Friday, October 28, 2016

Fire safety reminders to protect your Keller home

With Fire Prevention Week taking place in October, it’s a great time to evaluate your home for fire safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) September 2015 Structure Fires Report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 357,000 home fires per year between 2009-2013, causing $6.9 billion in damage and 2,470 deaths. The NFPA cites cooking equipment, heating equipment and electrical distribution systems as the three leading causes of accidental home fires, but there are steps Keller homeowners can take to help prevent them.

To help protect your family in the event of a home fire, there are several safety tips and steps that you can take. The NFPA recommends testing your smoke alarms regularly and replacing them every 10 years to best help protect your family and home, but there are several safety tips and steps you can take to further help prevent a fire before it happens. Here are three to consider:

Clear your cooking space. With hot ovens and stovetops, some of which even contain open flames, it’s not surprising that cooking equipment is the leading cause of accidental home fires. It’s important to be aware of your cooking area before, during and after food preparation. Make sure that anything flammable, such as dish towels, pot holders or food containers are moved away from hot surfaces or flames, and that all cooking utensils, like pots, pans, spoons or ladles, are removed from ovens before preheating. Also, take special care and read cooking directions carefully when using flammable ingredients or equipment, such as oils or deep fryers.

Understand your electrical system. Although there are several ways to recognize potential risks of an electrical fire in your home, most homeowners are not aware of the signs or what to look for. For example, keep an eye out for discolored or warm outlets, which are signs of an electrical failure or malfunction and a potential electrical fire. Other signs of electrical issues are flickering or dimming of lights, frequent issues with blowing fuses, or smelling a burning or rubbery odor from appliances. Other often overlooked electrical fire safety tips include using extension cords for temporary needs only, never running cords under rugs or pinched beneath furniture, and to not overload electrical outlets. Though convenient, these common mistakes can result in serious fire hazards.

Purchase and install safety products. In the chance a fire does occur in your home, safety equipment such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers can mean the difference between life and death, but Keller homeowners should also install devices that can help to prevent fires. Given that 50 percent of the electrical fires that occur each year could be prevented with Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Outlets, it seems logical that homeowners should install them. AFCIs detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults, which are dangerous and could lead to electrical fires. Once an AFCI Outlet detects an arcing fault, it immediately shuts off power to help prevent potential ignition of a fire. These are important to have in living areas like bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens to protect homeowners from unexpected electrical hazards.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, visit

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Easy home cleaning solutions for Keller homeowners

Juggling parenting duties and work obligations, not to mention household chores, is a lot for one person to take on and yet, many Keller homeowners like you do this every single day. So often you get caught up in all the busyness, you forget to set aside time to relax or just have some fun.

Fortunately, there are ways to streamline cleaning duties, so you don't have to spend every spare moment scrubbing the floor and tackling clutter. Follow these five easy cleaning solutions to efficiently maintain your beautiful home and open up more time to do the things you love.

Purge, purge, purge: While getting rid of broken appliances and barely worn clothes initially takes some time, the results are well worth it. After removing barely-used belongings, you'll have less stuff to store, which prevents clutter from piling up and causing stress in the future. When getting rid of junk, start in the area that contains the bulk of your possessions, such as the bedroom or hallway closets. Tackling the problem head-on and getting the worst part over with first will motivate you to complete the project.

Stress less about stains with a convenient carpet cleaner: When you have kids and/or pets, stains are just a part of life. That doesn't mean, however, you have to let stains interfere with your schedule. A quality carpet cleaning solution, such as the STAINMASTER will lift away tough stains and ground-in dirt so they don't take away from your home's style. You begin cleaning on contact to remove even the most stubborn stains, and each cleaning solution provides an invisible shield to repel dirt to protect against re-soiling.

Add a mud tray in the entryway: Every time you mop the entryway floor, it seems to be dirty again in just a couple days. Winter and spring are especially hard on your floors, as kids and pets often track in mud, water and snow. To keep your floors clean, and reduce the need for mopping, set up a mud tray to store dirty boots and shoes. Mud trays are often made of tough plastic, which means they are easy to hose off and keep clean. Plus, you can find stylish designs that fit in well with your welcoming home.

Always put belongings back in their designated spot: It's easy to finish eating and say to yourself "I'll put these dishes in the dishwasher later," or, maybe you put off putting laundry away when you're in a rush. But in a few days, small clutter can turn into a big mess. Pretty soon, you'll be overwhelmed by the clothes scattered on the floor and the dishes covering the kitchen counter, and you'll be forced to spend a good hour or two putting belongings away.

To avoid belongings from piling up, get in the habit of putting items away when you're done with them. It might seem like a hassle at first, but this small change in your daily to-do list will have a big impact on your weekly cleaning routine.

Use extra wall space for storage: If lack of storage space is constantly causing clutter, take advantage of bare wall space to install shelves or hang belongings, like coffee cups or hats. This simple trick can enhance your Keller home's style and maximize storage without taking up floor space.

Don't spend more time cleaning than you have to - new habits and a few superior products are all you need to streamline your routine and open up more time for fun.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home 

Friday, October 21, 2016

5 hardwood design trends for Keller homeowners

Hardwood may be one of the oldest building materials known to man, yet architects, designers and homeowners are always finding fresh ways to use it in the modern home. What's the appeal? Flexibility and variety, for starters.

For Keller homeowners looking for modern hardwood options; here's what's trending.

Wide-plank flooring
Perhaps no recent trend has been more influential than the use of wide-plank hardwood flooring. Traditional plank widths, ranging from 2 1/4 to 3 1/2 inches, are still popular. But today's homeowners often ask for widths between 5 and 7 inches, and there is even demand for up to 10 or 12 inches. Wider floorboards usually make your space look more modern and larger. With less seams, these floors can be treated like a canvas: ebonized oak or walnut for a sleek, dark look; light woods like ash or maple for a chic, urban vibe; weathered-gray tones for a slightly rustic affect - many possibilities are available.

Wood ceilings
It used to be that hardwood planks primarily went on floors or walls, but today they're appearing on residential ceilings too. Simple beadboard, painted white or with a light natural stain, looks crisp and airy overhead, adding visual appeal while remaining modest and unassuming. For a more assertive vibe, one might try  tongue-and-groove walnut or hickory, characterful woods that give a degree of enrichment. For that reason, they're best reserved for large, high-ceiling rooms that aren't easily overwhelmed. In smaller, lower spaces, a ceiling with too much personality can feel oppressive.

Mix and match
Architects and designers, who once avoided using different varieties of hardwood in a single residential space, now mix and match them with newfound enthusiasm. Clearly contrasting wood tones - blond maple and black walnut, for example - create a striking effect that can work well in both traditional and contemporary settings. This is particularly true in kitchens, where a favorite configuration features upper cabinetry in a light-color wood such as birch, and lower cabinetry in a dark-color wood like cherry. The result is a space that has strong visual interest, and is light and airy, yet solidly grounded.

Gray stains and finishes
Gray is a classic "neutral" that never truly goes out of fashion. It's currently one of the most popular colors, ranging from pale smoke to deep charcoal, showing up in hardwood flooring, paneling and cabinetry. Either light or dark, gray stains bring out any wood's natural texture and grain. Grays are timeless and versatile - quiet and soothing colors that recede into the background without losing intrigue.

Distressed hardwoods
Keller homeowners drawn to the popular look of weather-beaten rustic and elegantly timeworn are turning to distressed hardwoods - new product to which scrapes, nail holes, notches, saw marks and other signs of wear and tear have been carefully applied, often by hand. Manufacturers are able to reproduce convincing facsimiles of anything from the burnished walnut floorboards of an 18th century salon to the rugged oak-plank siding of a 19th century Pennsylvania barn. It's a distinctive look that offers a wide range of aesthetics.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home 

Monday, October 17, 2016

4 tips for Keller homeowners planning a kitchen remodel

Kitchen Faucet

Kitchen upgrades can seem daunting. From full renovations to hardware updates, the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your dream kitchen. To make the process as smooth as possible, here are 4 key tips to keep in mind as you embark on the remodeling journey. These quick guidelines will help you focus on the end result and ensure a great remodeling vision for your Keller home.

Storage solutions
Determine storage needs based on how you work. Take inventory of kitchen tools and accessories to determine your path forward. For example, install a cabinet near the stove specifically tailored for pots and pans, or add a narrow cabinet by the oven to house cookie sheets and trays within easy reach. If you rarely use your food processor or slow cooker, choose a cabinet out of the way to guarantee storage space for the items you will need to access more readily. Plan a designated place for every kitchen utensil and appliance to avoid messy drawers and cluttered cabinets.

An island for your needs
A multifunctional island delivers additional storage and prep space to almost any kitchen. Customize your island area based on your cooking and entertaining style. Make the most out of the space to fit your needs. Avid cooks who prepare many big meals might consider including a prep sink for rinsing fruits and vegetables. Conversely, those who love to entertain can use the island to add counter space for hors d'oeuvres and accommodate bar stools.

Faucet functionality
Few people enjoy rinsing messy dishes, but the proper faucet can make this chore easy and carefree. For example, the Delta Mateo Kitchen Faucet is an ideal choice for any kitchen redesign. A system allows the faucet to be turned on and off with just a touch, simplifying kitchen tasks during food prep and clean-up. An LED light at the base of the faucet changes color from blue to red to alert users to the water's temperature and avoid surprises.

Quick and easy design upgrades
When designing the kitchen of your dreams, take into consideration that tastes and styles are ever evolving. Peel-and-stick backsplashes are budget-friendly as well as quick and easy to install. If your favorite finish or pattern preference changes in a few years, simply replace with a new design for an appealing refresh.

As Keller homeowners, you should take the time to plan appropriately with these four tips in mind and create a perfectly tailored space for all your kitchen needs.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.

Friday, October 14, 2016

5 tips for Keller homeowners building a media room

There was a time when only a few could afford a large screen television. The resolution was clunky, the sound poor and the cost high. But over the past decade, technology has advanced so remarkably fast that today a 60-inch television with unbelievably crisp resolution is within many people's budget.

Add to this the fact that tickets for movie theaters are more expensive than ever, and it makes sense why more people are building a home theater in their house. With some planning and amazing electronic toys, it's possible to create a media room for your Keller home that delivers theater-quality sound and visuals. And you can enjoy it in more comfortable seats and without obnoxious strangers interrupting the show.

But 4K televisions, surround-sound speakers and bass cannons are only part of the overall experience.

To compliment these electronics features, you need the right setting to amplify the experience. This means taking the time to design a proper media room that enables your equipment. These five indispensable tips will help you do just that.

1. A great media room begins with the right walls. Incredibly strong drywall is able to hold up to 30 pounds on a single screw. This drywall does away with wall mounts and the need to find a stud, allowing you to mount your speakers, television or screen exactly where you want them to go.

2. Paint wisely. While what color you choose for your room will be based off personal preference, aim for earthy, neutral colors that minimize glare. To help draw the focus of the room toward the screen, many paint the wall a burgundy or maroon.

3. Great sound is a result of more than speakers. Designing your room with acoustics in mind is key. Hard surfaces create a sharp, echoing quality to the sound. To avoid this, your media room should be carpeted and instead of hard blinds, use sound dampening curtains to help enhance the sound and keep out the sun. The density of drywall also contributes to reduced sound transmission between rooms, helping to create separation between your media room and the living area of the home.

4. Think about speakers, walls and storage. Though most people's attention will be drawn to the wall with the television on it, the surrounding walls are equally important. Here is where you mount speakers for the 360-degree sound effect, sconce lighting and floating shelves for design and storage. To properly achieve this, you need a durable wall, such as Habito drywall, that can both hold the needed weight and is strong enough to make it easy to redesign and remount fixtures as needed.

5. Create lighting to accommodate a variety of moods. A media room is meant to be used in a number of ways. Even when you're watching a movie, you'll probably turn the lights up then down before it's over. For this reason, be sure to install dimmable lights that can easily be controlled. This way, you can keep it dark for the dramatic scenes, and when the pizza arrives, have just enough light to see your food but not detract from the picture quality.

It's easy to only focus on the big "toys" when building a media room. But the secret to a truly great home-theater experience begins in the construction phase, well before anything is plugged in. These tips can help Keller homeowners start planning their own media room.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

3 surprising elements Keller homeowners can automate

Just a decade or two ago, home automation was still something of a novelty. Some homeowners might have had programmable thermostats in their homes, but many probably hadn't thought of automating things like window coverings. Moreover, they likely viewed any home automation they did have as a convenience. Today, home automation is becoming an essential efficiency-enhancing element in many homes.

Right now, just fewer than 6 percent of American households have automated homes, but within four years that percentage is expected to triple to nearly 19 percent, according to data compiled by What's driving more people to automate their homes? A report by icontrol networks found security, cost savings and eco-friendly energy efficiency are what people find most exciting about home automation.

Heating and cooling, lighting and security systems are among the most common elements automated in homes, but they're far from the only ones that can save you money and make your Keller home more efficient. Here are three surprising things you can automate in your home to further improve efficiency, boost energy savings and lower energy costs:

Window coverings
Shades, drapes, blinds, and awnings can all help control the amount of heat and light that enter your home. Selecting window coverings to block out light and heat in summer, and admit light in winter, can help your home's heating and cooling systems work more efficiently. However, the effectiveness of window coverings hinges on opening and closing them at the right time - something you may forget to do, or not be home to do.

Automating and powering window coverings can help automatically maximize their effectiveness. You can select from a wide variety of hand-held remotes, sensors, wall switches, and the apps that allow you to control your motorized window coverings from mobile devices.

Door locks
If you've ever been locked out of your house or had a guest arrive at your home when you were out, you probably wished there was some way to unlock your front door without a key - and from miles away. Smart locks allow you to do both those things and more.

You can replace or supplement an existing lock by installing a smart lock, and you won't need a professional locksmith to do it. If you can install a regular lock and operate a smartphone, you have the expertise you need to add and use a smart lock.

In addition to allowing you to lock and unlock your door without a key, smart locks also allow you to operate the lock remotely from an app on your phone. You can also receive alerts when the door has been unlocked - a great way to track the comings and goings of latchkey kids. Many allow you to generate a single-use digital key that you can email to guests or service providers who may need to enter your home when you're not there. Smart locks can also be paired with most popular home automation systems.

Smart appliances
Many appliance makers are offering smart, connected appliances with the big draw being their "wow factor." However, some of the features of these appliances do hold the potential to improve a home's efficiency and energy savings.

For example, a refrigerator that tracks groceries and lets you know when you're about to run out of an important item could help you better plan your shopping trips. Fewer car trips conserves gas and reduces greenhouse emissions. Cooking is another area where automation can relieve some of the energy waste caused by human error. Smart ovens and cooktops can sense when to turn themselves off in case you forget to do it - reducing energy waste and fire risks.

More Keller homeowners are discovering the convenience, security and efficiency advantages of home automation. Technology is helping make American homes more livable and enjoyable.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.

Friday, October 7, 2016

4 DIY projects for your first Keller home

"Where should I start?" It's a question many Keller homeowners ask themselves.

DIY is a great place to start for new homeowners. DIY projects are very versatile - they can easily be adapted to your skill level, budget and desired project. With a little extra time and creativity, you can transform your home.

Other benefits to choosing a DIY project are that they are typically more cost-effective than the alternative and they offer an added sense of ownership and pride in your home.

Since DIY project ideas are endless, it's important to choose ones that will improve your home's value at a reasonable cost. A DIY project should make your life easier and more enjoyable. These are some top recommended DIY projects for first-time homeowners. They won't break the bank but they will deliver a bang for your buck.

1. Add crown molding or update casing and trim. The addition of crown molding to the top of interior walls is a subtle change with big impact. Casing, which is the trim around doors and windows, can also make a huge difference. The replacement of dated crown molding, casing or trim can make a room look newly updated. Go one step further with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and you'll basically have an entirely new room.

2. Replace doors. Doors are often forgettable, but don't have to be. Replace hollow core bedroom, bathroom and closet doors with wood alternatives for an instant dash of richness. And don't limit yourself to traditionally-styled options. From specialty woods to glass panels, there are plenty of options to choose from.

3. Clean and refinish your wood deck. As long as your wood is in good shape, all you need is deck cleaner and wood stain to turn something dated into the focal point of your backyard. You can buy deck cleaner at any local hardware store. Wood deck stains are available there or at a paint store. You'll be amazed to see weathered wood look like new again. If you haven't cleaned or refinished a deck before, here are step-by-step instructions.

4. Update your closets. Add built-in shelving or simply streamline clothes hangers for an organizational boost you'll thank yourself for every day. Or you can tackle a popular closet upgrade: lining a traditional closet with cedar. Natural cedar looks great, smells great and keeps moths and mildew away. It's a classic and high-end upgrade that's not terribly expensive or time-intensive. When your friends or family open your closet, they will be pleasantly surprised.

Use tongue-and-groove cedar to line some or all of an existing closet. You can leave baseboards in place if they're thicker than the cedar. If not, remove them with a pry bar before the cedar installation. Use nails to attach the cedar to the wall studs, or adhere them with a construction adhesive. Prepare to feel like a bona fide fancy grown-up when it's done!

These are just a fraction of the many DIY projects possibilities for new Keller homeowners. The most important piece of advice is to have fun and don't be afraid to try new things. The more DIY projects you complete, the more confident you'll feel. To get started, pencil in a dedicated DIY day on your calendar and enjoy the process!

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.