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

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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! 

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. 

Welcome Home Snowbirds! Make Your Florida Getaway Work for YOU

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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?

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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! 

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! 

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. 

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! 

"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! 

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! 

Building a House That Will Become A Home: Choosing Between A Spec Home And A Custom Home

A spec home by Williams Construction! 

A spec home by Williams Construction! 

Home-building has become a popular choice here in Central Florida. Polk County is full of neighborhoods being filled-in with new construction on a frequent basis.  Families are realizing that their dream of building their own home is a reality, and with the market being favorable toward buyers right now, there is no better time to think about a new home for your family. 

When you decide to build, you have two main options.  You can build a custom home, which is essentially your very own plan, from the foundation to the kitchen drawer pulls, OR, you can build a spec home.  A spec home is a popular choice right now, because it typically takes less time than a custom home, and it can (sometimes) be a more affordable option.  Each choice has a long list of benefits though, and in the end, each client has an option that will best suit them and their situation. 

So, what are the benefits of each choice when building a house to become your home? 

With a custom home, you are in close interaction with your builder, and you have a lot of control in regards to what your home will look like.  How many closets, the layout of the floorpan, and even little details like the type of light fixtures in the bathroom will be in your hands.  Your builder is there to help you figure out the logistics of fitting together each of your choices and ideas into a blueprint of your dream home.  This process can take a while, and usually, a custom home is a longer process since each detail has to be discussed and mulled over with the homeowner.  Although it might take more time, building a custom home means your end-result is totally tailored to you and your family, and will be suited to meet your individual needs. 

A spec home, on the other hand, has a floorpan that is, for the most part, already drawn by your builder.  The layout of the rooms, the location of the plumbing, electricity, walls, etc. are all decided upon.  The little details, however, are customized by the future homeowner.  The types of countertops, the colors and finish of cabinetry, and the type of flooring are all left "blank" and are determined by each individual client and their budget/wants.  The end result with a spec home is still tailored to the desires of the homeowner, but the majority of the "big" decisions have already been made by the builder.  Since the blueprint of this home is not totally custom, it will not be the only home of its kind, but that also means the builders can have it move-in ready more quickly. 

As you can see, each option when building a home can be a wonderful, exciting process and will leave you with a house you can love.  We have even better news for you though.  Regardless of which option you choose, Williams Construction has you covered!  We offer both custom homes AND spec homes.  We can even help you come up with a renovation plan for your current home if you aren't ready to move, but want to alter your house to better meet your needs. 

Let us help welcome you home, by building the house of your dreams! 

Dorm Life 101: Planning for Your College Student

Find these bins  HERE . 

Find these bins HERE

Today, we are diverting from talking home construction or office renovation, and instead, we are touching on a topic that many parents all over the US are facing in the next few weekends: moving their college student into a dorm room. 

Dorm life certainly has a stereotype or a stigma that goes along with it, including visions of late nights, cold pizza, copious amounts of coffee, and tiny dorm rooms that often look like a disaster.  While we can't do much to keep your student from the unhealthy eating and sleeping habits (they learn that one on their own!) we can help alleviate some of the concern about their disastrous space with some helpful tips.  College students often have neither the time nor motivation to get an organizational system in place for themselves.  Ensure that they are set up for success by helping them put systems in place for their laundry, their school books/papers, etc.  Try these tricks and hacks to make your college students dorm room easy to organize, easy to clean, and easy to live in.

  1. Have a "laundry caddy" that they can easily throw into their basket of dirty clothes when they head to the laundromat or dorm laundry facilities.  In a small plastic container such as the one in the image above, place detergent packets, dryer sheets, a stain removal stick/gel, and perhaps even an inexpensive scrub brush for stubborn stains. For students who have to pay to do laundry, a bag of quarters is an incredibly helpful addition to the laundry caddy too! 
  2. An under-the-bed storage bin is a great place for your student to store "extras" that they won't use very often, and would take up precious closet space.  Blankets, coats/jackets, spare office supplies, etc. can all fit easily into one of these bins, and are accessible without too much effort.  By keeping them under the bed though, these items leave the closet and desk area free for items that are used on a daily basis, and prevent clutter. 
  3. Storage containers are super helpful for college students.  Small sorting containers make keeping pens, pencils, staples, and more organized within a desk drawer.  Larger bins can be placed on shelves in the closet, or even on the floor of the closet, to hold shoes, accessories, and other items that can end up in a massive pile.  Another helpful trick using these bins are to set them up sideways on the top shelf of a closet.  They allow you to stack towels, washcloths, spare sheets, etc. easily since it keeps linens neat and orderly, and helps keep them folded.  These types of bins are easy to find at any big box store, and many dollar stores sell good-quality bins in fun colors for a VERY cheap price. 
  4. Have a shower basket for your student.  Most dorms have "hall bathrooms", meaning that your student will be heading down the hall to a gym-style bathroom and shower area that utilizes stalls for privacy.  Having a basket that stays stocked with shampoo, conditioner, a loofah or washcloth (or both), and any other needed toiletries can be very helpful.  Additional items to include are a travel packet of wet wipes, a travel packet of cleaning wipes (for those times when the bathroom cleanliness leaves much to be desired), and a razor with shaving cream. 
  5. Shoe organizers make a great storage system for dorm rooms.  Hanging one on the back of the door gives your student a space to keep small items like chargers, computer cables, and other items that can get easily tangled.  They utilize space that would otherwise be empty! 

We hope these tips and tricks give you some inspiration for setting your student up this school year!  That spare bedroom in your house that they are leaving behind? There's no better time to turn it into an office, or your own personal space!  Don't worry...you can always keep a bed hidden for those weekends when your student decides to come home to Polk County for a visit.  We have our own tricks and hacks for making sure you have space for them to sleep without giving up your new "grown-up" area.  Stop by or call our Winter Haven office when you want to get started with making your home your dream space. 

Getting Down to Business: How WC Can Overhaul Your Office Space

It's no secret that the environment around you can affect your mood, your efficiency, and your productivity.  People spent countless dollars to ensure that their living environment is best suited for their specific needs, but when it comes to their office space, they'll often settle for "whatever works". 

We believe that your office space should meet the same requirements as your home!  If you work a typical schedule of 40 hours each week (or even more), then you are likely in your office more than any other area, and if it isn't functional, or pleasing to be in, then you probably aren't operating at your very best.  Williams Construction is proud to serve our local Polk County friends and neighbors with office renovations that are personalized and of the highest quality possible. 

Recently, we were privileged to overhaul this local office space for Saunders Law Group.  We love the unique touches, such as the barn-style door and built in shelving, that make this space one-of-a-kind, functional, and beautiful for those who work here each day.  When we renovate a space of any kind, from homes throughout Winter Haven to professional office areas, our goal is to make sure each client feels that their ideal dream space has become a reality.  By sitting down with them and mapping out what purposes the area needs to serve, personal preferences for materials, colors, etc., and listening to the client describe what they do/don't want, we are able to develop a plan to accomplish this goal. 

Let us do the same for you!  If you are ready to upgrade your office, whether at home, or in a professional environment, give us a call!  Maybe your office is fine, but you feel that your bathroom or kitchen needs to be overhauled.  We handle that too. If you can dream it, we can make it happen. 

Get down to business, and let Williams Construction make your office space the absolute best that it can be. 

Sponsoring and Participating in Local Events: The HCA Toga Trot 5K

Here at Williams Construction, we believe in supporting local businesses and organizations. After all, we are a local business and the only reason we are able to continue providing service to our Polk County friends and neighbors is because of people like YOU. 

Because of this local support system, we are always looking for ways to get involved within our community and give back to the people who have made us, and continue to make us, who we are.  This past Saturday we had another great opportunity in the Second Annual Toga Trot 5K hosted by Heritage Christian Academy. 

HCA provides a high-quality, classical education to students in the greater Polk County area at an affordable rate for families.  Small class sizes, a challenging yet personalized curriculum, and committed teachers mean that HCA is a huge asset to our community and the children within it.  We were thrilled to be able to play a part in their annual fundraising event by being involved with the Toga Trot. 

HCA offered not only the opportunity to sponsor this event, but they also gave sponsors the option of participating in the race!  We were so excited to do BOTH.  By sponsoring the event, we ensured its success, and we also gained invaluable exposure to the local community since our name and company info was provided to racers, on many of the race materials, etc.  By participating in the actual event, we got "face time" with people within the Winter Haven community and had a great time not only running the race, but also getting to know our city better! 

We encourage you to get out there and support local businesses and events!  The locals in your own town are what give your area its own unique flavor, and supporting your city and the organizations within it mean your town will continue to thrive and maintain what makes it special.