Permits and Codes in Atlanta GA For Home Remodeling and Renovations

Permits and Codes in Atlanta GA For Home Remodeling and Renovations

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Have you been considering a home remodel for quite awhile and finally decided to take the plunge and add on an addition, renovate your home, remodel your kitchen, or finally have the master bath and bedroom you have been dreaming of? You have done your homework and picked out the major design elements, hired a licensed Atlanta contractor and you are ready to go. Then you discover the few extra feet you are adding to the foot print of your home is going to require approval from your neighborhood preservation and historical society.

Perhaps you know that Atlanta requires permits when remodeling and renovating your home and your contractor had informed you that he or she was going to pull the permit and make sure the inspections went smoothly. However it can come as a surprise to learn that your plans will need to go before a historical committee to be given permission of whether or not you can remodel your home. Bummer.

Do not despair, in most cases it is a matter of formality. Certificates of appropriateness are required in many in town Atlanta area neighborhoods such as Druid Hills, Oakhurst, Chelsea heights and for property that in under Atlanta historic preservation ordinance. You will not be given your permit without the certificate of appropriateness from the committee or other similar permission such as from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

What the committee will object to is any design that is not congruent with the historical nature of the neighborhoods. As long as the materials and the design are similar to what the historical committee has been created to preserve you will most likely pass. Pay attention to window replacements; objections will be towards cheap vinyl window replacements and styles of windows that do not have the look and feel of the particular historical charm of your neighborhood. In some cases you may need to go back to your architect to redraw your plans with the committee in mind. Take pictures of various homes that appear to be well preserved to present to your architect and also to take to your meeting to prove that your design is congruent with the neighborhood homes.

The key to a good renovation project is planning. You will save time and money with a well prepared design. Once you have your certificate of appropriateness you are allowed to obtain your building permit and are ready to start your renovation.

One side benefit from your renovation project is improved building standards for your new addition. When you remodel an older home you will be required to build according to the current codes. Codes have improved over the years in home building. Your electrical system will now need to be up to current standards as will certain requirements that are protective in fire hazards and safety.

Remodel Your Bathroom on a Budget

A major bathroom renovation can be expensive due to costly bathroom essentials. But if you follow certain tips, you can remodel your bathroom in the budget.

First, make sure how much you can afford to spend on the remodeling project to find out the extent of renovations you can make. If your budget is comparatively less, try making cosmetic changes like fixing a new sink or any other new fixtures that fit into your budget. If you have more budget, focus on bigger changes like adding a new set of tiles, a big window or a trendy shower. But all this depends on your available budget.

Here are some smart tips for you on how to save money on your next bathroom remodel project.


If you have a constraint budget, then repainting the bathroom will be the cheapest and the most effective idea available. Repainting can give an instant refreshed look to your old bathroom.

But before opting this method, here is a word of caution. It will definitely take more time than you contemplate. Even if your bathroom is a small one, it will take time because painting around the tub and window should be done slowly. This task will take more time.

While choosing paint for your bathroom, invest in good quality paint otherwise mold might attack the walls. By giving adequate care during remodeling, you can avoid the chance of retouch soon.

Buy used items

If you want to save money, it is a wise idea to make use of the used fixtures. Sites like Craigslist, eBay and Etsy provide a great platform for those who are looking for used bathroom accessories. You can also find recycled and modified items in these sites. Try to buy green accessories while purchasing for your project.

Limit on the Tile

Tile is one accessory which can drain out your pockets, especially when if you hire resource to lay them out. If you are working on a low budget, in order to save money you can limit the amount of tiles used. If you want, you can use a horizontal strip of tile in between and thus limit its use.

You can even use vintage fixture or wooden fixture rather than choosing modern items for your bathroom. This will not only give a unique and versatile look to your bathroom, it would save you a lot of money.

Do You Build a New Home or Buy an Existing Home and Renovate, That Is the Question

One of the dilemmas facing home buyers is whether to buy a new home or to buy an existing home and renovate that home. There are a few things that will influence your decision and should be considered before buying:

1. LAYOUT – One of the first things to think about is the design and the layout. How important is it to you and your family to have a home design and layout just the way you want or are you adaptable to use an existing layout?

Newer homes usually have bigger rooms, more built-in wardrobes / closets, and more bathrooms. If you are building a new home you can also influence the layout and the finishes within the home as part of the negotiations with the builder / developer.

Whereas an existing home you will inherit what the previous owner built or remodeled over time. Very rarely will an existing home be built and finished exactly to your liking.

2. YOUR BUILDING SKILLS – With an existing home you maybe required to renovate the house to incorporate features you like. This will be an added cost and take time and patience to accomplish what you want. You will also need to manage and clearly establish the cost of remodeling prior to starting.

You will either need to employ someone to do this or carry it out yourself. If you have the skills to manage this process it is a great way to build future wealth. I have achieved this a number of times in my life and added significantly to my overall wealth each time.

3. HOME LOCATION VS WORK LOCATION – if you work close to the centre of any major city and want to live reasonably close to your work often the only choice will be buy an older existing home as all the land is already built on, whereas for people working outside the centre of a city it will often be easier to find new land and build a new home. You should also consider the medium term needs of the whole family in regards schools, public transport and other local facilities.

4. FINANCE / BUDGET/ COST – Often buying an existing home will be cheaper than buying a new land and home package for the same features. So if your budget is limited you may find it easier to buy an existing home and remodel it progressively as new funds become available and you know the cost of remodeling. If you do choose the existing home option and have to renovate it might be good to get a remodel estimate form a remodeling contractor to help with your decision.

5. FINISHES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY– Buying a new home will usually mean new insulation, newer windows, finishes, electrical systems and a more efficient heating and cooling systems. Usually when buying an existing home they use more power, have older windows and are less energy efficient. Again you can find out the approximate cost of remodeling by asking a local builder for advice.

Buying a home is an expensive and an exciting process. It is often one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime. So take your time and consider the options. One suggestion is to create a list of everything you want in a home and then check the pros and cons of either choice.

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