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In October, the City of Garland released its Residential Idea Book, a collection of ideas and best practices to inspire homeowners who want to improve and invest in their single-family homes. The book includes a variety of enhancement ideas, from boosting a home’s curb appeal to planning a major home addition. The book also provides great tips on how to get the job done, from selecting a contractor, to getting the right permits, to picking the perfect paint colors. A “Top Ten” improvements chapter offers homeowners some simple projects to get started.

Neighborhood vitality and stability have been a high priority of the City of Garland for many years.  Encouraging further investment in neighborhoods was highlighted as a top goal in Envision Garland, the City’s recently adopted comprehensive plan. Among many services and tools offered by the City of Garland, the Residential Idea Book was developed as a practical, encouraging tool for homeowners to use to encourage investment and revitalize neighborhoods. The City worked closely with Nancy McCoy, of Quimby-McCoy Preservation Architecture, to research the community’s housing stock, investment needs, and great ideas for home renovations and renewal.

The Residential Idea Book contains a brief explanation of architectural design principles and examples of how those principles can be used on four styles of homes that are common to Garland’s more established neighborhoods. These principles are meant to guide improvements so that they enhance and strengthen the architectural character of homes and by extension, neighborhoods.

While the Idea Book is not a code or requirement, it does serve as a valuable and inspirational resource for those who choose to enhance and invest in their homes.  Homeowners are encouraged to use the book to plan their next improvement project. The book is also a tool for neighborhood organizations to stir interest in improving their neighborhoods. Contractors, builders, architects, and rental property owners can also use the book to plan their next project or enhance their properties.

The City of Garland unveiled the Idea Book at its Annual Neighborhood Summit in October, and has shared the tool with residents as part of a Garland Neighborhood Management Academy class, as well as presentations to interested neighborhood associations. The City of Garland plans to continue the Idea Book series to address energy and water efficiency improvements for mature homes, as well as other topics in the future.

The Residential Idea Book can be downloaded from the City of Garland’s online Development & Permitting Center. For additional information, please contact Daniel Krzyzanowski at 972-205-2460 or