The Blog

It Wasn’t Too Good to Be True

“I couldn’t find anything and it was almost disturbingly consistent.” 

That’s how Jahan Salehi describes his hunt for negative reviews about Phase One. He was on an intense search to find the perfect contractor. Jahan spoke with twelve different builders about the project he and his wife, Ann Dils, were planning. 

They vetted each company carefully and moved on from those that didn’t meet their needs. 

Jahan’s research brought him to a conclusion: Phase One’s reputation was squeaky clean. 

Things Were Different from the Beginning

Their project is a Shandon home. They’ve owned it for a couple of years, but rented it for most of that time. Now, they’ve relocated from Charlotte to be closer to family and moving into their Shandon home full-time. 

Jahan learned about Phase One through a referral from other contractors. So, he gave the team a call.  

For Jahan, it was evident from the start that something was different. 

“Nobody in conversations, nobody, seemed to understand what we wanted or were clear or responded to us the way Phase One did,” Jahan explained. “They just seem to understand.”

One House, Two Ideas

After meeting with Phase One for a construction consult, Jahan and Ann moved forward in the design process, with Ellianna McManis working on drafting the plans. 

They said Ellianna came up with great ideas but let them drive the process. One of the biggest questions they faced coming into the project was how to design the home to accommodate them for many years. They wanted to be with family and have a space where they could gracefully and safely age in place.

So as they worked, Jahan and Ann said the scope of what they needed for their ideal home evolved. 

Ann said their concerns were put at ease by CJ Disharoon, Phase One Owner and Co-Founder Jon Crane, and Ellianna, who assured them of what was possible, both with design and materials, since they were starting construction in October 2020.

“And by the time we were done, it was two offices, a second bedroom, a massive, massive primary bedroom, two walk-in showers, and a partridge in a pear tree is what it felt like,” Jahan explained, laughing. 

Ann and Jahan had some differences in what they wanted. 

“I was very interested in maintaining some of the historic aspects of the home,” Ann said. “I first fell in love with that home because it was, I believe, built in the 40s and looked very much like the home that I grew up in.” 

Jahan, on the other hand, was focused on function over style. 

“My husband is a very avid cook and he really wanted a space that was ideal for him. He’s a Middle Eastern cook,” Ann explained. “So, he needed a stove surface that would accommodate big pans. And lots of storage space.” 

With the designs ready, it was time to choose a contractor. And Jahan admits he was looking for cheaper options than Phase One and Azalea Building Group (Phase One’s sister construction company). But after talking to several companies, the choice was clear. 

“The level of communication with Phase One and Azalea is head and shoulders above anyone else,” Jahan said. 

For Ann, CJ solidified the decision to use Azalea for construction. She asked him about the home’s unique design aspects, like the rooms’ shape. 

CJ answered Ann’s questions and told her they could preserve much of the original aesthetic while accommodating the needed updates. 

“So, his knowledge and his sort of willingness to take the time and help you understand your home and its significance was really convincing for me,” Ann said. 

When construction began, Jahan and Ann said Jon and his building team brought the vision to life. 

“Once we went into the second phase of design and development, working with Jon has been unbelievably good,” Jahan explained. “He has been empathetic, sympathetic. He has voiced his own opinions clearly, and yet listened to ours.” 

Ann and Jahan said Jon’s work onsite at their home made the project run smoothly and helped them feel comfortable. 

“Jon is always on the worksite he gives incredibly clear descriptions and deadlines,” Jahan said. “So our experience with Azalea and Phase One is phenomenal.” 

As construction progressed, Jon helped blend Ann’s vision for preserving the historical aspects of the home with Jahan’s goal of having a functional space. 

“Jon was very accommodating to help us design what we would actually use,” he said.

“I’m Going to Miss These Guys”

The project has recently wrapped up, so Ann and Jahan are working on buying furniture and moving in. 

From the moment they met with Phase One, Jahan and Ann said they loved working with the team. 

In a time when most people can’t wait to see their contractor leave, Jahan plans to have them back over for dinner.

“I’m going to miss these guys,” he said. 

November 7, 2022