home Into an Unplugged Oasis

Does this sound familiar? You wake up and immediately reach for your phone. You scan the news, check the weather, glance at your calendar, and cruise through Facebook and Instagram. You spend your day in front of the computer screen at work or the iPad at home, and you might even browse your phone while watching a movie with the family or settling into bed. When did our lives start to revolve around our gadgets? While Home ReBuilders can’t help you break the tech habit, we can help transform your home into a “digital detox” oasis with a home design that encourages you to be fully present in each moment. How, you ask? Just Google it! (Kidding…). Here are some of our favorite ways to add moments of intentionality and thoughtfulness into our clients’ homes:

Get a master suite addition. There’s nothing like closing the doors to your master suite and feeling that you’re leaving the busy world outside. Your master suite could include a tub with jets for peaceful baths, a fireplace for some romance, or could simply be a TV-and-computer-free zone.

(Master suite addition to a Morningside Cottage)


Add a reading nook. In a world full of e-readers and online publications, it’s a rare pleasure to sit down and enjoy a good old-fashioned book. Home ReBuilders’ design build team can transform an awkward space in your home (an alcove under the stairs, or even a closet!) into a reading nook for you or your children. A custom bench seat, some bookshelves, and great lighting can make for the perfect spot to delve into a great novel. We can even install curtains around the entrance to your reading nook for extra privacy and tranquility.

(Attic conversion in a Morningside Tudor)


Transform a spare bedroom into a library. Ready to delve deeper into the smartphone-free lifestyle (at least for a few hours)? Our remodeling contractors can transform a spare bedroom or bonus room into a full-fledged library, with beautiful custom built-in shelving, unique architectural accents, and playful touches like a book ladder. An attic conversion can lend a library project with particular charm and intrigue, with its sloped roof and cozy setting. Go “Ron Burgundy” with a classic, old-school library that has many leather-bound books and smells of rich mahogany – or keep it clean and simple with a modern, minimalist feel.

(Atlanta attic renovation)


Convert your basement into an at-home gym or yoga studio. Exercise and meditation have been consistently found to improve our mental well-being. Home ReBuilders loves creating custom homes that help clients become healthier. We can convert your basement into a serious fitness zone; a tranquil, calming meditation/yoga studio; or a combination of both. This type of renovation could include custom mirrors, cushioned flooring, storage solutions for your fitness gear, and anything else that will help you exercise your way to serenity – and help with adding value to your house.

Create a tech-free playroom. Many parents say that they want their children to grow up having enjoyed and appreciated the simple pleasures that we experienced when we were children: reading, coloring, and playing with low-tech toys like Legos and dolls. Give your children a designated “tech-free” zone by creating a playroom without the gadgets and gizmos they’ve become accustomed to.

(Atlanta basement renovation)

Ready to unplug? Give us a call – no smartphone required!


Ready to come home to a home you love?

Call Home ReBuilders at 404.876.3000 or email


Statement Ceilings

In the mid-1900s, textured ceilings were all the rage. Popcorn ceilings, drywall swirls, and some patterns that young homeowners might never have even heard of (orange peel, anyone?) are a standard feature in many older homes. Modern homeowners have such a disdain for this trend that in recent years, smooth ceilings have become the only acceptable option for many people. However, things are “looking up” when it comes to new ceiling trends! Home ReBuilders has noticed more and more clients becoming interested in statement ceilings done right.

Here are just a few of the ceiling features that our remodeling contractors can help you with:

Wood Paneled Ceilings

Perfect for creating a calming, nature-inspired atmosphere, wood paneled ceilings add warmth and character to just about any room in your home. They’re particularly suited for your at-home library, a unique kitchen, or any room with large windows that seem to spill out into nature.

Exposed Beams

This trend has become increasingly popular as shows like “Fixer Upper” show how to blend rustic farmhouse style with modern architectural features and décor. Exposed beams look fantastic in a large living room, any room with a vaulted ceiling, or a kitchen. Nowadays, realistic-looking faux beam solutions make this trend more affordable and attainable.

Tiled Ceilings

A tiled ceiling gives you the freedom to play with and showcase your own personal style in an unexpected way. Tin tiles impart a worldly, exotic vibe into a sitting or dining area, while marble tile can help envelop your bathroom in luxury from floor to ceiling as part of a bath remodel. Modern tile choices are lightweight and durable, making them the perfect choice for a playful home design.

Accent Color

The accent wall is a tried-and-true way to add a pop of color to your home – but the next big trend is a bold accent ceiling. With a few coats of paint, you can completely transform the look of your room. A jewel-toned ceiling with matching furniture is a smart way to impress guests and make your home feel like it truly reflects your style, without breaking the bank. Or, consider a pastel ceiling hue for a touch of whimsy and wonder in a new baby’s room.

Crown Molding

While crown molding is nothing new, it’s easy to overlook if you don’t already have it. Crown molding adds a touch of elegance and a high-end feel to your home, without the investment of a whole house renovation or larger project. If crown molding is a little too traditional for you, consider a natural wood hue rather than the typical white molding to add some warmth and dimension to your home.

Daunted by the idea of such a unique project, or not sure what will work best in your home? Home ReBuilders’ design build team can help guide you through the process and figure out what ceiling trend is best suited for you. However you choose to outfit your ceilings, you’ll be surprised by just how drastically you can transform a room’s look and feel by focusing on this one area. You can enhance the look with dramatic curtains that draw the eye upward, upgraded overhead light fixtures that play nicely with your new ceiling, and furniture and décor that complement your ceiling.

Ready to come home to a home you love?

Call Home ReBuilders at 404.876.3000 or email


Atlanta Porch Additions – Just in Time for Spring and Summer!

This Morningside Tudor Porch adds character and curb appeal!

Porches are almost synonymous with southern living. It’s the rare southerner who hasn’t enjoyed a warm spring or summer evening with a few friends on the porch. Porch additions can help you make the most of Atlanta’s weather and create a whole new outdoor room in your home. Whether you choose a traditional porch that stretches across the front of your home, or whether you’re a fan of screen porches that offer a little extra protection and privacy, Home ReBuilders can help make sure your project is completed with plenty of time to enjoy the warmer months! Need some inspiration? Here are just a few great uses for a porch in your home:


This Buckhead home’s screen porch is like a whole extra playroom!

Create a reading nook: Porches are a great place to delve into a page-turning beach read or for your children to dig into their summer reading assignments.

-Swing your troubles away: A porch swing can add a sense of whimsy and relaxation to your home.

-Entertain and indulge: Hosting friends for dinner? Why not serve dessert and cocktails out on the porch, enjoying the fresh air and watching the neighborhood slowly drift from daylight to evening?

-Start a garden: A porch is a great place to develop a green thumb. Hanging plants and flower baskets require less care than a full-scale garden, while also adding a decorative touch to your home’s entrance.

-Get in touch with your inner child: A screen-ed in porch can function as an extra playroom, perfect for the kiddos to get fresh air while staying within sight. Or, string up a hammock on your front-door porch and unplug even more!

-Get creative: There are no rules about what your porch has to look like or include. While many porches are more traditional and feature the standard rocking chair setup, some of our favorite porch projects are a little more playful. Consider painting your porch’s ceiling a fun color, adding bold touches like bright graphic textiles, going all-out with seasonal décor, and more!


A generously-sized porch offers plenty of space for dining and lounging in this Druid Hills home!

Home ReBuilders’ design build team of in-house designers and contractors can design the perfect porch for your family, just in time for spring and summer weather! This year, the best place to grab a drink or spend p riceless time with your family could be right in front of your eyes and right in front of your house!


Ready to come home to a home you love? 

Call Home ReBuilders at 404.876.3000 or email info@homerebuilders.com

Homework Zone

At Home ReBuilders, we have been asked to design all sorts of projects over the years. We have built glamorous doghouses, outdoor rooms, and a two story addition for an enormous pipe organ. People invest in their homes and many are committed to making their space a complete expression of their tastes and needs.

Lately we’ve been sensing a new trend and theme for a few renovations. We are currently designing a few projects for clients that have growing children. These teenagers are looking for a spot to do homework, set up a project, work on a computer generated school assignment. Gaming units are still a space consumer and the video game/movie watching zones are a priority. Can we design a spot for long legged teens to gather after a lacrosse game, grab a soda and digest the videos taken during the game? Absolutely! We’ve started identifying these zones as the teen lounge.

These spots take shape often on a second floor, maybe between a few bedrooms. Maybe the extension of the “jack and jill bath” becomes the “john and jane zone”. Some things to think about may be built in cabinetry or the addition of closets for storing audio visual equipment, ample outlets at desk height, lighting for work tasks, undercounter refrigeration unit, and room for comfortable furniture.

As advocates for our clients, we love to design very specific spaces but we also recommend thinking about your home resale and how your renovation fits into this equation. Can this teen lounge became a craft room for mom when the children leave the nest? Would this translate as a home office or hobby room for another buyer? Maybe this space can transition to a guest suite for out of town family.

One of the best things we get to do at Home ReBuilders is help people shape their homes to fit their live. Give us a call to discuss your needs.

Renovation Financing

Our friends at This Old House wrote up a detailed primer on renovation loans and we thought we would share it. There are many ways to go about securing financing for a renovation. You’ll also find some links on our website of local banks and contacts we have used and recommend. The best time to start thinking about financing is right now.

Until recently, borrowing money for a new kitchen, second-story addition, or other home improvement meant going to the bank, seeing a loan officer, and hoping for the best. Today, however, you have many more options. A mortgage broker, for example, can offer more than 200 different loan programs. And brokers are just one of the many lenders eager to put together a loan that fits your situation — even if your credit history is less than perfect.

That means you might be able to borrow more money than you think. But with so many competing lenders, loan options, and terms, it also means loan shopping can be as challenging as house hunting. You can skip all the confusion and land on the right lending program by:

1. knowing how much money you need and roughly how much you can get from the start
2. narrowing the myriad loan options down to the ones that match your needs and finances
3. concentrating on the lenders that are likeliest to provide the type of loan you want.

How Much Can You Borrow?

Whether you hire a contractor or take on the work yourself, begin with an accurate estimate of what the project will cost. Lenders will insist on a specific figure before they work with you. If you’re hiring a contractor, start with a firm bid, broken down into labor and materials. Then add on 10 percent for surprises. On work you’ll do yourself, compile a detailed materials list with quantities, costs, and an accurate total. Include permit fees and equipment rental. Then add a cushion of 20 to 30 percent to be safe. Once you know how much you need, how much will you get? Despite the promises and hype lenders make in their ads and promotional materials, how much you can borrow hinges on your credit rating, the loan-to-value ratio, and your income. These factors also help determine the interest rate, the length of the loan, and whether you’ll pay points. Your credit rating. The best rates and terms go to homeowners with an A rating — no late payments in the last 12 months and no maxed-out credit cards. One or two late payments or overdrawn credit cards probably won’t knock you out of the game, but you might end up with a higher interest rate and a smaller loan.
Loan-to-value ratio. To determine the loan amount, lenders use the loan-to-value ratio (LTV), which is a percentage of the appraisal value of your home. The usual limit is 80 percent — or $100,000 for a $125,000 home (.805125,000). Lenders subtract the mortgage balance from that amount to arrive at the maximum you can borrow. Assuming your balance is $60,000, the largest loan that you can obtain is $40,000 ($100,000-$60,000=$40,000). If you have a good credit rating, a lender might base your loan on more than 80 percent of the LTV; if you don’t, you might get only 65 to 70 percent. While many lenders go to 100 percent of the LTV, interest rates and fees soar at these higher ratios.

Your income. If you also have high expenses, a high income level might not mean a larger loan. Lenders follow two rules to minimize their risk:

•Your house payment and other debt should be below 36 percent of your gross monthly income.

• Your house payment alone (including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) should be no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income. The maximum debt-to-income ratio rises to 42 percent on second mortgages. Some lenders go even higher, though fees and rates get expensive — as will your monthly payment. However, a debt-to-income ratio of 38 percent probably is the highest you should consider carrying.

The LTV determines how much you can borrow, and your debt-to-income ratio establishes the monthly payment for which you qualify. Within these two limits, the biggest trade-offs are interest rates, loan term, and points.

Interest rates. The less interest you pay, the more loan you can afford. An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is one way to lower that rate, at least temporarily. Because lenders aren’t locked into a fixed rate for 30 years, ARMs start off with much lower rates. But the rates can change every 6, 12, or 24 months thereafter. Most have yearly caps on increases and a ceiling on how high the rate climbs. But if rates climb quickly, so will your payments.

Loan term. The longer the loan, the lower the monthly payment. But total interest is much higher. That’s why you’ll pay far less for a 15-year loan than for a 30-year loan — if you can afford the higher monthly payments.

Points. Each point is an up-front cost equal to 1 percent of the loan. Points are interest paid in advance, and they can lower monthly payments. But if your credit is less than perfect, you’ll probably have to pay Loan shopping often starts with mainstream mortgages from banks, credit unions, and brokers. Like all mortgages, they use your home as collateral and the interest on them is deductible. Unlike some, however, these loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Veterans Administration (VA), or bought from your lender by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two corporations set up by Congress for that purpose. Referred to as A loans from A lenders, they have the lowest interest. The catch: You need A credit to get them. Because you probably have a mortgage on your home, any home improvement mortgage really is a second mortgage. That might sound ominous, but a second mortgage probably costs less than refinancing if the rate on your existing one is low. Find out by averaging the rates for the first and second mortgages. If the result is lower than current rates, a second mortgage is cheaper. When should you refinance? If your home has appreciated considerably and you can refinance with a lower-interest, 15-year loan. Or, if the rate available on a refinance is less than the average of your first mortgage and a second one. If you’re not refinancing, consider these loan types: Home-equity loans. These mortgages offer the tax benefits of conventional mortgages without the closing costs. You get the entire loan up front and pay it off over 15 to 30 years. And because the interest usually is fixed, monthly payments are easy to budget. The drawback: Rates tend to be slightly higher than those for conventional mortgages. Home-equity lines of credit. These mortgages work kind of like credit cards: Lenders give you a ceiling to which you can borrow; then they charge interest on only the amount used. You can draw funds when you need them — a plus if your project spans many months. Some programs have a minimum withdrawal, while others have checkbook or credit-card access with no minimum. There are no closing costs. Interest rates are adjustable, with most tied to the prime rate. Most programs require repayment after 8 to 10 years. Banks, credit unions, brokerage houses, and finance companies all market these loans aggressively. Credit lines, fees, and interest rates vary widely, so shop carefully. Watch out for lenders that suck you in with a low initial rate, then jack it up. Find out how high the rate rises and how it’s figured. And be sure to compare the total annual percentage rate (APR) and the closing costs separately. This differs from other mortgages, where costs, such as appraisal, origination, and title fees, are figured into a bottom-line APR for comparisons simply to get the loan.
Which Lender for What?

For a home equity line of credit, the best place to start is your own bank or credit union. Both usually offer lower rates to depositors. Check other sources to be sure. If you get a second mortgage, refinance, or opt for an FHA 203(k) mortgage, you’re better off talking with a mortgage broker. A broker has more loan sources to choose from. When looking for a broker, check with people you know, and check any references you get. Contractors are another source of financing, but be wary: It’s hard enough to choose a contractor and a loan when they’re separate. And be suspicious of contractors who emphasize the monthly payment instead of the total cost of the job. A borrower’s bill of rights. Article Z of the federal Truth in Lending Act makes sizing up lenders and loans easier. It requires lenders to disclose interest rate, terms, costs, and variable-rate features in a total APR, a bottom line you can use to compare loans. Here are some other rights to remember:

• If a mortgage lender does not disclose the APR, any application fees must be refunded. You usually get these disclosures on a form with your loan application. If any terms change before closing, the lender must return all fees if the changes make you decide not to proceed.

• You have three days from the day of closing to cancel. Inform the lender in writing within that period and fees are refunded.


Renovation is hot in Atlanta once again and people are looking to increase the size and living space of their homes. We are often asked whether additional space is best acquired by building on with an addition or building up with a second story.
The answer, like just about all things relating to renovation, has some complicated variables. The answer may depend on the goals of the addition, style of the house, access to the new space and the land around the existing home. Often in Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods where the lot size can be smaller and city demanded yard setbacks strict, building up is the way to go. Building up onto or creating a second floor maintains the yard around a home, often a premium. Also, when designed with care, a second floor addition can create an added charm to curb appeal and often provide a better resale value.
The next question to consider is cost effectiveness. The trickiest part and often the deciding factor in the up or out debate can fall to the stairs. If the stairway to the new space can be worked out without having to reverse the basement stairs and moving too many walls then building up often saves the cost of foundations and landscape disturbance. One must keep in mind that most second story additions require the reframing of the old ceiling joists to allow for floor loads. This is something typically done with a separate diaphragm system for ceiling and floor joists and has the added benefit of sound proofing, reduction of overall second floor addition height and minimizes the potential of plaster cracks.
In the end, our design staff is experienced with both vehicles to increase the size of your home in a way that is both practical financially and pleasing aesthetically.

Cabinetry Finishes

White kitchens have long been the dominating look of choice for many homeowners embarking on a kitchen renovation. White cabinetry has captured the top spot in the field for years and the crisp, clean painted finish has surpassed the stained cabinetry of previous decades.

There does seem to be an movement toward softer greys and paler colors in cabinetry. Swedish and Belgian looks are popular with their muted tones and simple details. Accented with bleached oaks and wood finishes, these kitchens can create a soothing place for family life and meal making.

BLOG gray cabintery         BLog, grey cabinetry

Dramatic colors also seem to be a trend. Navy cabinetry as base units seem to be a hot trend with white wall cabinetry or open shelving creating a counterpoint. A high gloss finish on the cabinetry can also create some drama in the space.

Blog, navy cabinetry

Kitchen renovations can be one of the more costly home remodeling projects and have one of the largest returns on your investment. Being current on trends can ensure your space will look fresh and new into the years ahead.

Storage Solutions

When you first move into your new or renovated home, you wonder how you are going to fill up the large, empty space. Pretty soon life takes over — and before you know it, you are wondering where all of that space went.

If you find yourself struggling to find room to store everything you’ve accumulated over the years, see if these storage options might work for you.

Before you invest a lot of time deciding where things should go, look through your closet, files and drawers to determine what can be thrown or given away. For clothes, it is a good rule of thumb to get rid of items that you have not worn in more than 12 months.

A lot of your household financial documents and papers may be available online through the provider company’s website. If that is the case, discard old financial statements or bills that you can more easily access electronically. Invest in a paper shredder for these documents to protect your identity and accounts.

It is very easy to allow cabinets and drawers to become cluttered over time, especially when you have to do a quick cleaning of your home when you have surprise visitors. Declutter those drawers periodically to keep from accumulating outdated flyers, menus, magazines and newspapers. This will open them up so you can store more day-to-day items that you need to quickly reach.

If you are looking to replace old, worn-out furniture in your home, buy pieces that also can serve as storage. Consider a coffee table that has drawers or an ottoman that can open up and double as a spot to store your blankets.

In closets and in the kitchen,use all of the space that is available to you. Often home owners are giving up valuable square footage if they don’t install cabinets or shelves that go up to the ceiling. Store items that are either out of season or that are rarely accessed — such as holiday decorations — on the higher shelves where they are out of the way. This will free up the lower shelves to allow you to get to the things that you use on a regular basis.

Bed risers can be found in home design and improvement stores in different shapes, styles, textures and colors to complement your current bedroom furniture. They are inexpensive and not only give you added storage space, but will also give your bedroom a new look. By simply raising the height of your bed a few more inches, you can gain a lot more storage space that is also hidden away.

Bath Renovation

Bathroom remodels don’t have to be big, messy, expensive and painful. If you have a standard bathroom that has seen better days, a renovation can be easily within your reach. The key to a smooth bath remodel is planning. When a wise person said “the devil is in the details” one wonders if they were talking about home renovation!

The first step is to think about what doesn’t work in your space. That’s probably the easiest part and on the forefront of your mind. But maybe think a bit deeper. If lack of storage is something you struggle with, identify which specific items you can’t find homes for. Pill bottles, make up and small toiletries are best stored in medicine cabinets or drawers. If piles of clothes and stacks of towels are something you trip over, look to robe hooks, hamper storage or additional shelving.

Often a bathroom’s function is not the problem but the dated wallpaper and ancient accessories make getting ready in the morning a drag. Cosmetic changes can be a snap with the right experience and tools. If all of your plumbing locations and major fixtures are good enough to stay, fresh “make up” is easy. Small changes like paint color, new lighting fixtures, towel bars, shower curtains and window treatments can make a huge difference without huge upset to your home.

Now if tile needs to be replaced and your plumbing fixtures need to be replaced, start looking for brands, models and styles you like and are in your price range. It’s easy to say, “Replace my toilet” but it is always smoother if you have a clear idea of the model you like and its price tag. Is it in stock and available? Does the lavatory faucet that you have your heart set on have a coordinating shower set? Does it matter to you if all of your plumbing fixtures are the same? Information for home renovation has never been easier to access. All major plumbing brands have good websites with model numbers and specification. Big box stores can be a good source of ideas for materials either in person or on line. Internet sites such as Pinterest can provide endless inspiration for renovation.

Probably the biggest key to success in a bath renovation is your contractor or handyman. Find someone reputable with a good reputation and who has plenty of experience. And make sure you like them. They’ll be in your home, working on some intimate areas!