Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Window Replacement

I Can See Clearly Now ..... it's a song, it's a window, it's glass cleaner!*
*[all of the above]

The window industry is one place where advances and innovation in materials and style have come a long way and all for the better.  From the rattling, wood or aluminum frame, squiggly glass windows of yesteryear to today's upscale, vinyl wrapped, well-sealed, plain or uniquely-styled, clear glass replacements, windows provide protection and natural daylight to improve and enhance your safety and well-being.  When you factor in energy efficiency, insurance cost reduction, expert installation and property value increase, well, you have a win-win kind of deal.

If you have ever scraped, sanded, primed and painted wood window frames every few years, you will appreciate forever the simple ease of washing window frames with a sponge or hose.  The white vinyl wrap is as attractive from the curb as from the inside of your home, and the screen/storm combinations are a dream -- especially for oldsters who recall changing out screens and storms twice a year up in New York or New England or Michigan.

Replacement windows come in all sizes and styles and have many advantages for the investment:

  • Easy to clean
  • Double-hung open in for easy cleaning from the inside
  • Filter harmful UV rays
  • Crisp white trim goes with any house style and some offer colors
  • Slim frames maximize window space
  • Superior glass
  • High insulating qualities
  • Reduce heating and A/C expense
  • Smooth and simple to open and close

Among the reasons to replace your windows is age of the home, condition of current windows, if they leak (letting in water or air), as well as to upgrade with new siding, reduce energy expenses, expand current window sizes, add a window and match windows with new doors.  Many replacement window companies also craft exterior doors in different styles.  Professionals in window replacement can advise you on the type of glass you need, as tempered glass is required for some windows and doors in Florida due to hurricanes and high winds with storms.  

Replacement windows can be a do-it-yourself project for the highly skilled, highly motivated homeowner on a budget.  You can do one side of your house per year, for example. Practice on the back first, and be sure to line up a Tampa area rental dumpster from Bin There Dump That for all the materials you will remove from the window space.  The last thing you need is more time to go to the dump and incur landfill fees along the way.  The Energy Star designation on windows may qualify for a tax deduction.  The University of Florida, IFAS Extension, has published an informative, 2-page report on Window Systems .

Homemade glass cleaner ~
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tsp Dawn or 4 Tbl. lemon juice
  • 1 pint rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Home Staging & Home Sale Preparation

First impressions can be deal breakers for potential buyers, especially when homeowners do not grasp the significance of staging the home.  It's like missing the forest for the trees, meaning someone is looking at individual things (trees) and missing the big picture (forest).  In house terms, prospective home buyers can be distracted by odd art, personal belongings or loud things which attract attention.  The human eye is drawn to something that stands out, and a potential home buyer can miss an entire room for the visual impact of something very bright, though relatively small.

The National Association of Realtors reports that staged homes sell 80 percent faster and have offers up to 11 percent higher than non-staged properties.   According to Barb Schwarz, president of the International Association of Home StagingProfessionals (IAHSP), a home staged by an IAHSP member is on the market for an average of 29 days compared to 145 days for non-staged homes.  Another study by the Real Estate Staging Association indicates that staged homes sell, on average, 73 percent faster than unstaged ones.
Of course, all the staging in the world doesn't do much if the place isn't professionally cleaned and personally de-cluttered.  Lookers do poke in the oven, closets, dryer lint screen and under sinks.  Fresh coats of paint do wonders, as does carpet replacement, deep cleaning and power spraying the exterior.

Curb appeal (check out our past blog) is the first impression, and yet a fair performance outside can be overlooked for a stellar interior.   The hallmark of a home stage professional is a keen eye for arrangement, organization, function and color.   This person understands the kind of neutral environment that has broad appeal.   It's not about decorating or redecorating, but more about transforming the home from personally-you to impersonally-someone else.

Staging can be expensive, but the likelihood of recovering it and more in the final price is high.  It's akin to the business adage: "It takes money to make money."  According to a Duke University study on home staging, some of the most important things to be removed from sight are:

·      used soap, razors, toothbrushes, etc., in a bathroom
·      pet dishes, toys, beds, litter box, etc.
·      personal photographs
·      kitchen counter appliances including coffeemaker, mixer, etc.

Additionally, each room should be used as designed.  A dining room, for example, should having dining room furniture in it.  A spare bedroom converted to a home office works, as long as it doesn't have both bed and desk.

One of the most common stumbling blocks to staging is emotional.  The homeowner is defensive about his or her decor, and for someone to come in and remove and rearrange things in another way can be disheartening.  The home stage professional is not emotionally-invested in the house and simply sees how to present it in the best light, literally and figuratively.  The objective is to sell the house for a great price in a relatively short time frame, and keeping that in mind makes the home stager part of the sales team, not an adversary.

A home stage professional can take your home to its highest level of appeal to prospective buyers, those potential new homeowners who can comfortably visualize their furnishings and personal accoutrements in your attractive, neutral spaces.  Time is money, even in real estate, and a fast nickel is always better than a slow dime.  Who knows, with professional home staging, you might get one fast dime.

So when you get ready to sell, it may be worth considering a home stager as a valuable part of your team.  You may also consider getting your Tampa area dumpster rental from the folks at Bin There Dump That,  they will help you determine what size you need, their courteous drivers will be on time, they guarantee driveway protection, and best of all, their dumpsters are clean & green, you wont have a rust bucket sitting in your driveway detracting from your beautiful home.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Providing The Best Tampa Dumpster Rental Experience

This week the Bin There Dump That teams from all across the US & Canada joined together in downtown Tampa to discuss & share ways to provide the best dumpster rental customer service & experience for their customers.   Our local Tampa, Clearwater, St. Pete team of Leah & JC joined with a focus on finding new ways to make the best Tampa dumpster rental experience even better for their customers.

JC noted that taking two days away from the office was hard to do, but Ray & James took great care of our customers while we were in meetings and now we have a number of new ideas & ways to help our customers even more.  Providing the best service to our Tampa dumpster rental customers takes a lot of work & effort, we are continually looking for new & better ways to make our construction partners look good and our residential dumpster rental clients to have a smooth & easy experience.

JC, Leah, Patrick, Claire, Martin, & Ann
Leah & JC were also joined by Bin There Dump That locations down to the south in Sarasota - (Patrick & Claire) & Ft. Myers - (Martin & Ann).  Leah commented that "it was great to see our sister locations to the south and have the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and learn from each other.  We all have our unique market & area, but we strive to deliver the same great service to our roll off dumpster rental customers.  Hearing about their experiences only helps us to deliver affordable dumpsters with great customer service.   Between all of us, we can pretty much serve the central & south west coast of Florida.  Knowing we all have the same service values, reputation, & rapport with our customers just helps to expand the brand recognition which allows us to keep growing the people we can serve.

Leah & JC
Leah & JC were also excited to learn about some great new vendor partner relationships as well as catching up with our existing suppliers & service vendors.  With out them, we would have a much more difficult job.  They help us do what we do best, which is helping residential homeowners & our contractor partners look good, save money, & save time.