It’s almost here. The only time of year you have the opportunity to walk through the newest homes with the latest trends and technology and imagine yourself in your dream home. The Chippewa Valley Home Builder’s Association’s Parade of Homes is the best time to experience what their builders have to offer as well as scope out up and coming areas. It’s also a great time to become overwhelmed and unsure of what you should do in your home so I put together some tips to help you through the week of parade!
Have a Plan
The Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association (CVHBA) has a great interactive map as well as a hard copy to make planning out your route easier. Is there a specific builder you want to see? Or maybe an area you would love to explore? List the critical homes you want to walk through and plan some time to be there taking it all in as well as travel time.
There isn’t really a good way to hit all the homes in one day, especially on a week day with only hours in the afternoon/evening and the weekends being the most popular times so expect to spend more than one afternoon looking at houses. If you don’t have more than a couple of hours, prioritize the homes or builders you want to check out.
Tickets are $8 in advance (thru June 8th) or $10 at any of the homes. See CVHBA> for more ticketing info.
The Parade of Homes runs June 9th – 16th.
The houses are open Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm and Monday thru Friday 5pm – 9pm.
This sounds like common sense, but the day will involve getting in and out of your car, walking to and from the house (sometimes there are golf carts!) and walking within the home to include stairs. You will be going from June weather to air conditioning and there is always a possibility of rain. Shoes are not allowed in the homes unless you wear the provided booties so take some time to consider the shoes you will need to take on and off or how easy they are to slip booties over. Bare feet are not allowed so bring socks if you plan to slip off sandles.
The homes showcased on the Parade are a mix of custom and spec homes, but all are brand new with owners or potential buyers coming through. Treating these homes as you would your own ensures everyone has an amazing experience.
The Parade Homes do not allow people to use the bathrooms so plan in some breaks along your route. Some homes provide Porta Potty’s, but it is better to know where gas stations are, especially if you are travelling with children.
Parking areas are either designated or available in the street. Generally, the driveways are not accessible with your car so sometimes there is a little bit of a hike to the home if it is outside of the city. Please remember to be considerate of the other Parade attendees and possibly consider touring the homes during the week when the crowd is less.
The builders and their CVHBA member sub-contractors will all have business cards, literature and other information available at the homes. The builder is also available for questions, however keep in mind if the builder has more than one home in the Parade, they will be splitting their time between homes. The CVHBA also provides a specific Parade of Home magazine available at the office or at every home. The magazine provides information on each home and you can add in your own notes on things that catch your eye! This is critical if you are planning on building or remodeling and want to remember a specific feature or tradesman to implement in your home.
It can be really tempting to skip the higher end homes if you know they are not in your budget, but don’t miss out on an opportunity to see something that can not only give you ideas, but have a less expensive alternative.
While the Parade does not offer food, sometimes individual houses provide light hors de oeuvres. Come stocked with water and easy to eat snacks in preparation for the walking and warm temperatures. Please remember you cannot take food or drink into the homes.
With the amount of literature and information available to the public, we ask that you receive permission before taking pictures inside the Parade Homes.
Children are welcome in any of the Parade Homes, but remember that it can become a long day for them. Plan for bathroom and snack breaks to make the day less stressful for them and you or set up a sitter to give you time to enjoy the homes. Please remember there are no public restrooms available nor is food or drink allowed in the homes.
The CVHBA awards each category of homes with a People’s Choice winner. You just need to fill out the form on your ticket and drop it at any parade home. You don’t need to see all the homes to vote
This is a great event that only happens once a year so have fun. The builders who have built have given you a rare inside look to their work. Take advantage of their ideas and expertise to plan out your dream home.
Building or Remodeling
If you are planning on building or remodeling, schedule time to meet with the builder or builders whose work you just had to have is a great start. Remember, right after Parade can be very busy so ensure you have a realistic timeline.
Buying a Parade House
If there was a spec home you were interested in, the builder or listing agent can help answer questions about purchasing.
Don’t need any structural work, but would love to have a Parade Home look throughout your current home? Gray Area Interiors can help with that! Schedule a free consultation to get started on your dream home.
Gray Area Interiors is a member of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association and has assisted with over 10 parade homes, 2 having won Best in Show, since 2010. We have provided services from interior design to staging for parade homes of all sizes and degrees of spec and custom.
Enjoy the week of Parade and don’t forget to vote!