The Mad Diary of a Parade Of Homes Builder


Okay so I thought this would be fun to share some thoughts on our Parade of Homes experience in a more candid way. Did you know that Belman Homes has never built a Parade of Homes model until this year? Sure we’ve done almost everything else along the way but didn’t find a need for us to do it. My interest was peaked last year when I was heavily involved on the Parade of Homes task force and initially on the site selection committee. One of the major barriers for us was that we don’t decorate our models. We tend to be nomads as builders and move from place to place. To top it off I made the decision to have our in house decorator, furnish it. She has never done a Parade model either. So here you have a rookie Parade Builder and a Rookie Parade Decorator? This could get interesting, right? Well, Nicole is very talented and has been great throughout the process and she got my vision right away and took off running with it.

I’ll have to admit there was a lot of pressure on the onset. It is a custom home with lots of new things in it? Can we get it done on time? What if there aren’t enough builders in the subdivision? Should we just dig it anyway? Why can’t they just make up their mind on the sites? Well, we pulled the trigger early and dug the hole before the subdivision was officially approved and I am glad I did. We would not have been able to pull off the quality and hand touches that would have been necessary to do it. Of course, right before the deadline lots of other builders committed to the site and everything went along just fine but it did cause me a Maalox moment or two along the way.

Then there was all the paperwork. This agreement has to be in by this date, artwork here, writing up there. This is too long, there’s not enough room. Your info disappeared from the system. Don’t do this don’t do that. Uh oh, now there is a new marketing gal. Your contractor did not drop off his paperwork yet to be included in the catalog and the deadlines tomorrow. Whew! Luckily, I am a planner and I like to get on things right away and move on so this wasn’t much of an issue. I liked the fact that the MBA had all the deadlines in writing. It kept me focused and motivated. If we were building 70-80 homes like we used to back in the day then I would probably be at my computer in the wee hours of the night doing this stuff much to the chagrin of my wife. Speaking of the MBA their staff has been terrific to deal with. Kylah has taken the ball and ran with with it, Angela when she was there was on top of everything and Helen really helped me with making sure my contractors were up to speed on their membership and help us obtain a Partners in Excellence status.

I will have to admit that designing and building the Tuscany Parade model has been a very fun and enjoyable process. I truly enjoyed sitting down with and counseling with each and everyone one of our contractors, suppliers and tradesmen throughout the process. It was great seeing all the new things that they can offer as well as get some suggestions on what we could do differently to achieve the objectives we have for our home. We truly have a talented pool of people we work with and I was amazed at their knowledge and expertise. We all get stuck in a rut from time to time and builders are often the same way. I was like the mad scientist and my office and the selection room were like my laboratory. I truly wanted to break the mold with our Tuscany home and I believe that we have. There are so many exciting things that we have added to this home that I cannot even list them. I feel like each time going through the home you will notice another detail. Nothing too crazy mind you. I am not trying to create some shock factor look at me type thing like what others have tried in the past. I think we have a very elegant, high quality, energy efficient and liveable home that will appeal to many demographics.

I know it sounds cliché but I built this home like it was truly my own. I picked things I really liked and made it a way that would suit my lifestyle and personality. Hopefully everyone will like my vision. If not, I may end up having to live there someday. (Okay twist my arm, it wouldn’t be difficult at all.)

Sure there have been hiccups along the way. Thanks to the thief for cutting the wire out of my home and causing $4000 worth of damage for a measly $100 of scrap copper and causing 2 weeks of delay. (I will find you some day and make sure you get what’s coming to you) ☺ Good thing we got that early start right? Thanks mother nature for 14” of snow right before we backfill the basement & for 90% humidity right when we were starting drywalling. Only in Wisconsin can we go from Artic to rain forest weather in a few short weeks!

As we round the corner and head near the finish line I pray mother nature makes up for its cruel ways and gives us dry days in July to pour the driveway and get the landscaping installed. I have managed to nearly get through the process and maintain my sanity and this is a credit to all of our contractors as well as Jeff our expeditor who has been on top of this home every step of the way. I can’t wait for the day when we open up the home to the public and hear everyone’s thoughts on our home.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to the Start of the Parade of Homes August 20th!

David Belman
Proudly to be “reasonably sane” home builder.

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