wjmdes Archive

Shasta Way Renovation

A few times during my career I have been able to work with people that do not only force me to improve my game but are incredibly talented and just a joy to work with. One of the clients I enjoy working with as much as possible is Nancy Keenan of Harris Park Homes.

Nancy came to me with this project a while back and a few ideas of what she was looking for. As can be seen from the photos, this was a very plain and boring house and Nancy was not going to have that.

Existing Home – The Challenge
The rear of the original home.

The joys of working with someone like Nancy is she is always open to my ideas and with the back and forth between us, I get to see something incredible evolve.

Original Rendering

The final drawings I give Nancy for construction are only the beginning. She continues to create and revise throughout the entire construction process. Her final product is always so much more than I envisioned and her attention to detail is amazing.

These are the pictures taken after the home was completed and sold in record time:

Second Story Addition

The transformation of older homes can be quite spectacular.  This existing, run-down, single-story residence has long been left in the past in a neighborhood that had been upgraded long ago.

Existing Home

WJM Designs was tasked with providing a design to bring home up to code, provide a second story, and integrate the exterior to fit more comfortably in the neighborhood.

Dick’s Wings and Grill

We have just finished a preliminary design for Dick’s Wings and Grill in Jacksonville, Florida.  The owner was unhappy with the original design she was provided and our team evaluated the existing space and requirements of the restaurant.  With that information, we redesigned the space to include essential elements that were missing from the original design and incorporate more seating.

View dicks_360_4 in Chief Architect’s 360° Panorama Viewer.

The space was originally a Panera Bread company with 5000 square feet of space that we had to work with. During the design phase we try to minimize cost by determining where all existing plumbing is to try and group the various elements of the restaurant around existing sources of power and plumbing.

Final Floor Plan

The final design includes a large bar, game room, dining for 174 people on the inside and another 52 people on the outdoor patio surrounded by palm trees.

Large Bar Area

This project is currently being evaluated by contractors and in the near future we will begin the drawings for both a permit and construction.

Quick Burger – Jasper, Georgia: 17 Years Later

About a year after we decided to make WJM Designs a reality, a potential client called and asked us if we had the ability to design a restaurant for them. We had not designed a restaurant before but did have faith in our ability so we nervously answered: “Of course!”

This took us on a journey with Beef ‘O Brady’s restaurants that lasted over 10 years and included over 45 units all over the country until the chain stopped expanding. Our involvement with the first Beef’s started a relationship with a contractor who got us involved with a British Gentleman in Jasper Georgia, who wanted to convert an old Dairy Queen into a diner that also had car service with servers on roller skates.

So back in 2004, we helped the owner come up with a design and plans to kick his idea up several notches and the new Quick Burger was built. The owner at the time, held back on final finishes to keep the budget down and he concentrated on the food portion of the business.

Quick Burger – 2004

This weekend we went for leisurely drive and came across Quick Burger and after more than 17 years the owner has finally added the finishing touches that we had designed so long ago. Yes, we were beaming to see our original concept finally come to life.

Quick Burger – 2020
Existing Quick Burger – 2002

WJM Designs Covid-19 Response

The COVID-19 virus has turned the world on its head, however, the construction industry is still very active and WJM Designs, an essential service, has made commitments to our clients that we are planning to honor through this tough time. We take the health of ourselves and clients very seriously.

Most jurisdictions around northern Georgia including Atlanta have revamped their permitting process over the last several weeks to not only continue accepting submissions for new construction, additions, and remodeling but also review projects previously submitted.  We do expect longer wait times for plan review while bugs for these new digital submissions are ironed out. We are continuing to move forward with our projects to ensure they remain on schedule to the best of our ability and to make our clients happy every step along the way.

We are also committed to slowing the spread of the virus and will adhere to CDC Guidelines, especially if we need to enter a client’s home.

The Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) has offered several informational tools and advice to aid in stopping the spread. The advice offered includes:

  1. Cleaning your hands often,
  2. Avoiding close contact, or abiding by social distancing protocols, and
  3. Covering your nose and mouth, especially while coughing or sneezing.

To stop the spread of the virus we must work together. Stay informed on what you can do to protect you, your friends, and your family.

Yes, it is a cliche, but WE WILL get through this together!

Stay safe and stay well!

Watercolor Renderings

We are still excited about the change we made several years ago to new software to produce not only the construction documents but also renderings of both the exterior and interior of our commercial and residential projects.

These renderings help the clients envision their dream. We are able to use different styles of renderings from photorealistic to renderings that look like watercolors depending on what we are trying to convey to the client.

Watercolor Rendering
Watercolor Rendering

Multi-Family Projects

We have worked on may multifamily projects over the years and generally, they are just cosmetic renovations and updating them to current codes. Our newest project in Brookhaven, Georgia will also include a major exterior renovation of 12 buildings including complete interior rehab of 164 units and the addition of a new clubhouse.

Exterior of the Existing Apartments

The existing property has been neglected for an extended period of time and has quite the dated appearance. The new owners are hoping to provide affordable housing with an updated look.

Custom Home in the West End Historic district

Designing a custom home is always a challenge. Add in the fact that the lot is in a Historic District and it becomes an exercise in patience.

This home, located on Atwood Street in the West End Historic District of Atlanta took about 6 months from the time we started the design until a permit was obtained.

The investors provided us with some preliminary sketches, a survey of the lot and what their vision for the home was. We spent some time drafting a floor plan based on the requirements of the property and made sure what we were doing conformed to the setbacks, impervious limits and floor/area ratio outlined in the zoning ordinances for that property.

We also visited the neighborhood and documented the homes around this site that the Urban Design Commission (UDC, Historic Commission), considered comparable properties. In order for the Commission to adequately review and ensure the house conformed to the neighborhood, we provided and documented on the drawings for each comparable property, everything from how far the porch and main house was set from the street to the height of the roof and porch from the ground and the percentage of windows on each of the 4 sides. We then produced a 3D model of what we felt best fit in with the surrounding area.

Private Club Renovation

This large private tennis and swim club located in Brookhaven had a tremendous amount of space undercover that the members want to be able to use year-round.

The new proposed space not only uses the exterior undercover space, but also implemented areas currently inside the lower level that are not actively used into over 1500 square feet of sitting and dining. The final design also includes almost 400 square feet of commercial kitchen and bar.

During the summer months, the area will have numerous custom glass overhead doors that can be opened and becomes part of the summer experience.

Below are the photos of the space before the proposed renovation.

Below are the renderings of the new proposed space.

The New View of the Building from the Pool.
New Seating Area
Seating Area and New Bar
A View of the New Bar

Out With the Old and in with the New

Here at WJM Designs we truly enjoy working on old homes and helping investors not only flip the property but provide a beautiful home for a family that will treasure it for years to come. Homeowners truly enjoy having the unique home on the street.

Existing Home – What we started with.

The new design takes this 1700 square foot, 3 bedroom, wearisome ranch residence and turns it into a modern dream. The finished home will have a second story addition and a complete interior renovation to bring the square footage up to 3,500 plus a full finished basement. Six bedrooms will leave plenty of room for a large family and the open living/dining/kitchen with high vaulted ceilings will add an air of roominess.

Finishing off the design is a monumental stair to the new second floor and a new covered screened porch overlooking a newly renovated pool. The existing garage will also get a facelift to match the new house design.

The New Vision
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