Incorporated in 2006, Phoenix Renovations is co-owned by John French and Lee Fiata. After years of side projects and an interest in home renovating, Lee and John both left the corporate world to pursue their passion for home building and remodeling. They have been remodeling, renovating, and building homes and relationships in the community ever since.
Phoenix Renovations has been built on word-of-mouth: one client at a time. For this reason, we place great emphasis on customer service as well as providing high-quality products and results at a good value and in a timely manner. With every client interaction, we strive to extend our reputation of quality, value and honesty.
Our typical project is located in in-town Atlanta, and would require architectural plans and permitting. Our specialties include whole house renovations, second story and rear additions, and new home construction. We partner with local architects to provide clients with a turn-key solution to their needs and like to be involved in every project phase from early planning all the way through building completion.
John’s building experience got a jump start at the age of eight when he helped his father construct his dream tree-house in the backyard of his family home in Chapel Hill, NC. This experience must have struck a chord with John as he continued involvement with construction and carpentry by participating with the Appalachian Service Project, Habitat for Humanity and eagerly shadowing his grandfather whenever possible in his wood-working shop. College cumulated in a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from UNC Wilmington and four and half years of afternoons, weekends and summers apprenticing with a local contractor remodeling and building homes on Wrightsville Beach, NC.
Not long after finishing college, John decided to move to Atlanta for a change of scenery and started a two year stint in the corporate world working for a large technical recruiting and software company. While this allowed John to hone his interpersonal skills and business acumen, it also served to make clear to him that his true interest and passion was to work for himself, get his hands dirty and continue to learn and practice all things related to construction. After a few key introductions to local real estate investors looking for help with remodeling older homes in the area, Phoenix Renovations was born in 2002.
John and Phoenix haven’t looked back! John feels extremely fortunate to be able to continue growing the company with business partner and co-owner Lee Fiata, and to be able to have partnered with so many wonderful clients on their home renovation and building needs. He looks forward to his on-going mission of exceeding client’s expectations and goals as Phoenix continues to grow.
Lee began his construction career working for a custom home builder while still attending High School in Sarasota, Florida. He spent several hot summers assisting the carpentry crew and learning the trade. His summer work in construction continued while he attended classes at the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business.
After graduating from college, Lee moved to Atlanta where he purchased and renovated his first home in Peachtree Park in 1988. At that time, home renovating was still a hobby and his day job as a software developer and project manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises paid the bills and taught him valuable business, communications, and project management skills.
Lee continued to buy older in-town homes to fix up and sell. He had heard good things about a company called Phoenix Renovations and hired them in 2002 to facilitate one of his current projects. With each new renovation project though, Lee knew his real interest was in home building and remodeling. In 2006 he “retired” from software development to become a co-owner of Phoenix Renovations.
Richard has had a nearly 30-year career in engineering and construction management that has led him from landscape architecture to the remediation of hazardous waste – with excursions into the technology and finance industries in between – and now to a late-career shift as a Project Manager overseeing the renovation of classic homes in the historic neighborhoods of Atlanta. Something he’s always wanted to do.
Richard grew up in Roswell, Georgia and got his Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia. He ultimately spent over 25 years in Boston, Massachusetts, and is a recent transplant back to his ‘home’. With a solid background in site development, contractor management, risk assessment and cost containment, the fit with Phoenix Renovations is about as perfect as he could imagine. That, and the commute is a joy (Richard lives in one of the neighborhoods where we work).
In his off hours, Richard is an avid surfer and enjoys other outdoor activities, such as running and re-exploring the mountains, rivers and coasts of the southeast.
Stephanie started in construction even before she graduated from The University of Central Florida with a degree in Business Administration. She ran a swimming pool construction company in Orlando, Florida for 13 years before she relocated to Atlanta in 2011 and took her talents to the home renovation regime. Before she left the pool construction industry, Stephanie was able to coordinate the entire process of building a custom pool. This ability easily transcended into managing home renovation projects. With that knowledge, she joined the Phoenix team in 2014 after hearing glowing reviews about the company from her peers in the industry.
As a Project Coordinator, Stephanie uses her strong interpersonal skills to act as a liaison between the homeowner and subcontractor tying the whole process together with her vigorous organizational skills. The outcome is the seamless transformation of turning an ordinary house into a dream!
Once a Phoenix client, Zoë enjoyed the process of helping coordinate her own renovation so much that she wanted more. Zoë’s previous design, teaching and business experience provide a solid base for project coordination. Earning BFA and MFA degrees in textile and surface design, she came to Atlanta to start the Surface Design Program at Georgia State University’s School of Art and Design. After fifteen years of teaching, she left to become a founding principal in Skema Design Studio, printing custom fabrics for interior designers/architects and creating print/graphic design for national corporate clients. She was also owner/designer of Barkology, a wholesale fashion and paper goods line.
The challenge of successfully updating a vintage home is certainly within her wheelhouse, and Zoë’s own home, built in 1909, was a great training ground. To thoughtfully renovate and update takes careful attention and planning for a result that is current, livable, and maintains the home’s original character. The integrity with which Phoenix completes projects appropriate to their environs was a major attraction to her, both as a client and employee.
Zoë thrives on detail, organization, and the opportunity to creatively help the Phoenix homeowners realize their renovation dreams. She especially likes all aspects of being in the field. From initial decision making through rough-in, trim-out, and punch out, she considers it a privilege to work with our clients, vendors and contractors to the culmination of a renovation that makes everyone proud and pleased.
Corinn started her career in public accounting working at her father’s established CPA firm and simultaneously was interning with Mann, Judd, Landau/Touche Ross in New York City. Later, she earned a permanent position as an auditor. She then went on to spend 20 years of her career in the hospitality industry and eventually became the accounting manager for The Equinox Resort and Spa in Manchester, Vermont.
The opportunity to work with family arose again when Phoenix Renovations needed an office manager with an accounting background so Corinn moved from Vermont to Atlanta to work with Lee, her brother, and John. In Vermont Corinn did a whole house renovation on her own home which she found very rewarding making the opportunity to work for Phoenix even more compelling.
Corinn has been with Phoenix Renovations since June 2014. Her duties cover all the aspects of financial, clerical, and managerial responsibilities. She is more than happy to go the extra mile for her team members; she now spends her days busily buzzing around the office with a smile for anyone who comes in the door.