Lake Lanier Builders: Companies Crafting Homes with a View

If you want to spend your free time relaxing by the lake in a gorgeous backyard and spending time on your boat out on a sprawling and beautiful lake, Lake Lanier in North Georgia offers exactly that.

Situated along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Lanier is a wonderful place to engage in all manners of outdoor activities, gaze out upon aqua-colored waters, and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you’re thinking of building the lakeside estate of your dreams on Lake Lanier, one of the first questions that might pop into your head is who you’ll hire to craft your home with a view.

Though builder selection isn’t the first decision you should make when you start considering building a custom home, it can be useful to dip your toes in the water and get a sense of who the best luxury builders are in the region of your choice. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best-known and highly-regarded custom builders in the Lake Lanier region, along with some additional considerations you’ll want to keep in mind during the process.

Lake Lanier Luxury Custom Home Builders

If you’ve ever seen some multi-million dollar luxury homes on and around Lake Lanier, you might wonder who crafted such magnificent estates. In this list, which appears in no particular order and isn’t ranked, we’ll introduce you to some of the best builders in the area.

David Patterson Homes

David Patterson hasn’t just been building beautiful homes on Lake Lanier and in the greater Atlanta area for more than fifteen years, but he was also born and raised in Forsyth County. Over the course of his career, he built more than one hundred custom homes in the area for a number of national and regional home builders in metro Atlanta before starting his own company in 2015 with his wife.

Dedicated to crafting homes that aren’t run-of-the-mill new construction properties, the combination of Lauren’s eye for design and David’s building experience creates a truly unique outcome.

David Patterson Homes

In 2021, they were awarded three Gold Greater Atlanta Professionalism Awards for “outstanding achievement in new home building and marketing.”

You can see one of their custom-built luxury homes on Lake Lanier in their current home listings, with beautiful views of the lake, an included boat slip, and a number of posh amenities. You can also see more of their custom and semi-custom homes in their gallery.

Harcrest Homes

The president of Harcrest Homes is another Georgia native– Mike Smith. Together with his team, he’s won a long list of awards since they first went into business back in 1977. They’ve had more than one hundred Professionalism Awards from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and were nationally recognized by the National Association of Home Builders when they received the Lee Evans Award for Business Management Excellence.

In 2001, Harcrest Homes were the recipient of one of the most coveted national awards in home building– the America’s Best Builder award from Builder Magazine and the National Association of Home Builders.

Harcrest Homes

Based in Buford, Georgia, you can find Harcrest Homes throughout northeast Georgia. Frequently receiving high praise for their professionalism, personalized service, and attention to detail, Harcrest Homes is a well-known name in the northern Atlanta area.

Richard Padgham Fine Custom Homes

Though Padgham started his Fine Custom Homes firm more than twenty years ago in 2002, he already had nearly two decades of residential building experience under his belt at that point. Belonging to the NAHB 20 Club of the premier builders in the country and a member of both the NAHB and the Hall County Builders Association, his luxury custom homes have been featured a number of times in the Gainesville Times.

Padgham hasn’t just received regional recognition for his work, though– he’s also been featured on the TV show Today’s Builder. Over the course of his career, he has built homes that range in style from French country to English manor, but these days he particularly enjoys crafting exquisite contemporary mountain homes that feature redwood accents, Douglas-fir exteriors, stone details, wooden arch entryways, and other delightful touches.

Richard Padgham Fine Custom Homes

The price for one of Padgham’s custom-built homes ranges from $850,000 to $10 million, but their homes aren’t so opulent that it feels like you’re in a museum. Focused on building livable, luxury homes, they bring together a highly skilled team of project managers, artisans, and craftsmen to produce abodes that fit each client’s unique vision and needs.

Elevation Building Company

The Chief Operating Officer of Elevation Building Company is Eric Reidinger, who has built more than four hundred homes throughout his entire professional career. A versatile builder, he is known for having a thorough approach and great attention to detail in his process.

Elevation Building Company

Elevation Building Company homes can be found in a number of luxury communities, including the gated enclave of Arden on Lanier Waterside.

Bonner Buchanan Custom Homes

Bonner Buchanan has been crafting one-of-a-kind homes for more than 40 years. Guided by the unique taste and lifestyle of each client, they are committed to building distinctive, high-end homes while also forging long-lasting relationships with their clients.

For decades, this company was known as Bonner Custom Homes. In 2014, they shifted gears to become Bonner Buchanan– a new firm under new leadership. That being said, their intention has been to ensure that their roots based on traditional techniques and superior architecture have not been lost amidst the transition.

Bonner Buchanan Custom Homes

Jerry Bonner first started Bonner Custom Homes in 1978 with a true passion for traditional architecture and a desire to build new homes inspired by the beauty and craftsmanship of European homes. Though Jerry has not left the firm, the team is now led by his son Rhett Bonner along with Wes Buchanan.

This firm has long been known for their exquisitely high-quality homes. In fact, the phrase “this is a Bonner Custom Home” is known to be a favorite selling point used by real estate agents in the area.

You can find father and son Bonner profiles in publications like Southern Homes, Custom Homes Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, and Veranda. The firm even created the second largest home in the state of Georgia– a remarkable work of art known as the Le Reve estate– a 47,000 square feet, $45 million estate they crafted in Cumming. A truly lavish property, the grounds contain a private lake, private golf course, stables, and a tennis court, all on 90 luxurious acres.

Steven West Custom Homes

Steven West Custom Homes has long been known as one of the leading residential contractors of high-end homes in the metro Atlanta area. Their estates are exquisitely designed and have received tremendous press coverage, including television appearances and recognition in Trends Magazine and other trade publications.

Steven West Custom Homes

The winner of a number of industry awards, including the Best Home Over $5 million GAHBA Obie Award in 2009, Steven West Custom Homes is still the personal project of Steven West himself. He promises that he will be on-site every day when you are a client, and he will work with you side by side to create a design that is truly a work of art.

When building a home right on the water, there are a number of additional factors you’ll want to keep in mind. Check out our recent post about the restrictions and regulations on waterfront homes to ensure that your building process isn’t tangled up by any nasty surprises.

Goodsell Associates

Goodsell Associates is best known for building traditional-style homes throughout the affluent communities of northern Atlanta. In business for nearly four decades, this uncle-and-nephew team has been recognized by a number of major publications, including Builder Magazine, Home Builders Digest, American Builder Quarterly, Professional Builder, and Best of Northside (Atlanta). Beyond that, Goodsell has been awarded the Best Luxury Home Award from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and the Best Innovation Home Award from the Wood American Council.

Goodsell Associates

Every job site is supervised by the president of the company, Dan Goodsell, and both Dan and Bob are highly involved in ensuring that Georgia’s residential building industry has only the highest standards for new construction. Bob was previously the director of GAHBA, the president of North Fulton Home Builders Chapter, and is currently the chairman of NFHBC, to name just a few of the organizations he is highly involved in.


If you’re looking for a home builder around Lake Lanier and in the Atlanta area that has a lot of experience, look no further than Chatham. Howard Chatham built his first home all the way back in 1948 after returning from World War II, only to find that his neighbor was so impressed that he wanted to buy it from him. He sold his home and built another for himself right away.


After seventy years in the home-building business and three generations of the Chatham family, the Chatham firm has built more than 5,500 incredible luxury estates in and around Atlanta. You can see some of their recent projects in their gallery.

Considerations When Crafting a Home With a View on Lake Lanier

There are a plethora of options when considering building a home on Lake Lanier, as this massive lake covers five different counties in Georgia. There are a number of factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your location on Lake Lanier, including your budget, whether you want to be close to restaurants and shopping, and whether you’ll be using the home as a full-time estate or a place to escape to the lake on the weekends.

The most sought-after area on the lake is by far the south end in the areas of Flowery Branch, Buford, and some parts of Cumming. Considering that this is one of the lake’s most popular regions, the price tags for building or purchasing a luxury home are more expensive than other spots on the lake. Convenient to GA-400 and I-85 and close to Atlanta, there are many nearby restaurants and entertainment opportunities here. Since homes and lots in this area are in high demand, finding exactly what you’re looking for in the south end can be harder.

If you want to really get away from it all, the north side of the lake is far from the hustle and bustle of the city and the suburbs. That being said, it can be hard to find a property that allows for incredible, expansive lake views because of the land’s topography– the lots in this region are typically located in coves.

Lake Lanier

The east side of Lake Lanier has many more opportunities for lakeside homes and communities, most of which will be in Gainesville. There are also plentiful restaurants and shopping options nearby, and you have easy access to the more peaceful north end of the lake by boat as well as the south end of the lake that offers more eateries and entertainment options.

Another highly desired region is the west side of the lake, as there is easy access to Atlanta from Cumming and lots of great shopping and restaurants in both Cumming and Dawsonville.

One piece of information that is very important to know before selecting a property on Lake Lanier is that the lake is managed by the Army Corp of Engineers, who no longer issues dock permits. What this means is that you will need to purchase a property that already has a dock permit and transfer it from the previous owner if you desire to have your own private dock on your property.

Building Your Dream Home on Lake Lanier

If you’re ready to start thinking about building the house of your dreams on Lake Lanier, Dream Home Studio would love to help you turn your vision into a reality. Using our Custom Home Guidebook and Workshop, you can ensure that your luxury home is built on schedule and on budget. In addition to offering architectural design services that will allow you to create the dream estate you envision, we can also help guide you through the builder selection and property selection process.

DHS: Dream team

At Dream Home Studio, it’s our mission to help you achieve the home of your dreams while avoiding many of the costly mistakes that are far too common in the home-building process.

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