Houseplans — Houston

4th of July Events in and around Houston – Covid-19 Edition

4th of July Events in and around Houston – Covid-19 Edition

Like everything else in 2020, the 4th of July events in Houston will be a little different. Some of the events are virtual, while others have many new policies in place to ensure the public safety.

Whatever you choose to do this Independence Day – spending time with family, watching fireworks, spending time on the water, etc – we hope you stay safe and have a wonderful time! 

4th of July Events in and around Houston – Covid-19 Edition 

Shell Freedom over Texas

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: Virtual Event 

Houston’s signature patriotic celebration is back with a 2020 approach. Shell Freedom Over Texas will feature a vigorous line up of live and virtual entertainers via broadcast and live streaming on Saturday, July 4th from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s mission is to uphold the health and safety of all Houstonians. This year, guests will not gather for the annual festival on Buffalo Bayou in Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks, but will honor the City’s cherished tradition under a new format.

"We will celebrate Houston's diversity and America's Freedom at the city's signature Independence Day event in a new way," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "This is an opportunity for us to recognize our community for its perseverance through the ongoing pandemic. I am personally grateful to our NEW title sponsor, Shell Oil Company, and NEW fireworks sponsor, Reliant. Their support means we can also honor organizations that have been on the frontlines during the health crisis. I am also grateful for our returning annual sponsors Walmart, Dr. Pepper, and Bud Light Seltzer, who continue to support this important community event."

The evening will kick off with a patriotic tribute by the Houston Symphony, followed by performances with guest artists Houston rappers, humanitarians and philanthropists, Bun B and Trae Tha Truth, nationally acclaimed mariachi band Mariachi Imperial De America, and Houston sibling Norteño trio Los Luzeros De Rioverde. Additional performers to be announced. The 3 hour event will be available via ABC13 Houston.

Independence Day Concert Series – City Centre Houston

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: 800 Town & Country Blvd

Houston, TX

Independence Day welcomes a concert series of live music that you don’t want to miss!*

Live Music schedule for Saturday, July 4:

12:30 - 2:30 PM: Applehead (Blues & Rock)

3 - 5 PM: KDK Band (Pop & Variety)

6 - 9 PM. People’s Choice Band (Country & Pop)

As a courtesy, no outside food or beverages are allowed. Our restaurants offer delicious menu items that can also conveniently be taken to-go.

*Weather permitting; Any changes to the day’s schedule of events will be communicated on CITYCENTRE’S Facebook and Instagram pages. Due to COVID19, we have decided to cancel our annual fireworks show.

City of Bellaire 4th of July Parade

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: Bellaire, TX

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

This year, we are bringing the parade to you!

Interested in being in the parade? Fill out form here! Contact Victoria Arevalo, 713-662-8291 for more information.

For more information, contact the Bellaire Recreation Center at 713-662-8280.

Click here to view a map of the parade route.

4th of July in The Woodlands

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: The Woodlands, TX

Due to COVID-19, please note the festival portion of the 2020 Red, Hot & Blue Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza has been cancelled. 

The 18-minute Red, Hot & Blue Fireworks Extravaganza, presented by St. Luke’s Hospital – The Woodlands, will be launched from the campus of Lone Star College – Montgomery at approximately 9:30 p.m. Experience both the sights and sounds of the Fireworks Extravaganza by tuning in to KSTAR Country 99.7 FM to broadcast the soundtrack live on or by downloading the app. The app can be found by searching “KSTAR Country Radio” in the App Store or on Google Play. 

Live video feed of the Fireworks Extravaganza will be available on Woodlands Online.

Fireworks will be visible from areas in the immediate vicinity of the college campus, as well as the west side of SH 242 near I-45, including The Woodlands College Park High School and various locations in the College Park Shopping Center. To ensure spectators have the best fireworks visibility possible, fireworks teaser shots will be fired at 9, 9:10 and 9:20 p.m.

Those planning to view the fireworks onsite should practice social distancing and continue following all guidelines recommended by the CDC while viewing the fireworks.

Galveston Island 4th of July Parade

When: July 4th, 2020

Where: Downtown Galveston

Galveston Island will host its annual 4th of July Parade on Saturday, July 4, beginning at 10am.  The parade will begin at 25th Street and Santa Fe Place, continue south on 25th Street, then east on Postoffice Street, then north on 21st,  and continue west on The Strand back to 25th Street.

Common Residential Plan Permit Application Mistakes

Common Residential Plan Permit Application Mistakes

The following list comprises the top ten mistakes that are made in permit applications. Review the list and make sure you’re not making the same mistake!

Another way to avoid any mistakes when applying for a permit, is to hire a professional permitting agency. They’ll help you through the permitting process so that you can start building your home as quickly as possible.

Submitting Additional Information Without the Proper Forms.

Make sure all of the information you’re submitting regarding your home is accompanied by the proper forms. You may think that as long as you send in the proper information, that the city will be able to find the accompanying forms, but that is not the case. If you don’t include the correct forms your application process could be extended by months.

Plans Containing Title Blocks not Signed

A completed permit application needs to have Title Blocks that are signed in ink by a licensed design professional.

Site Plans are not Drawn to Scale 

When you prepare your permit application it is important to ensure that your floor and site plans are drawn to scale. The person reviewing your information should be able to build your home based on the information you submit to them.

Energy Code Requirements are not Provided in the Plans Submitted

Before an application is approved it must go through a test to ensure that it meets certain energy efficiency standards.

Site Plan not Submitted when Projects are Increasing the Footprint of the Property

If you change anything about your project that could make the information you provided to the city become false, you need to submit the new information and receive a new permit. If you don’t you could be issued a stop work order, or be issued a fee.

Design Loads and Standards are Omitted from Submittal

A licensed engineer should prepare calculations and drawing that demonstrate how the structure will resist vertical and lateral loads and is a part of the structural design requirements.

Smoke Detector Locations are not Included in Submittal

One purpose of the permitting process is to ensure that the home you are building is safe and up to code for those that will be living in it. If you forget to include the smoke detector locations your application will be denied. This a very simple yet common mistake to avoid.

Incorrect Insulation Values are Listed on the Plans

When you submit your permit application double check to make sure that all of your values listed are correct. If not this could cause your application to be denied or cause problems down the road.

New Home Sales Hold Steady in April

New Home Sales Hold Steady in April

In this recent article from the National Association of Home Builders, new home sales held steady in April, a welcome sign that the shutdown hasn't shut down the housing market. You can read the entire article below.

New Home Sales Hold Steady in April

In a sign that the housing market is stabilizing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000 units in April, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The April rate is 6.2% lower than the April 2019 pace.

“The April data for new home sales show the potential for housing to lead any recovery for the overall economy,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon. “Because the housing industry entered this downturn underbuilt, there exists considerable pent-up housing demand on the sidelines. The experience of the virus mitigation has emphasized the importance of home for most Americans.”

“The April estimates from Census came in better than forecast, so there is a possibility of a downward revision in the next release,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Nonetheless, the data matches recent commentary from builders and reflects recent gains in mortgage applications. Despite significant challenges in overall economic conditions, the months’ supply held steady at a reasonably healthy level of 6.3.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the April reading of 623,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

Inventory edged lower to a 6.3 months’ supply, with 325,000 new single-family homes for sale, 3% lower than April 2019. Of that total, just 78,000 are completed, ready to occupy. The median sales price was $303,900. The median price of a new home sale a year earlier was $339,000. Median prices were lower due to increased use of builder price incentives in April.

Regionally, new home sales were up 8.7% in the Northeast, 2.4% in the Midwest and 2.4% in the South. New home sales were down 6.3% in the West.

Events in Houston this June - Covid 19 Edition

Events in Houston this June - Covid 19 Edition

Though Texas has begun to open, there are still few live events like we're used to in Houston. The large summertime events that draw thousands, like outdoor music festivals, BBQs, fireworks displays and all those other great outdoor activities we love to enjoy are still on hold. Even though Houston has been reopening, many businesses are being cautious and waiting longer. Sadly, some businesses will not be able to open up again.

There are some things you can do in Houston - you can get a hair cut, you can see a movie, you can visit your doctor and you can go out to eat. All of these things should be done with caution and most businesses will post clear messages about the safety measures they have taken and expect their customers and clientele to adhere to. Stay Safe Houston!

Events in Houston this June - Covid 19 Edition

Live Interactive Online Classes & Camps for Kids

When: Ongoing

Where: Online

Live online classes and online summer camps for kids provide engaging e-learning experiences from home. Virtual summer camps are on sale through May 31! Art, cooking, kids coding, lego, languages, music, math, and dance are popular online courses for kids to do at home. Get an additional $15 off when you attend the virtual camp fair!

The Escape Game Remote Adventures

When: Ongoing

Where: Online

Play our escape games from anywhere! Your team will communicate with each other and a Host at The Escape Game using Zoom. You’ll explore the room by directing a Game Guide that’s streaming a live camera feed from the physical environment and by searching 360 images. Use what you find in the room and the items in your digital dashboard to progress through the adventure. You have 60 minutes, can you escape?

At Home Workshop: Making a Face Mask

When: Ongoing

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - Online 

Looking for a practical at-home project? Make your own face mask!

Follow along with Jessica McMahon, who teaches fashion classes at the Glassell Junior School. In this how-to video, she applies her expertise in fashion design to creating PPE (personal protective equipment).

To get started, download the step-by-step instructions—complete with a mask pattern. Then gather your materials, hit “play,” and make your face mask!

Bringing the Zoo to You

When: Ongoing

Where:  Houston Zoo - Online

We’re bringing the Houston Zoo to you through Facebook Live each weekday at 11am CST! We will be sharing daily updates of what our furred, flippered, and feathered friends are up to and how our zookeepers are caring for them while we are closed.

If you miss a live stream, you can view all of our videos and our fun at-home learning activities:

Our zookeepers, veterinarians, and animal nutritionists continue to provide stellar care to our animals, which is reinforced by your contributions. Learn more about how you can support our Emergency Zoo Fund:

Swimwear Department

When: June 18, 2020

Where: Discovery Green - Online

Discovery Green Stream Concerts presented by Bank of America:
Swimwear Department

Four-piece concept band Swimwear Department performs danceable punk-rock songs about swimming pools and shopping at the mall.

You can catch the performance when it premieres on the Discovery Green Facebook page Thursday, June 18 at 7 pm.

Bring your laptop, phone or tablet outside, open a beverage and dance like no one’s watching! Until we can all be together again for a concert in the park, we hope you’ll join this community of Houstonians online.

Concerts at Discovery Green are made possible in part through the City of Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance.

The Discovery Green Conservancy needs your help to keep this vibrant green space thriving. Please consider becoming a member today  

STEM Virtual Tour

When: Ongoing

Where: Online

On the talkSTEM YouTube channel, there are 9 unique playlists that connect science, technology, engineering and math to real world examples. Each video are a palatable 2 minutes in average and are appropriate for all ages. You can virtually explore over 20 different destinations in Texas from the safety of your home. Simply pick a theme and start watching the videos. Some videos prompt for a DIY experiment or challenge you can try in your household. You can even create your own virtual field trip - the options are endless!

How to Avoid the Common Mistakes of Permit Applications

How to Avoid the Common Mistakes of Permit Applications

Applying for a permit can be an arduous process even if you don’t make any mistakes when you apply. At PW+A we're here to help you navigate this process, if you find you're in need of assistance.

Here’s a guide that will help you to avoid common permit application mistakes and help you to receive your permit as soon as possible.

Start as Early as Possible

Depending on the complexity of the project, a construction permit could take anywhere from a month to a full year to process. The length of the process is mainly determined by the quality of the application and the complexity of the project.

It’s a good idea to double check the quality of your application. If your application doesn’t contain all of the necessary information, it’s not unlikely that it will get pushed aside and take additional weeks or months simply because you didn’t fill it out correctly the first time.

Talk with a Plans Examiner or Code Official

Talking with a plans examiner or code official can save you a lot of time in the permitting process by helping you avoid some of the simple mistakes involved in permit applications. They will be able to answer any questions you have regarding the information you need on your application, and help guide you onto the correct path. Communication is key is a smooth permitting process.

Ensure Your Permit Application is Complete and Accurate before Submittal

Here are some of the most common mistakes made in the permitting process. 

  • Submitting additional information without the proper forms
  • Plans containing title blocks not signed
  • Additional information not submitted through a general contractor
  • Site plan not submitted when projects are increasing the footprint of the property
  • Incomplete Code Data
  • Footing/Framing/Truss details not included in submittal
  • Wall bracing lines and methods not included in submittal
  • Energy certificate information not included in submittal
  • Smoke detector locations not Included in submittal
  • Incorrect insulation values listed on plans

It’s important to ensure that when you turn in your request for a building permit that you double check to make sure that all of the required information is included. It’s also important to make sure that all of the information you submitted is accurate.

If at a later date you decide to change an aspect about the building, it is necessary to resubmit your plans. If it is found out that you are deviating from your original application or your application was simply not accurate to begin with, the city could issue a stop work order and you’d be left sitting on your hands until you could receive your new permit.


Events in Houston this May - Covid-19 Edition

Events in Houston this May - Covid-19 Edition

Houston may begin to open back up soon. Restaurants may be able to offer dine-in service again and retail establishments are hoping to open by offering drive-by pick-ups of items for sale. Haircuts by a professional may be a thing sooner than later, though safe practices must be established before these businesses can reopen. In the mean time, there are still plenty of fun events taking place in Houston, and elsewhere, that are online. Here's a list of fun online things you can do in Houston this May.

Events in Houston this May - Covid-19 Edition

Virtual Cooking Classes from Well Done

When: May 1st & 2nd, 2020

Choose from a variety of cooking courses. Cuisine include Asian, French, Italian, Southern, and Baking. Classes cost $69 per person.

Party on the Plaza

When: May 2nd, 2020

Where: KHOU Online

Party On The Plaza is RETURNING on Saturday, May 2, but this time audiences can experience the musical performances at home and give to those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

KHOU 11 and Houston First are partnering to create a virtual Party On The Plaza, benefitting the Houston Food Bank.

Celebrities and high-profile personalities including: Houston Astros 3rd Baseman, Alex Bregman; Scott McClelland, President of HEB; James Beard award-winning Chef Hugo Ortega; Rapper Bun B; Mayor Sylvester Turner and host Deborah Duncan will join a star-studded musical lineup for an evening of entertainment, advocacy and community celebration.

Tune in to KHOU 11 and enjoy, as we bring the party to you.

Rainbow Lodge Facebook Live Wine Tastings

When: May 5th, 2020

Where: Facebook Live

The first virtual tasting on Tuesday, April 28 at 5 pm CST will feature Lindsay Woodard, owner of Retour Pinot Noir of Willamette Valley, Oregon.  The kits will include a bottle of 2014 Retour Pinot Noir, and Chef Mark's Wild Game Hunter's Pie for two.  Cost for this virtual wine tasting kit is $115 plus tax, and people can call now to purchase their kit and it will be ready for pick-up on between noon and 8 pm on Sunday, April 26, Monday, April 27 or Tuesday, April 28.  

The kit and other food, wine and spirits from Rainbow Lodge can be ordered by calling 713-861-8666.

Urban Harvest Drive-Thru Sunday Supper

When: May 9th & 10th, 2020

Where: 2752 Buffalo Speedway

2nd Floor Parking Garage

Pick up a Tony’s Meal Kit curated by Chef Austin Waiter at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market Drive Thru. This meal kit will serve 4 by pairing signature flavors from Tony’s kitchen with select items from our Farmers Market farmers, ranchers, and artisans. The kit will be complete with ingredients, including a recipe card, for you to prepare the meal at home. All you need is basic cooking equipment and items, like oil, salt and pepper. To top it off, we will host a live, interactive cooking class through Zoom on Sunday, May 10th, in which Chef Austin will walk you through each step of the recipe to show you how to create an unforgettable dinner, reminiscent of Tony’s, in your home kitchen. Tony’s Meal Kit can be purchased for $75.

Arts & Crafts Online with the Orange Show

When: Now through May 16th, 2020

Where: Discovery Green

How to Make Slim

If you have 5 minutes and 4 ingredients, you can make ooey, gooey, fun-for-hours slime! Watch as Houston artist Que Byers from The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art shows you how.

Mad Hatter and the No-Good, Very Bad Coronavirus

When: Now through May 16th, 2020

Where: Discovery Green

Join us as the Mad Hatter hilariously learns about germs and discovers a safe way to have his tea party. This one-act play by Robb Brunson of InterActive Theater Company, a Young Audiences of Houston program, teaches health literacy to children of all ages.

Virtual Flea Market

When: Now through May 16th, 2020

Where: Discovery Green

Discovery Green is committed to finding new ways to serve our partners and our audience to build on our mission of serving as a village green and a source of health and happiness.

As a result, Flea by Night, an event that features an array of artful kitsch, vintage items, mid-century modern furniture, recycled and repurposed items and collectibles, and crafts by local artisans and designers, is now virtually available to you! Online only!

These small businesses rely on flea markets and popup events such as the now canceled Discovery Green Flea by Night. Shop and support local Houston businesses!

Weekly Saturday Farm Stand (Covid-19 Drive-By Pick-Up)

When: Saturdays | 9am - Noon

Where: Hope Farms

10401 Scott Street

Houston, TX

During the current Covid-19 Lockdown, our Farm Stand continues to serve you every Saturday morning from 9 to noon, offering just-harvested produce. We will be serving our customers with a drive through operation. Order your produce in advance and we will have it ready for you:

Or we can take your order from your car when you arrive.

We hope that soon, Hope Farms and our country will be back to normal where you can come by and visit, pick up your veggies and cooking tips, let the kids play in the Children's Garden, wander through our Chefs Kitchen Garden for inspiration, say "hi" to Valentino and his chicks and in general benefit from the tranquility you will find right smack dab in the city.

Keep up with whats happening by following us here or on our website at www.hopefarmsHTX org

Your purchase of our locally grown produce benefits your own good health and supports Recipe for Success Foundation's work to teach, empower and inspire healthy eating including our program to teach veterans to farm.