This year brought good news for the Peach State’s homebuilding industry. New home construction is on the rise, spurred by a lively state economy that is ranked #14 in the country and growing fast. Statistics available to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in early January 2018 showed that new single-family homes in Georgia had increased by 13 percent over the previous year. That number is more than double the national average of 5 percent. And as the demand for new homes rises, so does the need for quality custom home builders in Georgia.
“Quality” is the common denominator for this grouping of Georgia’s finest residential contractors. Clear signs of quality in a home builder are endurance, education and training, professional credentials, and brand recognition. Each firm here had plenty of those. But when a final criteria — technique — was considered, the winner was obvious. The highest grade went to a 40-year veteran of the homebuilding trade. This company’s crowning achievement made national headlines, with a supremely plush home that captured the grandeur of the Old South.
15) Perry Custom Homes
Website | 678.806.6000 | 4080 McGinnis Ferry Road, Alpharetta, GA 30005
New construction by these Alpharetta-based custom home contractors is in Milton, GA — an affluent city in Fulton County that consistently wins local contests for having the “best quality of life in Georgia.” The homes start at $1M, but high-end prices are unlimited. They are esteemed for pure luxury, such as hand-peeled timber and stone-and-stucco exteriors. Interiors offer 10,000 square feet of living space and are equipped with Smart Home technology, Wolf and SubZero appliances, theaters, and private patios with fireplaces. Founder and Owner Chris Perry has years of experience with managing national and international real estate firms.
Of late, the Perry team has been building estates in Mayfair. The three-story structures have five bedrooms and a master bedroom suite, spiral staircases, lower level open-concept floor plans, and spacious backyards. Perry Custom Homes belongs to the NAHB and Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA). Its most recent accolades include Silver Medals from the 2017 Obie Awards (named for the obelisk shape of the award) in categories for Best Home over $2M and Best Interior Merchandising over $800k.
14) Ivey Homes
Website | 706.868.9363 | 7013 Evans Town Center Boulevard, Evans, GA 30809
Brothers Matt and Mark Ivey got their start in homebuilding in 1984, working for their contractor father, Jake. Although Jake invited his sons to join him full time, each pursued independent careers after graduating from college. Mark worked for a statewide engineering firm, eventually becoming vice president. Matt went into real estate and ended up as vice president for a national realtor. But in 2004, they returned to their first love, new home construction, and opened this custom home builder in Georgia.
By all accounts, the career move paid off. The firm was the first to construct a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) home in Augusta. In 2017, Ivey Homes was named Best Builder by Columbia County Magazine. It was the ninth year in a row that the brothers achieved this distinction. And there have been many more, such as the Excellence Award in 2013 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and 10 Guildmaster Awards for exceptional customer service. In 2016 and 2017, Ivey Homes was named Best Builder by Augusta Magazine.
13) Richard Padgham Fine Custom Homes
Website | 770.503.1999 | 341 Oak Street, Gainesville, GA 30501
By the time Richard Padgham opened this Gainesville firm in 2002, he had close to 20 years’ residential building experience. Padgham is a member of the NAHB and the Hall County Home Builders Association (HCHBA). He belongs to the NAHB 20 Club of the nation’s premier builders. He is also a veteran of the US Marine Corps.
Many of Padgham’s projects have been written up in the Gainesville Times. The builder has achieved national recognition as well, having been featured on an episode of the TV show Today’s Builder. The homes range in style from English manor to traditional and French country. Most recently, Padgham has favored contemporary mountain homes with exteriors made from Douglas-fir and redwood accents. Entryways are crafted with exquisite wood arches framed by stone details. Inside, special features include cathedral ceilings with skylights to flood gourmet kitchens with natural light; custom-carved millwork; coffered ceilings in libraries; and dark walnut studies. Perry homes are found in Chestnut Mountain, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Lula, and Oakwood.
12) Goodsell Associates
Website | 404.352.9660 | 2807 Drummond Point SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
Bob Goodsell and nephew Dan Goodsell have run this premier North Metro Atlanta construction company for over 35 years. They favor traditional-styled homes and serve the areas of Buckhead, Vinings, Sandy Springs, East Cobb, and any affluent community in North Atlanta. As president, Dan supervises every job site where Goodsell Associates builds.
When they’re not building, each is busy promoting high standards in the state’s residential building industry. Bob, who is chairman, is past president of North Fulton Home Builders Chapter (NFHBC), and past director of GAHBA, the Home Builders Association of Georgia (HBAG), and NAHB. He has also served on the Fulton County Land Development Advisory Committee and on the GAHBA Government Affairs Council. Goodsell has been honored with Best Innovation Home Awards from the Wood American Council and the Best Luxury Home Award by Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. They were recognized as one of 22 excellent home builders nationwide by American Builder Quarterly. Their work has been featured in Professional Builder Magazine, Southeastern Home Builder, Veranda, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens and cover stories in Builder Magazine and American Builder Magazine on innovative and quality construction
11) The Providence Group
Website | 678.475.9400 | 11340 Lakefield Drive, Johns Creek, GA 30097
This custom home builder in Johns Creek is run by the father-and-son team Pete and Warren Jolly. Warren knew at age 16 that he wanted to build homes. By age 18, he had finished his first one. The home was profiled in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Warren went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in building construction from Auburn University. Soon after graduation, he and his father launched a successful land development firm. By 2001, the pair combined their five decades of building experience into this award-winning construction company.
Homes by the Providence Group range in price from $200k to over $1M. They are found in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton, and Marietta. The company was honored with the Master Planned Community of the Year Award in 2013 for its projects in the Highlands of Sandy Springs. It was ranked by Builder Magazine on the 100 List of national contractors. In 2017, the Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked The Providence Group as the city’s 11th largest home builder.
10) Principle Builders Group
Website | 404.229.6644 | 674 North Highland Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Founders Ryan Locke and Tony Bondhus opened this flourishing Georgia custom home builder in 2008. An economics graduate from The University of Georgia, Locke had been president of a construction equipment supplier before pursuing contracting full time. Co-founder Anthony Bondhus holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Arkansas.and formerly owned Bauhaus Design Build and Bauhaus Realty Group. The firm is affiliated with The Association of General Contractors (AGC) and the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Greater Atlantas Homebuilders Association, Atlanta Board of Realtors and it is an EarthCraft home builder.
The LEED-certified residences by Bondhus and Locke, which typically sell for between $750k and $2M, appear throughout upscale towns in Buckhead, Ansley Park, Decatur, Sandy Springs, and Candler Park. Work by Principle Builders Group is frequently covered in local papers and trade publications. The Company has been proudly awarded five Gold Obie Awards from the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association. Another 2016 build on Alaska Avenue won the Kitchen of the Year contest sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. The sleek, modern build was featured in Design Equilibrium and Atlanta Magazine.
9) Stokesman Luxury Homes
Website | 404.964.6631 | 118 Terrace Drive, Atlanta, GA 30305
Boutique custom home builder Stokesman Luxury Homes was chosen for its high-end custom creations in elite Buckhead neighborhoods, including Tuxedo Park. The firm carefully selects a handful of projects per year to ensure that each estate is truly unique and executed with expert craftsmanship and high attention to detail. Although not quite as high in the awards category as compared to some other companies on this list, it is #2 for its community service and for its remarkable and valuable work in upscale neighborhoods across Buckhead.
Its latest project is a stunning estate at 3540 Knollwood Dr NW that is the only new construction available in prestigious Tuxedo Park with an estimated completion date of July 2018. The home offers unmatched luxury and privacy featuring two breathtaking master suites with covered verandas and resort style bathrooms. Some of the other highlights are custom cabinetry by local artisans, elegant marble, level walkout lawns with a sleek saltwater pool/hot tub/tanning ledge, an outdoor kitchen/cabana, and beautiful European style iron doors. The 1.84 acre estate is listed at $4,999,500.
The company was co-founded by Stokely Weinberg, who has an extensive background in Atlanta real estate development and serves as Inner Atlanta President for the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, and by Bryan Eastman, whose expertise is in home construction and design.
Eastman spends his spare time supporting the nonprofit organization Angel Flight, made up of pilots providing free air transportation to people suffering from severe medical needs. He also volunteers with Veterans Airlift Command supporting families of wounded veterans and has delivered supplies to earthquake victims in Haiti. Weinberg is passionate about helping underserved communities and devotes hundreds of hours per year to coaching and mentoring at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta.
8) Storey Custom Homes
Website | 678.957.0110 | Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Duluth, GA 30097
Danny and Kevin Storey are a father-and-son team of home builders who worked together for years before they opened this business. Both men are well educated. Danny graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Kevin received degrees from Auburn University’s School of Business in Alabama. Both have advanced construction credentials with certifications from the Council of American Building Officials (CABO). Kevin is also certified by the International Code Council (ICC).
Their Duluth-based firm, which opened in 1998, has put up more than 50 luxury estates in upscale Sugarloaf Country Club — more than any other Atlanta builder. The team also builds in the well-off neighborhoods of River Club and Gwinnett County. Since 2002, Storey Custom Homes has been recognized with 19 industry awards. These include three Gold Obie Awards from GAHBA for Best Homes in price categories between $1.21M and over $2M. In 2016, GAHBA presented the team with two Professionalism Awards for custom builds in Sugarloaf Country Club.
7) Waterford Homes
Website | 770.448.2175 | 5880 Live Oak Parkway, Norcross, GA 30093
Since graduating from Princeton University, David Clough has enjoyed big-league success in the homebuilding industry. In 1975, he was hired by a national homebuilder based in Washington, DC. Four years later, Clough supervised the company’s Atlanta division, where he built hundreds of luxury homes each year. By 1991, he had met future partner Don Shanks, and the two opened Waterford Homes. Clough is president. Shanks, who is senior vice president, received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He, too, personally managed hundreds of residential construction projects for a national builder. The team also includes a licensed architect, Chris Samuda.
Typical jobs by Waterford Homes cost between $500k and $1.2M. They are built in traditional, modern farmhouse, and Craftsman styles. Norcross, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, and Roswell are some of the areas this team serves. The posh homes have garnered such honors as GAHBA Most Prestigious Award and Builder of the Year in 2012, HBAG Builder of the Year in 2010, and a GAHBA Presidential Award in 2005, not to mention numerous Obie awards in 2006.
6) Harcrest Homes
Website | 678.828.7151 | 6819 Lake Sterling Boulevard, Flowery Branch, GA 30542
Georgia native Mike Smith, president of Harcrest Homes, spent his childhood summers working for his father’s plumbing business. Smith received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Georgia Southern University in 1989. He landed a job at Carl Riden Homes and eventually made partner. In 1998, he and Carl changed the firm’s name to Harcrest Homes. Today, Smith is the sole owner. He serves on the board of directors for the GAHBA and the Certified Professional Home Builders (CPHB). His new homes appear throughout northeast Georgia, especially Laurel Springs, Habersham, Buford, Gwinnett County, and Trilogy Park.
The firm has been honored with over 100 industry awards from the GAHBA. National recognition came in 2000, when Builder Magazine and the NAHB presented Smith with the Lee Evans Award for Business Management Excellence. The following year, Smith and the team were named America’s Best Builder by the NAHB. In 2009, Harcrest Homes was named Atlanta Builder of the Year by the GAHBA. Press coverage has been both local and national, with features in Builder Magazine.
5) Steven West Custom Homes
Website | 404.925.4203| 9030 Hawks Cove Road, Gainesville, GA 30506
Back in the 1990s, Steven West Custom Homes began erecting high-end new homes in the metropolitan Atlanta suburb of St. Marlo. The firm has become known as a leading residential contractor of exquisitely designed estates. West and his team build homes that start at $600k. They serve the areas of Alpharetta, Belvedere Park, Buckhead, Roswell, and Vinings.
Press coverage has been plentiful, with recognition in trade publications such as Trends Magazine, as well as television appearances. West has also received numerous industry awards, including the GAHBA Obie Award in 2009 for Best Home Over $5M. That same year, a home by West was chosen by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine to be the Atlanta Holiday House. In 2010, the magazine selected a mansion built by West on West Paces Ferry Road to be the Christmas House. The spectacular French country-inspired home, known as “Sterling Hall,” is equipped with a full-service salon and a breathtaking spiral staircase. It was opened for tours and raised over $700k for local charities.
4) Highlight Homes
Website | 678.873.9234 | 3384 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326
This residential contractor in Georgia was founded by an Alabama native who, at age six, knew he was destined to build spectacular homes. Anthony Pourhassan spent his childhood and teen years learning construction by working with his father, who was a builder in Montgomery. Pourhassan received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Structural Engineering from Auburn University. By 2005, he had moved to Atlanta and opened this firm. Pourhassan’s team has since built over 1,000 homes in the city’s well-to-do neighborhoods of Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Chastain Park, and Buckhead.
New homes by Pourhassan’s team have made front-page stories in The Atlanta Journal, Birmingham Business Journal, Remodel Atlanta Magazine, and Custom Home Magazine. The firm’s honors include several Obie Awards. Pourhassan participated in the 2012 Energy, Environment and Conservation Roundtable hosted at the White House in 2012. He serves on the board of directors for the Georgia Association of Home Builders (GAHB) Green Building Council. The LEED-certified firm is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), is certified by Professional Home Builders of Georgia, and is an EarthCraft Builder.
3) Vincent Longo Custom Builders
Website | 404.815.7224 | 2451 Cumberland Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339
Vincent Longo was just a teenager when he apprenticed for a contractor in his native Upstate New York town. Eventually, he became certified as a Master Carpenter and Licensed General Contractor. In 2000, soon after relocating to Atlanta, he opened Vincent Longo Custom Builders. Almost immediately, he became known for 10,000-square-foot, stone-clad estates equipped with elevators, lavish terraces, billiards rooms, and spas. The structures often fetch between $6.8M and $10M. Alpharetta, Ansley Park, Buckhead, Brookhaven, and Virginia Highlands are some of the areas that Longo serves.
Longo’s builds are favorite topics for the local press and are highly esteemed by Atlanta’s building industry. He has won 18 Obie Awards from GAHBA and is a member of the prestigious NAHB 20 Club. In 2017, Longo was honored with the Best in American Living (BALA) Wow! Award for one-of-a-kind design detail. He has served on the GAHBA executive committee since 2015 and is currently vice president. In 2004, Longo was honored with the HomeAid Atlanta Builder of the Year.
Website | 678.939.9578 | 5780 Windward Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30005
In 1948, soon after serving in World War II, Howard Chatham returned to Georgia and built his first home. A neighbor, impressed with the build, asked Chatham to construct one for him. Chatham ended up selling his home to the neighbor and promptly built a second for himself. Seventy years later, the business is run by Chatham’s family, now in its 3rd generation and is the most awarded residential contractor in northern Atlanta. In 1971, son David took over as president and CEO of Chatham Holdings Corporation, which includes realty and asset management firms. Chatham has built more than 5,500 luxury estates in metropolitan Atlanta.
David is a lifetime board member of the NAHB and a member of GAHBA. He is former president of the Atlanta Home Building Association (AHBA). In 1998, David received the GAHBA’s most prestigious honor: the Lewis Cenker Award for significant contributions to Georgia’s building industry. He serves on the board of directors for Southern Living Builder Program (SLBP) and CoreLogic, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
1) Bonner Custom Homes
Website | 770.423.0249 | 269 Lawrence Street NE, Marietta, GA 30060
Jerry Bonner completed his first construction job at age 12, for his uncle’s contracting crew in Griffin. Bonner went on to earn a degree in engineering from Southern Technical College in Florida. By 1969, Bonner was serving with the US Army in Vietnam, where he spent his free time constructing barracks for his unit. By 1978, he had moved to Atlanta and established this residential construction business. His son Rhett, a graduate of Samford University in Alabama, soon joined, and today he serves as company vice president.
The new homes built by the Bonners are so top-tier that the phrase, “this is a Bonner Custom Home” is a favorite selling point of local realtors. The father and son have been profiled at length in Custom Homes Magazine, Veranda, Southern Homes, and Better Homes and Gardens. The duo received widespread acclaim for building the second largest home in Georgia, the “Le Reve” estate in Cumming. This 47,000-square-foot complex takes up 90 acres and features a private golf course, private lake, tennis court, and stables. It reportedly sold for $45M.