Affordable Craftsmen helps our customers with all stages of custom home building, additions, garages, barns & home remodeling in Cobb, Cherokee, N. Fulton, Paulding & Bartow Counties.

But how did we start?

I was a VP and my wife Renee’ the head processor of a mortgage bank in the late 90’s and during that season, we started flipping homes in the best and hottest downtown Atlanta neighborhoods: Buckhead, Midtown, Inman Park, Virginia Highlands, Morningside, Druis Hills, Lake Claire, etc for extra money as we had a growing family.

I had written mortgages and gotten lines of credit at community banks for some up and coming house flippers that were flipping in those top Atlanta neighborhoods. They were pretty happy with me since those lines of credit increased how many houses they could flip at a time, which increased their yearly profit by x2 to x4 over the next year. Three of them kept taking me to lunch, suggesting I start flipping houses and offering to share their sub-contractors and promising they would help me out should I get into trouble. So I took them up on it 🙂

As we started flipping houses, the neighbors would keep coming through, liking what they saw and getting to know us, so they often ended up asking us to do some $5-20k remodeling or home improvement work on their homes. Many who came in to look at our project didn’t want what we were doing, but they ended up buying another house in the area to fix up and they asked for us to bid on doing the work. So we rapidly went from being house flippers to remodeling contractors as well.

We lived near where Roswell, North Cobb and Woodstock met at the time, so the commute downtown was getting a little old by 2002 when the fellow who owned the 8 acres behind our house showed up at our door to offer to sell it to us. It had a 3/2 cabin on it that they were renting out and the land was zoned r-40 for 1 acre lots but didn’t have sufficient access via the existing easements to allow splitting it into 8 lots. Fortunately for us, we had just bought a small rental house 2 doors down from us that sat between said 8 acres and the main road, allowing us to grant ourselves an easement for access to develop the 8 lots. Within an hour we called Todd, a real estate agent friend from church, who had a potential partner for us within another hour and an LLC was formed. We remodeled the cabin, developed the lots, built our first new 7,000sf home for our development partner and eventually our own home and some others for friends from church.

I didn’t grow up in a construction family, but none the less I was that kid that was always building something and occupational testing always said I should be a Home Builder. I liked math and business, but happened I didn’t like getting my hands dirty as a kid, so never thought I would do something as hands on and messy as building homes. Renee’s Father built apartments and later assisted living homes, while her Mom’s Father was in D-day, Army Corp of Engineers, then developed lots & built homes in Columbus Ga. In a family of all daughters, I was adopted in as the son-in-law in construction.

Today we continue to do all of the above depending on the state of the market and what is working. Some years we flip more, some we develop lots and build new construction, but throughout it all our core business has been remodeling and building custom homes for others, for our customers and friends…

As we’ve grown, we’ve focused in more on Cobb & Cherokee Counties no longer going south of Buckhead. We’ve also stopped doing handyman and smaller remodels, although we often refer out handymen and our sub-contractors when clients just need painting, gutters, roofing, cabinets installed, etc so please don’t hesitate to message and ask us for such referrals.

Over the years we’ve taught many real estate investors and agents about the construction side of house flipping and had many of our crew chiefs and customers go on to get their own residential home builder licenses, some in Georgia but also some in surrounding states where they were from before working with us. We’ve also construction managed, co-built and coached self/owner builders to build their own homes, with their own financing and pulling their own permits, often saving 10-40% equity once the remodel or build is complete.

There’s an old saying I learned early on building here in North Atlanta: “you can have it good, fast or affordable…pick two?” With our name, you can see the message we’re clearly trying to communicate, our value offer of affordable quality…we’re offering to be Affordable Craftsmen! We don’t do emergency calls middle of the night, we rarely even work weekends as we want our people to have a great quality of life and we’re about average speed, as when it comes to quality, rushing has consequences. If Affordable Craftsmen are what you’re looking for and you live or want to build in our service area, then you’ve come to the right place!

Gary & Renee’ McCormick