When two brothers came together to build Cook Residential, they embarked on the creation of a company that would be built upon a solid foundation that supports integrity, creativity, ambition and hard work. With experienced craftsmen who understand the importance of efficiency, planning and a work ethic, the company has quickly become known for the intricate house plans that can be found in all of its communities. 

Co-founders Keith and Geoff Cook have each brought their own expertise to the table. Keith Cook specializes in real estate brokerage, sales, investments, development and construction, having brokered more than $3 billion dollars of real estate transactions and currently managing several large investment portfolios. Geoff Cook has built more than $30 million dollars in commercial and residential construction projects across the Southeast. He has personally undertaken a broad range of projects, including hospitality, medical, retail, military, industrial, multi-family and new homes. 

Having been in business for more than a decade, Christopher Scott Homes specializes in creating high-end custom homes in Indianapolis and the surrounding suburbs of Zionsville, Carmel, Noblesville, Geist and Westfield. Co-owned by Christopher Carnell and Scott Bates, the company’s projects range from $700,000 to $3 million homes. 

“We try to cater to the customer and help them understand what they are getting from the beginning so there are no surprises,” Carnell says. “We were ranked as the fourth-largest custom homebuilder in the area by the Indianapolis Business Journal, and we did that through 12 quality homes. The others on the list did 40-plus projects to get to around the same revenue. Scott and I are always on site, and we have two supers working on jobs. We believe that no one knows jobs better than the people whose names are on the company, which is why we are always on site.” 

Now in its third generation of management, Chatham Neighborhoods has always been associated with the Atlanta area. “My grandfather and my father really laid the foundation for our companies in terms of quality, integrity and being able to adapt during the highs and lows of the housing market,” Vice President Gabe Chatham emphasizes. “A couple of the main keys are consistency and being in the same market over the years, which has given us an opportunity that maybe others don’t have, based on our reputation and integrity.”

Founder Howard Chatham passed away last year, and David Chatham, father of Gabe, Myles and Lance – all vice presidents at the company – is president. The company’s reputation for quality is a strong competitive advantage – Howard and David Chatham have both won the Lewis B. Cenker Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

“That is something we pride ourselves on,” Gabe Chatham emphasizes. “We get countless referrals and opportunities based on our attention to detail and our track record for integrity over 60-plus years.”

Celtic Custom Homes specializes in old world, French country and Tuscan-style homes, but it can easily step outside its comfort zone and integrate unique features, President Lee Scarlett says. For example, “We just finished a modern home for a cardiologist where we put in a shooting range in his basement,” he says.

Another client wanted a movie theater in his house, but with “five screens so the guy could watch five football games at once,” Scarlett says. “Nothing’s out of our wheelhouse.”

Based in Fayetteville, Ark., the company builds high-end custom homes for clients in northwest Arkansas. Scarlett founded Celtic in 1995 after operating his own insurance company. He entered the construction industry when a client approached him about building a spec home.

When it was formed in 2012, Carrera Homes was looking to address the lack of new construction inventory in Atlanta’s in-town housing market. The company was also aiming to provide quality, custom-built luxury homes in Atlanta’s top in-town neighborhoods. Utilizing the combined experience of its principals in land acquisition, commercial, multifamily and single-family housing, Carrera Homes has been able to make the custom homebuilding process more streamlined and offer a more accountable approach than others in the industry.  

“All of our principals have 20-plus years of experience in the building industry,” President Steven Delonga says. “We currently are building homes ranging between $900,000 to $7 million across Atlanta’s top in-town neighborhoods.” 

Bonterra Builders has been building its reputation as an exceptional homebuilder over the past 14 years by delivering high-quality products that are recognized throughout the industry. The company was awarded the Quality Builders Warranty Corp.’s “2013 Builder of Integrity” award for its demonstrated commitment to excellence in customer service and quality construction. 

“We offer features that are considered a better end-product by the consumer,” Vice President of Construction Operations Mark Panzik says.  “Darren Sutton – the president of Bonterra Builders – is a person who has a relentless passion for homebuilding and customer satisfaction. He has a feel for architecture like I have never seen before. You can see the difference in what we build in the way our homes present themselves from the exterior. Once inside our floor plans do not disappoint.”

For several years, Lynn Powell managed rental properties across Texas for other companies, but thought she could do a better job with her own firm. So in 2000, she founded At Home Properties to be a full-service real estate company that specializes in the management and sales of rental properties exclusively in Bryan and College Station, Texas – home of Texas A&M University – primarily for college students, families and investors.

“So many companies have the mentality to put any warm body in their property that they don’t look at the house until the lease is up and hope they put in good tenants who don’t wreck the house,” Broker and Owner Lynn Powell asserts. “We don’t take those chances. We’re more careful in who we rent to and how we handle maintenance of the property. You have to be very hands-on for that.”

Green construction is changing the way we look at designing, building and remodeling homes, down to the smallest details. Among those details, the building materials chosen are especially scrutinized in an effort to leave behind the smallest carbon footprint. Alan Hoffmann, founder of the Alan Hoffmann Company, not only believes in the importance of this change, but leads the way in sustainable homebuilding throughout Dallas.  

Until recently, LEED certification was a high standard set for large construction projects, and not for small jobs such as single-family homes. As a participant in a 2007 LEED pilot program, Hoffmann completed the first LEED-certified house in Dallas in 2008. With a staff of 15 people, he may not be the biggest builder in town, but he’s been working in green building since he founded his company in 1987 – long enough to become a well-known name in the industry. 

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