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We love the Best Pick Reports book. We use you for everything. It helps reduce our choices, which is great, especially when you're busy and you have a two-year-old at home. It gives you some options, but you still feel safe no matter which one you pick. Keep your books coming.
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Atlanta, “phoenix” of the South
Atlanta has been many things throughout its history, and it’s not uncommon to hear residents speak about the city’s continual attempts at reinvention. Today, that trend continues as the expanded presence of the movie and tech industries as well as the advent of transformative developments like the Atlanta Beltline continue to be a draw for young professionals and families alike.
With the metro area adding roughly 100,000 new residents a year, it’s clear that a little southern hospitality goes a long way. It probably also doesn’t hurt that Atlanta ranked as the sixth-best metro for employment, labor, and hiring in 2016. As a cherry on top, one of Atlanta’s most unique features is that it is a “city in a forest” and has more tree cover than any other major American city. The difference is striking and immediately noticeable; the rolling hills of trees with buildings breaking through make for a nice contrast from the typical urban jungle.
Though everyone seems to have a different definition of what they consider to be “Atlanta,” the U.S. Census Bureau clocks the Atlanta metropolitan at more than 8,300 square miles—an area rivaling the size of the state of New Jersey. The core of the Atlanta Metro area includes Fulton and Dekalb Counties—home of Atlanta proper—as well as Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale Counties. Further out, Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Coweta, Forsyth, Hall, Newton, Paulding, Spalding and Walton Counties comprise the remainder of the metro area.
Transportation Hub of the Southeast
True to its beginnings as a railroad town, Atlanta continues to be a major transportation hub. The city’s evolution and economic growth have been fueled by its status as an important rail junction and in more recent years, the presence of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport—the world’s busiest airport for many years running.
Homes for Every Taste and Preference
Atlanta has long been known for its relative affordability in terms of the costs of housing and living in general when compared to other large metropolitan areas. Given the size of the Atlanta metro area, it’s no surprise that property values can vary widely; within the Perimeter, they can significantly outstrip those of areas far removed from the central city of Atlanta.
New home construction is most prevalent outside the Perimeter (I-285), with most of the homes built selling in the $250k-$500k range. The further out from the city, the more acreage available per house. Inside the Perimeter, you’ll find an abundance of older homes in a large variety of styles and conditions; perfect for those who love to renovate. Atlanta has a number of designated historic districts, which can have a significant impact on the kinds of renovations that can be performed—check your local regulations for details. With so many distinct neighborhoods, districts, and towns, the Atlanta Metro is the place to find your dream home and make it yours, whether that’s a single-family home or a high-rise luxury condominium.
Home Improvement Services
Because of the sprawling geography of the Atlanta metropolitan area, many of our A-Rated Best Pick contractors serve specific communities throughout the metro area. Very few, if any, contractors will cover all 8,300 square miles of the metro, so it’s important to make sure they serve your specific area before moving forward.
While you’ll catch very few residents muttering the word “Hotlanta,” the warm, muggy embrace of Atlanta’s warmer months ensure that landscaping, lawn care, HVAC, and pool service companies all will be in high demand. Scheduling work in off-peak seasons is a great idea when possible and can even bring down costs in some situations. The city’s extensive tree canopy means that contractors providing tree services may also have full schedules, especially in neighborhoods with a large number of older trees.
Hiring a competent and verified contractor saves you time and money, and we verify all our contractors and guarantee their work. Adventurous do-it-yourselfers can research the applicable laws regarding permits, etc. using the links in the section below.
Permits, Licensing, and Insurance Requirements
Whether you're renovating your home or building a new commercial structure, you'll need to apply for a building permit with your city or county. Permits allow local governments to keep communities safe and ensure compliance with state construction codes.
Since July 1, 2008, Georgia has required a statewide Contractors License for any residential or commercial construction project that exceeds $2,500.00. Electrical, Plumbing, Conditioned Air, Utility Manager and Low-Voltage Contractor Classifications are required to be licensed at the state level.
Most contractors are also subject to county or city licensing requirements. You can check with your county or city government to make sure your contractor has the proper licensing or to report someone operating without the required local license. See http://consumer.georgia.gov/consumer-topics/building-contractors for additional information.
Certain specialty occupations such as roofers, painters, drywall contractors and repair handymen will be exempt and thus not licensed by the state. Utility-related trades such as plumbers, electricians and air-conditioning contractors are regulated by a different entity, the Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board. If you have questions about whether a tradesman needs a state license, you may contact the Secretary of State’s office.
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