Went to Parade of Homes again this year

joyce_6333June 11, 2013

Most homes were quite modest. The most expensive were just over $500,000. None of the home prices included the lot. Prices were "on your lot".

These are things that stood out to me.

All the homes were ranch style, with the exception of one home that had a large "man cave" (pool, cards, TV, bar/kitchen, bath) on the second floor. That was the only room on the second floor.

Couple had geothermal, most were forced air gas heat. Several with in-floor radiant.

Colors: lots of dark gray exteriors with white trim, but interiors were all warm colors: golds, browns, soft greens etc. Most homes had a combination of white and stained trim. Only one had ALL white trim, a couple had very, very dark stained trim.

Trim: I always look for great trim and carpentry work. Most were really quite plain. Only one home had extensive trim, tray ceilings, ceiling beams, etc. One home had flat hollow core doors, stained a light golden color. And it wasn't one of the lower priced homes, either. Most had small plain baseboards, with flat plain window trim. I was disappointed with that. Suppose it was a cost saver.

Siding: some stucco, most were Smartside. Some nice new colors. Several were a combo of vinyl and fake shakes. Actually, they look ok for their price range.

Kitchens: Of the homes we saw, only 2 had all white kitchen cabinets. Couple had expresso cabinets. Most were stained. One was a combination. Any house over $250 had Cambria counters, really beautiful new patterns! Saw no granite at all. Surprised me. Only one home had Thermador appliances, others had mid-range appliances. Stainless steel still ruled. One had black appliances.

Master bedrooms were average sized, lots of large walk-in showers with beautiful tile work. Nice bath tubs, too. No fancy closets like last year. Most were melamine boards with metal rods. I felt all the master closets were way too small. Many of the bedrooms had just a row of 3 or 4 high windows. This was very prevalent in all the homes.

Floors: Hand-scraped seemed prevalent. Can't say I liked all of them. Only 1 had regular oak, and it was one of the highest priced home. Not much tile at all. One had beautiful Marmoleum throughout the public areas. Lots of carpet. I suppose carpet is a way to keep costs down.

One home had a huge grandparents suite. It included a full kitchen, dining area, nice sized living room, office, bedroom and bath.

Great mud/laundry rooms. They were spacious with lots of cabinets, large closets, and benches.

Other things I noticed....most windows had no window coverings at all. If they did, it was just a panel on each side. The man cave had wood blinds with tape, which looked nice in that room. All the homes had beautiful front doors. Only 1 had an 8' door. It was teak and just stunning. Several homes had stairs from the garage to the basement.

That's about all I can think of. Overall we weren't overly excited about the homes. Guess I always look for new and different building ideas, new technology, and decorating ideas. Nothing really jumped out this year.

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Thanks for that info, Joyce - what area are these homes in? I've noticed things that play to a wide audience in one area of the country may get no love at all in another.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:37PM
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I keep seeing this on here, what exactly is Parade of Homes? Im in California, I don't think we have that here. It sounds interesting though!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:04AM
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mrsfireman-Annually, builders can showcase new homes (some already sold and some for sale) by having sort of an openhouse. They sell tickets and certain days and times over about a 2 week period you can walk through the homes. It is helpful to get ideas if you are looking at building/remodeling and of course sometimes the builders are there and would love to build a home for you so you can sort of shop builders too. :)

That is at least how the Parade works here in MI.

Joyce-I went this year too. In our area I saw mostly white kitchens (which surprised me since IRL I know very few around here who have them) and some painted - gray. There were also a lot of hand scraped wood floors. Still a fair amount of tile in entry areas. The layouts all seemed very similar. Open concept with either LR/DR/Kitchen or Kitchen open to Living Room with Dining room off the side of the kitchen sort of in a triangle. There were a balance of ranch and 2 story and several with bonus rooms above the garage.

Trim-taller trim but yes flat/plain. I actually like that 'clean' look. Most trim was painted. In fact I don't think I saw any that was stained.

Kitchen-would you believe I saw blue ARABESQUE tiled backsplash??? I smiled to myself that I even knew what it was because of GW. Hehehe! Still a fair amount of granite here but only in the kitchen - formica in the baths.

Masters-one thing that jumped out at me was that most that had a tub it was so small I don't think I could have even sat in it with my legs straight - I'm 5'7". They were ridiculous. I saw 1 that was actually decent sized and a few sans tub but with a nice shower.

I think that's about it.

Here is the blue arabesque. It was so busy when we went I couldn't get a pic without other people in it.

Oh - and screened porches! Several of those also!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 7:33AM
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Dlm, In the upper Midwest here, northern WI.

Autumn, I did forget to mention that all but 1 of the homes was open concept. And yes, lots of screen porches, too. Oh, and couple other things I forgot to mention before, many basements with 10' ceilings, and great sound systems.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Ooo -Aytumn4 - love blue arabesque. Could never get my spouse to 'ok' it for our build but will get it on some other items into our house for sure!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Yeah - my dh doesn't care for the arabesque either. Our build journey is sure to be interesting... Don't get me wrong - we agree on a lot but definitely not everything.

So the most outlandish (to me) thing I saw was a waterfront home with owners that had 4 boys. Their bedroom was 4, yes 4 bunk beds - a bathroom with 2 showers and to top that off........a urinal!!! I can relate with just 2 boys how the bathroom gets but I just don't think I could make the jump to a urinal. Maybe it's the way to go but for me it screamed public restroom, ewwww! Ha!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:48AM
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@joyce_6333 - where in Wisconsin are you? I am in Wisconsin as well.

This post was edited by katrina161 on Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 14:37

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 2:31PM
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"Kitchens: Of the homes we saw, only 2 had all white kitchen cabinets. Couple had expresso cabinets. Most were stained. One was a combination. Any house over $250 had Cambria counters, really beautiful new patterns! Saw no granite at all. Surprised me."

The "no granite" surprised me, too, but must be prevalent in my area (central WI) as well. We're planning to break ground this fall (on a ranch, LOL), and our GC's preliminary bid included oak cabinets with quartz countertops.

We'll be doing both painted (mostly white) and stained (natural cherry) cabinets, with a local granite gneiss (Aqua Grantique) in the kitchen, and another local stone (Cambrian Cream) in a couple of baths.

It's nice to hear your findings, Joyce, and fun to compare them with our selections!

This post was edited by mommytoc on Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 16:27

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 3:02PM
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so wisconsin is a trend-setting state now? LOLOLOL

ok, whatever

yah hey dere, gimme some curds eh

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 10:36PM
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Dear FmrQuahog,

There are plenty of forums on the web that thrive on insults, immaturity and lowest common denomiantor behavior. The gardenweb isn't one of those places. Most people that post here are thoughtful, generous and mature.

If you want advice about selling your home, building a new house or whatever you are doing, to me it would make more sense to treat the people on these forums with respect.

Just a thought.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I visited a few Parade Homes here in FL. I saw a few with a modern feel - melamine cabinets in dark colors, 24x12 plank looking tile, light colored stacked stone fireplaces and accent walls.

I didn't see any granite except in the custom homes. Most of the ones we visited were from the production builders so they use a "Design Center" for clients to pick out their floors, tile etc...So, there was alot of the same engineered flooring in the homes. Mostly dark wood, hand-scraped.

If I played with the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers, they were not soft close...that would be an "upgrade." There were mostly raised panel hollow doors. Alot of carpet (saves $$) and the trend was longer strand carpet in dark colors or patterned carpets with a few colors.

Master bathrooms were large with larger all-glass walk-in showers. Tubs were very, very tiny as mentioned above. Some had those "all in one" built in tub/shower units...very low cost and it shows! Most homes play tricks and remove the doors to closets and bathrooms to make those rooms bigger. If you actually looked and thought about it, it would be very difficult to get into some of the smaller bathrooms and close the door without hitting yourself!

Very few had walk-in closets. I still saw jack n jill bathrooms....I felt like that trend is old, but I think it works if you have same sex children.

Pavers were everywhere! One house had them in the garage too! It made me wonder if they had a big foundation crack they had to hide!

Overall, the custom homes were by far the most creative and you could see the quality was head and shoulders above the production built homes. One had a starting price of $450,000, but with all the upgrades on a small lakefront lot, it was $1M! Very surprising when the upgrades are things that should come with each and every home!

I have always loved the parade and will probably continue to go for the fun of looking at houses. It never tires me to look at houses!! It helps with ideas etc...


    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 4:10PM
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deee-right on. I was thinking the same thing. Not necessary at all.

spotty - YES! I went in one home that actually had a couple doors in the garage leaning against the wall - didn't think much of it, maybe not quite finished, or for the basement etc. When I got inside I realized the reason they were off is because the area they belonged was way too tight. Uncomfortably so. One was for the main bath and it was already narrow but would have caused problems ON for the person at that sink or trying to use the linen closet behind it. :( It was an eye opener.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 4:39PM
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Thanks for your input. You might consider investing in a sense of humor.
Just a thought.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 9:56PM
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joyce_6333 - Where was the parade of homes that you went to?
Autumn.4 mi - Where is MI was the parade of homes that you went to?

I live in the Chicago area and we no longer have any parade of homes. I enjoy looking at the houses and last year started to travel in the neighboring states to see them. Last year I went to Louisville, KY and Milwaukee, WI. which I will visit later this year. .I would love to know some other parades to go to. Can anyone tell me of some more?


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:00AM
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Aries, the parade I went to was in Eau Claire. The homes were nice, but certainly not worth a six hour drive to see them. In this economy, builders can't afford to have an inventory of high priced homes. All the homes were custom...don't think I've ever seen tract homes being built around here. A few were over $500,000 (house only), but that's not worth the drive. Previous years the homes were well over $500,000, and had many more high end options. All of the homes in recent years have had custom cabinets throughout. In our area, custom is the norm from what I see.

Mommytoc: I've built several custom homes, and we've always done fully custom cabinets. We found them to be much more affordable than stock cabinets, and it sure is nice to get exactly what you want. So don't rule out getting your own bids from a custom cabinetmaker.

Contrary to what a poster here thinks, Eau Claire is a beautiful University town. WI has a very high quality of life, warm/generous people, fabulous healthcare, great recreational opportunities, and top notch universities. And the people are very proud of their heritage. I've lived most of my life in other parts of the country (Philadelphia, Monterey, Ca., Colorado, just to name a few, (and a short time in the south), and WI is the place we chose to live our retirement years. There is a fine line between hurtful sarcasm and humor. As my grandmother used to tell me, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Well said Joyce! I used to live in Wisconsin and can't say enough good things about the state! I have also lived in many other states and always "rank" WI as one of the best!

Aries- there is a parade of homes starting this weekend in Columbus, OH. It is quite a drive for you but it might be worth it! There are going to be 12 custom homes priced at $500,000 to $800,000. I am pretty sure the parade runs for 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:57PM
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We live in columbus and went to the preview party!!! There are a few really really well done homes! We are going back a few more times as we are just starting our trim so there is a lot of details in the homes that we fell In love with! Our trim guy did one of the parade homes and it was fantastic! You should check out r&h Homes in columbus and New England homes as well- they are on Facebook as well and uploaded pictures of their homes on them I believe!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:58PM
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We are going to the Columbus Parade of Homes this weekend! I am so excited now! :) We are in the design stage of build so I am hoping to get lots of ideas. We have already booked the babysitter for our little ones so we can be really focused...LOL. I am going to check out those builders...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 12:37AM
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yah hey
bring a covered dish to da perch fry on friday night
yah sure, doncha know
go pack go

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:24PM
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