Off to A Good Start: Why Your New Home's Foundation Is So Important

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Foundations are not only the first part of your new home to be put into place, but they are also one of the most important. Every other aspect of your home will be built upon the foundation, and mistakes made during this early step could prove catastrophic during the life of your house. Here in Florida there are special challenges faced when pouring a foundation for a new home. Our sandy soil, tendency toward excessive settling, and rainy seasons mean we have to take extra care when starting a new house. Our goal is to build a structure that will last for generations, and the foundation is the most important part of that. 

There are several important factors in putting in a high-quality and well-built foundation, including: 

  • Having a good base to start with. Firmly packing the soil under the home ("tamping" or compacting) is very important before measuring out and pouring the slab. This ensures that you'll have minimal erosion or settling of the soil. 

  • Patience is key. Once the foundation is poured, it's critical to give the slab time to cure before continuing the building process. Being in a rush not only means you make more mistakes, but it also means your foundation won't be the solid base you need for the rest of your home. Letting it fully harden gives peace of mind that all measurements are accurate, everything is solidified, and the rest of the building process can continue smoothly. 

  • Even concrete needs to be sealed. It might surprise you to know that even your concrete foundation needs to be sealed upon curing, to keep out moisture and help it last longer. Wood isn't the only thing susceptible to water over time! 

While there are many "DIY instructions" online for planning and pouring slab foundations, it is a technique perfected by, and best performed by, professional contractors. Not only do they have the experience and knowledge to see any problems before they happen (and know how to respond properly if they do) but they also have the licensure and insurance to protect you during the home building process. For Central Florida homeowners, or those looking to build, Williams Construction Company is who they call first. We have extensive experience in building custom homes, spec homes, industrial spaces, and churches. We are your one-stop for all of your contracting needs, whether that means putting together your space from the ground up, or simply installing a new door or renovating a kitchen or bathroom in your existing home. Give us a call and let us help you achieve a space you love. 

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

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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. 

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! 

Bring The Indoors Out: Making Your Outdoor Space Part of Your Home

Thanks to the mild temperatures and plentiful sunshine that denotes Springtime here in Central Florida, many people look for excuses to be outdoors.  We know that the temperatures here will soon soar, and that means you will be cooped up inside next to the AC for the remainder of the summer until Fall brings some relief.  Many Polk County homeowners feel that their pool is the only way they can spend time outdoors during the warmer months, yet, that doesn't have to be the case if you make a few key upgrades to your home's outdoor areas. 

Most homes in Florida have a patio, a porch, or a deck of some sort.  While not all of them are covered, the majority are connected to the backside of the house. By covering and enclosing your porch with either screen or glass, you can essentially turn your patio area into another room of your home.  Screens or glass keep out insects, lizards, snakes, and other unwanted creatures, and it also helps protect against the elements to some extent.  While screen lets more airflow through, it won't keep out the rain like glass can.  Really, the choice is yours, depending on how you want to use the space!  However, neither of these options will help with the heat unless you take it a step further. 

Adding fans to a screen in porch, or opening the doors to your glassed-in porch and having the duct-work extended to allow AC flow to the room, will help with managing the warm weather and can keep you cool all year long.  Comfortable temperatures and plenty of air flow will mean you are more likely to use your outdoor living space, and that actually makes your home seem larger since you have added on another room to enjoy!  Want to increase the usability of your outdoor area even more? 

Personalizing your outdoor living space by adding furniture pieces that meet your needs, textiles and accessories that will work with the setup of the room (exposed to the elements or not) and how you plan to use the room, whether for an additional family space or a place for entertaining friends and guests.  This is where you can insert your personality into your patio, and can make it uniquely yours. 

Just because we live in Central Florida, we don't have to be stuck inside all summer!  Make your outdoor area work for you, and keep the temperatures under control!  Williams Construction Company can take care of your construction and renovation needs to make your patio its very best for the spring and summer.  Give us a call! 

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. 

Thinking Outside The Box: Unconventional Solutions for Your Home

This barn-style door was perfect to close off the master bath! 

This barn-style door was perfect to close off the master bath! 

Williams Construction Company is proud to offer home renovation and construction services to the greater Polk County area, but sometimes we have to get creative with how we meet the needs and wants of our clients.  When drafting a plan for home renovations, we sometimes get requests to repurpose a specific space in a home, or add a new feature that isn't necessarily supported by the existing structure of the house.  So, how do we get around these obstacles? 

Well, we have to think outside the box, get creative, and give our clients what they want! 

So, what are some common requests we receive, and how can they be creatively solved? 

Need a Door?  Sometimes, especially here in Florida, open floor plans can end up being a nuisance.  While having an open kitchen/living space is quite nice, having an open plan in your bathroom isn't exactly what people want, especially in their master suite.  Having privacy for luxurious baths or getting ready each morning isn't easy with the lack of doors we often see on master suites in homes built here in our area.  Since there is no surrounding structure allowing for the insertion of a door, thinking outside of the box (er, doorway) is needed, and the best solution we have found so far is installing a barn-style door to the area.  This door operates on a track system, and can be installed over the current opening to the bathroom, so you don't have to endure weeks of structural work on your existing walls.  It's a relatively quick fix to a problem and it offers a unique and stylish flair to your bedroom! 

Need another bathroom?  This one is another common request. Bathrooms are a busy place in most family homes, and it can be frustrating to have multiple people sharing the space.  Also frustrating?  Having a shared bath for your kids and your guests, which is another frequent issue.  Many homeowners would love to have another bathroom added but don't want to give up an existing bedroom space.  So, our next suggestion would be to look at your closets. Larger closets can be renovated and made into half-baths (or even full-baths, with extensive work) and can help alleviate the strain of too many people and not enough toilets/sinks.  While this renovation can take a lot of work (and can be costly), it can be a good choice for certain situations. 

Need more storage?  This just might be one of the most common requests of homeowners when renovating a space in their homes.  Whether it's additional cabinet space in the kitchen, or wanting a whole new closet, storage is a hot commodity for single-family homes.  Storage is an area where we can get very creative though, and it can be fun to design a space with storage in unexpected places.  For example, pantries with swing out shelves that double the storage capacity, or laundry rooms will full sets of cabinetry (to replace boring wire shelves) that not only offer more storage but hide all the stuff you don't want everyone to see. 

If you are ready to make changes around your home, or if you want to jump all in for a full-renovation of your house, give us a call.  Williams Construction Company serves the greater Central Florida area with top-quality service and we get the results you want.  Your dream home can become a reality, and we're ready to help. 

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! 

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!