Driving around Buckhead’s treelined neighborhoods, it would be hard to miss houses under construction that have the Siegel Construction & Design signage out front. Hard to miss because a Siegel house represents its own unique look and aesthetic. Most of Siegel Construction & Design’s remodeling or new construction projects are 10,000 square feet or more, along with top line finishes and appliances.
David Siegel, a graduate of North Springs High School and the University of Georgia says, “Building high end houses like ours costs upwards of $4-6 million. The inventory in that price range is low, so we rarely have to market them before posting ‘Under Contract’ on the sign. In addition to building spec houses, we get calls from agents and brokers who have customers interested in high-end remodeling jobs. We stay focused on Buckhead, maybe a few jobs in Ansley or North Buckhead/Sandy Springs.” Siegel’s company, which includes his wife Kathy, who handles the design aspect of the work, has 15-20 projects going on at any one time.
Siegel’s first job was brokering raw plastic, dipping his toe into learning about materials. After meeting Kathy in New York City, the two took on some “fun remodeling projects” with Kathy’s stepfather, who was in construction.
After moving to Atlanta, they remodeled or built and successfully sold a number of homes, then the 2008 financial crisis hit. Siegel said, “If you went to a bank at that time with free land, labor and materials and asked to do a spec home, they wouldn’t entertain the idea. They threw the baby out with the bathwater by not allowing loans. Banks were just not lending.”
Until the capital markets re-opened, the duo worked for others remodeling kitchens and other smaller home projects and learned a lot along the way. In 2016 the Siegel’s, started their own construction and design company.
In terms of high prices, Siegel has experienced inflationary costs in lumber, roofing supplies, appliances (top-shelf Sub Zero and Wolf) and more. Thankfully, they are not experiencing labor shortages. Siegel explained, “We have our own large and loyal crew that we treat like family: general contractors, project managers, and 25 or so carpenters.
Siegel says that the average house now takes 18 months to build, sometimes delayed by having to get city permit approval which can often move slowly. They have to address water quality studies and make sure that trees are handled correctly.
Kathy, as chief designer, works carefully with the architect and homeowners to create the best interiors. The Siegel Construction & Design style is clean and minimal.
“We connect the inside and outside with beautiful sight lines throughout the house. We stay current without being too trendy. The most important thing when building a custom house or doing a major remodel is getting to know our clients and the way they live. Right now, we are combining different natural woods with warm painted and plastered walls, white marbles with large veining. All of our houses open to large, covered porches through iron doors. Working with my daughter Maggie helps keep our style current so we are always adapting to new design ideas,” says Kathy.
David describes more design vision and what’s on trend: less trim, using weathered granite, plastered walls, natural honed marble, flamed bluestone, cedar and cypress woods, cedar shake roofs, and painted white brick exterior are all popular.
David agrees with Kathy, “Having Maggie’s input is inspiring as she learns the family business. The bottom line is to select a builder whom you can trust, but also is well versed in design and understanding your vision. After all, Kathy is our secret sauce. We are passionate about our business and feel no one does it as well as we do.”
The Siegels are members of The Temple on Peachtree.