Parade of Homes: Getting the Most out of Your Tours

Each spring and fall, the Home Builders of the Sioux Empire sponsors the Parade of Homes. This fall, there are more than 40 beautiful new projects (including the stunner above by Kelly Construction!) for parade-goers to tour, enjoy and see the latest trends in home building.

Every parade season, Mahlander’s helps many of the Parade home builders with appliances and lighting. Below are some tips for getting the most out of the event. 

Gather Ideas: When building, remodeling or even doing a quick update on your space, there are tons of details. Are you looking for overall design ideas or specific components of your project? What do you still need to choose or decide upon for your project? Take note of those items as your tour the homes. That will help you narrow your focus and ultimately choose the items that fit your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences and budget. 

“Parade homes are a fantastic opportunity to see things up-close and in-person,” says Christine Williams, with Mahlander’s Appliance and Lighting. “You can see how certain finishes or styles look together. And you can decide whether or not certain looks or ideas are right for your new space. Say you’re thinking about a certain line of appliances, for instance. You can see how it all looks in a kitchen or laundry room. Seeing anything appliances, lighting, flooring, color schemes, cabinets, etc. in the whole environment can be really helpful.”

Quality over Quantity: You certainly don’t need to go through every home on the Parade. Choose several which pique your interest, are similar to what you have in mind for your project or feature builders with whom you are interested in making a connection. 

“With so many homes on the tour, you’d need to really make tracks to see them all. When I built several years ago, I chose about eight homes in similar price ranges to my project. It helped narrow the focus a bit,” says Williams. “It helped immensely to see so many ideas I was considering in person.”

Touring too many can be overwhelming, but taking in too few may not give you a good feel for the current trends in building. Balance is key.


Tip: Touring Parade homes is a great way to gather ideas for your project. Sometimes, it’s as important to figure out what you DON’T want or like as it is to hone in on what features or styles are right for you. 

Make Contact: In most cases, the builder or one of their representatives will be present in the home. This is a great opportunity to meet them and get an initial feel for how they operate and decide if you’d like to schedule a future one-on-one meeting with them. Since you’ll be working on your project together, it needs to be a good fit. 

Virtual Visits: Can’t make it to the Parade? No worries! There are several homes which offer virtual tours. You can check them out from the comfort of your own home when it fits into your schedule and still see all the details.  Check out the HBA’s site for details.

Whether you’re building a new home or simply want to spend a nice afternoon seeing what’s new in Sioux Falls, the Sioux Empire Parade of Homes offers a wealth of ideas and showcases the work of area contractors and  craftsmen. You may find just-right ideas for your planned projects or spot something new that you’ll want to explore further. 

For more information and the list/map of Parade Homes, click here

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