Helping Those In Need

We know that this time of year can be challenging for many families in need so we try to support as many local causes as we can, especially the Food Bank. This year we put a call to action on our Christmas party invitation asking each person to bring a non-perishable food item to our party and Portrait would match what was donated.
 
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We were overwhelmed with the response! And as promised Portrait matched what was donated. Thanks to the donations from our staff we were able to deliver two shopping carts of food to the Langley Food Bank on Tuesday evening.
 
(pictured here, our VP Sales and Marketing, Sue Rutledge delivering our donation)

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UDI Awards for Excellence Celebrate Best of B.C. Development

20141127_091751The award season continued last Wednesday night with the 30th Anniversary of the Urban Development Institute’s (UDI) biennial awards Gala. Still riding the excitement wave from our recent Georgie nominations, we were overjoyed to take home an Award for Best Single Family Community in BC for Hampstead at Silver Ridge!!
 
While all of our awards are special to us, a UDI award represents the recognition we receive from our peers for building superior communities.
 
Here’s a little sneak peak of our trophy but if you’d like to see it up close, you’ll have to visit our Hampstead Presentation Centre at 13555 – 230A Street in Maple Ridge.

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Finalists Announced for 2014 Georgie Awards

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At Portrait Homes, the end of another year also means the beginning of a new award season with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia’s (CHBA BC) announcement of the Georgie Awards® finalists. The finalist nominations were recently revealed and we are pleased once again to be considered for Best Single Family Home over 2200 square feet for our Maple Plan at Hampstead and Best Single Family Production Builder. We are also a finalist for Best Website which is especially cool since we just launched our brand new corporate website designed by Watershed Creative Group earlier this year. Since the launch, we have received numerous comments and praise for the new site that was based on the feedback from our staff and customers. We are extremely excited to have it recognized by the CHBA BC in these awards.
 
As many of you know, the award that always means the most to us is the Customer Choice Awards Powered by Avid because the winners are chosen by YOU, our customers. The finalists for the Customer Choice Awards will be announced in January and we’ll be sure to tell you what happens. In the meantime, keep your eye out for our special Georgie coverage in today’s Province and tomorrow’s Sun newspapers. 

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In the Neighbourhood: DonMarco’s Italian Bakery and Deli.

In our Silver Ridge Neighbourhood Series we highlighted some of the hot spots in Maple Ridge for recreation, local dining and night life. We were recently introduced to another local gem when we needed a special cake for a retirement party (more details on that to come). We had so many comments and enquiries about who made the cake that we just had to write about it today!
 
Located at Lougheed and 207th, DonMarco’s Italian Bakery and Deli is exactly what you’d expect if you were looking for an authentic Italian bakery… great looking cookies and pastries, gourmet sandwiches on freshly made bread and best of all, custom cakes! Upon speaking to one of the owners we were encouraged to consider the Tiramisu cake as it’s been referred to as the best in the lower mainland. As it happened, our guest of honour loves Tiramisu so the choice was easy. We are happy to say that the cake was a huge hit! Not only did they do a spectacular job of decorating it for the occasion, it really was the best Tiramisu that we have ever had!
 

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And the best part? It is only a stone’s throw from our Silver Ridge community of Hampstead, so we can pop in for a quick treat any time we like!

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There’s an App for that!

Nowadays there is an App for just about everything.. Where to eat, where to shop, where to find the best music.. But did you know there are apps that can help you decorate? We’ve scoured the web and found a few of the best that we are excited to share with you.  They are all available through the App Store for free or for a minimal charge.

 

Room ScanRoom Scan

Have you ever stood in a showhome and wondered ‘how would my furniture fit in here?’ Most communities have floorplans that you can take home but what if there isn’t one? Or what if there are slight variations on a particular plan? With the room scan app you can tap the walls of the actual home and it draws the floorplan for you. All you do then is email the floorplan to yourself, print it out and start space planning with your furniture! How cool is that?

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 Room Hints Interior Design Ideas

How would you like to find furniture for your home.. On the spot! To start, all you have to do is upload a photo of any room in your house to the app. It will then ask you to choose what your room is missing… Seating? Lighting? Art? Based on what you choose, the app will search for items that match the rest of the room. You can save the items you like as inspiration on your next shopping trip or even buy them right from your phone. We had a lot of fun with this one and let’s just say we’re a little bit obsessed!

Colour Capture

Benjamin Moore – Colour Capture

Have you ever found yourself loving a colour, be it in nature or an inanimate object and you wanted to recreate it as a paint colour? With the Benjamin Moore Colour Capture app all you have to do is take a picture of that particular thing and then tap the colour you like in the image and the app will display the closest paint colour to it. With hundreds of paint colours to choose from, you’ll have trouble trying to outwit the system with a colour they don’t have. Believe us… we tried!

 

Video PainterVideo Painter

Why is painting a room so daunting? Maybe it’s because you’re afraid you’ll choose the wrong colour? With the Sherwin Williams Video Painter app you can see what the colour will look like on your wall before you paint it. Just take a picture of your room, choose a colour from their selection and voila.. The room is painted on your screen! Now if only we could get the app to paint the room for you ….

 

These are just a few of our favourites but there are literally hundreds to choose from and most of them are free! Take a look for yourself and if you find one that you love, let us know on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!

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Movember – Support Our Team!

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WHAT IS MOVEMBER?

The Movember campaign is a fundraiser that gets men to grow mustaches or a ‘mo’ to bring awareness and understanding of the physical and mental health risks men face with regards to prostate and testicular cancers.

SUPPORT OUR TEAM – PORTRAIT HOMES!  

  • For the month of November, the men on the management team have challenged the rest of the male Portrait staff to put away their razor and start growing a mustache!
  • To help us raise funds we ask that you go to our page and donate at: http://ca.movember.com/team/1894997
  • Once a week we’ll be taking progress photos that will be posted to our Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Furthermore, Portrait Homes will contribute $1 for every Facebook ‘like’ (up to a pre-determined max) that our photos get during this campaign so be sure to like our Facebook page and then the photos.

Check out our ‘Before’ Photo with some of the guys…

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Please help bring awareness to men’s health and join us in this fun event! For more details go to http://ca.movember.com/about/vision-goals

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In the Neighbourhood Part 3: Local Nightlife

A common misconception that people have when moving to the burbs is that they will lose their nightlife. This isn’t so for our Hampstead homeowners who have a number of restaurants and social gathering spots to choose from.

What might a night out on the town in Maple Ridge look like?

Black Sheep

You might start out at the Black Sheep Pub and Grill on 232nd which is hailed as the best pub on Trip Advisor (it’s also the best place for breakfast so if you’re not too tired the next day…). Located just down the hill from Hampstead, this friendly neighbourhood spot is the ideal place to meet for a drink after work or to watch the hockey game with friends. Affordable food, large portions and drink specials every day of the week are just some of the reasons why the Black Sheep has been voted the best pub in Maple Ridge and the Ridge Meadows Area.

 

Chameleon

If pub food isn’t what you’re after, take a short cab ride over to Chameleon Restaurant on 224th, in the heart of downtown Maple Ridge. Here you’ll find the perfect combination of trendy cocktail and oyster bar with seasonal West Coast cuisine, where the menu features the freshest ingredients from local farms and wineries. Haven’t shucked an oyster lately? No better time to try it and you’re only ten minutes from home! Vegetarian and gluten free dishes are also available. http://www.chameleoncafe.ca/

 

ACT

And after dinner, if you’re in the mood for some entertainment why don’t you take a short walk across the street to The Maple Ridge Arts Centre and Theatre at the east end of Memorial Peace Park where on select nights you’ll experience Lobby Nights, a free evening of music, creativity and an exchange of ideas or Classical Coffee Concerts with Sarah Hagen. You can also catch the Arts Club on Tour with varied shows throughout the year. For fun with the whole family, the ACT offers a range of arts programs for all ages with programs in music, dance, acting, media arts, art, pottery and more. http://user-8l9mgee.cld.bz/ACT-2014-2015-Season-Brochure#24

Cheese

Looking for something different? Head on over to Golden Ears Cheescrafters on 128th, just five minutes for our Hampstead owners! We explored this artisan shop when we were ‘eating local’ but we were excited to learn about their Chef Demo cooking classes. Designed to entertain while feeding you (what can be better than that?!), this event allows you to sit back and relax while savouring the food that is being prepared in front of you. These events sell out so we recommend getting your tickets in advance. November events include spicy comfort foods and rack of lamb – Yum! http://cheesecrafters.ca/events/

So you see, living in Maple Ridge does put you at the center of it all… Town AND City… At Hampstead, you get both.

 

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Portrait Homes takes Gold at the Constructech Vision Awards

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The Constructech Vision Awards acknowledge companies that have stayed up-to-date on the latest trends and products in order to make decisions that have helped their businesses succeed and thrive. We are pleased to announce that this past Friday, Portrait Homes was awarded the Gold Vision Award Builder/GC Residential $26 million to $100 million category. The solution providers named were Avid Ratings Co, Builder MT, Fully Managed Inc., Sage Software, Inc., Sales Simplicity Software and Service Software, LLC.

It is possible to positively influence a company’s culture with technology. Portrait is a company that believes in open-book management and empowering its staff with the information to be entrepreneurial in their operations. By creating a collaborative digital environment the entire staff has benefitted from the IT upgrade project. We view each of our IT partners as a vital and strategic part of our success and are proud to be associated with each of these respective companies in building a great IT environment.

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Coming Soon – Nelson Peak

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Continuing on the success of our Silver Ridge community, we are excited to introduce Nelson Peak, our final collection of single family homes coming soon to the Silver Valley neighbourhood of Maple Ridge.

Nestled on the mountainside, just minutes from every amenity, the homes at Nelson Peak will be brand new in more ways than one. Newly designed home plans and designer finishing packages will be combined with the same quality workmanship and exceptional customer care that Portrait Homes is known for.

We are busy finalizing the plans for the homes at Nelson Peak and will be keeping our VIP registrants informed along the way so don’t forget to register here.

We can’t wait to reveal more about Nelson Peak in the coming months.

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In the Neighbourhood Part 2: Eating Local

What does ‘Eating Local’ mean to you?

For our Hampstead at Silver Ridge homeowners eating local means being able to drive a few minutes to a local farm to buy eggs that were collected that morning, or fruits and vegetables that were just picked, or even an artisan shop that sells locally sourced goods. One thing’s for sure, the Silver Valley neighbourhood of Maple Ridge has many choices for eating local and one of the best ways to find them is through the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows self-guided Circle Farm Tour website. Here you can find information about a number of local farms and shops. Here are a couple of our favourites:

The Haney Farmers Market

Taking place every weekend from May 10th to October 11th at Memorial Peace Park in downtown Maple Ridge, the Haney Farmers Market is a one stop shop for everything local. Created to encourage a healthy community, the Haney Farmers Market Society brings together local farmers, businesses and artisans to provide a healthy and entertaining shopping experience. With the vendor list changing weekly, we encourage you to take a look at their calendar and plan a visit before it closes for the season.

Golden Ear’s Cheesecrafters Cheese

Just five minutes from Hampstead you’ll find Golden Ear’s Cheesecrafters, an artisan cheese shop owned and operated by the Davison sisters. Step inside and get lost in the world of cheese, made in-house using milk from a farm next door. Not sure which cheese to buy? Try one (or three) – they are all delicious! Fill your shopping bag with artisan jams, jellies and preserves, balsamic vinegars and oils, seasonings, crackers and breads. Stay for lunch and try the artisan grilled cheese with velvet blue that is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. And if you haven’t made plans for dinner yet, check out their freezer section for their signature Mac n Cheeses, Soups or Phyllo Wrapped Bries to take home and enjoy. And for the ultimate local culinary experience, book your seat at one of their high teas, cooking with cheese classes or special event dinners. Go to their website for a full list of events.

Not only can eating locally be more healthy, but discovering all of the options can be a lot of fun and our Hampstead homeowners are in the best place for it! Take a drive around the neighbourhood and see for yourself.

Check back next time for Part 3 of In the Neighbourhood: Dining and Entertainment

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Labour Day weekend: Family Fun

Looking for something fun or new to do with your family this Labour Day weekend? For young families or just young at heart, why not try one of these local events:

Maze

1. Hopcott’s Meadows Maze http://www.meadowsmaze.com

Come to Hopcott’s Meadows Maze and challenge your navigational skills as you make your way through 8.7kms (5.4 miles) of this year’s new maze designs.

 

 

 

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2. Movie in the Park http://www.city.langley.bc.ca/index.php/events?view=eventsitem&eventid=170

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets out to Douglas Park and enjoy a free outdoor movie in the park on the big screen. The feature movie for Saturday, August 30th is ‘Hook’ staring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman, directed by Steven Spielberg back in 1991. A paid concession with Hot Dogs, Popcorn, Candy, Soft Drinks, Water, and Coffee will be available for the duration of the event.

 

 

 

 

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3. Haney Farmers Market  http://www.haneyfarmersmarket.org/

On Saturday, August 30th, head on over to Memorial Peace Park in downtown Maple Ridge for the Haney Farmers Market. Explore the tastes of local vendors, join the doggie parade and attend the annual Teddy Bear Picnic. Full details can be found on their website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4. The True North Fraser Bluegrass Festival http://www.truenorthfraserbluegrass.com/

Taking place this weekend at the Albion Fairgrounds, the True North Fraser Bluegrass Festival will feature six bands, free workshops, a marketplace and lots of fun!

 

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In the Neighbourhood – Part One: Parks and Recreation

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If you’re familiar with Portrait Homes, you’ve probably heard all about Hampstead, our Single Family home community in Maple Ridge. And whether you’ve seen Hampstead featured in one of our videos or even toured the community itself, you probably know that living there gives you the best of what town and city living has to offer. We love the local area amenities and we wanted to share some of them with you in our ‘In the Neighbourhood Series’ starting this week with Parks and Recreation.

With the hot weather we’ve been having, now is the perfect time to discover Golden Ears Provincial Park and Alouette Lake.

Golden Ears

Just a five minute drive from Hampstead, Golden Ears Park is a large Provincial park named after the prominent twin peaks, which are commonly referred to as Golden Ears. As one of the largest parks in the province, Golden Ears is prized for its recreational opportunities. Its extensive system of trails is perfect for horseback riding and hiking, whether you’re an amateur looking for a leisurely walk or an avid hiker looking for a challenge. One of the more challenging hikes is the Golden Ears Trail. Approximately 12km one-way from the west canyon parking lot, with an elevation gain of 1500 metres, this trail will take you to the Northern summit of the Golden Ears massif with many spots to camp along the way. Make sure to check the weather conditions and don’t forget to bring fresh water.

 

AlouetteWithin the park you’ll find Alouette Lake, a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing. With plenty of parking, this lake is fun for the whole family.

So while you’re exploring this exciting neighbourhood, pop by our Presentation Centre at 13555-230A Street to say hi. Let us help you find your dream home in the award winning community of Hampstead at Silver Ridge.

And check back next time for Part 2 of In the Neighbourhood: Eating Local.

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Good things come to those who wait!

Ever dreamed of owning a showhome? Well now you can! We are excited to announce that with the final release of homes at Panorama Woods, we have now released our B Plan showhome.

Among many things, this home includes:

  • Beautiful custom millwork in the living room, dining and office
  • Designer window treatments
  • Custom paint and wall coverings
  • Dining room chandelier

Portrait Homes-Panorama Woods-27Don’t miss out on your chance to own this showhome! Visit us at #86, 6123 138th Street, Surrey or give us a call at 778.593.9954. We are here every day except Friday from 12pm until 5pm.

See you soon!

The Panorama Woods Sales Team.

 

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Portrait Homes Wins 2014 AVID Gold and Diamond Awards!

In recent months we have talked about some of our award wins. And while we are proud of all of the awards we win, we have always maintained that it’s the customer choice awards that we are the most proud of. Avid Ratings Canada started the leading award program for home builders in 2003 and recognition for these awards is based solely on customer results.

As some of you may know, our homeowners all receive a survey from Avid after they have moved in and these completed surveys are then calculated and analyzed to determine each builder’s Avid Index Score, which is a combination of the total home buying experience, the willingness to refer, and the actual number of recommendations a buyer has made. Builders with the highest Avid Index Score in each category are presented with awards; locally, nationally or both and each award winning company must score at or above the top 25th percentile in each country to be recognized with an Avid Award.

We are so pleased to announce that we have just been awarded the Avid Diamond Award for highest customer satisfaction in Canada and the Avid Gold Award for highest customer experience in BC. Our entire team is incredibly honoured by winning these most prestigious awards. As they are based solely on our homeowner‘s feedback, this tells us that from the first meeting with our sales and marketing team to the care they receive after they move in, they are given an honest, stress-free home buying experience and a quality home that they love.

Rob Grimm, Principle and Chief Customer Care Officer proudly states, “To come out on top for all of Canada, is validation that we are on the right track in achieving our vision which is; to be World Champions in Homeowner Care because we are passionate about doing things right and doing the right thing.”

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Portrait Wins Ovation Award for Single Family Home Builder of the Year!

This past Saturday, members of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) gathered to celebrate the fifth annual 2014 Ovation Awards Gala. We were honoured to have been nominated again and we are excited to now share with you that we won for Single Family Home Builder of the Year!

These awards celebrate Metro Vancouver’s best builders, renovators and designers in the design and construction of new single-family and multi-family homes as well as the renovation of existing homes. With so many homes and builders to choose from, we are very proud to be recognized for doing what we love.

If you haven’t been to one of our communities lately, we encourage you to stop by and see for yourself the quality and care that goes into every Portrait home. Meet with our sales teams and let them show you an outstanding home buying experience.

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Wayne Houghton – 2014 Avid Service Award

Portrait Homes is known for providing exceptional customer service. And we pride ourselves on doing our absolute best in making every homebuyer’s experience a pleasant one. One of the key people in our organization for this is our Customer Service Manager, Wayne Houghton.

As you might know, we work closely with Avid Ratings Canada to deliver and tabulate our homeowner surveys. It is through these surveys that we have consistently been awarded the Customer Choice Builder for single and multi-family homebuilding.  And now this information has been used to award the 2014 Avid Service Award™ for Best Employees in Canada to our very own Wayne Houghton.

The Avid Service Award™ is the first award to honour exceptional employees located throughout Canada and while we have always known that Wayne is the best in delivering outstanding customer service to our customers, we are happy to hear that our customers think so too!

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