IN HIS 33 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS, DOUG TOLLESON, a builder for John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods in Atlanta, has pretty much seen it all. But a recent project he did for an Atlanta artist and his family showed the veteran production builder a few new tricks.

The homeowners, Radcliffe and Loran Bailey, had seven wooded acres and a modernist design from the Atlanta firm of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, but they were short on the funds needed to meet the bids. A call to the Atlanta Housing Authority for a list of local builders turned up John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. John Wieland happened to have a couple of paintings by Radcliffe Bailey. A deal was struck: Wieland's company would build the home and studio using only products from its stable of suppliers.

“When you start doing a contemporary building and that's not something that you normally do, it makes for some challenges,” says Tolleson. Some of those hurdles included: mixing Hardiplank siding with variegated fiberglass around the art studio; a large wall of windows that required special scaffolding before installation; and the absence of interior trim.

“We had to finish the drywall down to the hardwood floors and around stairs with no stringers,” says Tolleson. “Our crew found that to be real tedious.”

Tolleson liked the challenge but isn't exactly eager to repeat it. “I enjoy challenges, and it was something different for me, but the house isn't one that I would personally like to live in. The homeowners love it, but I didn't think it was real child-friendly.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.