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! 

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. 

From the Ground Up: How Williams Construction Pays Attention to Every Detail of Your Newly Built Home

When you choose to build a home, you usually aren't coming into the process armed with extensive knowledge of the construction industry or even where to begin in designing your perfect space.  Many times, soon-to-be homeowners know what "look" they want, and might even have paint colors picked out already, but they don't know exactly how to get to that point. 

Williams Construction is experienced in helping people turn their dream home into a reality by paying attention to the details that might be otherwise overlooked.  We put lots of thought into every part of your home, leaving you with a high-quality house from the ground up. Obviously, we pay attention to heavily used spaces (kitchens and bathrooms especially!) and we want your living areas to be comfortable and inviting, but we also give special attention to spaces that may not make the top of your list if you were designing the house on your own. 

So, how to we make sure your home is better than the best? 

Curb Appeal

Your home shouldn't just be beautiful after you step into the front door.  It should be beautiful as people are walking to your front door as well.  We make sure that your home has plenty of curb appeal, from the exterior paint color to the design of the front walkway.  Windows, architectural elements, and even landscaping are taken into consideration when we are putting together your perfect place. 

Backyard Oasis

Your backyard shouldn't are a burden that only gets attention when it's time to do some lawn maintenance or trim the shrubs.  We want our clients to enjoy their backyards as their own personal oasis.  Whether you choose to have a full screened-in pool put in, or opt for a nice green lawn where your kids can roam freely, we want to make sure it's a retreat for you and your family. 

Top-of-the-Line EVERYTHING

While many businesses in the construction industry will "cut corners" with the quality of materials used in the homes they build, we take quality very seriously at Williams Construction. Our clients know they will be receiving the absolute top-of-the-line materials in their home, from the baseboard trim to the kitchen appliances.  That is what makes a Williams home superior. 

When you are ready to make your dream space come true, give us a call.  We are proud to serve clients throughout the greater Polk County area, and have a built a name for ourselves here in Central Florida based on the points mentioned above. 

When you build with Williams Construction, you never have to settle for anything less than perfect. 

One Stop Shop: How Williams Construction Can Handle It ALL.

It's no secret that Williams Construction handles full-scale home building projects, business renovations, and other "major" projects that involve long-term planning and labor throughout the greater Winter Haven area.  However, it might not be as well-known that we handle projects of a smaller-scale too! 

Williams Construction doesn't pride itself on the size of the projects we do.  Rather, we take great care with the quality and the service that we offer to our Polk County clients, regardless of the job being done. 

Have an open pool but want to go "under cover" and add a screen?  We can handle that. We can handle replacing old or broken pool screens as well, so you can be proud of your pool area during your gatherings with friends around the water this summer. 

That bedroom that will be vacant once your kid moves out for college in August?  Why not turn it into a multi-purpose home office?  We can help you come up with the perfect plan that will blend the function of a home office with the ability to turn into a "guest room" when your child comes home for holidays. 

Williams Construction is also your go-to provider for bathroom and kitchen renovations.  We love seeing clients light up when they get the first glimpse of a new, spa-like bathroom or their fancy kitchen ready for entertaining guests for years to come. 

These types of projects don't take years to plan or complete, but we consider them just as important as the very largest projects we've taken on.  For us, client satisfaction is the ultimate goal, and seeing smiles and happiness from our completed work is what we strive for, whether it's a simple bedroom renovation or building a dream home on the lake. 

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. 

Bang for Your Buck: Incorporating Hidden Storage Into Your Space

Whether we are building a custom home or business space, or renovating an existing one, we hear a common theme among our clients: I NEED STORAGE! 

Storage is a hot topic in construction and design. Whether it's pantry space, extra closets, or under-the-desk cabinetry, people want to be able to store their stuff without having to look at it hanging out in the open.  Recently, organizational tutorials and heaps of "storage bins" are popping up in droves, all the way from Pinterest to the local dollar store.  "Organizing" is a trend...but are a bunch of bins really going to help you organize your space? 

Perhaps the best way to start on your organizational "spring cleaning" plan this year is to evaluate your actual home or office building.  Are you making the most of the existing space?  It might be time to rethink the way parts of your home are being used. 

Some common places to check? 

Stairways.  Stairs usually have unused space underneath.  Consider adding a closet space and/or shelving under the stairwell.  This gives you a great place for hiding items away (or can make a very convenient coat-closet in a home) and utilizes an area of your home that might be going unnoticed currently. 

Go Vertical.  Closets, pantries, etc. are often equipped with shelving.  However, the shelves usually start at "reaching" height (or slightly above) so as to allow easy access for users. Consider adding extra shelving at a higher level that the regular shelving.  This space is a great place to store items that aren't used often.  Here in Central Florida, that could mean winter wear like sweaters and boots, or in an office space, it could be where you keep extra supplies that are only for occasional use.

Bathrooms and Kitchens.  These rooms are often full of wasted space and storage opportunities.  For example: does your kitchen have cabinetry over the refrigerator?  A lot of homes actually don't!  This is a big waste of space, and just stacking things on top of the fridge leads to clutter (and can be a dusty mess).  Adding cabinets over your fridge gives you extra (hidden) storage, and makes your kitchen look more complete.  In your bathroom, the area over the toilet is a common wasted space.  Many people install shelving, or free-standing over-the-toilet storage units, but these can make your bathroom look less cohesive since they aren't part of the original design.  Consider having actual cabinetry installed in this space to match your existing bathroom.  It's a great way to store unsightly items like toilet paper and other bathroom needs.  They are still handy, but not an eyesore! 

During this spring cleaning season of 2016, we hope you'll keep these tips in mind.  If you need some help brainstorming ways to increase storage in your own home, or want an estimate on an idea you already have, give us a call!  Williams Construction can handle any project, regardless of the size or space. 

Put Some "Spring" in Your Space: Creating an Outdoor Space You Can Love

Spring is here in Central Florida, and that means our Polk County friends and neighbors are pulling out their lawnmowers, bringing the patio furniture out of storage, and gearing up for lots of time spent outdoors.  The temperatures are just right, and people don't want to miss out on enjoying them! 

Unfortunately, that bright spring sunshine and fresh green grass can make your existing outdoor space look...well...dull.  Perhaps you have been meaning to upgrade your concrete slab out back with something a little more functional for friendly gatherings, or maybe your pool area could use a fire pit and a pergola!  Whatever your preferences, we guarantee we can help you make your vision come true! Not sure how to add some sparkle to your outdoor living area? 

Here are some popular choices that we know you'll love...

Made in the Shade

One of the most common upgrades we see people make to their outdoor spaces here in Florida is the addition of shade or a roof-structure for their patio or backyard area.  This can be a full addition to the roof off of the back of your home, or something like a pergola over a freestanding patio.  Whatever your choice, you will be glad you invested in the upgrade.  Not only will it give you hours of enjoyment on your patio without the heat and overwhelming sun, but it will also make your house more marketable in the event you have to sell. 

An Element of Fun

Additions to your back yard, such as a patio with built a built-in barbecue, or a fire pit space where you can gather with neighbors, are great choices since they give your space some entertainment value as well as function.  Upgrades like these offer limitless entertainment with friends and family and will serve you well for many years. 

Fresh and Festive

Adding built in planters, garden spaces, and even water features are a great way to personalize your outdoor space while adding a level of "freshness" with flowers and greenery.  During the spring this is especially nice, since we enjoy a variety of colorful floral options here in Central Florida thanks to our climate.  Having planters built-in mean you can cultivate rich soil that will grow flowers and plants year after year, instead of using only transient planters or pots that must be emptied and replaced each season. 

We hope this sparks your imagination for your own outdoor space.  If you are ready for some spring upgrades, whether inside or outside your home, give us a call!  Williams Construction can tackle and job, of any size, and we love to see our clients happy in their new space. 

Happy Spring! 

Keep Your Cool: Williams Construction Offers HVAC Installation

The weather is beginning to warm up here in Central Florida, and we know that the thought at the front of our Polk County friends and neighbors' minds will be their air conditioning.  If you are purchasing an older home and planning to remodel though, that thought can be a little concerning. 

An HVAC system that is old, damaged, or otherwise not operating correctly can not only be a nuisance and discomfort for you when the Florida temperatures soar over the spring and summer, but it can also be damaging to the rest of your home.  Your air conditioning and ventilation system affect the air quality in your home, and they also regulate the temperature. A malfunctioning system means your home could easily overheat, and that isn't just bad for you...it's also potentially harmful to your appliances, computers and other electronics, and if your AC unit is malfunctioning it can even lead to leaks or other water issues, especially during our most humid months. 

The good news is, Williams Construction has you covered!  We don't just install high-quality HVAC systems and ductwork in the homes we build from the ground up; we offer this service for our renovation clients as well.  If you feel that the HVAC system in your fixer-upper needs attention, it shouldn't go unchecked.  This is NOT something you want to attempt to DIY.  You are better to call in the pros, and Williams Construction makes sure you get the absolute best quality work for the most reasonable and customized rate for you.  We don't look at our clients as a "number"...we look at them as a relationship.  We have the same goal as the homeowners we work for: to make your house the absolute best it can be, whether a brand-new build or a home being restored to a former (or better) glory. 

Don't sweat the stress of having to worry about an outdated or broken-down HVAC system. Let us take the headache out of it for you and take care of updating your system while we take care of your additional construction needs.  You'll be able to rest and keep your cool, having complete confidence that the job was done right. 

Show Your Home Some Love: Forgotten Areas That Need Attention

Valentine's Day is almost here, and everyone has love on the brain!  We do too...but here at Williams Construction, we aren't thinking about candy and roses...we are thinking about how people can show their homes some love this year. 

Think about it.  Your house is there for you, day in and day out.  How often do you show it the attention it needs?  Sure, you mow the lawn, and vacuum the carpets and OF COURSE you repair major damage when and if it happens, but what about the little jobs?  Those details are how you can show your home some love this Valentine's Day. 

Need some ideas? 

Check the Mail...

...or the mailbox that is.  Your mailbox gets dirty, and can quickly fall into disrepair if you don't maintain it.  Give it a good hose down, and scrub it with some basic household cleaner for spots that need a little more attention.  Don't forget to wipe down the inside too!  If your mailbox is brick, stone, or another "heavy" material other than plastic, check for any repairs that need to be done, or painted spots that could use a touch-up. 

Get Your Caulk On

Caulking is often unnoticed, but makes a huge difference in the appearance of your kitchen and bathroom.  Check around sinks, tubs, and toilets to make sure your caulking is still in good shape and staying fresh.  If it looks like there is mold, or the  caulking is peeling, it's time to replace it!  It's inexpensive and easy, so there's no reason to let it go! 

"Squeaky" Clean

Make sure that doors, both indoors and out, are scrubbed clean of fingerprints and other grime that tends to build up over time.  Make sure hinges are oiled up as well, to avoid annoying squeaks! 

Stay in Touch With Touch-Ups

Don't let paint chips and scratches go for long periods of time.  These can make your paint job look incredibly sad and affect the overall look of your home.  Keep your house looking fresh by periodically checking for paint damage throughout, including baseboards and door/window frames.  By touching these things up as they happen, you can make a paint job last longer without having to repaint an entire room. 

We hope this sparks your drive to show your own house some love this Valentine season.  If you have some bigger jobs that need attention, give us a call!  Williams Construction can handle not only repair or renovation projects, but we do interior and exterior painting as well! What better way to surprise your sweetie and show your house some love at the same time than by having a brand new paint job taken care of for them! 

Happy Valentine's Day from Williams Construction Company! 

Underfoot: What Is The Best Flooring Choice for Your Home?

Flooring is one of the most important factors to consider when building or upgrading a home. While it's only underfoot, it affects many things including the ease of cleaning a space, overall look and feel of a room, and can even help a homeowner decide on the purpose of a room! Flooring is often one of the most costly choices you will make about a space, but it also tends to hold or add value more than other parts of a home. 

Here are some of the popular flooring choices on the market right now...

Tile

Tile flooring is a very popular choice here in Central Florida.  Because of our climate, sandy soil texture, and humidity issues, tile offers many perks for homeowners.  It tends to hold a cooler temperature (meaning a cooler space for you!), is durable and easy to clean, and isn't easily affected by moisture or humidity.  It is also incredibly versatile.  It comes in many different shapes, colors, and textures (including some that are made to look like wooden flooring!) so you have endless possibilities when customizing a look for your space.  Tile offers longevity too, and that is important if you want your home to hold value and be low maintenance. However, tile floor is one of the more expensive choices, due to both material costs and the price of labor to install the floor.  Still, because of the longevity and durability of the floor, many homeowners can justify the higher price tag. 

Wood

Wood flooring is classic, and a beautiful choice for most homes.  Unfortunately, it can tend to be less durable than other flooring options, especially here in Florida where moisture can cause issues.  Still, if you hire a professional to help you choose the right flooring, and to install it correctly, you can oftentimes pull off having hardwood floors in your Polk County home.  You will need to be prepared for some maintenance though if you want to keep your floors in top condition.  Some perks of wood flooring (in addition to its visual appeal) are the ease of cleaning up spills, crumbs, dirt, etc., variety of options for color and style, and wide availability from many providers. 

Carpet

Carpet is a common flooring choice for many homeowners, especially if they are building on a budget.  Carpeting tends to be the cheapest of the flooring options, and since it comes in a myriad of colors, textures, and materials, you can customize the look of a space easily. Carpeting does have benefits, such as being comfortable underfoot, and a nice option for those with little ones who will be experiencing lots of falls, or crawling on the floors. Unfortunately, carpeting also has many cons.  It wears out and loses its value more quickly than any other flooring option, and it is much more difficult to clean and maintain than a hard flooring would be.  Spills, dirt, etc. take their toll on carpet in a pretty short amount of time, meaning that families with children and/or pets will want to think hard before choosing carpet over another option. 

We hope this helps you think through your options when considering redoing your floors in your existing home, or when choosing a floor surface for a new home.  If you are interested in having a professional offer insight into the floors in your home, give us a call!  Williams Construction handles everything from minor home upgrades (such as flooring replacement!) to full home remodels and construction projects.  We are proud to offer high quality service to our local community! 

Getting Crafty: Christmas "Construction" With Your Kids

We are in the final stretch, and Christmas is only a little over a week away!  School is winding down this week in Polk County, and we know you'll have some antsy and excited kids on your hands at the beginning of next week.  After all, Christmas is RIGHT there and the gifts under the tree will have them a little distracted. 

If the thought of having your little (or big) ones underfoot until the big day, here are some fun and simple projects you can pull out that just might take their attention away from the gifts and holiday goodies...at least for a little while. 

"Scaled Down" Gingerbread Houses

Making a gingerbread house with your family has long been a Christmas tradition.  However, who actually has time to bake all that gingerbread and deal with the risk of the whole thing falling apart?  These gingerbread houses give the same fun results, but in an individual size. Best part?  No baking involved for you at all! Simply use graham cracker squares as the sides and roof of your house, and then let your kids go to town decorating with as much frosting and candy as their heart desires.  They are a fun treat, or a great display piece to show off to friends and neighbors who stop by during the week of Christmas. 

Pro tip: If your "gingerbread" houses are going to be used as display only, and not eaten, use hot glue to fasted the sides together and to put on the roof.  It holds better than frosting and is so much easier.  You'll want to help your kids with this part to avoid burns. 

Artistic Flair

A great way to keep your kids busy is to put a paintbrush in their hand and a blank canvas in front of them.  Kids of all ages enjoy painting, and they can express themselves through colors, shapes, and designs.  If you want to keep in the holiday spirit, limit the color palette to greens, reds, golds, whites, and silvers.  Let them work and you just might be surprised at the masterpieces you're left with! 

Homemade Gift Giving

Turn your holiday crafting time with your kids into a great gift-making extravaganza.  Have your kids make ornaments for different family members.  For a super simple idea, simply print out shrunken photos of your kids or family and insert them into clear plastic ball ornaments from your local craft store.  They are cheap, and can be made as festive as you'd like by adding ribbon, glitter, paint, etc.  Another great idea are personalized plates or mugs.  Designs made on oven-safe plates and mugs with permanent markers will become "washer safe" once baked. They are a great gift idea for grandparents! 

We hope this has sparked your imagination with some ways to entertain your kids this holiday season.  Make the wait for Christmas Day fun, and make some memories while you're at it! After all, spending time with the ones you hold dear is what makes the holiday season special. 

Thanksgiving "Construction" in The Kitchen

            Just like building a home, a successful Thanksgiving dinner needs a plan!   ?

            Just like building a home, a successful Thanksgiving dinner needs a plan! 

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We've made it to the big week!  Thanksgiving is almost here and we are excited to spend time with family and friends, celebrating the many things we have to be thankful for this year.  Of course, no Thanksgiving celebration is complete without a feast, and that can get tricky, especially if you aren't a culinary wizard in the kitchen. 

Here at Williams Construction, we are no stranger to "construction", and we like to think of a Thanksgiving dinner as another construction project.  With the right tools, the right materials, and a few handy tips, you can whip up a Thanksgiving dinner like a pro! 

Make Your List, Check It Twice

Lists might not be your thing on an everyday basis, but for making a Thanksgiving feast, they will be your best friend.  We never head to a site without going over everything we need, including the tools we'll use to get the job done.  It's no different in your kitchen.  Decide what you'll be making, determine all the ingredients you'll need and tools required to compete the dish, and then take inventory of what you already have off those lists.  Anything you don't already have will need to be purchased.  When you head to the store with your list in hand, you'll know exactly what you need and come home prepared! 

Think Ahead

If you were to peek inside our Winter Haven office at Williams Construction, you would probably see more than a few blueprints lying around.  Just like we use blueprints to lay out a plan and design for our projects, it's a good idea for you to put together a basic outline and plan for your Thanksgiving meal.  Determine seating for all guests (do you have enough tables? chairs? place settings?), decide what can be made ahead of time to save you stress on the big day, and do as much prep work as possible in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  For example, consider washing all place settings, table clothes, etc. at the beginning of the week and keeping them in a safe (clean) spot until you need them.  Also consider making any dishes that can be frozen in the days ahead, and then just pull them out and bake them on the morning of Thanksgiving! 

Shortcuts

No, we don't take shortcuts that will sacrifice quality in our projects, and we aren't asking you to either!  Williams Construction believes in giving our clients the highest quality work possible, and will offer nothing below outstanding results.  However, when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, a shortcut or two could save you a lot of time and stress, and make the whole day more enjoyable for everyone.  Think about the parts of the dinner that stress you out the most, and then figure out how to make them a little easier.  Does the thought of baking pies from scratch give you a headache before you even pull out the flour?  Don't let it!  There are plenty of delicious pie options at many local grocery stores and bakeries that are cost effective, beautiful, and will taste as good (or better!) than homemade.  Your guests don't even have to know!  Just place the pie on your own serving plate and it can be your secret!  Other shortcuts include having family contribute by bringing some of the dishes needed for the meal, purchasing a few high-quality, pre-made options (you can even buy delicious pre-made mashed potatoes!) or even purchasing your turkey already cooked! 

Finishing Touches

When the big day arrives, finishing touches can be what sets your Thanksgiving dinner apart as a  raving success from just being "good".  Williams Construction makes sure our custom homes and designs reflect our clients, all the way down to the tiniest details.  In that same way, make sure your dinner reflects you, your home, and your family.  Do you love a warm, cozy atmosphere?  Add some candles, some background music, and offer a laid-back environment for your guests.  If you want something more snazzy and "grown- up", have appetizers and cocktails ready to serve as guests arrive.  They can mingle and enjoy the meal from the very start, before they ever get to the dining room! 

We hope that you can pull some of these tips to make your holiday cooking endeavors more successful (and less stressful)!  Just follow your plan as much as you can, have fun, and enjoy your family and friends this holiday season.  If you realize that your family (and holiday dinners) have outgrown your space, give us a call!  It might be time to add on a new bedroom or two, or renovate your too-small kitchen. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Williams Construction! 

Pretty Pumpkins: 3 "No-Carve" Options for Your Fall and Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween is upon us, and this week means that many families are pulling out the carving supplies and going elbow-deep in pumpkins!  However, there are a lot of risks when carving pumpkins (especially for small children) since it involves sharp objects such as knives, and pumpkins are an awkward, slippery mess.  The situation lends itself toward accidental injuries, and no one wants that on Halloween! 

No need to worry though!  Your pumpkin can still look fabulous without a single knife blade being brought out of the drawer!  Here are our 3 favorite pumpkin decorating ideas that are safe for the whole family to do! 

Pull Out the Paints

Painting pumpkins is not a new concept.  In fact, if you look it up on Pinterest, you'll find that this activity can be as elaborate or as simple as you'd like.  If you want a child-friendly option, simply throw a plastic tarp down on the floor (or outside!) and hand over paints and brushes to your children.  They can each have their own pumpkin, unique to their style. 

If you want something a little more "upscale" there are all kinds of templates and patterns online that can leave you with a pumpkin that looks as if it was painted in some fancy boutique. No one has to know you did it yourself! 

Hit the Stores

Many stores are offering "no-carve" options in their pumpkin decorating areas now.  These kits range in price, and in concept.  Some of them come with plastic facial features and accessories that are simply stuck into the pumpkin (think a Mr. Potato head, pumpkin-style) while others are more sticker-based.  Regardless of what you choose, these are always a hit with kids, and they are great for parents who just don't have time to get into the mess of painting their pumpkins. 

Grown-Up Pumpkin

For a "classier" look, pull out your drill!  Yep, you heard us correctly.  If you want a cool effect for your pumpkin, choose different heads and drill holes into the pumpkin after cleaning out the pulp and seeds.  Once you have a pattern of holes that you like, simply place a light inside and you have a beautiful pumpkin "lantern" to adorn your front porch or your table for the holiday.  Best part?  Unlike a traditional jack-o-lantern, this decoration can carry you all the way through the Fall season, which means you don't have to throw away a perfectly good pumpkin once Halloween is over! 

Don't let the risk of a knife slip-up keep you from enjoying the pumpkin-decorating season!  Use some of these ideas to make sure your whole family can enjoy festive pumpkins this Halloween without needing the band-aids (or the emergency room!).  If your home needs painting as badly as your pumpkins do, then give us a call!  We at Williams offer painting services for both the inside and outside of your home.  As the holidays approach your home will be on showcase, so make sure it's looking its best!