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Resurfacing Swimming Pool, Orlando

Resurfacing your Orlando swimming pool is a smart investment that will add to the esthetic value of your home.  Today’s finishes and colors are in sharp contrast to what was in-style only 10 years ago.  Home buyers want modern, sharp and dramatic colors and finishes.  Glass tiles, pebble texture, inlaid tiles, crushed glass and glitter!  Modern elements will make your backyard swimming pool feel like a private oasis and YOU will be the talk of the neighborhood!

Planning & Investment

A premium swimming pool resurfacing project can start at $6000.00 for a modest/small sized pool (<10K gal)  to $30,000.00 for a large sized pool (>18-20K gal) with upgraded coping or glass tile elements.  It is important to think of the other items that you want to upgrade/replace at this time…

  1. Lighting
  2. Coping
  3. Tile
  4. Pool Equipment
  5. Pool Deck Finishes/Pavers
  6. Railings/Stairs/Beach Entrance
  7. Inlaid Ornaments or Fresco Designs
  8. Rock Wall, Grotto or Fountains
  9. Ornamental Plants/Palms
  10. Outdoor Sound Systems/Outdoor Kitchen

Swimming Pool Resurfacer Contractors

Here are a few Orlando Area contractors you can reach out to.  We DID have had a favorable experience in both execution and value with the first contractor (White Sands Pool Plastering).

  1. White Sands Pool Plastering (residential and commercial- DisneyWorld Resorts use them)
  2. Bluelight Pool Resurfacing
  3. Signature Pools

 

 

Swimming Pool Resurface Options

There are a few options to choose from, these are listed in order of cost (1st being most expensive)

  1. Aggregate (Pebble Tec or Wet Edge Technology)- WE LIKE THIS!!
  2. Plaster (classic and clean appearance)
  3. Epoxy Paint (band-aid, not a good long-term solution)
Courtesy of White Sands Pool Plastering

Execution

Here are the steps to an Aggregate Finish (most popular), please keep in mind that the crew will set-up a temporary waste pond on your property for the excess grout that is washed off in this process.  This is a small structure approx. 10′ w x 8′ lx 3′ deep.   They will dismantle it when complete.

  1. Drain the pool
  2. Removing tile (coping is optional)
  3. Grinding down sharp edges, weak spots
  4. Apply bond-coat
  5. Apply new tile, inlays, equipment (lights, eyeballs, fittings, etc…)
  6. Apply new aggregate finish
  7. Acid Wash the new finish
  8. Fill pool and Inspect
  9. Adjust chemicals as needed for “break-in” period
Courtesy of White Sands Pool Plastering

You will see immediate benefits in the appearance of your pool, not to mention the excellent tactile experience for your feet (if aggregate finish is chosen).  Many homeowners are going for a black or dark colors, this will also keep your pool slightly warmer throughout the year, saving you $$ on natural gas or propane.

Please share your pool resurfacing experience or ask a question!

 

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How do tax cuts affect Orlando Area home owners?

Since the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 , many Orlando-Area homeowners are wondering how this will affect them.  We were curious too and so we did a little bit of research so you don’t have to :).

First, the good news.  

You are probably going to get a tax cut!! Hooray!  The new distribution over (7) brackets and doubling of the standard deduction ($12K for single filers, $24K for joint filers) should get most of us a tax break.  Also…if you itemized before you might not tomorrow (2018) as the standard deduction may prove less tax for you.

Next, if you are a snowbird…

and your primary residence is located in let’s say New York, New Jersey or Connecticut you might not be smiling and it may be a good time to make the leap to Florida and here is why…In the past all of us were able to write-off our State and Local property taxes, in full.  This was a great benefit to people that lived in heavily taxed states like those previously mentioned and less of a benefit to to those living in states like Florida, Georgia or Alabama.  In fact, you might say that residents living in states with less State and Local tax burden were not getting a benefit that those in California, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut were getting,  due to the disparity in taxation.

In 2018, the maximum deduction will be $10,000.00 .  To most Floridians, this more than covers property taxes.  However, in the more heavily taxed states, the residents are in for a big hit!!  It is not uncommon for a resident of Manhattan to pay in excess of $30,000.00 in State and Local taxes for a very small residence.  A 2500 square foot house in Northern NJ might me taxed at $13,000.00  .  Any way you slice, this will be a burden to many in those states, Middle and Upper Middle Class.

 

The third and last major change…

The last major change (that we see)affecting those living in the Greater Orlando Area is the Mortgage Interest Cap.  In the past, the ability to write-off your mortgage interest was capped to mortgages in the amount of $1,000,000.00 .  In 2018, this cap will be reduced to mortgages $750,000.00 and less(should have been dropped to $500,000 in our opinion).  To most Floridians this is of no consequence.  However, those living in affluent towns like Lake Nona, Windermere, Dr. Phillips, Lake Mary etc… might not be too happy.

 

What next?

In our opinion, Floridians should take a wait and see approach to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  In many cases (IE: Obamcare) the affects of a major bill are unknown for some time.  In the mean time enjoy your tax-cuts and use the recent surge in job-opportunities to better your position in life.

Have a an opinion?  Please post a comment. Furthering the discussion helps all of us!!

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Orlando Air Conditioning HVAC System Replacement, Things to Know

Orlando, Florida residents looking for a new or replacement air-conditioning system really need to do some homework. Please keep in mind that Florida HVAC units really NEVER stop working.  They are used for cool air in summer and warm air in winter.  Therefore, the best price is definitely not always the best deal.  all words/terms used to educate and in some cases to confuse use you.  Florida is full of great and fair contractors.  However, your best friend is information.  First some terms and what they mean…

 

SEER: is the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy it consumed in Watt-Hours.   (Minimum Seer in Florida is 14 but you can buy a unit up to 21 or 25.  Higher SEER value means more efficiency and a lower electrical bill)

 

BTU: British Thermal Units, is a traditional unit of heat; it is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit

(12,000 btu equals one ton)

 

 

Ton or Tonnage: is the cooling capacity of an air conditioning system. One ton is equal to the amount of heat required (288,000 Btu) to melt one ton of ice in a 24-hour period. A one-ton air conditioner is rated at 12,000 Btu per hour (288,000/24). A two-ton unit would be rated at 24,000 Btu per hour.  (as you add more square footage, your tonnage should rise- at approx. 450-550 sq ft per ton)

When discussing a new or replacement system you want to have the SEER and TON RATINGS, in writing, on your proposal. You will use this information to help compare one contractor to the next.  It is also important to VERIFY this information once the contractor has installed the equipment.  Unfortunately, not everyone remembers what they promised 🙂 .

 

BRANDS to consider (pricing will vary with model, SEER, features, etc…)

 

 

Companies (objective list of popular companies in Orlando Market- no affiliations)

 

 

 

Bidding

When bidding an air conditioning system, it is wise have a list of questions for your contractors.  This helps to keep the bids apples to apples and creates a level playing field for all.  It also shows the contractor that this is a serious process and not just a quick-quote.  These are some good questions to ask…

 

 

Energy Star Rated?

Licensed, bonded and insured? (if small operator, verify these)

How will you measure my home? Manual J?

Will the indoor and outdoor units be matched brands and capacity?

New refrigerant lines?

Will you inspect my ductwork for capacity and wear/tear?

Will you supply a programmable thermostat?  SMART type?

Will you consider and suggest adding zones?

Will you help facilitate any equipment rebates?

Proper disposal of existing equipment and refrigerant?

Offer proper commissioning of system?  (how to use, change filters, exchange manuals, proper maintenance schedule for the future, etc..)

Offer warranty service and for how long post install (in writing)?

What is payment schedule? (never make full payment until complete)

 

 

Opinion

 

Our entire office (all Central Florida natives) agreed upon these action points when considering a new or replacement AC system

 

  • Speak to your friends/neighbors about contractors
    • Experience counts
  • Consider using Angie’s List (now free to join)
    • You can’t fake good reviews
  • Use a larger company that has an internet presence
    • They won’t want an issue to surface
  • Consider longevity/quality vs. price
    • Pay now or pay later

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