November 27th, 2013

Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Categories: Holiday | Tags: , , , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

From our home to yours, everyone at Grand View Builders would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.

By now, you have already prepared for the big feast using our Thanksgiving Tips, but cooking and eating are only half of the holiday nowadays. Last year, more than 32 million Americans shopped on Black Friday, and this year, that number is expected to rise to 38 million shoppers.

With major retailers including Toys R Us, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Target opening on Thanksgiving evening, the holiday deals are starting even earlier this year. Black Friday has expanded into Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday.

These shopping frenzies are a great time not only to pick up gifts, but also a wonderful time to buy new things for your home. From appliances small and large to technology and décor, the deals during the holidays just might be worth a trip to the shopping center.

If you are looking for great deals on technology this year, we like this list via Heavy: “Best Black Friday Sales 2013: 17 Deals Worth Fighting the Crowds.”

We also recommend taking a look at the deals from Sears and Lowes if you are in the market for any appliances, home repair or maintenance items.

While it’s hard to compete with the deals from major corporations, we hope you will also consider shopping locally this year. Help support your community by purchasing at least one item from a local store this holiday season. With all that shopping, you’ll need to take a break for some energy-refilling eats. Try visiting a local restaurant  and your dollars will be well spent.

Happy eating and happy shopping to you and your family this Thanksgiving weekend!

November 20th, 2013

Thanksgiving Tips

Categories: Uncategorized | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

The holiday season is upon us! The staff at Grand View Builders wants to share some Thanksgiving tips with all of you.  Whether you’re hosting family at your home, traveling for the holidays or searching for the perfect holiday recipes, Grand View Builders has some pointers for you!

Holiday House Guests
If you’re like us, the week before our Thanksgiving guests arrive is spent cleaning and decorating the house.  We add decorations to the exterior of our house to add some extra holiday cheer, but the majority of our preparation goes into cleaning the kitchen (make sure your turkey carving knife is sharp!) and preparing the guest bedroom.

We’ve got some tips to help you make your guest room feel warm and inviting.  Store extra blankets, towels and robes in a basket and place it visibly in the room so guests have everything they need to freshen up on arrival.  You can make the bed look like a five-star hotel bed by using plush bedding, layering pillows and adding pops of color.  Top the bed with an overload of pillows that are different colors and fabrics.  These things are sure to make your guests feel right at home!

bedroom

Hostess Gifts
If you’re traveling to a relative’s home for the holidays, you should give the hostess a gift.  According to the Huffington Post, the price point for the gift should stay around $20 and should reflect the season.

Our favorites hostess gifts include the beaded leaves table runner, pumpkin scented soaps and turkey salt and pepper shakers.  Find more gift ideas here.

scented soap

Kitchen Preparation

There’s always a good chunk of time spent in the kitchen when you’re hosting the Thanksgiving Day meal at your home, which means your dishwasher will be put to good use!  Here are some instructions and tips for keeping your dishwasher clean and odor-free.

dishwasher

We love traditional Thanksgiving food and we’re sure you have your favorite recipes that you always cook, but be sure to properly put away and store your leftovers so they stay fresh.  You can keep the party going by using the leftovers in other recipes.  Try making turkey and mashed potato potpies or turkey chili with cornbread topping.

pumpkin pie

Grand View Home Builders hopes these tips help make your Thanksgiving a bit easier and stress-free!

November 13th, 2013

“You Share, We Give” with USO Fort Hood

Categories: Uncategorized | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Grand View Builders appreciates all men and women serving in the military and understands it can be a difficult transition for veterans returning home, which is why we are pleased to be contributing to USO Fort Hood for this month’s “You Share, We Give” campaign.

Over the last three months, Grand View Builders has donated to Operation Homefront, Lone Star Veterans Association and Grace After Fire. Our donations would not have been possible without your help, though! We hope that you join us again and help support this month’s military organization by sharing our Facebook post about this campaign. Help us reach 500 shares before November 30 and we will donate $1,000 to USO Fort Hood!

"You Share, We Give" USO Fort Hood

USO Fort Hood’s mission is to lift the morale of military troops and their families. They do so through programs including USO in a box, USO operation phone home and families of the fallen support.  Fort Hood welcomes any and all volunteers for these programs and any of their other programs.  You can volunteer at your local USO center and provide support to military families and returning veterans.

Veterans make up an important segment of our country and are present throughout communities across the nation. Grand View Builders is proud to raise awareness and support our veterans in their civilian lives.

Visit the Grand View Builders Facebook page to share our “You Share, We Give” campaign!

November 6th, 2013

What To Do With Old Pumpkins

Categories: Fall, Home Tips, Outdoor Care | Tags: , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

As we wrap up another holiday, our staff and homeowners at Grand View Builders have found ourselves busy taking down Halloween decorations and cleaning the house and yard.  The iconic symbol of Halloween, the pumpkin, has many uses after October 31. So before your old pumpkins wither and rot away on your front steps, here are some tips on what to do with the orange vegetable post-Halloween.

If you’re full of chocolate and sweets, enjoy the taste of the season by roasting the pumpkin seeds.  We used this recipe to flavor the seeds before we popped them in the oven.

roasted pumpkin seeds

There are numerous recipes that use pumpkin.  Feel free to roast the seeds with the recipe above or add the pumpkin filling to your favorite muffin, cake or bread recipe.  All of this cooking is sure to fill your kitchen with amazing fall flavors and scents!

Here are a variety of ways you can recycle and dispose of your pumpkins.

old pumpkins

Pastures, fields or wooded areas are environmentally safe areas to dispose your pumpkin. . Pumpkins will naturally decompose and provide a great snack for any resident animals.

You can also compost your pumpkins by cutting them into small pieces and adding to your compost bin. Cutting the pumpkin into small chunks will speed up the decomposition process. Reference our “Green Home, Green Lawn” blog for more compost tips.

If you don’t have a compost bin, you may choose to bury the whole pumpkin.  We suggest digging a hole in your backyard and dropping the pumpkin inside.  Make sure you cover the hole with dirt and place a pot over it, so that squirrels don’t try to dig it up.

compost pumpkin

We hope our pumpkin cleaning tips make your fall clean up process easier!   Stay tuned for more yard and recycling tips in the future!

October 30th, 2013

Have a Spooky and Safe Halloween

Categories: events, Family Activities, Holiday | Tags: , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Our Grand View Builders communities provide the perfect layout for our residents to enjoy trick-or-treating. Since Halloween is tomorrow, we’re sharing some trick-or-treat safety tips with you!

jack-o-lantern

Safety Tips
1. Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Host a meet up at your home and trick-or-treat with a group of your school friends or neighbors.
2. With the sun setting earlier, it is important to make sure your costume can be seen after dark. We suggest fastening reflective tape to your costumes so drivers can see you after sunset or walking with a flashlight.
3. Always walk, don’t run, from house to house.  Not only will your trick-or-treat adventure come to a close the faster you move from house to house, but you also are putting yourself in danger of getting cuts and scrapes if you run and fall.
4. Walk on the sidewalks whenever possible and look both ways before you cross the street.
5. Only enter homes if you’re with a trusted adult and you know the people inside the house.

trick-or-treat

Etiquette
1. If you want trick-or-treaters to stop at your house, make sure the outside lights are on. This alerts trick-or-treaters that you are ready and waiting for their arrival.  Houses that don’t have lights on usually mean no one is home and you should skip that property.
2. Be mindful of others’ property and use the walkway leading to the door. Don’t run through the yard as you may damage sprinkler systems, yard lights or get tangled in Halloween decorations.
3. Don’t relentlessly ring the doorbell or knock on the door.  If no one comes to the door after the second ring or knock, move along to the next house.

Other Halloween fun facts: The amount of sugar in candy is frightening! According to Reader’s Digest, the seven healthiest candy choices are 3 Musketeers, Peeps Pumpkins, York Peppermint Patties, Peanut M&M’s, Tootsie Rolls, Jolly Ranchers and Charms Blow Pops.  Consider one of these options if you are expecting trick-or-treaters this year.  You might also opt to give your Halloween visitors individual packs of crackers, granola bars or apples.

We hope these tips keep you and your family safe while you’re out and about trick-or-treating this Thursday!  From our family to yours, have a happy and safe Halloween!

October 23rd, 2013

How to Pick the Perfect Floor For Your Home

Categories: Home Tips, Kitchen, Move In Ready Home | Tags: , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Grand View Builders offers move-in ready homes throughout the greater Houston area and we understand that looking for or building, the perfect house is only part of the process. Once you begin the process of shopping for a home, you’ll notice there are many different flooring options to choose from.

Choosing the correct flooring for a room in your home is a process that combines personal taste and practicality. Not only are you choosing something you need to like aesthetically, but you are also deciding what surface will work best for your lifestyle.

Here are some tips for selecting the right floor for you.

The Basics
Before you start you research be sure to ask yourself some basic questions:
How much traffic will the floor receive?
Will children or pets cause greater distress?
How often do you expect to clean your floor?
How long do you want your new floor to last?

Kitchens
When you’re choosing kitchen flooring, durability and ease of cleaning should be the top two criteria. The most common choices include linoleum, ceramic tile and wood. Linoleum is typically the least expensive option and is the easiest to clean. Ceramic tiles are also relatively easy to clean but offer slightly more durability. Tiles tend to be more resistant to scratches, but they do run the risk of cracking over time. Last but not least is wood. Not only is wood a great choice for a high traffic room, but it also offers a homier vibe to the room. Make sure there is a protective finish, like polyurethane, applied to the floor to help protect the wood from moisture.

Kitchen
Bathrooms
Bathroom floors see a lot more moisture than kitchens so linoleum, tile and stones like marble or granite tend to be more popular and functional flooring options. Installing tile or stone can be a very tricky process, so make sure you hire a professional to install. It is also important to test the slickness of the floor before you make a decision.

Bathroom

Living Areas
Flooring for the rest of your home including living, dinning and bedroom areas really comes down to your personal style. While tile offers nearly unlimited patterns and styles, it can often feel cold and hard on your feet. Wood flooring tends to be easier on your feet and back and offers longer-term flexibility because it can be refinished. The options for wood are also limitless as the wood type, texture, size and pattern can be mixed to create endless options. Carpet offers the most comfort and is typically a popular option for bedrooms, media rooms and living areas – places you typically spend most of your time barefoot. Carpet can often help with soundproofing as well.

Living room
When choosing your flooring throughout your house, make sure to ask yourself the basic questions, do your research and know your personal style to make picking your floor practically painless.

October 16th, 2013

DIY Halloween Decorations and Costumes

Categories: Crafts, events, Fall, Family Activities, For Kids, Holiday | Tags: , , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Halloween is approaching and the Grand View Builders team is definitely feeling the Halloween spirit!  This holiday can be fun for all ages and we’re excited to try these DIY crafts.

We’ve found a lot of great ideas for Halloween decorations and costumes that are easy to create yourself to add some color and a festive-feel to your home.

Decorations
Picking and carving pumpkins is one of the most seasonal and enjoyable Halloween activities for families. Pumpkins can be used to decorate the interior and exterior of homes.  We love using printable pumpkin carving templates, such as ones found here. There are plenty so everyone can pick a unique design for his/her pumpkin.

For a spooky bathroom, trace a ghost onto frosted-glass window film and stick it to your bathroom mirrors. You can also stick this ghostly-décor to windows and other mirrors throughout your home.

An easy way to spruce up the outside of your house is by adding a Halloween wreath to your front door.  Tie orange and black 16-inch ribbon around a foam wreath base, hang and enjoy!

Ghost Mirrow

Costumes
Our personal favorite is the Construction Crane Costume. Click here for construction tips for how to make this for your aspiring real estate and construction professional. (We might need to make one of these for Grand View Builder’s President Marc Jungers this year!)

Construction Costume

Another creative DIY Halloween costume are these Google Map pointers. With some poster board, a t-shirt and some printed street names, you’ll be dressed to impress in this fun and budget friendly outfit.

Don’t forget it’s easy to transform everyday household items like boxes, soda bottles and paper bags into fun homemade costumes. For some more inspiration click here.

Houston Halloween Happenings
If you’re looking to do something besides the usual trick-or-treat show this year, check out some of these community event happenings near a few of our Grand View communities. We will be at the Lakes of Bella Terra Trunk or Treat event on October 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. and would love to invite all of our residents to come visit our decorated trunk.

Trunk or Treat

Other Halloween events include:
-Thirteenth Thrill at the Mill on Saturday, October 19 at Seven Acre Wood.  Perfect for our Foster Glen and Stewarts Forrest community residents.

-Family Fall Fest and Pumpkin Patch on Saturday October 19.  Just around the corner from our Cumberland Crossing community.

- Trick or Treat Trail on October 31 is perfect for our North Point Trails and Hamilton Square community residents.

We hope you have a wonderful time getting into the Halloween spirit! We’d love for you to share your favorite home decorating and Halloween costume ideas with us on our Facebook page.

October 9th, 2013

Stress-Free Moving With Pets

Categories: Family Activities, Home Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Grand View Builders offers custom homes, move-in ready homes as well as numerous home communities throughout the greater Houston area.  We understand that looking for, or building, the perfect house is only part of the process. Moving into your new, beautiful home can be a busy, stressful event for both you and your furry four-legged friends.

Grand View Builders wants to make your moving process as smooth as possible.  Here are some useful tips that will make moving stress-free for you and your pets!

Before the Move:

- Ensure that your pet feels safe and secure during the move. Use a crate or carrier for the car ride, no matter how long of a drive it may be.

- Ask for veterinary records to receive a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations to have on hand. This will be useful if you will need to switch veterinaries once you move.

- It is important to keep all your pet’s medications, food and water with you during the move so they are easily accessible during the transition.

- If you feel that the excitement of moving will make your pet nervous or uneasy, consider boarding him/her during the transition.

For more tips, check out this article.

Moving with pets

Once you and your family have moved into your new house, your pet will need time to adjust to the new environment.  Here are our recommendations to help with the adjustment.

For Cats:

- It is very important to update your cat’s tags with your new contact information after the move.

- Unplug dangling cords so your cat doesn’t chew on the cords and risk electric shock.

- Be sure to close any holes or crawl spaces and keep doors and windows shut to prevent your cat from escaping or getting lost in your new neighborhood.

- Put comfort items, such as a worn t-shirt with your scent, next to the cat’s food, water and litter box. This will let your cat know you are close by in this new environment.

For Dogs:

- Just like you did for your cat, be sure to update your dog’s tags with your new contact information as soon as possible.

- Even if your dog typically stays outside, it is a good idea to walk your dog through the house so he can get used to the new smells and feel comfortable in the new environment.

- Take your dog for walks in your new neighborhood.

- Once you’ve designated a place to keep food and water, show your pup his/her new dining area and it’ll feel right at home.

Moving with dogs

If you’ve moved a long distance, you should ask neighbors and friends to recommend veterinarians to you.  If you live or are moving to the Greater Houston area, these are a few of the veterinarians close to our communities: West Davis Veterinary Clinic, Greatwood Veterinary Hospital and Northpointe Animal Hospital.

Grand View Builders wants to make every part of your home buying and moving process as easy as possible for you, your family and your furry friends too!

October 2nd, 2013

“You Share, We Give” with Grace After Fire

Categories: charity, Contest, Grand View Builders News, military, military charity | Tags: , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Grand View Builders is continuing to give back to our military community this month with our new “You Share, We Give” campaign benefiting Grace After Fire.

You Share, We Give

Grace After Fire is an organization that exists to help women veterans transition from war back into family life and working environments. Its mission is to provide the means for women veterans to gain self-renewal and self-knowledge. Through peer groups and helping connect veterans with one another.  Today 11% of military veterans are woman and 60% of them are under the age of 30.  Grace After Fire is raising awareness and provides appropriate trauma, mental, addiction and community services for these veterans.

Rejoining the real world and participating in normal day-to-day activities can be a difficult transition for veterans coming home from war and Grace After Fire is here to help women veterans during this time.  There are many ways to get involved with this great organization, such as volunteering with a support group, offering your home as a meeting area for peer groups or showing your support by making a monetary donation.

Grand View Builders appreciates all the men and women working in the military.  We want to do anything we can to give back to those who have given up so much for us, which is why we are delighted to be contributing to Grace After Fire with this month’s “You Share, We Give” campaign.

Become a fan of the Grand View Builders Facebook page and share our “You Share, We Give” photo of the month, and help us give back to this amazing organization.

September 25th, 2013

Texas State Fair Opens This Weekend

Categories: events, Fall, Family Activities | Tags: , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

With the arrival of fall, there are tons of fun activities for families to partake!  One of our favorites, the Texas State Fair, opens this week.  The fair runs from September 27 through October 20 in Dallas, Texas.  We can’t wait to watch this year’s performers, enjoy rides and taste novelties at the fried food capital of Texas.

Performances
The biggest fair in Texas boasts many activities and performances for guests to enjoy.  There will be numerous concerts performed on the different fair stages, including Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Rowland, Blondie, Emblem 3, Turnpike Troubadours and Casting CrownsIllumination Sensation is also back to wow fairgoers with lights, pyrotechnics, dancing waters and music along the Esplanade pool.

  http://www.bigtex.com/sft/entertainment/images/KB4_8013.jpg

Rides and Fair Activities
No fair is complete without rides and this year, the Top o’Texas Tower will be revealed.  This 500 ft. tower ride carries 100 people along a 450 ft. lift and gives them a spectacular 360 degree view of downtown Dallas.  The Top o’Texas Tower is definitely on our to-ride list.  There will be plenty of kid-friendly rides and activities as well.  Be sure to visit the Kidway area for great activities for our younger, smaller fairgoers and the children’s activity center featuring a backyard circus, crafts and other hands-on activities.

http://photographyblog.dallasnews.com/files/2012/12/tower_rendering.jpg

Food
One thing is for sure, you and your family will not leave this fair hungry.  This fair is known for having a wide variety of foods, including an array of fried goodies.  Foods ranging from corndogs, fried shrimp and grits, deep fried King Ranch casserole and deep fried nutella can all be found here, so come hungry!  This year, the fried Thanksgiving dinner won Big Tex’s most creative dish and the deep fried Cuban roll won best tasting fried concoction.  Local celebrity chefs, Chef Tim Byres, Chef Karen Kahn and Chef Salvatore Gisellu, will also make appearances and showcase their favorite recipes during the fair.

http://www.bigtex.com/sft/Entertainment/newfood.asp

The state fair is fun for all ages, so whether you live in the Dallas area or are making a weekend trip, this is definitely a Texas-sized event you won’t want to miss!

Directions from
Grand View Builders Communities:

- From the Lakes of Bella Terra community, take I-10 E to I-45 N to I-30 E and Exit 48B onto Haskell Ave. Follow Haskell Avenue until you arrive at the fairgrounds.

- From the Village of Oak Forest community, take US-290 E to I-45 N to I-30 E and Exit 48B onto Haskell Ave. Follow Haskell Avenue until you arrive at the fairgrounds.

- From the Foster Glen, Stewarts Forest, Hamilton Square, Painted Meadows, Amburn Oaks, Cumberland Crossing and North Pointe Trails communities, take I-45 N to I-30 E and Exit 48B onto Haskell Ave. Follow Haskell Avenue until you arrive at the fairgrounds.

- From the Inverness Estates and Wimbledon Falls communities, take FM-2978 N to I-45 N to I-30 E and Exit 48B onto Haskell Ave. Follow Haskell Avenue until you arrive at the fairgrounds.

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