During a question and answer session at a recent industry conference, a home builder asked Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi for his thoughts about the labor
A Real Showoff
For Warren Sirzyk, president of Renaissance Development Corp., this 14,800-square-foot Southern belle in Atlanta’s desirable Buckhead community was his first venture into the challenging but rewarding task of constructing a “showcase” home to not only ...
|The Dream Home’s two-story foyer is crowned by a dome ceiling from which an elegant chandelier descends. The fixture can be lowered by an electric winch for cleaning. The foyer’s curved staircase features mental balustrades and oversize Georgian handrails. Flooring is limestone.|
For Warren Sirzyk, president of Renaissance Development Corp., this 14,800-square-foot Southern belle in Atlanta’s desirable Buckhead community was his first venture into the challenging but rewarding task of constructing a “showcase” home to not only demonstrate his skill as a builder, but also to feature the latest products and materials available for his high-end market.
The magnificent, $3 million residence, known as Amazing Innovations Dream Home 2001, was included in an off-premise tour of luxury homes held for builders attending the 2001 International Builders’ Show in Atlanta. Sirzyk says nearly 5,000 visitors went through the home during the show or on the three successive weekends he kept it open for public tour.
“I discovered that this type of project really takes an extraordinary amount of time,” Sirzyk says. “We had a lot of 20-hour days in the final three weeks before the show.”
Members of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association approached architect Bill Harrison, looking for a project to use as a showcase home during the NAHB show. Harrison says he was quick to recommend Sirzyk because of his reputation for building quality custom homes.
|Architect Bill Harrison capitalized on the natural slope of the site to give the daylight basement walk-out appeal.|
Renaissance Development builds, on average, six to 10 luxury homes in the Atlanta market per year, including two or three spec projects. All are priced in excess of $2 million, Sirzyk says.
The Dream Home, which has more than 10,500 square feet of living space on the first and second floors, an additional 3,500 square feet in the finished basement and 800 square feet of finished space in the attic, is actually a hybrid of ideas he took from past projects. “This home really evolved from others that I had already built,” Sirzyk says.
|Constructed for the International Builders’ Show last February in Atlanta, the Amazing Innovations Dream Home 2001 was included in the NAHB’s off-site tour of local luxury construction projects.|
The home’s interior is much more open and contemporary than its traditional English manor exterior style would suggest, Harrison says. “Because this was a show house, we designed it to contain a lot of ‘wow’ factors. You still have to remember, however, that people are eventually going to live there, so the home has got to be contextual to the area.”
The home opens with a striking, two-story entrance foyer crowned by an oval ceiling. A reading nook with built-in bookcases is located at the midpoint of the sweeping formal staircase. Ceilings throughout the first floor are 12 feet or higher, and many rooms are customized by coffered, tray or barrel-vaulted ceilings.
|The kitchen (top) features a barrel-vaulted ceiling and every amenity a gourmet cook could desire, including professional-grade appliances, custom cabinetry and granite countertops. One of the home’s four masonry fireplaces serves as the focal point for the keeping room (bottom) located off the kitchen.|
The main floor features formal entertaining areas including the dining room with butler’s pantry and the living room. The study, at the front of the house, features access to a secret office “hidden” behind a bookcase wall. The informal keeping room, with its 4-foot masonry fireplace, shares its warmth and charm with the adjoining kitchen.
The second floor features five large bedrooms including the master retreat and a large flex space above the three-car garage that can be used for older children or in-laws, or as quarters for a housekeeper.
Because of the 1.6-acre site’s steep slope, Sirzyk was able to construct the home with 12-foot foundation walls in the basement, giving this walk-out level the same spacious ambience as the rest of the interior.
The Dream Home’s high-end products include the latest in smart-house technology, appliances, home theater equipment and even a self-filling, self-cleaning tub in the master suite. A state-of-the-art elevator services all four floors.
This home is one of two homes Sirzyk built for the NAHB show tour in a five-lot neighborhood, Old Londonberry, where he is both the developer and builder. Located on adjoining lots, both homes were similar in size and amenities, The Dream Home was completed in February 2001 and had hard costs of $210 per square foot with approximately $300,000 of donated products and labor for display.
|Every fireplace in the Dream Home was constructed of lightweight panelized concrete block and features a full masonry finish. This fireplace, located in the study, features a limestone mantel. The bookcase wall adjoining it is actually a passageway that reveals a “hidden” office.|
After the show, the home was purchased by a buyer who had seen it on Sirzyk’s Web site. “That was another first for me,” Sirzyk says.
Builder| Renaissance Development Corp., Atlanta
Architect| Harrison Design Associates, Atlanta
Interior Designer| Carlton-Pace Interiors, Atlanta
Major Products Used| Appliances: Viking | Cabinetry: Acorn | Countertops: G & L Marble of Atlanta | Doors: Supa | Exterior Finish: Alba Stone Products | Fireplaces: Fire Rock | Flooring: limestone, heart pine, oak | Home Controls/Automation: CentraLite, Panja | HVAC: Lennox | Lighting: Georgia Lighting | Plumbing Fixtures: Toto, Delta, MTI Whirlpools | Roofing: CertainTeed | Windows: Marvin.