Beyond the Car: What Potential Does Your Garage Hold?

real-estate-374190_640.jpg

Garages are a huge asset for homeowners. Storage for lawn and outdoor equipment, a place to keep campers/motorcycles, or other vehicles that could be easily stolen, and a covered place for your car no matter the weather are all benefits to having a garage, but they can do SO much more if you consider some alternative possibilities. More and more requests for garage conversions are coming our way, and we've taken note of the trend and want to make sure you know what your options are when considering upgrades to your house. So, what could your garage do? 

  • Guest suite. A garage can be converted to a great guest suite if you don't have a spare bedroom for friends or family to stay overnight. If sticking your in-laws on the sleeper sofa just isn't an option anymore, converting your garage to a guest room (and even an additional bathroom) could give you the entertaining room you need without booting your kids out of their bedroom, or frantically cleaning the "kid bathroom" before out-of-town relatives arrive. 
  • Private gym. A home gym is a highly sought-after amenity as working out at home is a popular trend. By converting your garage to an air conditioned, private workout area, your fitness routine can happen when and how you choose, and you never even have to leave home. From a mounted television and sound system, to a full weight lifting system, your home gym can be customized to YOU. Goodbye gym membership! 
  • Family room. A garage can easily be converted to a recreation room or family space. Having a family rec room means your traditional living room can be used for entertaining without sacrificing your kids' fun and games. Video games, toys, books, puzzles, etc. can have a home without being left strewn over your living spaces. It's a win-win. 

Whether you want to convert your garage to one of the ideas above, a bedroom for your kids, or simply an air conditioned storage space for your home (since Florida attics get HOT!), Williams Construction Company can tackle the job. We are a full-service contracting and construction company serving clients throughout the Central Florida region, and we customize each job to our clients' unique needs. We handle jobs of all types and sizes, so give us a call and let us help you make your dreams for your home a reality. 

Making Money with Your House: Your Home Could Be Someone Else's Dream Vacation!

home-1247150_640.jpg

Vacation rentals are a big trend right now with companies like AirBNB, HomeAway, and many others offering services for homeowners to list their properties as up for grabs for people who want to get away for a few days. For those who own homes here in Central Florida, this is an especially lucrative business as we approach summer, thanks to our close proximity to some of the best beaches in the country, large-scale attractions like Disney World and LegoLand, and the plentiful sunshine our northern neighbors are looking for at this time of year. However, simply listing your spare bedroom on a rental site isn't going to make the money for you without any prior preparation.  If you want to make maximum profit from your rental space, whether one room or an entire house, there are some key areas you can target with upgrades. Turning your own home into a vacation rental might be easier than you think, and we're here to help! Consider these tips...

 

Focus on your bathroom space.  Few things will make a space feel luxurious like a renovated bathroom.  By re-doing a bathroom to accommodate renters and/or vacationers, you can up the value of your rental space by a significant amount. Aim for plenty of natural light and clean, crisp colors to make the space feel contemporary and fresh.  Have matching linens (towels, washcloths, floor mats, etc.) to make things feel posh, and consider additional options like upscale toiletry items left out for guests, or bathrobes that can be used and then laundered with the other bathroom linens.  Small touches can have a huge impact!  In the circumstance that the bathroom will be shared by residents in the home and renters (as you would have when renting out a single bedroom in your home), the same rules apply, but you can leave the linens and toiletry items in a nice basket or container in the bedroom space for your renters to find when they arrive. 

Keep guests in mind when designing the bedroom(s).  Have plenty of storage for them, and again use clean colors that will open up the space and make things feel bright.  Use natural light when you can, but have plenty of additional light sources like overhead lights (and fans!) and attractive lamps placed strategically.  If possible have both a sleeping and sitting area in the bedroom, especially if you are only renting out that single, small zone.  This will let your guest have some privacy for using their computer, reading, talking on the phone, etc. without sitting in bed the entire time.  Additionally, consider having a paper left out for your renter on the bed with important information (like key channels on the television, the WI-Fi password, etc.) so they don't feel awkward having to hunt down this info at an inopportune time. 

Vacation Goes Beyond the Bedroom. If you are renovating a large area (like an over-garage apartment for example) to rent out for vacationers, you will also need to keep them in mind for kitchen and dining areas, and even for outdoor patios and porches.  If you are on vacation, you want everything to feel like a luxury, not a chore, so kitchens should have as many convenience options as you can afford.  At the very least, opt for good-quality appliances (including a dishwasher!) and try to stock your cabinets with the basics in cooking equipment (like a good set of pots and pans, several place settings for dining, etc.).  This will go a long way in getting good reviews from renters and will help you make more money!  For your outdoor areas, think about the overall experience of being in and around your home.  If you have a good view, maximize it with a sitting area and perhaps a fire pit.  Have a pool?  Add some tropical plants in corners or around the perimeter to offer some shade/privacy, have plenty of outdoor seating nearby, and have pool towels ready to go in an attractive storage solution.  These touches are a huge hit with guests! 

If you are considering using your property as a vacation rental and are ready to make some upgrades, Williams Construction Company should be your first call. We are Polk County's number one trusted construction and contracting company, and we can tackle projects of all types and sizes. From custom building a home from the ground up, to turning your old storage room into a rental space that makes you some cash, we're ready for it! 

So You Bought A Fixer-Upper...Now What?

wood-877368_640.jpg

The home-buying process is hard at best, but for new homeowners who have just moved into an (unintentional) fixer-upper, the process is made much more difficult. When you move into a house expecting it to be livable and comfortable for you and your family, it comes as quite the surprise when you find yourself looking at non-functioning toilets, leaking tubs or showers, faulty outlets, and other unseen things that could have been missed during an initial inspection or pop up soon after the closing date. When you add in the likely aesthetic changes you want to make, such as paint, trim work, and basic renovations of walls and floors in some cases, it can be daunting to say the least. 

 

Some issues in new homes, such as a leaky faucet or a minor hole in a wall can be fixed pretty easily by you as a simple DIY home improvement. However, problems arise when the issues go a bit deeper. What if that apparently easy leaky faucet fix turns into water damage behind your shower, or a leak into the ceiling below the bathroom? When you start facing drywall replacement, tile work, and other major projects, DIY can't become a big DON'T. That's where we come in. Polk County residents know they can trust Williams Construction Company to build their custom and spec homes from the ground up, but what you might not know is that we also offer contract work on existing homes. That means when you're staring down a total bathroom overhaul thanks to issues below the surface that were missed when you purchased the house, you have reinforcements to call for help. We come in, assess the situation, and can give you a quote based on your needs and your budget. We'll work alongside you to make sure you feel empowered by the project, and assist you in making choices that are best for your home. Our services include, but are not limited to: 

  • Ceiling refinishing and replacement
  • Total kitchen renovation
  • Total bathroom renovation
  • Tub and/or shower replacement
  • Structural alterations (removing walls/adding walls, opening up doors, etc.) 
  • Creating custom outdoor living spaces
  • ...and more

Whatever the need, we can handle it. Since we are local, we treat each client as a friend and neighbor and we have your best interest at heart when taking care of your home. Don't let a new home that needs some TLC discourage you. Instead, take the challenges as an opportunity to make it your own. We're ready to help! Give us a call to schedule your estimate and get started on making your house your dream home. 

No One Wants a "Blue" Christmas: Continuation of Irma Repairs

forward-549678_640.jpg

It's now been several months since Hurricane Irma left her mark on Polk County, and while most of the debris has been cleared, businesses are open and ready for the holidays, and (most) people are back in their homes, there are still plenty of blue tarps hanging out throughout Central Florida. Whether it be coverage for missing or broken shingles, or taped up over a broken window, these tarps are definitely giving many homeowners a blue Christmas, and no one wants that! 

Williams Construction Company is licensed and insured to not only build and renovate homes, but also repair them! We can handle a variety of demolition and repair/replacement jobs for your home, including: 

  • shingle replacement
  • roof repair
  • door repair/replacement
  • taking out water damaged flooring, baseboards, and walls
  • floor replacement (or upgrade)
  • window repair and replacement 
  • gutter replacement 
  • total bathroom and kitchen renovation
  • and more! 

Yes, we're known for our custom construction work and high quality spec homes here in Winter Haven, but we're equally qualified to help you restore your home to its "pre-Irma" condition. We don't want to see our friends and neighbors having a blue Christmas because they didn't know where to turn for help in repairing their house. We're ready and waiting to help you make your home as good as new. All you have to do is give us a call. 

Welcome Home Snowbirds! Make Your Florida Getaway Work for YOU

birdhouse-2216747_640.jpg

Now that Fall is in full-swing, and Winter is just around the corner, most of our Florida "snowbirds" as we fondly call seasonal residents, have returned home to the Sunshine State and are setting back into slow-paced life here in the Winter Haven area. Many of them have enjoyed Spring and Summer travels to places both near and far, and likely enjoyed time in their "home away from home" in another location. Oftentimes upon returning they realize that something about their Florida home just isn't working anymore, but aren't sure how to best remedy the situation since moving isn't really an easy option (or the most lucrative) since they only live here for a portion of each year. 

We have some tips to help our snowbirds, or you, make your Florida home meet your needs, no move required. 

Add storage solutions. 

Any home, over time, will fill up with things. People come with "stuff", and for those who travel part of each year, the treasures they find along the way become an important part of their story and family history. However they also tend to pile up and can be overwhelming. If coming home to Florida and unpacking your year's worth of new finds and souvenirs left you with anxiety and frustration, we are here to help. Targeting specific areas in your home that offer some flexibility for storage options is a great way to make your home work for you. Perhaps there is lots of space near the ceiling in your closets that is going unused. Turn that empty space into purposeful storage with the addition of some shelving and organization options. If you have a bedroom or bathroom with excess floor space but nowhere to put your things, building in a closet or adding new cabinets could be a great way to make your home more functional. 

Consider extra sleeping space. 

Oftentimes we hear snowbird residents complain about their home seeming "smaller" when they add grandchildren, or have family come into town frequently. If this is bothering you, you have options! We can work alongside you to brainstorm ideas for building on additional sleeping space, or repurposing existing space into extra bedrooms and/or bathrooms. 

Needs more entertainment value. 

If your social circle is growing, but your home is most certainly not, parties might be a little less fun than they used to be. If you're already maxed out with your living and dining spaces for entertaining, you could think about taking the party outside! Florida is known for our year-round mild to warm climate, so even the winter months can be a great time to host an outdoor party. Amping up your patio and extending your living space outside means your house will feel less crowded during gatherings, AND it adds entertainment value. Outdoor spaces offer versatility with options your inside living room just can't match, like bonfires in a fire pit (and making s'mores!), grilling out, and chatting into the evening with your family without waking the grandkids! 

If you recently returned to your Florida home after a long period away, welcome home! Williams Construction Company is proud to serve the Winter Haven community and the greater Polk County area with custom construction and home renovation services, and we are ready to work with you to make your home a space you are proud of and enjoy living in each day. Give us a call to get started so you can be ready in time for the upcoming holidays!

Preparing for Hurricane Irma: Is Your House Ready for The Storm?

cyclone-62959_640.jpg

As Florida gears up for the approach of Hurricane Irma, many residents throughout the state are worried about their homes and possessions being lost or damaged in the extreme wind and heavy rain that will come along with the storm. While nothing can guarantee the safety of your home and the things inside it, there are some precautions you can take to help your home better weather the storm, and help you manage if you choose to ride out Irma instead of evacuating the area. 

First, bring in all outdoor furniture and any loose accessories or objects from around the home. These can turn into weapons against your house in high winds, and that can lead to more damage than the wind alone would cause. Additionally, look around your home for any low-hanging branches that could cause a problem, and remove them if possible. Keep in mind where large tress might overhang your home, and avoid those areas during the storm itself since you would be at higher risk of injury if the tree did indeed fall and damage your home. 

For areas expecting excessive winds, boarding your doors and windows might be a good option. Plywood is a great way to keep glass windows safe, and keep your doors from blowing in during the storm. Roll up towels along door and window seams as well to keep out water and protect your home's interior. If you live in a flood-prone area, take time to collect sandbags (available for free at local fire stations, police stations, and other public service providers) and use them to blockade areas that might be overtaken by water and cause damage to your house. 

Finally, be ready to take action following the storm by having providers' numbers on hand for repair work that might be needed on your home. Williams Construction company is a local Central Florida business and we're right here in the midst of the storm with you. We are ready to tackle damage to your home, including roof repair, water damage, and more. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Floridians. See you on the other side of the storm, and stay safe! 

Creative Solutions for Small Bathrooms

Small bathrooms create problems for many families here in Central Florida. While the master bathroom suites in local homes are usually spacious, most secondary bathrooms are small, and are hardly functional. While we can't help with giving you more floor space (or a second toilet!) if you aren't ready to go through a full bathroom remodel, we do have some tips to help you make the most of the space you already have...

  • Use vertical space. Many secondary bathrooms lack storage (especially those with pedestal-style sinks). Using your vertical wall space can help with this issue. Try adding a shelf from wall to wall above the bathroom door. If painted in a light color it doesn't weigh the space down, and attractive baskets or bins make a great way to store toilet paper, spare hand soaps or bathrooms sprays, and even extra washcloths or towels. 
  • Ever seen wine-bottle holders that hang on your kitchen wall? They can make creative towel storage in a small bathroom! Hang them on the wall by the shower, and tightly roll towels and place them in the openings instead of wine bottles. Voila! You have several towels ready to go for guests without using your counter space or leaving them on the floor! 
  • Use over the door hangers. These are great for hanging wet towels! If you purchase an over-the-door shoe organizer, it can give you storage space for small toiletry items like makeup, hairbrushes, toothpaste, etc. Again, this gets rid of counter-clutter and makes your bathroom feel cleaner and larger. 
  • Hang a storage cabinet over your toilet. There are many options for the space over your toilet. Infinity shelves, free-standing units that fit over the toilet, or full-cabinets can be installed in the wall space over your toilet to house toiletry items and other things that could ordinarily take up counter space or be placed in another room and hunted down when needed. 

Try these tips the next time your small bathroom is feeling a little more cramped than usual. If you're ready to make the commitment to a larger bathroom, and want to customize your space to match your family's needs, Williams Construction is ready for you. We will listen to your desires, map out a plan of your current bathroom and what you'd like it to be in the end, and then customize a plan of action for your project. Let us help you take your bathroom from small to spectacular! 

Constructing Your Online Presence: Responsible Use of Social Media and Online Platforms

In an age where most of our lives are displayed online, whether with blogs, social media outlets, videos, or even personal websites, it can be easy to forget how much impact the content you place online can have. Building an online presence is very similar to building a home. Each piece, each measurement, and each action is key to the overall results. A poor choice in action, an incorrect measurement, or a faulty material could bring down the entire home in little to no time at all. Unlike a home though, you can't just pick up the pieces and start back over. Your online presence can ruin your life, both professionally and personally, if given the chance. 

How? 

Your online activity can be used against you when you hold any kind of authority.  Whether it be a social media post, content written by you on a blog or website, or even a video created and shared, if it contains information that is in any way offensive, derogatory, or otherwise disagreed with by a coworker, employer, friend, parent, child, client, etc. it can come back to haunt you.  Technically once you put something out on the internet it becomes public property.  While there are some limits to this, and you might have limited privacy, social media typically doesn't fall under these categories, and your information is open to pretty much anyone who wishes to pull it if they try hard enough. 

How then, can you protect yourself without locking down your online presence?  It's simple: think twice before posting.  Consider each "piece" to the online presence you are building. If it won't benefit the end results, or won't serve as a positive contribution to your personal or business life online, it might be best to leave it off the internet. Consider who could potentially see what you are posting, and think through how it could be received by various people in your contacts. Consider too the safety factors in what you are posting. If it in any way gives information as to your location of residence, information about your children and/or other family, etc. be mindful of posting because you could be putting yourself and others at risk. 

This is even true for clients here at Williams Construction. We know you are excited about your new home. We enjoy watching our clients' joy as they see their dream house become a reality, brick by brick. However, taking photos, talking about the location, tagging your new neighborhood, etc. could be putting you and your family at risk when your home is finished. People far beyond Polk County, and even outside of Central Florida, can see those posts. By all means, share your joy with your family and friends (and we do appreciate the online shoutouts from our customers!), but we urge you to be careful with how much detail you include in these posts. Our goal is to make sure our homeowners are happy AND safe, so think twice before posting! 

While we can't build your online presence for you, we CAN take care of everything from designing and building your dream home, to adding another office onto your business for a growing staff. We handle jobs of all sizes for customers throughout the greater Winter Haven area, so give us a call! 

The Importance of A Permit When Remodeling Your Home

Fed up with rules, regulations and permits when it comes to your home renovation?  We get it.  Permits are a pain.  However, while many homeowners believe having to pay fees to the government for adding onto your home, or remodeling your existing house, are just another way for them to gouge money out of you, ignoring the required permits for your job at hand could have costly consequences far greater than the initial legal document. Additionally, the permits actually do serve multiple purposes that are beneficial to you in the long run. 

First, having the proper permits and documentation lowers your liability in a disaster.  If something happens and your home's new addition is damaged, even if it was a natural disaster, your insurance could refuse to pay out if you don't have the permits required for the project.  This is even more devastating if someone was injured in the event, and insurance refuses to cover their care since you were irresponsible and put them at risk with undocumented alterations to your house. 

A permit also protects you against fraudulent contractors.  If you don't have proper permits, you have no legal grounds to stand on if you need to seek compensation from a contractor that attempted to leave you high and dry.  Getting a permit keeps your contractor honest, so you know you are not only getting their word, but also the quality of work required to pass codes and stay in line with government requirements. 

Finally, permits affect your resell value if you choose to move.  If you added onto your home, or renovated a portion of it, without the proper permits, you could have a hard time passing inspection and therefore will be unable to sell your house.  Future homeowners want to know they are getting the best before they make one of the largest purchases of their lives.  If you failed to take the proper measures before altering the house, YOU will be left liable. 

At Williams Construction Company you can rest assured that you are getting the very best in remodel and renovation services.  We guarantee that we take all of the required precautions in gaining permits and we back up all of our work with the needed documentation.  Our goal is to have happy clients who are also protected by work done the RIGHT way.  Give us a call to get started on turning your dreams for your house into a reality. 

Going Paperless: How Williams Construction Is Using New Technology

We have an exciting announcement here at Williams Construction! We are going paperless, and a new addition to our website is helping us achieve that goal.  Our new customer login page, found here, allows you access to your own, individual construction or renovation project.  Ever noticed the program that lets you monitor the progress of your order when you call for a pizza?  With our new client login, you get essentially the same thing.  You will be given your own, unique login information by us, and you can then check in with your project's progress on a daily basis, and keep up with everything from the ground breaking to the final touches. 

For clients who are building a custom home, this feature especially comes in handy since it helps them better understand the time frame of being in their new space, and can help them plan accordingly.  This is a huge help if you are juggling packing, scheduling movers, canceling your current rent or closing on your current home, etc.  Even clients with smaller projects benefit from this newest feature though, since it gives them a hands-on way to connect with their renovation or addition without waiting for phone calls or emails to be returned.  The power of keeping up with what we are doing in your space is at your fingertips! 

We hope you'll enjoy this newest endeavor with Williams Construction as we continue to strive for the very best in custom home and spec home construction, home renovation, and even technology.  Ready to take the next step in improving your home or building your dream space?  We are ready for YOU!  Call us to get started or stop by our Winter Haven office! 

Is Your Roof Ready for Spring? We're on "Top" of It!

Here in Polk County, we are enjoying our mild spring temperatures, but keeping a wary eye on the skies because we know the rainy season is soon to follow.  With the rainy season come daily afternoon showers, often heavy, and sometimes accompanied by a storm with thunder, lightening, and strong gusts of wind.  While you might be concerned about your tender trees and plants that you have tended over the spring months, you probably don't give a lot of thought to your house.  After all, it's built to last, right? 

If you haven't had your roof checked out recently, that could be a costly assumption. 

Your roof is meant to last longer than many other components of your home (say, your appliances for example), but that doesn't mean it will last forever without any maintenance or replacements.  Typically, a roof will hold strong for approximately 20-25 years, possibly with occasional maintenance needed like replacing a shingle or two, or patching a small leak.  Once that time is up though, your roof could begin to encounter more problems, and with a leaky roof, one small problem can turn into a HUGE issue if you don't take care of it promptly and efficiently.  Having your roof inspected and repaired periodically is a much better alternative. By doing this, you ensure that your roof has no unseen issues going unnoticed, and any problems found can be patched and taken care of while they are still minor, and that means you cut out the risk of water damage, and having to replace your roof (and possibly other parts of your home) as a whole. 

Williams Construction Company can come out and evaluate your roof and the overall structure of your home.  If we see issues with missing or loose singles, cracks, leaks, or other damage, we will let you know, and give you our honest opinion of your best course of action.  Often, the problem is something we can fix and have your roof ready to withstand the Central Florida rainy season in no time.  However, if we can't fix the issue or the problem has become too large to patch, we take care of completely redoing your roof and replacing it with the highest quality of materials. 

When the skies are gray, we are here.  Give us a call and let us make sure you aren't left out in the rain! 

The Disappearing Act: How Homebuyers Lose Money

If you're looking at purchasing a "fixer-upper" home and renovating it, or looking to build your own custom home from the ground up, chances are you are looking at contractors and construction companies throughout your area and playing the "compare/contrast" game to see who's best suited for your job.  It's important to note though, that what you find online, in the phone book, or posted on your local bulletin boards isn't enough to back up the quality or ethics of a business.  Too often, we hear from homebuyers that have gotten swindled out of large amounts of money by hiring a contractor who was not backed by references or proper licensing, and jumped ship after taking their deposit. 

So, how can you protect yourself in this situation?  First, NEVER pay down a deposit on any work without having some type of contract set up.  Contracts are binding, legal proof that you made a deal with a specific provider, and they will be held accountable for doing the work paid for, just as you will be held accountable for paying for any work done.  If a contractor or builder doesn't provide any kind of contract, or asks for cash up front before starting work, walk away and don't look back. 

References are also vital in choosing the best builder for your job.  While pictures of work are nice, and lots of fluff on a business website or social media page can make a contractor look great, references are the cold, hard proof that they do the quality of work that they claim to do. References also give you the ability to better understand the time frame of your project in real life, what the company is like to work with through the end of the project and beyond, etc. These are things usually not covered, at least not in detail, in any other way. 

Williams Construction Company is proud to provide references for any client, any time.  We stand behind our work 100%, and Polk County has been trusting us with their home renovation and custom home needs for years.  We handle projects of all shapes and sizes, and work with you to get the perfect result every time.  Our ultimate goal is satisfaction of our clients, so you can count on us working closely with you from the initial consultation about your needs to the day we walk off of the site after your job is complete.  If you think we might be the right fit for you, give us a call and set up an appointment for an estimate! 

Stroke of Bad Luck: What to Do When Your Dream Home Is A Nightmare

You probably considered it your lucky day when you stumbled upon your "dream" home. Whether a fixer-upper in need of a little that you were sure you could handle, or something move-in ready that was fresh and new, it met all the qualifications you wanted up front and you jumped on the opportunity while you had a chance.  All was great! 

Until...

You realized that your dream home might be more of a nightmare.  That "little bit of TLC" ended up meaning your fixer-upper had issues with water damage, bad wiring, and a bad case of disrepair in the backyard area.  That spiffy "new" home you thought you could move right into came with its own set of problems, including a severe case of settling, cracks in the foundation, patio, driveway, and even parts of the ceiling on the back patio.  Suddenly, you feel like your choice to purchase your new space was a stroke of bad luck, not good fortune. 

The good news is, when you have a "renovation 911", you know who to call!  Williams Construction Company can handle all of the issues listed above and many more, which means we are your one-stop for all of your repair and renovation needs.  After the storm of unexpected home repairs and being unsettled, we are the "rainbow" that comes in, and your home will be your pot of gold once we finish getting it up to your desires and our standards. 

Think we're the right ones for your home's needs?  Give us a call and we can work with you to get a detailed quote in your hands ASAP.  We are based out of Winter Haven but serve the whole Central Florida area, so we can come to you. 

Check Those Numbers! The Importance of Hiring A Licensed Contractor

We're licensed and insured, and we've got the digits to prove it! 

We're licensed and insured, and we've got the digits to prove it! 

In a world where DIY projects are prominent, and small business support is being encouraged by people of all influences, it has become increasingly difficult to know which establishments are qualified in your local area.  Thanks to YouTube, Pinterest, and other online platforms, people assume they can handle projects of all shapes and sizes, from refinishing a footstool to completely gutting and renovating a kitchen.  While there are people perfectly capable of taking on this difficult project, the majority of consumers are not skilled in some of the work that is required to safely complete the space.  Not only are they putting their own safety at risk during the project, but they are also putting others at risk who will be utilizing the space afterward. 

That's where the idea of licensed business and individuals come in.  Whether you're hiring a plumber, an electrician, or a full-scale contractor like those at Williams Construction Company, it's vital to check their licensing information to know you are getting the very best quality of work, and protection in the event that something goes wrong. 

Why is it so important to make sure you are hiring licensed professionals? 

First, failing to hire someone with a license can be dangerous, especially when dealing with electrical and/or plumbing related projects.  One small mistake can be devastating, leading to fires, water damage, or worse.  Not only could the worker be injured, but their mistake could end up remaining hidden until after they are gone, and you or your family could end up with the consequences. 

Additionally, hiring an unlicensed individual or businesses means you are not getting the backing of insurance that comes along with most licenses.  Businesses and individuals that choose to become licensed are typically required to carry some type of insurance coverage on themselves and their work, meaning you are protected. 

Finally, your own insurance policies could end up being voided if you hire an unlicensed provider for work on your home.  Homeowners policies can have strict stipulations on certain types of work, as can any warranties on your home and/or appliances or parts.  Things like your air conditioner, water heater, etc. usually have warranty coverage, only if you follow the regulations in their policy.  Most of the time, these policies require licensed businesses (sometimes from their own company even) to work on the piece of equipment.  Failing to get someone with the appropriate certification means you could end up paying everything out of pocket. 

If you are looking for work that is quality, customized, and most of all, licensed and insured, Williams Construction Company is here for you.  We serve the greater Central Florida area with renovation and construction work of all kinds, and we take on projects of all types and sizes. Give us a call to set up an estimate and let us help you create the space of your dreams. 

Say NO to DIY Renovation: Why You Should Hire Professionals

Now that the new year is here, you might be preparing to embark on a home renovation journey in 2017.  While this is exciting, it can also be intimidating and daunting if you are not prepared.  Choosing new materials (flooring, tile work, countertops, paint colors, etc.), while fun, are also overwhelming with the huge variety of choices available on the market today. What's more, the technical side of home renovation is also scary if you are a novice with construction and/or design work. 

While some rooms can be done "DIY" style regardless of your experience level (for example, the living room, or a child's bedroom), certain rooms in your home require a much more expansive knowledge base that you likely do not have, and this can cause BIG problems, and end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.  Bathrooms in particular tend to be an issue for homeowners attempting to DIY their renovation work, since this space in your home has a large amount of plumbing work, potential water damage, and the requirement for time-consuming techniques to get the job done right. 

So why exactly is it best to hire a professional for bathroom renovation? 

First, plumbing is a complicated system, and one wrong move can have consequences that spread far beyond your bathroom to the rest of your home.  Water pressure, securely fitted pipes and valves, and proper drainage are all key components to ensuring that your water, both incoming and outgoing, is being managed efficiently.  If you overlook even a small detail, or make a mistake somewhere along the line, it can have long-term, costly consequences. Plumbing is best left to professionals who are trained to handle it, and who can offer a warranty if something does go awry. 

Additionally, the amount of water handled in a bathroom between tubs, sinks, showers, and toilets is substantial, and all that water could have had extensive effects you haven't even seen. Oftentimes, the sub flooring in bathrooms is water-damaged, as well as any woodwork (baseboards, cabinetry, etc.) and that can lead to mold issues.  Mold is nothing to play with, since it can cause deadly health issues to arise over time, and could eventually render your home uninhabitable.  Professionals in the renovation and construction business know what to look for when removing current flooring and woodwork, and if we see any signs of water damage or mold, we can work quickly to alleviate the problem and repair the damage. 

Finally, hiring a professional will probably end up saving you time and money in the long-term, even if it seems like a little more up front.  Renting expensive equipment for tasks such as cutting tile or sanding and installing floors, purchasing all tools and materials required for the job at hand, and renting an appropriate vehicle to haul all of the needed items adds up quickly, and can overextend your budget in a very small amount of time.  Not only that, but unless you can afford to take off of work, you won't be able to devote full-time attention to the renovation work meaning it will take much longer to complete the project, and living without your bathroom is a headache, and in some cases, impossible.  By hiring a pro, you know the job is a priority, and will be worked on continually until it is finished. That means you are cutting the project time down significantly by hiring professionals. 

If you live in the greater Polk County area here in Central Florida, Williams Construction Company is ready to help you make your dream bathroom a reality in 2017.  Want to take it a step farther?  We also handle renovations of kitchens, patios, decks, and more, or we can help you design your dream home and build it from the ground up.  No job is too big or too small for us to handle! 

A Merry "Little" Christmas: Decorating for The Holidays in A Small Space

The holidays are always a fun time of baking, gift-buying, and decorating for various festivities leading up to the big finale on Christmas day.  However, if you live in a small space (apartment, small home, etc.) it can be challenging to decorate for the Christmas season without feeling crowded.  It would be easy to forgo decorating altogether, however, we know it tends to dampen the holiday mood if you completely ignore decorating for the season.  So, how can you enjoying holiday decorating without "junking up" your space? 

Less Is More.  Don't feel the need to cover every open space with holiday-related items.  Instead of putting out Christmas figurines, candles, plates, etc. on every available surface, opt for one or two items per area.  It's just enough to add a subtle touch of Christmas spirit without overdoing it and making your home cluttered. 

Up on the Tabletop.  Christmas trees are a huge part of the season's decor, but a traditional tree can take up a LOT of space.  If you have a small living area, consider a table top tree.  Many stores carry smaller-than-average ornaments for these trees in a multitude of designs and you can still enjoy the twinkle of lights that a tree adds to your home for this time of year.  Place your tree on a small end table and you'll get (almost) the same effect as a regular tree. 

Use What You Have.  Play off of your current decor when decorating to keep your home feeling celebratory but not crowded.  For example, if you already have picture frames hanging on walls, or sitting on tables/shelves, find some free Christmas printable online to replace the photos currently inside the frames.  The same concept applies to floral arrangements.  If possible, add some Christmas-related pieces of floral decor into an existing arrangement, or replace that arrangement with a holiday centerpiece.  In other words, instead of adding lots of Christmas items into your other collections, either repurpose or replace what is currently in that space for the duration of the holiday, to keep the overall amount of "stuff" you see about the same.  For items you are putting away for the holidays, a laundry basket or a large box stored in a closet or spare bedroom is easy to set aside or hide away, and will make it easy when it's time to take down the Christmas decor and put back your normal decor. 

We hope this helps spark your imagination on participating in the Christmas spirit in your own small space.  Ready to expand your living area, or perhaps you're ready to embark on building the home you've been dreaming of?  We are ready to make it a reality.  Give us a call and we can work with you to customize a plan of action to make your dream home come true in 2017. 

Merry Christmas from Williams Construction Company! 

Check Those Numbers And Raise the Roof! Why Hiring a Licensed Contractor Is Necessary for Roof Work

Central Florida is home to many HOA-operated communities, and this often requires upkeep on both your house and your property.  While some of this upkeep can be managed through DIY projects, sometimes maintaining and repairing your house means you need to call in the pros. This is especially important when it comes to your roof. 

Roofing is not something to play around with.  Precise, meticulous measuring is required to property build and/or repair a roof, and full understanding of, and experience with, the mathematics that go into roofing a house (or any other building for that matter) is key.  Failing to take care of even a single, small detail could result in serious injury, or even death, in the event that a roof partially or completely falls apart.  Just because it looks sturdy upon completion, the real test of strength (like a bad storm, and/or heavy winds) could end up leaving you with some serious damages and if you used an unlicensed builder to do the work, you could be left holding the bill.  So, how can you know that the "professional" you're hiring to fix your roof is legitimate and will know how to handle the job? 

It's all in the numbers.  The license numbers that is. 

Hiring a licensed contractor is the best way, dare we say the only way, to know for sure that you are getting a professional, experienced contractor and builder.  Those numbers are your guarantee that you will end up with a job well done, or protection in the event that the quality of work is less than you expect.  Essentially, licensure is proof that a contractor has gone through the necessary tests, steps, and procedures to be backed up by the construction industry.  Not only do they have to take measures to keep up with their licensure, meaning they are up-to-date with the most current standards, but they also must carry certain types of insurance and financial coverage, which means they are taking care of themselves and their clients. 

For residents in and around the greater Winter Haven area, Williams Construction is proud to say we are fully licensed to handle all of your building and repair needs.  Whether your goal is to have a custom home build start-to-finish, or simply have your fence (or roof!) repaired, we are equipped to handle the job.  We can give you a quote quickly, and work with you to make sure your goals are accomplished in your space. 

It's exciting to "raise the roof"...but first, hire a licensed contractor! 

"Fall" in Love with Your Backyard This Season

Autumn is officially here, and in Central Florida this is the prime time of year when people are able to make use of their outdoor living areas thanks to cooler temperatures.  While this is exciting for many of us here in Polk County, some folks aren't as thrilled since their backyard spaces are less-than-ready for visitors and entertaining. 

If that's you, we are here to tell you that you have no reason to worry!  Williams Construction Company has you covered.  We can handle jobs of all sizes, and can have your backyard Fall ready in no time.  What are some options you could consider to spruce up your outdoor space? 

Fire It Up.  A fire pit is a great way to add some "oomph" to your yard.  They are attractive, and functional, since they offer the potential for hours of fun barbecuing, having s'more or hotdog roasts, and warming your hands with neighbors on the rare nights when we get a cold snap in the weather. 

Close It In.  Adding a fence to your backyard is a wonderful addition at any time of year.  Fences add value to your home, and they are wonderful if you have children or pets since it lets them enjoy the yard more freely without concern of contact with strangers or them escaping into the street. 

Soak Up The Sun.  Your back patio is a great way to enjoy the Florida sunshine, but if your porch is simply open-air, it might not lend itself well to long evenings outdoors since mosquitoes and other critters will take away some of the fun.  Screening your patio in is a simple upgrade that makes your outdoor area much more enjoyable.  Want to take it a step further?  Turn your existing patio into a full sunroom.  It will extend your home by a full room, but keep the bright, airy appearance of a patio since sunrooms have lots of open windows, and are often used for a cross between a living area and a porch. 

We hope these tips spark your imagination for prepping your patio and backyard area for the Fall season.  Give us a call if you're ready to take your outdoor space to the next level! 

House-Ready for the Holidays

Fall is (almost) here and that means the holiday season is right around the corner.  With this time of year comes the likelihood that you will have guests in your home on a regular basis, whether it's a neighbor popping in while having their kids out for trick-or-treating, or overnight houseguests staying over Thanksgiving weekend. We have some tips and tricks for making sure you have the reputation of being the best host or hostess around, without putting in a ton of effort! 

First, clearing clutter is a huge step in making your home inviting.  If you are having unexpected visitors (like the in-laws stopping by for pics with the kids in their Halloween costumes), quick clean-up is key.  While this won't work for long-term clutter-clearing, for a short-term fix, we suggest taking a laundry basket and going through your home collecting items that need to be put away or thrown out.  Place the basket in a hidden spot (like your closet) and when the guests leave, you can take care of cleaning out that basket.  Don't have time to clean the clutter from every room?  Limit where your guests go by closing doors to rooms that are a little less than perfect, so you can focus your efforts on the space that matter, like the guest bathroom! 

Second, two of the most important places you can focus on when prepping for guests (regardless of how long they're staying) are the guest bathroom and your kitchen.  Your kitchen will be a hub of activity during the holiday season, and a sink full of dirty dishes or crusty breakfast crumbs left on the table doesn't do much for people's opinions of your housekeeping skills.  If you don't have time to wash all those dishes that you left the night before, throw them into the dishwasher (or, if you don't have one, the oven) just to keep them out of sight until your guests leave.  Don't have spare minutes to sweep and mop the kitchen? Run the vacuum through your kitchen, and wipe up any sticky spots with a damp paper towel. Finish up by wiping over the table and chairs, and your countertops, and voila, you can have your kitchen looking spiffy in 30 minutes or less.  For your bathroom, go through and spray the toilet (inside and out) with cleaner.  Let it sit while you wipe down sinks, counters, and the mirror.  By the time you're done, all you have to do is swish a toilet brush around, wipe over the toilet's surface, and flush!  Finish up with lighting a candle (high enough that little hands can't reach it) to add a warm glow and keep the bathroom smelling fresh, and your guests will never know you don't keep a spotless home all the time! 

For guests that are staying overnight, keep some bottled water, and some easy-to-access snacks either in the kitchen, or clearly visible in your guest room.  Stock your bathroom with clean towels and washcloths, and some extra shampoo, soap, and other basic toiletries.  This is great time to pull out all those extra hotel samples you might have accumulated.  Keep the guest room home-like with some spare blankets, plenty of lamp-light, and maybe a candle or a sachet to keep it smelling fresh and welcoming. 

Finally, make sure your home is spacious enough to make your guests feel welcome without driving you crazy!  A cramped space, not having enough bathrooms for the amount of people needing the facilities, etc. are all a damper to the holiday spirit of hosting.  Williams Construction Company can help you come up with a plan for renovating your current home to meet your hosting needs, without having to move to a totally different home.  Ready to take it a step farther?  We can help you design and build your dream home from the ground up, so you'll be ready for holidays for years to come. 

Party It Up Football Style: Tips for Hosting Your Next Tailgating Bash

Football season has arrived, and folks all over Polk County will be spending the next 12 Saturdays rooting for their favorite teams.  Many people use this time of year as a prime time for hosting parties in their homes, since very little brings people together as much as food and football. 

Even the best host or hostess can have a hard time knowing how to set up the ultimate football bash, so here are some tips to make sure your guests have nothing but GREAT things to say about your next in-home tailgating party. 

Furniture arrangement is key.  No one wants to attend a football party when they can't see the actual game while it's on the television.  All furniture arrangement and flow of the room should center on the television.  This isn't the time to set up "conversation spaces" as most designers often suggest for living areas.  Now is when you pull out every seat in your home, and arrange them so guests can see the action up close.  We've found that setting up chairs bleacher-style (in rows) gives the maximum viewing spots for party-goers and still allows the perimeter of the room to be used for foot traffic. 

Adequate space for drinks/food is important.  We aren't talking about the serving table with this tip, as much as we are about space for your individual guests to place their cups and/or plates while they're watching the game.  While we know you can't always allow a spot for each guest, making sure you have spaces designated around the room for placing drinks and such is important to keep everyone comfortable.  Card tables, ottomans, folding t.v. trays, etc. are all great choices for this purpose, even if several guests have to share each space.  To avoid confusion, provide permanent markers (Sharpies work great!) at the drink serving area so people can write their names on their SOLO cups and don't end up taking a swig of the wrong beverage. 

Serving area.  The serving area for food should be an easy-to-navigate zone.  Have your table far enough away from any walls that people can approach it from all angles.  Have napkins and/or paper towels at spots throughout the game viewing area, not just on the serving table, since that is the item guests have to keep grabbing the most during any party. 

Finger foods are best.  Foods that can easily be picked up and eaten in a single, or very few, bites, are the best choice for a football party.  Dips, fruit and veggie trays, single-serve appetizers, wings, and foods along this line are great since guests can fill up their plate and nibble while they watch the game.  Since they don't require a full set of flatware, and don't need to be cut up or eaten with utensils, they make things way easier for everyone.  Bonus?  It's less dishes you have to worry about since you won't end up with piles of forks and spoons! 

We hope these tips make your next football bash a raving success.  If you want to host parties throughout the year, but your current home won't allow for it because of space or layout (or both!) then give us a call!  Williams Construction Company can tackle projects from full-scale renovations of your home, to a simple kitchen upgrade to make hosting more enjoyable for you. Adding a kitchen island, taking out a wall that inhibits traffic, or taking out old carpet for easier-to-clean floors are all great ways to make your existing home more party-friendly.  Let us see what we can do for you!