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The Best Custom Home Builders & Design-Build Firms in Atlanta

November 7, 2017 19 Min Read

Atlanta’s design-build experts are committed to preserving the historic aesthetic of traditional Georgia neighborhoods while also enriching the landscape with new, modern styles. Atlanta is still filled with French chateaus, Mid-century ranches, and Craftsman-style bungalows, but the 2007 Modern Atlanta Home Tour ushered in a new trend with sleek, unconventional modern homes, often with hints of industrial styles. Boasting multitalented teams of architects, contractors, and even interior designers, the following firms create entire high-quality homes from scratch, from the earliest design stage all the way to the final touches on construction. The firms on this list value environmental sustainability, the principles of universal design, and the accessibility of high-quality homes for all. They were chosen for their presence in Atlanta-based publications and awards; the depth of their missions in building creative, sustainable, and accessible homes; and for the educational, professional and artistic backgrounds of their founders and leaders.

LG Squared

553 Amsterdam Ave., NE, Suite 3 Atlanta, GA 30306

LG Squared offers purposeful innovation, holistic design, and masterful building services in its hometown of Atlanta and throughout the country. The firm focuses on residential architecture, consulting, and building but also offers interior design and HVAC design services. Run by the husband-and-wife pair of Jodi Laumer-Giddens and Chris Laumer-Giddens, the company’s projects are driven by the principle that creativity extends beyond the technical and visual. The firm takes pride in integrated solutions that are honest, durable, and inspiring, with collaboration being their key to designing and building homes. The firm’s projects have appeared in publications like Remodeling Magazine, Atlanta Home Improvement, gb&d magazine, Architect Magazine, Inhabitat, and Know Atlanta.

10556 Serenbe Lane

Collaborating with The Imery Group, LG Squared designed the house that won the 2013 Earthcraft House Project of the Year Award and the NAHB Project of the Year Award for Single-Family Volume. One of LG Squared’s notable projects is their design for the house that won the EarthCraft Project of the Year award in 2013 and the NAHB Project of the Year Award for Single-Family Volume. The house, constructed by The Imergy Group and located in Serenbe — an environmentally sustainable community in Chattahoochee Hills, GA — received an EarthCraft Platinum certification, as well as certifications for Energy Star Version 3.0, WaterSense and EPA Indoor airPLUS. It was also named a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Housing Innovation Award Winner for 2014 in the Custom Category. The purpose of the design was to show that an energy-efficient home was capable of reflecting a sophisticated architectural style without requiring its occupants to compromise.

Urban Purpose Design

120 North Candler St., Suite 17, Decatur, GA 30030

Chosen mainly for its seasoned team of architects, designers, and builders, Urban Purpose Design serves the Atlanta area. The firm is led by its founders, Principals David Hauser and Micaela Roberts Quinton. With ten years of experience in the industry, David originally studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he graduated from his architecture program with honors. He gained experience in high-end residential projects from the design stage to the final aspects of the building process while working for Whole House Studios. Michaela, Design Principal of Urban Design, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Valdosta State University with a minor in design and was student chapter president of ASID. During her studies, she won the Design Student of the Year Award and went on to gain experience in commercial architecture.

416 East Bolton Street

Urban Purpose Design has a reputation for adding modern flare to neighborhoods with more traditional styles. The company primarily serves the greater Atlanta area, but one of its boldest and most recent designs is the 416 E. Bolton Street residence in Savannah, completed in 2016 and sold for $760k. A strikingly modern touch to a historic neighborhood, the house, with its three-story rectangular and glass exterior, juts several feet higher than its neighbors, and its simplistic entrance, free of front porch spaces or patio rails, creates an energy flow with the remainder of the street and sidewalk that the other, older houses lack. The Urban Purpose Design team has worked on such wide-ranging projects as Dutch Island renovation, Intown Alternate Modern, outdoor hybrid living spaces, Atlanta Beltline Contemporary, a micro-cottage in Alabama, and historic renovations honoring local style.


4167 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30342

Glazer Design & Construction began doing design-build in 1995. Over the years the firm built a name for custom-designed homes and its commitment to building projects that aim to go green. Glazer is a certified EarthCraft Home Builder whose projects have been featured dozens of times in publications like the Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Jewish Times, and Atlanta Home Improvement. Randy Glazer, owner and president of the firm, has a degree in design-build and is a member of the NAHB and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. Francois Lodde, Lead Project Manager, oversees the entire design-build process, complete with a high level of attention to customer service in every project. The firm is committed to universal design, offering services in designing and building handicap-accessible houses.

Brookhaven New Home

Glazer’s numerous renovation and design projects are featured online. Some of the company’s build-design residential homes include a Brookhaven residence at 5531 Clinchfield Trail. With 3,200 square feet and features like an exercise room, solarium, 9-foot-tall ceilings, a wet bar, a whirlpool bath, and outdoor fire pit, the house is valued at $550k. Another Brookhaven property, 1158 Dorby Park Drive, features a modern, brick façade that gives way to five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a family room, a luxurious screen porch, and a large garage with thoughtful spaces designed for extra storage. It also features a library, a banquet-sized dining area, and a gourmet kitchen that boasts copper farm sinks, an island with quartz countertops, and a full butler’s pantry.

Terracotta Design Build Co.

403 W. Ponce de Leon Ave, #215, Decatur, GA 30030

Terracotta Design Build is singled out for its artistic and accomplished female leaders and for its excellence in interior design. Started in 2005, Terracotta is run by Principals Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson and Luly Bestard-Melarti, long-time friends since architecture school and seasoned designers. The majority of team members who make up Terracotta Design Build are women. Terracotta was featured in multiple magazines and received two awards for outstanding interior design projects from ASID at the 2017 Design Excellence Awards. Principal architect, interior designer and founding partner Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson has degrees from Northwestern University, Georgia Tech, and Ecole D’Architecture and is registered with the NCARB, NCIDQ, and ASID. She is also a member of the Georgia chapter of the Contractors Association, the Decatur Business Association, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Principal architect and co-founder Luly Bestard-Melarti studied at Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, and Ecole D’Architecture and is a registered architect in New Jersey and Georgia, as well as a member of AIA and the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce.

Harvard Historic Home

Terracotta produces thoughtful designs for tasteful homes. The firm’s website is sprinkled with colorful photographs of works in progress, where projects range from deep renovation, brand-new designs, and tiny and artistic touches that make already finished rooms spring to life or relax into deep seas of calm. One of Terracotta’s projects, the Atlanta Townhome with Timeless Appeal, was featured on HGTV: Big City Digs, where it was declared the editors’ choice for the 2017 HGTV Faces of Design Award in the Big City Digs category. describes the home as a brick-façade townhouse with handsome columns and crisp black shutters, all features that give the home sophisticated curb appeal. Terracotta achieved a feeling of openness and spaciousness with this project by inserting “small punches of color and pattern” onto a primarily white canvas.


2358 Perimeter Park Dr, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30341

Mosaic was selected to be included on this list because of its strong presence in the Atlanta area, with services in 60 neighborhoods within and around Atlanta, as well as for the company’s numerous recognitions. The firm has received several awards in a variety of categories within the design-build industry, including the 2016 NARI Atlanta Contractor of the Year award in three categories. Co-founders William Fadul and Rick Goldstein hold multiple credentials in green building and remodeling. The company is affiliated with the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, Southface, Dunwoody, SSPC, and Leadership Sandy Springs.

Dunwoody Home Addition

The Barn, a pool house created in 2015, adds hospitality and rustic charm to an Atlanta home. A type of home in and of itself, The Barn comes with upper and lower decks and interior sunrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking tree-filled views. It has extensive space for storage and recreation areas, a kitchen and bar area, a modern bathroom with rustic flare, and an entire spare bedroom. Outdoor extensions, patio spaces, and pool houses may well be Mosaic’s forte, with several more residential build-design projects completed in and around Atlanta. In Brookhaven, Mosaic designed and created an outdoor retreat area connected to a family’s home that is worth $150k and includes an upper deck, a swimming pool, a landing, an outdoor kitchen and fireplace with modern amenities, and a flagstone patio with deck chairs.


807 Church St, Decatur, GA 3003

HammerSmith was selected for its recognition in prestigious publications, its awards, and its commitment to sustainable building. It also has a commitment to universal design and strives to make housing accessible to everybody. HammerSmith compares the design-build approach to one of the most notable artists in human history. “Imagine the results,” the company’s website says, “if Picasso designed his works in his imagination and then bid out the implementation of his ideas to several different painters or designers.” Warner McConaughey, founder and CEO, attended Stanford University and has been recognized in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. The company ranked ninth in the Atlanta Business Chronicle for Residential Remodeling Contractors, and for 17 years in a row, a HammerSmith kitchen has been featured on a Junior League Tour of Kitchens. Over 150 publications, articles, and awards have recognized HammerSmith kitchens. The company approaches every project with attention to environmentally sustainable efforts, as well as to the needs of residents ranging from small children to disabled individuals and the elderly. HammerSmith also serves its community through a custom-made and cost-efficient payment plan, giving all residents access to quality homes.

Sandy Springs New Home

HammerSmith’s projects aim to fit clients’ needs and lifestyles, regardless of income and ability. HammerSmith earned the Sub Zero and Wolf 1st Place National Kitchen Award for the design and renovation of the kitchen in his own residence, a 1928 English home in the historic Druid Hills of Atlanta. The space, selected from over 1,650 competitors, is an energy-efficient kitchen, both functional and durable, with an industrial style infused with hints of antiquity. Cherry cabinets, Italian soapstone countertops, dark oak floors, and light fixtures by Urban Archaeology give the room a modern yet timeless feel. While the space is small, it also features a walk-in pantry, an island, several modern appliances, and a wine bar with an ice maker, a faucet for filtered water, a wine refrigerator, and storage for wine glasses and bottles. Among HammerSmith’s other notable achievements was a modern addition to a 1930s craftsman-style bungalow, which won the Smart House Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 2017 Bath of the Year award. The entire bathroom centers around its acrylic slipper tub and curved, marble shower area. French doors add a dramatic flare, and smooth, simple lines made out of dark wood trim maintains an elegant, craftsman style consistent with the rest of the house.

Home ReBuilders

2120 Plaster Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324

Home ReBuilders is a top-licensed remodeling firm in the Atlanta area. With 30 years of experience in residential renovation projects, the company has expanded to provide design-build services to both create custom homes from scratch and bring them into being. Between 1993 and 2015, the company received over 100 awards and recognitions in its field, including: Chrysalis awards, Southeast Regional Contractor of the Year awards, National Contractor of the Year awards, Master Design awards, No. 1 and No. 2 rankings in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Top 500 Remodeler recognitions, the Consumers’ Choice Award for Home Remodeling Contractor, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine awards, BenchMark Marketing Leader awards, a Web award, CotY Award, Silver Professionalism Awards, Gold Professionalism Awards, a Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation award, and Georgia Contractor of the Year. Home ReBuilders has created several of intown Atlanta’s most luxurious homes while staying within their clients’ respective budgets. Staying true to Atlanta’s traditional neighborhood style, building codes, and real estate price points, the firm is also committed to sustainable building practices. Bill Bartlett, owner of Home ReBuilders, is a decades-long pioneer in the Atlanta home market. A background in engineering sets him apart from other design-build experts, and he was a member of the Board of Directors on the Atlanta Home Builders Association’s Green Council for 2010. Currently, he is a member of both NARI and NKBA. Home ReBuilders is an EarthCraft certified builder.

1629 Monroe Drive

Located at 1629 Monroe Drive in an unsuspecting, tree-filled area near Morningside Park, one of Atlanta’s wealthiest neighborhoods, an old, neglected bungalow caught the attention of the Home Rebuilders team, who tore it down and created a large, Craftsman-style residential property in its place. With five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and a terrace-level family room, not to mention in-law suites, a multi-car garage, walk-in pantry and butler’s pantry, a sun-drenched kitchen and family room, the home makes excellent use of its small space within the broader area, famous for its history, expensive homes, and picturesque and preserved landscape. Home ReBuilders also created a custom design for a family seeking to live in their dream neighborhood, Virginia Highland (colloquially, Va-Hi). This area — determined “best overall neighborhood” and “most walkable neighborhood” in Atlanta by Creative Loafing, and the “favorite neighborhood overall” by Atlanta Magazine — is home to many popular bars, restaurants, and cafes, as well as a number of high-end and historic houses. This project began with a request: clients wanted to build a brand-new home that would be suited to starting a family and also give them easy access to the bustling amenities of their dream neighborhood. Home ReBuilders created a home with four bedrooms, a traditional floor plan, a spacious kitchen, and a large family room. The home met all of the family’s requirements, and the project stayed within budget, meeting the family’s needs.

Heirloom Design Build

245 North Highland Ave, Suite 230-367, Atlanta, GA 30307

Heirloom Design Build, chosen for its high-end projects and extra attention to sustainable, green projects, is a licensed top-tier unrestricted general contractor in Georgia that focuses on residential projects ranging anywhere from the initial design stage of brand-new homes to the last stages of the building process. The company is affiliated with the United States Green Building Council, the Atlanta Green Building Council, Builder America, EarthCraft, and Energy Star. It also holds EPA Lead-Free certification and employs LEED (AP) certified staff. Principal David F. Radlmann, CGC, an LEED Advanced Professional certified in Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD&C), brings to his projects 18 years of experience in the Atlanta construction industry, with work in general contracting and development totalling close to $400M. He is a founding member and currently serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Green Council. In 2014, Heirloom won six OBIE awards through the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

1013 Euclid Avenue

One of Heirloom’s renovations, a modern Atlanta residence at 106 Richmond, was featured on HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block. The home features three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and was completed in 2013. One of Heirloom’s design-build homes, the New Neoclassical Home at 1013 Euclid Avenue in the Historical Inman Park, received EarthCraft House of the Year at the 2014 OBIE Awards. The house is an EPA Energy Star Certified Home, an EarthCraft Certified Home, an NGBS Green Certified Home, a Department of Energy Net Zero Ready Home, a GA Power Earthcents Home, and an EPA WaterSense Certified Home. With a 50 HERS rating, the house is known for its black plaster, polished aggregate pool designed to fill the living room with sounds of running water, wood fixtures from a local tree belonging to a sustainable woods program.

Cardinal Construction, Inc.

3221 Hill St, #112, Duluth, GA 30096

Cardinal Construction offers services in both design and construction, but it is notable here for its remarkable, high-end remodelling and renovation projects within the Atlanta area. Although located in Duluth, Cardinal Construction has operated in the design-build industry in the metropolitan Atlanta area since 1999. It received multiple OBIE awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The company also received recognitions for accomplishments in residential remodelling and additions, such as a home theater valued over $75k, an outdoor living area over $75k, and a kitchen over $75k. The company was also recognized for a whole-house renovation costing more than $500k, a home exterior project over $100k, a basement over $75k, and a bathroom remodel over $25k. The firm has humble roots; Charley Hipple, president of the company, attended architecture and business school while working for a small remodelling and roofing company in Texas.

Suwanee Custom Home-min

Serving a number of areas in the Atlanta area, Cardinal Construction, Inc. is responsible for the Johns Creek Home, a custom home build project near Duluth, which cost more than $2M and features a pool with a waterslide, an upper and lower patio with a fireplace and kitchen amenities, a gazebo with a firepit, and an elaborate home office. The basement alone is valued at around $500k and comes with a full kitchen, guest rooms, a home movie theater with multi-level rows and easy chairs, and extensive bathroom spaces. One of Cardinal Construction’s greatest specialties might be deep, large-scale and high-end basement renovations, with the company’s completed work in both commercial and residential properties appearing prominently on, which features Cardinal Construction projects completed not only on John’s Creek, but also in Chateau Elan, Suwanee, Flowery Branch, Falling Brook, and the Atlanta Country Club.

Renewal Design + Build

124 S. Columbia Dr., Decatur, GA 30030

Renewal Design + Build has received a great deal of recognition for its achievements in the Atlanta area. This accomplished design-build company is also notable for its small team. A family-run business, Renewal specializes in the renovation of old homes and serves 20 neighborhoods in and around Atlanta, including some of the wealthiest areas: intown Atlanta, Ansley Park, Avondale Estates, Candler Park, Decatur, Druid Hills, Inman Park, Toco Hill, Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Chastain. Operated by brothers Peter and David Michelson, both fourth generation contractors, Renewal has been ranked a Top Five Residential Remodeler by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Since its origin in 2001, Renewal has received more than 70 awards and recognitions for design, craftsmanship, and customer service.

Morningside Asian Modern

Among Renewal’s design-build successes are their many ranch renovations, wherein old-fashioned, ranch-style residences are transformed into tasteful and stylish homes with elegant exteriors and modern kitchens. In the last couple years, Renewal completed multiple design-build projects in some of the nicest homes in a few of Atlanta’s wealthiest neighborhoods: Poncey-Highland, Ansley Park, Virginia-Highland, and Morningside. The Sherwood Forest Modern Whole House Renovation project started with a stagnant arrangement of rooms on the house’s first floor. Key to this deep renovation process was creating a brand-new kitchen at the center of the house, paving the way to create a walk-in pantry, wine bar, and storage space. Making the kitchen central also achieved a smoother energy flow between rooms, encouraged socializing and entertaining, and warmed up the entire first floor of the home. The dining room and home office were also relocated, connecting more rooms and strengthening the flow between living spaces. The new master suite has vaulted ceilings, skylights, dual vanities, a walk-in shower, and a walk-in closet. Even the front entrance and garage were transformed to be far more modern and sophisticated.


644 Antone St., Ste. #10 Atlanta, GA 30318

Craftbuilt is a full-service design-build firm offering a wide range of construction services from remodeling to historic renovations to new construction. The firm’s reputation for fine craftsmanship and a hands-on process was carefully built by Atlanta natives Aaron and Gina McGinnis. Aaron serves as Build Director while Gina serves as Design Director. The two have both built their knowledge of global architecture by studying the construction industries in Europe and Japan.


The firm has extensive experience in construction, renovation, and remodeling. The Sycamore House, pictured here, is one of the firm’s best. Built-in accordance with National Green Building Standards, the firm is highly-efficient and refreshingly modern. This home takes inspiration from traditional Japanese Shoji screens.

Boyce Design & Contracting

303 Perimeter Center North, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30346

Winners of NARI Contractor of the Year in 2018 and 2019, Boyce Design & Contracting is a skilled full-service design-build firm operating all over the Metro Atlanta area. The firm knows interior and exterior construction well; it began operations in the year 2000. Thomas Boyce started the business as a lawn and landscaping maintenance firm, slowly building its repertoire of services. An enterprise founded by a high schooler is now an established firm, recognized by awards from Atlanta Business Chronicle, Inc. 5000, GuildQuality, and NARI.

Boyce Design & Contracting

Boyce’s projects are beautiful and functional. The Contemporary Cabana displayed here is an example of this balance between aesthetics and pragmatism. The home takes cues from Brazilian beach huts and European ski chalets, generating a luxurious, yet cozy atmosphere.


  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as Senior Editor at Atlanta Architects and brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at HomeBuilderDigest, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University, Degree in Construction Engineering Management