Whether you’re in the market for a new home or just want to see the latest trends in household décor, the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association’s Parade of Homes is the perfect opportunity to look at dozens of great examples.
This free annual showcase for the region’s builders is also a platform for specialty vendors, including kitchen and bath designers like Markraft Cabinets. About half of the nearly 100 homes in the 2017 event feature kitchens and bathrooms by Markraft, according to Bryan Sartin, the company’s director of marketing.
“This is an opportunity for us to extend our showroom out into the community in dozens of brand-new homes,” Sartin said.
But, he added, “supporting the local builders is number one.”
The Parade of Homes - the local residential construction industry largest annual event - honors builders with outstanding designs. Judges from outside the area award the top builders Friday evening before the Parade’s final weekend during a banquet attended by approximately 300 builders and vendors.
To qualify, homes on display must have been built within the past year and remain unoccupied. They also cannot have been judged in the previous year’s competition.
“These are brand-new construction,” Sartin said, noting the homes “show the most up-to-date trends” in design and technology.
Prices range from $200,000 to $1 million-plus. Some have been custom-designed for buyers, while others were built on spec and are on the market.
It can be challenging to visit every entry, but Sartin said some visitors do manage to get a quick peek at quite a few – 10 to 15 in a day – by spending about 15 minutes in each one.
Some visitors choose to tour houses in their price range or a specific location, but many gravitate to the high-end offerings for inspiration. A particular feature in a million-dollar home can certainly be adapted for a smaller place, after all.
“Most people don’t go to buy a house; they’re looking for ideas,” Sartin noted.
And from his perspective, some of the best ideas involve cabinets and countertops.
“They go in and see a beautiful kitchen, and see that it was done by Markraft,” Sartin said.
And with that information, he said, many of those visitors then find their way to Markraft’s showroom.
Visitors can be confident that what’s on display during the Parade is indicative of a vendor’s work. Markraft, for example, doesn’t know until its work is complete which homes will be featured. So, what participants get is the vendor’s normal, consistent level of quality craftsmanship, without any extra work or unusual touches.
The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. April 22-23 and 29-30. Free plan books are available at Parade stops to guide participants to the homes, located in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties. The book includes a map with a color-coded legend to help users find homes in their preferred price ranges, as well as floor plans, elevations and descriptions.
Tour maps can be found at local Harris Teeter or Food Lion locations, or you can download a mobile app to your smartphone or tablet. Details are on the Parade of Homes website - www.wilmingtonparadeofhomes.com.
Want to see the latest in kitchen and bath creations? Join the Parade of Homes tour, then visit Markraft’s showroom any time. Markraft’s professional kitchen and bath designers consult by appointment but drop-in visitors are always welcome to browse the showroom.
The Design Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 2705 Castle Creek Lane, just off Castle Hayne Road.