Rainy Day Adventures

Lately, the weather has been, shall we say, less than ideal. It seems like we can't get out from under this cloud, literally and metaphorically. We hate seeing another day come and go with everyone cooped up inside because of the rain, so the team here at Girard Homes came up with a few ideas to brighten up your dreary days. 

Embrace the rain! Sometimes, all you can do is let the rain come down, so why not enjoy it? Throw on some rubber boots and a jacket and get outside and splash around. Kids (and adults) of all ages will love it. As long as the weather isn't dangerous, we suggest heading out onto the Katy Trail and explore some of the creeks around there!

Movie Marathon! This is your typical rainy day activity, so try to kick it up a notch! Make a few extra bags of popcorn, melt some butter in it, grab some candy and get some sodas for that true movie theatre experience. Pick your favorite series to watch (we won't even cast any judgement if it's Twilight) and power through them.

Game Day! You can play pretty much any game on your phone these days, but it's nothing like the real thing. The enjoyment and nostalgia you get from actually sitting down and playing your favorite board game with your friends and family goes perfectly with the coziness of a rainy day.



6 Reasons You Should Own A Home

We won't lie to you, home ownership can be frightening. It can also be confusing. Bubbles popping and inflating, interest rates changing, and mortgages are all more than enough to turn someone away from home ownership. Despite all of this though, we're here to reassure you that the benefits of owning your home far outweigh those of renting. 

You can make valuable changes to your home: If you own your home, you can make structural and fundamental changes to your home, which can save you money and increase its value. For instance, you can add solar panels, greatly reducing your energy bill and increasing the value of your home, should you decide to sell. Renters cannot make these changes.

You can customize your home: Don't like where the windows are in your rental home? You're out of luck. But, if you own your home you have the freedom to make any change you want. Your home can take on your vision. Paint, flooring, your yard, lighting, you name it and you can make it yours when you own your home. 

No more dealing with landlords: This one speaks for itself, right?

You can claim tax deductions: Homeowners get tax benefits! You can deduct your mortgage interest payments and "eligible expenses". If you make updates to your home, like installing solar panels for instance, you can claim those expenses as tax deductible. 

Interest rates are low: Interest rates are as low as they'll ever be right now. Secure these low rates while you can now and save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. 

Capital Gains!: If you make improvements to your home and increase its value, that's known as "capital gains." Later, when you sell your home, you'll be thankful that you invested in it. When you're renting a home, you have no opportunity to see any return on your investment. 


A Letter To Our Moms

Mother's Day is just around the corner (tomorrow!), and the team here at Girard Homes would like to take the time to say a few things to our moms, and to all of the moms out there. 

Thank you for believing in us. Sometimes it feels like the universe is actively working against us and we don't even believe in ourselves; but you are always there. Always. Thank you for that support, we wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for you.

Thank you for being so understanding. You always seem to understand our problems or issues before we do. Your empathy and advice has gotten us all through some really rough patches. Thank you for also understanding that even though we all want more than anything to be home with you this weekend (and every weekend), we have our responsibilities that require us to be away from each other for a while. We wish we could spend everyday with you.

Thank you for raising us to be the adults we are today. We know it wasn't easy. Raising just one of us is enough of a task, but you raised us and our siblings with grace. As young adults, we are a reflection of you, and not to toot our own horns but, we really like our reflections.

Thank you for helping us with everything, even if it bores you. Math homework, history exams, college essays, and resumes have all been double and triple checked by you and your red pen. You may have thought that now we're (almost) out of college that you would be able to retire that red pen. Sorry Mom, but you thought wrong. You're constantly being texted and called for your opinion on design options, locations for new homes, print ads and even blog posts. Thank you.

Thank you for so many things, but most of all, thank you for loving us.

To the Girard Homes moms, and to any mom who may be reading this, thank you for everything, Happy Mother's Day, we love you. 

Make This The Best Summer Yet!

Summer is almost here! Warmer weather and longer days are just a few weeks away and we could not be happier about it! Also looming around the corner though is the dreaded and inevitable summertime boredom. Kids who were spending their days in school will soon be hard pressed to find something to do each afternoon. The team here at Girard Homes has come up with this short list of fun activities to help fight your summertime sadness.

Explore Columbia- Columbia has so many parks and trails, you can explore a new one each week! You'll spend an entire afternoon walking and climbing around, you won't want to leave. Girard Homes' favorite park: The Pinnacles Youth Park in Sturgeon.

Go For A Swim- Don't forget about the easiest, and arguably one of the most fun summer time activities! There's just something about being in the water that turns everyone into a kid again. Luckily for us, Columbia has 9 public pools so you'll always have a place to go. Girard Homes' favorite pool: Most of the communities we build in have a pool for their residents, but our favorite is the Old Hawthorne pool and clubhouse.

Have A Barbecue- What better way to enjoy the weather and kill some time than with a nice cookout? Invite your friends and neighbors for a grand party, or just have a quiet night with your family. Either way, you'll have a great time with some great food. Girard Homes' favorite barbecue recipe: Marinate some fresh salmon and veggies (we love zucchini and squash) in teriyaki sauce for about 30 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes (if you're feeling a little adventurous) and grill them up!

Join A League- There's still time to register your kids for sports leagues for the summer! Team members will learn the basics of the game, develop confidence and self-esteem, make great friends and have a blast! Girard Homes' favorite sport: Baseball! Our marketing intern is coaching a team this summer through the Douglass Baseball Program! Sign up today!

Date Night at Home

Want to have a great night with your sweetheart but feel like you can't because you're pinching pennies? Don't sweat it! You can have a great, below-budget, date night from the comfort of your own home by following these simple tips!

Head to the Grocery Store. Get whatever it is you may need for a perfect night. Want to have a five-star meal? Head over to your local grocery store and buy your fresh ingredients to cook an amazing dinner. Our team loves to cook stir-fry. All you need are a few peppers, onions, some noodles and whatever protein you'd like to add (consider trying teriyaki marinated tofu for a healthy and delicious alternative!). You can cook a tasty meal for less than the cost of one entree at most restaurants, leaving you with enough money to buy some wine or dessert!

Make the Old Feel New Much of the allure of going out on a date is getting out of the house and going somewhere new. Not many people want to "get away" by sitting on their same old couch. To combat this, transform your space. Rearrange the furniture, add some string lights for ambiance, light candles or play mood music. Do whatever you can to make your living room feel brand new.

Turn Off Electronics. This is just a general date night rule, but it bears repeating. Pay attention to your loved one! 

If You Still Feel Like You Need To Get Out, Then Get Out. Sometimes you need to leave the house, we get that. Don't feel confined to your home when you commit to having date night at home. Eat outside, take a walk, or go for a ride together.

No matter what you do, the most important thing is that you spend time with those who mean the most to you. 

Easy Tips to Organize Your Pantry

If you can't you remember the last time you cleaned your pantry out and really did a good job with it or if you ever find a can of food that expired years ago or that you don't even remember buying, it might be time to organize your pantry. If you're like us and you dread even the thought of trying to clean it out, fear not! With these easy tips your pantry will be as good as new in no time!

Throw out or donate any food you won't eat. Donate whatever food you can to a local charity. If you're in the Columbia area consider donating to Tiger Pantry (https://tigerpantry.missouri.edu) or the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri (http://sharefoodbringhope.org). Of course, if the food has expired, you should throw it out.

Deep Clean. Once you've taken all of the food out, take this time to vacuum crumbs and wipe up any spills.

Organize the food by category. Come up with a system that works for you to help you know exactly where all of your food is. Maybe you want to keep bagged, boxed and canned foods all on separate shelves. Or you can section your pantry off by weeknight dinners, quick fixes, healthy foods and junk foods. Whatever works best for you and your family will cut down on the time you spend searching for food. Keep the food you will use most often within reach.

Use clear containers. To make everything look a little nicer and to easily be able to tell when you're running low on a certain food, consider transferring all of your goods into clear containers. This way, everything will be a uniform shape and you can fit more on your shelves, too. 

Get creative! Use Pant hangers as chip clips, folders or cake sheets as dividers, hang a shoe organizer over the door or add a lazy Susan. Try to repurpose other household items anyway you can!



Welcome to Ashland, Missouri!

Our newest community, South Wind, is located in Ashland, just south of Columbia. Ashland's population is just under 4,000, so it certainly has the "small town" culture, but don't let that fool you, because there is plenty to do in Ashland!

Restaurants: Many of the restaurants are independently owned, so no matter where you want to eat, you can be sure that a great deal of pride is taken in each plate.

  • Woody's Pub & Grub- A local favorite! Woody's is a large bar and grill type restaurant that serves american food; burgers, hot dogs and the like. Woody's food is delicious, but it doesn't just end there. The atmosphere is what really earned Woody's its prestige. There are billiards tables, bar games and plenty of outdoor seating. If you want to go somewhere where everyone knows your name, the food is great and the drinks never stop flowing, Woody's is your stop.
  • Copper Kettle- The Copper Kettle is just down the street from Woody's. It too has delicious food, but more of a family atmosphere. All of the food is homemade and sure to leave you full. The Kettle offers all you can eat catfish and shrimp. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, your only problem will be deciding what to order (we suggest the pie)!
  • ose Jalapeños- Jose Jalapeños is brand new to Ashland, and boy is it good. Jose's offers Mexican cuisine served on plates bigger than your face and margaritas are even bigger. Jose Jalapeños is a great place to catch a game because they have plenty of TVs throughout the entire restaurant, and it's also a great place to take your kids!
  • Pizza Haus- This place has tremendous pizza. Everything is handmade, and you can watch the cooks rolling the dough and constructing your special order pizzas. Great for hosting parties and get togethers, Pizza Haus has specials almost everyday. Stop by for a great slice of pizza and to get to know the friendly staff.
  • The Eagle Scoop- Delicious ice cream in a small town, one of our favorite combinations. With so many options, you'll be left with one of the hardest choices ever: which flavor to get. Why not get more than one? You won't regret it. 

Another Girard Homes team favorite in Ashland is the Cattlemen Days Rodeo. I traditional rodeo with all of the classic hijinks, sure to keep your kids entertained all night. 



Get to Know the Nest Thermostat #TechTuesday

Happy Tuesday from Girard Homes! Each week, we'll highlight some of the innovative technology that comes as a standard feature in your new custom home. This week, we're focusing on the Nest Learning Thermostat!

One of the coolest things about the Nest Thermostat is that it learns how to program itself based on your schedule and preferences. For example, if you like your house to be a bit warmer in the morning, over time Nest will set itself to heat up to your ideal temperature as you are waking up. Nest also saves you money automatically by turning itself down when nobody is in the home, Nest does this by using its built in motion sensor or by connecting to your phone, laptop or tablet so you can automatically alert Nest to when you leave the home.

Speaking of its built in motion sensor, Nest is "farsighted" and will automatically turn on its light up display if it sees you in the room, so you can always make sure that your Nest Thermostat is set at exactly where you want it. 

Your Nest will also display a small green leaf on its screen whenever your nest is set a temperature that will save you energy and money, this allows you to rest easy and comfortably knowing that your Nest Thermostat is working to keep you happy and save you money.

How To Protect Your Home During Winter Weather

 Winter can be a beautiful time, waking up to freshly fallen snow, twinkling lights brightening up the night, and the crisp air that makes everything feel new again are all great. But, winter also brings bitterly cold temperatures and dangerous icy conditions that threaten not only the road, but your home too. The team here at Girard Homes wants to ensure that you're taking the right steps to keep you and your home safe, so we've done our research and made this quick and easy list to help you protect your home from treacherous winter weather.

  1. Keep extra batteries around to power all of your essential devices. Just in case the power goes out you'll want to be sure that you have working flashlights, radios, and space heaters.
  2. tock up on kerosene or wood. If you plan to use a heating source such as a fireplace or a wood burning stove, you should have more than enough fuel to get you through the storm.
  3. Keep extra blankets and coats wherever you go. Again, winter storms, especially ice storms, are notorious for knocking out your power, so staying warm is a necessity. 
  4. f you can, trim the tree branches near your home. When tree limbs accumulate ice they get weighed down, and this makes them fall, potentially causing damage to your home.
  5. nplug all appliances and keep just one light on. Only do this after your power has gone out. If everything is still plugged in and trying to use electricity, the risk of a damaging power surge increases. Keep one light on to be able to tell when the power turns back on.
  6. Run water through your pipes, even if it is just dripping. Running water through your pipes will prevent the pipes from freezing or bursting, resulting in costly repairs. Even if your faucet is only dripping, keep it running. 

We hope you stay warm and safe during this ice storm and the rest of the winter. Once the weather clears up, be sure to visit the Girard Homes Model Home at 1100 Shallow Ridge Circle in Columbia, Missouri, or stop by our newest model home opening January 21st at 16053 Talladega Drive in Ashland, Missouri, to see the latest innovations in and powering heating your home.

The Fall Parade of Homes is Here!

It's that time of year again! The time of year when in between baking pumping pies and sipping on a nice warm cup of hot chocolate, you can look out the window of your new home to see the beautiful fall colors painted across the horizon. This also means that it is time for the Columbia Home Builders Association's Fall Parade of Homes! Join us Saturday October 17th and Sunday October 18th at our model home in Old Hawthorne. We will have fall themed snacks and beverages! 

Model Home Address: 1939 Lasso Circle, Columbia, MO 65201

Open Both days during our normal hours! 10 - 6 on Saturday and 11 - 5 on Sunday! See you there! 

Check Out This Article!

A big thanks to the Columbia Business Times who wrote the following article about us for their first Q&A subject. Our entire Girard Homes team truly is proud of each home that we build and we hope that you will consider us for your next new home! 

The CBT Q&A: Zack Girard, Girard Luxury Homes

September 04, 2015  BY CBT Staff

Zack Girard is a busy young man. The MU senior and Trulaske business school ambassador recently launched a home building business, Girard Homes, in Columbia. While getting his degree, Girard is carrying on a family legacy of home building. Get to know Zack in the first installment of our CBT Q&A.

CBT: So tell us a bit about the new business.

Zack Girard: Sure. Girard Homes is a family owned and operated custom and semi-custom home building company. I started this company just over a year ago with my parents, Greg and Sue Girard. As a family, our passion is and always has been to provide customers with the highest quality homes that allow them to live an easier, healthier and more energy-efficient lifestyle. At this point, my major role in the company is sales and marketing, plan design and estimating.

CBT: What made you want to start in home building?

ZG: Home building has always been the family business. My grandfather, Howard Buescher, had a very successful career with Ryan Homes. As he was retiring, my mom was graduating college in Florida, and the two of them got together to start their own company down there. My grandfather, my mom and a few of her siblings grew that company to be a big private builder, having homes in several markets throughout the U.S. Now, I’m following in those foot steps by starting my own company with my parents. It was an appealing opportunity for me because of the fact that I get to spend every day working with my family building homes that we are all very proud of and passionate about.

CBT: What challenges have you faced in getting the business started?

ZG: One of our major challenges up to this point was just getting our name out there and letting people know who we are and what we do. A lot of this problem was solved when we opened our model home out in Old Hawthorne. Having this model home open to the public 7 days a week has really given us a lot of exposure, and it’s helped people to get a good feel for the style and price ranges of homes that we build.

CBT: What’s going to happen when you graduate?

ZG: After graduation, I plan to stay here in Columbia to continue to develop and grow Girard Homes. Within the next four years, we would really like to expand our company to include the Jefferson City and Kansas City markets.

CBT: So do you have any free time? At all?

ZG: I do have a little bit. In my spare time I like to do some team roping. I have a horse here in Columbia at a local boarding barn, which is where I end up spending a lot of my free time. I’m a big Mizzou football fan, so if it’s football season, you’ll find me out around Faurot Field tailgating and watching the games. I also enjoy a good boating day at the Lake of the Ozarks with a good group of friends.

Girard Homes Old Hawthorne Model Home grand opening ribbon cutting! August, 7th 2015

Girard Homes Old Hawthorne Model Home grand opening ribbon cutting! August, 7th 2015

The CBT wants to learn more about leaders and up-and-comers in our community. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for the CBT Q&A, email matt@businesstimescompany.com. 

Girard Homes Open This Weekend 6/5 & 6/6/15

While you are out enjoying the weather this weekend swing by one of our beautiful open homes in the Columbia Missouri area!  

2708 Bristol Lake Dr. 

This beautiful 4 Bedroom, 4 Bathroom, 3300 Sq. Ft. home will be open Saturday 6/5/15 and Sunday 6/6/15 from 12 - 2 PM each day. For more information on this property click here

1939 Lasso Circle

This gorgeous 4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom, 2,650 Sq. Ft. home is almost complete and will serve as our new Girard Homes model center for the beautiful golf corse community of Old Hawthorne. This home will be open Saturday 6/5/15 and Sunday 6/6/15 form 11 AM - 3 PM each day. For more information on this property click here.  

Building Vs. Buying: Which is right for you?

One of the more exciting things in a person's life is moving into their first home. Even if you're not a first time homeowner, maybe you're ready to move on to better things! The question is, do you build your own custom, forever home or buy a move-in-ready place?


The thought of starting from scratch with a dirt-packed lot and creating your own vision can be kind of scary. Can they make a home that fills every need on your list? When building, you get what you want and nothing you don't. You're in charge! Pick a floor plan and watch it come to life. Choices for flooring, tiles, cabinets, doors, appliances and more are endless and it can be a little overwhelming, but once it all comes together you'll get to stand back and say "I built my vision". Now it's not always as fun as it sounds. Building is a process that can take 14 weeks or more depending on conditions. Custom homes can sometimes be costly, but if you're wanting to get exactly what you want, it's worth it.


When you're ready to move and don't want to waste another second living in that cramped apartment or mom's basement, then buying a ready-to-go spec home is what you want to look into. Spec houses are usually ready to be occupied within 30-45 days of purchase. Having a brand new, ready to move into home is very convenient. Even though you have less say in the selections of the home (Compared to building new when where you get to pick all of your finishings), the floor plan is more up-to-date than a pre-owned home and having brand new appliances is always a nice perk. 

Whether you want to build a custom home of your own or purchase an existing home, there are many things to consider. Make sure you evaluate all of your options, and talk through ideas to see what the right choice is. Good luck!