Building a Utah Valley Parade of Home

Our home is complete (mostly), and we are thrilled!  It makes my heart flutter every time we pull up. This home is the fulfillment of a dream, full of beauty and accommodation.  Davey zooms up and down the ramps with freedom.  We all have our “favorite parts” of the home, and I can’t narrow mine down to one.

The Parade of Homes is happening now, and every day I get questions from friends, family and strangers asking about the parade process and where we purchased things.  I’ll answer some of them on the blog.  Keep in mind, this is just our experience.  I’m sure it is different for everyone.

Why did we build a parade home? 
·         Some of the subcontractors offered a discount price because their products or work would be featured.  It doesn’t necessarily mean it is cheaper to build a parade home, but it is possible to get more for your money.  For example, appliances.  We wouldn’t normally buy Bosch appliances, but with parade discounts the fancier appliances were the same as what we would have purchased at Home Depot.   I’m a bargain shopper, so not all contractors worked out this way.  When we went to the showroom to pick out tile and carpet, it was too pricey, and I did not like the selection.  So I purchased those products at several different places that did not always offer parade discounts, but it was still cheaper and I was not limited by one showroom’s selection.  
Accessible sink in the kitchen

          A couple of years ago, a builder approached me about building a wheelchair accessible parade home, but I didn’t like the style, price, or lot location of that builder.   Ever since then, I toyed with the idea of how nice it would be to feature a home that was accessible for children.   As a Realtor, I’ve walked through many homes that are wheelchair accessible.   Typically it is the master bathroom that is accessible, and the other bathrooms are “normal”.  I’ve never seen the floor plan that I was looking for that had an accessible jack-and-jill bathroom.  The parade was a way to showcase that a home can be accessible and beautiful at the same time.  Ramps do not have to be an eyesore. The parade is supposed to be a way to save money, but it didn’t end up that way in the end.

Love that girl, and ramp!

The parade also provides a real deadline.  We all know that when a builder says, “Plan on your house being done in June”, you’ll finally get keys in August.  It was a miracle we made our deadline.  Our equity loan to get the construction loan took way too long which stressed our already tight deadline.   Then different contractors wouldn’t show up.  Over and over this would happen.  Things were still being installed and touched-up even after the parade.

Who designed your home?
·         Inouye Design was our architect.  They took our ideas, sketches, and files of saved floor plans, to create the Killpack Residence.  They created something better than I could have imagined, and I absolutely love our layout, inside and out.  The home fits our needs and wants.
        Picking options for the home was like a full-time job.  I think many people who build a parade home use a professional designer; we did not.  Osmond Design staged the home which means that
before the parade starts, they move in beautiful furniture and decor.  They did not design or pick options for the home though.  I had many sleepless nights when I wished Joanna Gaines would appear and help me decide between…black or charcoal, horizontal or vertical, wood or metal, brick or shiplap, pewter or nickel.  She never came, so I relied on my stylish husband, parents, and sister.  Matt’s choices were typically dictated by, “What’s the price?”  My sister would say, “This is a forever house so do it right the first time.”  And my parents spent countless hours shopping with me.  We made a great design team, and I think our plaque should be on the kitchen counter during the parade!   
·        Do you get to keep the furniture?
·         Sure, if we pay for it.  The home is staged with darling Magnolia Furniture, and I might purchase a few items.   Do we get a discount?  Yep, 10%.  Fancy!  Therefore, I look forward to piecing our house together with décor and furniture we find.  Besides, yard sales, scratch and dents, closeouts, obscure warehouses, and KSL have always been my style.  I believe personality in a home is made, not staged. 
Why don’t you have an elevator?

·         Costs too much.  Davey and Maggie can crawl up and down stairs, so they can use the basement.  I want them to still get the exercise and have the skills to use the stairs.  This house allows them to have all their needs on the main level.  If we need to install an elevator in the future, we can.
How do you feel about people walking through?

          I hope when people walk through our home, they feel welcome and want to stay a little longer.  The home is open, inviting, full of light, and casual without any formal living or dining spaces.  It’s not over the top with elaborate options that make you think, “people live like this?!”  
      I see pics of our house on Instagram and Facebook.  Some people really hate our kitchen back splash which I totally get.   I’ve never been one to play it safe, and I understand it will be dated in a few years.  Good thing I love to change things up!  We walked through our house the other day during “parade hours”.  One lady was jostling the barn doors open and shut.  She said laughingly, “Oops, I think I broke them.”  Sigh.  The carpet already looks matted and dingy, but maybe it’s just my paranoia. Yesterday, I worried as it rained all day, and I hoped the booties didn’t have holes in them. 

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March Montage

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Close to You

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Space Time Continuum Paradoxes

Two years ago today we were in Houston, TEXAS! embarking on a new chapter in our lives.  (Yes, I know I capitalized and exclamation pointed the word in the previous sentence but as we all know, everything associated with that word is bigger, bolder, and begs to be shouted from the rooftops).  At that time our little Maggie was still developing in the womb, Davey had an awkward buzz haircut that showed just a little too much forehead, Josie was enthusiastically enjoying life as a hog-caller-in-training, and Kate reveled in her newly acquired ability to read simple chapter books.  We had experienced a surreal week of preparation, heartache, and joy as everything fell into place for us to move forward with Maggie’s fetal surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.  Two years ago today that surgery was completed by an amazing and awe-inspiring group of miracle workers.  Millie recuperated, Maggie was born, and here we are. 

In some ways, not a lot has changed—Maggie is still developing (thankfully outside of the womb this time), Davey’s hair is a bit longer and he enjoys styling it (he’s no longer allowed to get haircuts from his Dad), Josie’s inherent hog-calling talent has been wasted on singing and yelling funny things at the dinner table, and Kate continues to revel in the fun of reading chapter books.  Of course, there are other ways in which our lives have changed forever.  As we consider the past two years, we look back with intense gratitude.  Life is so good.  We are grateful to have four wonderful, beautiful, unique children.  We are grateful to have incredible family and friends who love us.  We are grateful to feel God’s love for us and recognize His hand in our lives.  If we could go back in time and share some bits of advice with our 2012 selves we would undoubtedly tell ourselves,  ”Prepare yourselves for zany Disney songs involving a snowman that you’ll never get out of your head, invest in Netflix, and get ready for some of the most amazing years of your lives because it just keeps getting better.”

2012 Maggie

2012 Davey

2012 Josie
2012 Kate
2014 Maggie
2014 Davey
2014 Josie
2014 Kate

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School Bus Hero

For the past two years, Davey rode a special needs bus to preschool.  The bus picked him up right in front of our house, had a ramp for his wheelchair, and an aid to help make transportation a breeze.  This year Davey wanted to ride the bus w… Continua a leggere

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