Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pointers for Prepping Your Deck and Backyard for Summer Fun

Warm weather is here to stay, which means people everywhere are spending more time outdoors. If the sunshine, gentle breeze and chirping birds are calling your family outside to enjoy some fresh air, it's time to get your outdoor space ready for fun activities. With some smart home improvements, you can easily prep your patio and deck for a full season of enjoyment.

1: Tricks for properly cleaning patio furniture
Today's patio furniture can be as comfortable and stylish as indoor options, and similarly, it needs to be periodically cleaned. Resin, resin wicker or metal furniture can typically be cleaned with mild soap, water and a sponge or nonabrasive brush. Metal pieces can be polished with a light coat of car wax to bring back shine and protect it from rusting. Insider tip: If you live in an area with a lot of pollen, you may want to wait to clean outdoor furniture until it is done dropping.

Wood pieces can benefit from a quick cleaning also. For finished wood, use an oil-based soap and a soft brush or cloth. If you have a treated wood deck, picnic table or Adirondack chairs, use a pressure washer and deck cleaner to remove dirt. Remember to use the low-pressure tip so you don't damage the wood. If you have questions, visit for educational articles, videos and additional tips.

2: Get the grill ready for a season of tasty treats
Every warm day is better when you enjoy the succulent flavors of food cooked on the grill, but to keep the food tasting its best, the grill needs to be kept clean. At the start of the season, it's wise to do a thorough, deep cleaning on your grill. If you have a gas grill, remove the propane tank, flame guards and disconnect the igniter wires, removing the igniters. Move the grill over a drop cloth and clean the inside with dish soap, water and a scrub brush. Grates may need to soak in a bucket before getting scrubbed. Once dry, reassemble and get cooking.

In addition to the deep cleaning, remember each time you cook to scrape the grates to get rid of any food residue from previous uses. Simply light the grill and after a few minutes, the heat will have loosened the residue and you can do a quick scraping with a wire brush before putting on your tasty meats and vegetables.

3. Prep the deck in half the time
Staining and sealing your deck is an important maintenance step so its beauty and integrity last for many years, but it's also something most homeowners dread because it can be a lot of work. The good news is there are some new innovations that are making the process much easier.

Before you start this project, look for new products that both stain and seal at the same time, simplifying the project and saving you a lot of time. Staining and sealing simultaneously waterproofs, protects and beautifies your wood. Plus, if you do encounter unplanned precipitation in the middle of the project, your deck is still protected.

4. How to grow beautiful plants to enhance your space
With your deck prepped and your patio furniture and grill clean, now it's time to dress the area up with some plants. You can easily incorporate splashes of color by adding containers full of your favorite varieties. Why not make it a family activity and visit your local Lowe's nursery to pick out plants and supplies together? When shopping, keep in mind the color of your deck and furniture and pick plants in a complementary color scheme. You might also want to plant some fruits, vegetables or herbs for your own family garden. Ask a Lowe's garden specialist for advice on what varieties thrive in a container environment.

Once home, spread out your supplies and let your entire family's green thumb come alive. After your plants are nestled into pots and containers, place around your outdoor living space in clusters which provide a better visual look than a single plant standing alone. Remember to water regularly and monitor sun exposure so the plants aren't getting too much or too little.

These few steps can help get your deck or patio ready and beautiful for months of enjoyment. From playing outdoor games to grilling traditional summer fare to relaxing as the sun sets, you'll get a lot of use out of your outdoor space.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

HomeTeam featured on Franchise Chatter

HomeTeam Inspection Service was recently featured in an article called "Why Successful Franchisees Should Be Recognized for Their Achievements (Q&A with Adam Long of HomeTeam Inspection Services),” written by Franchise Chatter blogger Ambrosio. In the article, Adam discussed what factored into the decision in choosing Colin Conroy as Franchisee of the Year, the benefits of recognizing outstanding franchisees for their achievements, and advice for other franchisors to recognize franchisees for their success. Adam also praised Colin for his hard work and commitment to the HomeTeam model. Click here for the full article, or begin reading below.

Why Successful Franchisees Should Be Recognized for Their Achievements (Q&A with Adam Long of HomeTeam Inspection Service)
by Ambrosio

Adam Long joined HomeTeam Inspection Service in May 2004, and has been the Vice President of Shared Services for HomeTeam since April 2007. Adam manages the information and technology programs for the corporate office and the franchisees. Prior to HomeTeam, Adam was employed by Fifth Third Bancorp and worked at the Corporate Office in downtown Cincinnati. Adam is a member of the International Franchise Association.

In this interview, Adam talks about what goes into choosing a Franchisee of the Year and why HomeTeam rewards franchisees in this way.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

HomeTeam Franchisee Colin Conroy featured on Franchise Chatter

HomeTeam Inspection Service Franchisee Colin Conroy was recently featured in an article called "Franchise Success Secrets: Q&A with HomeTeam Inspection Service’s 7-Time Franchisee of the Year, Colin Conroy Part 1 & 2”, written by Franchise Chatter blogger Ambrosio. The article discussed how HomeTeam Inspection Service Franchisee of the Year Colin Conroy, got his start with the company, what has contributed to his success, and some of the lessons he has learned along the way. Colin also talked about his current operations, which has generated approximately 30,000 inspections since he opened. Click for Part 1 and Part 2, or begin reading below.

Franchise Success Secrets: Q&A with HomeTeam Inspection Service’s 7-Time Franchisee of the Year, Colin Conroy
by Ambrosio

Even though the housing market is still unsettled, one Fort Lauderdale business owner is enjoying continued success in the home inspection market. HomeTeam, the nation’s leading residential home inspection company, recently recognized Colin Conroy with the 2011 Franchisee of the Year Award for continued excellence in South Florida.

“This is our seventh time receiving this award, and it’s thrilling each time it happens,” said Colin. “Even during rough times in the market, we have never stopped being the best at what we do. We can already feel an improvement in the market this year, as we did last year.”

Colin’s twelve franchises cover the following three SE Florida counties totally: Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

HomeTeam Inspector John Pasquella on The Ellen Show

Here's your Friday pick-me-up! HomeTeam inspector John Pasquella and his family were recently featured on The Ellen Show. At first, the Pasquellas thought they were just being sent on a vacation by Ellen, but when they came home, they found their home had a huge home makeover. Watch the clip below:
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