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Finding Your Promising Start in Tampa Bay

You don’t need to be a baseball fan to revel in learning the New York Yankees fell three times in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays. The sweep at home for the Rays included a win for 2011’s AL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson who also celebrated a birthday. It’s a good time to be a Rays fan, but a promising start as a new homeowner in Tampa Bay takes more than three consecutive good days.

A first-time homeowner has plenty to think about once the move-in is complete. Unpacking and decorating is a given, but finding the perfect painting to hang in the living room is not a critical issue. What becomes critical is the ability to effectively maintain the home over the period of time you plan to live there.

Let’s take a look at five areas to consider as a new homeowner. This won’t be a comprehensive analysis. But it will give you a chance to give some thought to important topics and issues you’ll potentially face in the coming years.

5 Areas for a First-Time Homeowner to Consider

1. Maintenance Costs
The expense of maintaining a home should be part of a monthly and annual budget. This includes cleaning areas such as the roof or a fireplace.

 

2. Hidden Surprises
Whether it’s a new home or a home that’s new for you, every home has hidden surprises. It could take you weeks or months to discover them. Anticipate a time when some issue about your home, such as hot or cold spots in a particular room, reveals itself.

3. Repair Resources
Repair needs are inevitable. Accidents, storm damage and other events will send you scrambling to find reputable professionals. Before the need arises, make a list of the key types of contractors you’ll need, including roofers, plumbers and electricians.

4. Energy Efficiency
Energy savings is a hot topic, and you can find numerous ways to reduce energy consumption. Newer appliances, better insulation and replacement windows and doors are just a handful of options.

5. Market Value
Sure, you just moved in but treating your home as an investment is aided by remembering that someday you may want to sell it. Whether that day will come five or fifteen years from now keeps you focused on ensuring every area of the home is in tip-top shape.

Arry’s Roofing is an award-winning GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor, serving Tampa Bay for more than 25 years. For a free inspection and estimate, contact Arry’s at 727-938-9565. Also, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArrysRoofingServices and follow us on Twitter @ArrysRoofing.

Arry’s Roofing Receives Excellence Awards Once Again

Becky and "Arry" Housh receive Triple Excellence awards at the March 2012 GAF conference in Nashville

For the third year in a row Arry’s Roofing has once again earned a trio of Excellence awards from North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. GAF named Arry’s Roofing as one of the recipients of Consumer Protection Excellence, Training Excellence, and Installation Excellence at a conference in Nashville, Tennessee. “Arry” and Becky Housh attended the conference to graciously receive the honors, including the sixth time the company has earned the Consumer Protection Excellence award.

Arry’s Roofing is proud to be among a small percentage of roofers nationwide who have earned the status of GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor. In fact, only two percent of roofers in the country have this certification. The designation underscores the Arry’s Roofing commitment to high standards for workmanship, materials, customer service and ongoing training.

As part of our mission, our company is dedicated to educating roofing customers in Tampa Bay about roofing systems, warning signs of leaks, the importance of gutters and other roofing-related topics. Helping consumers make informed decisions when considering options for contractors is another aspect of that education. We actively promote the idea of carefully researching all home improvement contractors and relying only on licensed contractors with a proven track record in their respective fields.

When you’re ready for roof replacement, or in need of roof repairs, maintenance or cleaning, we welcome you to rely on Arry’s Roofing. We keep our website stocked with helpful information, such as signs you need a new roof and insurance/mitigation. We also provide free hurricane damage inspection and assessment.

Discover why Arry’s Roofing has earned a solid reputation among your neighbors and accolades many times over from GAF. One call to 727-938-9565 is all you need to schedule a free roof inspection and estimate. Be sure to like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArrysRoofingServices and follow us on Twitter @ArrysRoofing.

Testing the Offer of a Mortgage-Free Year

Imagine coming home to this.

Considering the financial burden of your mortgage, it’s likely you’ve wondered about ways to pay it off early. But without a hefty inheritance, a lottery win or a fairy godmother, you expect to be carrying that burden for years. That’s why the news that a California marketing company wants to offer Tampa Bay residents the chance to live mortgage-free for a year may be getting your attention right now. But it comes with a big and brightly colored catch: you have to willing to allow your home to be turned into a billboard.

For anyone who wants his or her home to stand out from the rest of the neighborhood, this is one sure-fire way to accomplish that goal. The “billboard house” concept has already been tested in one California town. We won’t mention the company’s name; it’s already gotten a great deal of exposure that has led to 40,000 applications through its website, including more than 200 from Tampa Bay. So don’t be surprised when you’re driving around this spring and you see a billboard house somewhere in the area.

Is a billboard house the kind of offer that’s too good to be true? That remains to be seen, pun intended. But here are a few things to keep in mind when you encounter a money-saving offer connected to your Tampa Bay home.

5 Key Aspects of Any Money-Saving Offer
1. Terms of agreement: What is negotiable and non-negotiable? In the billboard house scenario, what extent of input does the homeowner have? Is the homeowner free to reject an advertiser and what is allowable for the basis of that rejection?

2. Expertise: Who is doing the actual work you’re paying for and what credentials do they come with? In this case, a marketing company must hire contractors to handle the painting.

3. Materials: Precisely what type of products are being used on your home?

4. Insurance: Is the company contracted to do the work insured in the event of accidental damage to your home or property or in case of injury to a worker?

5. Potential impact: Does the company providing the services or any company affiliated with the services foresee any issues developing that stem from the original service? For example, are there any restrictions to altering your home in this way? Will neighbors complain and do they have any recourse if they oppose it?

Asking intelligent questions throughout the process will lead to becoming a more informed decision maker. With as much time, effort and money that you’ve invested in your home already, retaining your control over the situation is the ideal place for you to be. Allow the “experts” to provide their expertise, but keep in mind it’s you who has the final say about what does and does not happen at your home.

Tampa Bay Tweets Big Time

Twitter seems to be the great equalizer of society. Anyone and any business can use it. Then, you can follow anybody you choose to, including celebrities. At any given time, you can read the thoughts of @piersmorgan (he tweets constantly), @charliesheen (almost 7 million followers despite less than 1000 tweets), and @WilliamShatner (Captain Kirk is currently on tour). You don’t even need their permission to follow them, and you can mention them in a tweet if you want. They may or may not respond.

@WilliamShatner, tell you Tampa Bay friends to call @ArrysRoofing.

Yes, Arry’s Roofing is on Twitter. It’s likely that Bill Shatner isn’t following us yet. We still have fewer than 200 followers right now. But we know Tampa Bay is using the social media site so we’re aiming to increase our numbers, with your help of course.

For Arry’s Roofing customers who consider themselves Twitterers or Tweeters (we won’t judge you for picking one over the other), we invite you to follow us and share your comments about the roofing work we did at your Tampa Bay home. Feel free to throw in an acronym or two, if you like. LOL. For homeowners who are shopping around for a roofing contractor, follow us and let us know how you found us initially. Whether it was word of mouth or a Google search, we’d love to hear what moved you in our direction.

We’ll collect the best comments and roll them into a future blog post. If you have pics to share, posting them on Twitter is a great opportunity to illustrate whatever points you make in your comment. Just be safe taking those pics; there’s no reason to attempt an aerial shot of your roof if it’s potentially dangerous.

For the 90% of you reading this blog who only found us because of our mentions of Piers Morgan, Charlie Sheen and William Shatner, tell you Tampa Bay friends to check out the rest of the site. Arry’s Roofing has been satisfying customers for more than 25 years and we’re among a small fraction of contractors in the nation who have earned the status of GAF MasterElite Roofer. One call to 727-938-9565 is all it takes to set up a free inspection. Shatner, use the phone; your Star Trek communicator won’t get a signal in 2012.

Cyberloafing Monday in Tampa Bay

Some say the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday. Football fans won’t argue against that idea. But apparently Tampa Bay residents, and anyone else affected by the switch to Daylight Saving Time should be more concerned about the Monday after we Spring Forward. Experts say the change in our sleep times can leave us more tired as the workweek begins if we go to bed at our normal bedtime instead of an hour earlier to match the change.

The exhaustion that you may feel on Monday could lead you to spend more time “cyberloafing”, a term that is pretty self explanatory. Apparently, the more tired an employee is, the more time he or she spends browsing the web. It’s supposed to be a big deal on Monday so don’t be surprised if productivity is down in your workplace.

Certainly lost sleep is a serious issue in any workplace, but especially in one that demands strict adherence to safety procedures. A warehouse where employees work on and around forklifts, for example, is a place where exhaustion can be not only counterproductive but also hazardous. Even driving to and from work, or driving for work, can be lead to increased risks with more sleepy people on the streets and highways of Tampa Bay.

Keeping yourself and others safe on Cyberloafing Monday is important. Sure, there’s not much damage you can do inside a cubicle, but even office jobs come with their share of risks anytime equipment is involved or you’re having to climb to reach top-shelf supplies. The goal is to make any work environment a safe one that day and every day.

As a GAF MasterElite Roofer with 25+ years in the business here in Tampa Bay, Arry’s Roofing understands the need for safety at all levels of the project. Our crews adhere to the highest standards of safety to protect themselves, the residents of that home and the home itself. Without safety standards in place 100% of the time—and only licensed roofers on the job—we’d be just another contractor. Give that some thought while you’re browsing the web on Cyberloafing Monday.

Everyone Knows It’s Windy

Photo from TBO.com/Courtesy of Wayne Staples

The 1967 pop song by The Association may have been on your mind on Sunday as windy conditions swept through Tampa Bay. But this “windy” wasn’t the carefree kind described in the Oldies classic. This one came with the straight-line wind variety and downed power lines, toppled trees and created a mess for residents all over the area, including occupants at the Armenia Village condominiums who lost a roof.

If your home didn’t escape the damaging winds, hopefully you’ve been able to get through to a reliable contractor to get the repair process started. We’re fortunate to have many reputable roofers in Tampa Bay. Choosing one of them is preferable to randomly picking a name out of the Yellow Pages or Googling “Tampa Bay Roof Repair.” 

It’s also a good time to remind residents from Tampa to St. Pete to Clearwater and beyond that weather events, like the one yesterday that knocked out power in places such as Lakeland and Apollo Beach, tend to draw out those undesirable types of home improvement contractors. These are the ones who often go door-to-door, come equipped with no references and no license, and may ask to get paid up front and never return.

Let’s be vigilant in these times as friends and neighbors and make sure that those so-called roofing and other home improvement contractors don’t profit off of our hard work. If someone like that shows up at your home, politely ask them to leave and then let your neighbors know what’s going on. If you have an elderly person or couple living nearby, take the time to make sure they didn’t get a visit from someone posing as a contractor.

As a veteran of Florida’s wild weather, Arry’s Roofing is here and plans to stay here to mend roof damage quickly and professionally and guide homeowners through the roof replacement process when that becomes necessary. Get acquainted with our services anytime online at www.arrysroofing.com. For immediate attention, call us now at 727-938-9565 to schedule a free roof inspection.

Get House-Fit in Tampa

The news that Men’s Fitness ranked Tampa as the fifth fattest city in America may startle you. You would think the comfortable climate year round and surplus of fitness centers around here would make indoor and outdoor exercise easy to get, but so many factors go into these types of surveys. The amount of fast food restaurants has something to do with it, but we’re not judging your dietary habits. Blog-reading with a glazed donut in hand is sort of a national pastime.

Fitness seems to get a lot of attention these days. Whether it’s about personal fitness or financial fitness, someone is telling you how to improve your health, your wealth or your life every day. So we might as well jump in and talk about getting house-fit. Don’t sweat it if you haven’t heard that term. It might be made up.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your home’s fitness? 10 means your home is in top physical condition. If it’s closer to 1, you might want to put on a hard hat before continuing to read.

You might think a new home is instantly a 10. Not true. Maybe you haven’t heard the stories about the failures of new construction, including roof replacement that became necessary less than a year after installation. That can happen to a homeowner who relied on a less-than-adequate contractor who lacked a) experience b) expertise c) quality materials d) all of the above.

Just like it takes time to get in shape, returning your home to a high level of fitness won’t be accomplished overnight. Beginning a regimen of maintenance of all areas, including your roof, will help. By keeping an eye on the exterior and interior components of your home, you can avoid the financial burden of having to face multiple repair or replacement projects simultaneously. Not only will your bank account be better protected, so will you by a more secure home.

As for Tampa’s place among heftiest cities, maybe we could all agree to avoid fast food restaurants for a month. Or a week. Or how about just for today?

Champions Find Ways to Succeed

The story of Derek Jeter’s early arrival in Tampa may have caught your attention this week. The Yankees captain showed up long before position players are scheduled to report on February 25. For a player already destined for a spot in the Hall of Fame, he’s not resting on his laurels. Even after achieving the rare feat of collecting 3,000 hits in 2011, the former Gulf Coast League player knows nothing in baseball (or life) is guaranteed.

Like Jeter, champions in every profession find ways to succeed. They don’t sit back and wait. They don’t make excuses. They don’t shift responsibility to others. They commit themselves to excellence each day, every day. When solutions for a particular problem don’t exist, they invent new ones.

Jeter’s love of the game hasn’t diminished nearly 20 years after his first spring training. On occasion, you’ll find a business owner whose love of his or her work matches that of the Yankee great. It’s recognizable in small ways: courtesy during phone calls and other communication, timely scheduling of appointments, and clarity in explanation of pricing. In an age when customer service in many industries seems inadequate at best, a champion never forgets about remaining a crowd pleaser, regardless of what tools and equipment he relies on to do it.

At Arry’s Roofing, we fill our roster with champions like Jeter. You won’t see them in Cooperstown someday, but the workmanship and expertise provided by these licensed roofing professionals could earn them a spot on any All-Star team. Also, our status as a GAF MasterElite Roofing Contractor is one more testament to our dedication to maintaining the highest standards in the industry.

When you need roof repair, roof replacement or roof cleaning in Tampa Bay, choose a champion who’s been satisfying customers for more than 25 years—without having to sign a single autograph. Learn more at www.arrysroofing.com. Then call us toll-free at 727-938-9565.

ROOFS FOR TROOPS

Our military servicemen and women have seen sights that most civilians can’t even imagine. They’ve been to countries torn apart by war, endured climates that feel unbearable at times, and faced the harshest of conditions while far from the comforts of home. When they return to their families and homes, they deserve in be in a safe, comfortable environment, and that’s why we want to introduce the Roofs For Troops program from GAF.

The program is intended for active military, veterans and retirees anywhere in the country, and provides a $300 rebate for a Lifetime Roofing System when installed by a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor. Each qualifying individual is entitled to one rebate between now and the end of 2012 for use on homes in the United States only.

As a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor, Arry’s Roofing is ready to help our Gulf Coast homeowners who qualify for the rebate. There are a few steps necessary once your new Lifetime Roofing System is installed, and they all involve the usual paperwork for these kinds of rebates. You’ll need:

  • The rebate form
  • Contractor’s invoice
  • 4 UPCs from the products installed

The rebate form is available for downloading on the GAF website. If you want to mention Roofs for Troops to a qualifying friend in outside of the Gulf Coast, go ahead. The site makes it simple for your friend to find an approved contractor in his or her area.

You can get acquainted with the Lifetime Roofing System on the GAF website, then call Arry’s Roofing at (727) 938-9565 for a free, in-home consultation. Our team of licensed roofers will install your new roof with the same high standards for workmanship that earned us the privilege of being called a GAF MasterElite Contractor.

The Super Bowl Makes TV Viewing Active

You may not remember what you did last Sunday, but it’s likely you’ve got a rock solid plan for this weekend. Super Bowl Sunday is kind of like a national holiday. In fact, 111 million watched last year’s big game, making it the most watched television event in history. Thanks to the launch of new TV commercials, we can certainly expect to see some memorable moments, even if the game between the Giants and Patriots turns out to be a dud.

One ad for a certain automotive company that will feature Matthew Broderick reprising his role as Ferris Bueller has been generating a lot of buzz during the week. Others may be less impressive, but each 30-second spot cost $3.5 million just for the air time. Paying actors like Broderick (or lesser known talent) costs a big chunk of change too and the production costs aren’t cheap either.

It’s one of the rare times you actually look for the commercials rather than ignoring them. As you watch the broadcast on Sunday evening—at home, at a friend’s house or your favorite Tampa Bay gathering place—you’ll know the hits and misses pretty quickly. You may even be surprised by a few of them.

The active way we approach ads on the day of this enormous television event can be a reminder to look more carefully at the messages we receive daily from advertisers. Often when we’re buying goods and services, we may become singularly focused on one aspect of the “sell”, such as the price of a product. That narrow focus can cause us to overlook key elements of the transaction, the so-called “fine print” we’re often warned about.

When you’re watching the big game on Sunday and evaluating the messages from major advertisers, try giving some thought to more than humor or surprise elements. Did the ad tease you but leave out vital information? Was the ad too creative that you forgot what was actually being advertised?

Consciously evaluating these multi-million dollar commercials can help you more effectively assess the messages you receive daily from Tampa Bay’s local stores and service providers. When you become an actively engaged consumer, you’ll ask more informed questions and make better decisions. Just be careful not to spill the nachos on your lap while you’re in “consumer training” on Sunday night.