After it was delayed for 2 months due to the unusually cold winter, the BIA Parade of Homes is now open (from July 19 to August 3, 2014 ). This year’s Parade features the Trail’s End Subdivision, a new development at the corner of Home Road and SR 315 in Southern Delaware County.

The Parade of Homes showcases the latest in new home construction and interior design. Although you may not be able to afford one of the Parade homes, it’s a great window shopping opportunity for gathering ideas for your own home improvement projects.

The Parade features 12 unique homes constructed by Central Ohio custom home builders. Prices range from $679,000 for the Trinity Home to $1,195,000 for Bob Webb‘s mansion.

Prices are a bit more expensive than in previous years. Clearly an indication of the improving housing market.

The Best of the Parade of Homes

Trail’s End is at a unique location when it comes to subdivisions. Its main road ascends up a small hill overlooking the Olentangy River valley. This allowed builders to create hillside homes with walk-out basements.

As a matter of fact, every single home in the Parade has a lavishly finished and decorated lower level. Most come with a fancy bar or a pub, a huge play room, an exercise room and even a guest bed room.

All Parade Homes offer walk-out patios. Unfortunately, most lots are too small to really enjoy the backyard. Many lots extend just 3 ft beyond the paved patio (just wondering what the backdoor neighbor will build behind your grill).

Fully built-out lower levels are the main reason why floor plans range from 4,944 sqft (Silvestri Group) to 7,115 sqft (Dani Home) and have at least 4 full bathrooms.

The Worst (in my opinion)

The worst feature I saw in this year’s Parade is the Spiral Staircase in the Coppertree Home.

Spiral staircase at 2014 BIA Parade of Homes in Trail's End

This so-called Rotunda looks spectacular. It is pretty much in the center of the home and open from basement to second floor.

This staircase is a monumental waste of space. It has a negative impact on every single room in the house (notably the guest bedroom in the basement). And it just does not fit with the farm-style exterior of this home.

Trends in 2014 Parade Homes

Guest Bedrooms

Almost every single home has additional bedrooms in the basement. Quite a few come with in-law suites on the first floor.

This is clearly a trend of our times. Home owners are looking for multi-generational homes, where kids may live with their parents after college or grandparents visit regularly to spend more time with their grand children.

I was surprised to see that only two homes (Dani, Weaver) came with a first floor Owner’s Suite (used to be called Master Bedroom). This is a feature many older home owners prefer, as they don’t want to climb stairs every day.

Basement Bars

Every single home in this year’s Parade comes with a huge bar in the basement. Many of them rival the bars in your typical restaurant. Some homes feature Pub rooms vs. wine cellars, which were popular a few years ago.

Purple basement bar at 2014 BIA Parade of Homes in Columbus

Wine Fridges

You will find multiple Wine Fridges in every house. Usually, there’s one in the kitchen and another one in the basement bar. However, we even saw one in an Owner’s Suite, next to the master bath.

Additional Bathrooms

At homes of this price range,  buyers expect individual bathrooms for every single bedroom. Most of these bathrooms are rather simple and come with a standard tub or tiled shower. All had granite counters.

Multiple Sitting Areas & Fireplaces

Every Parade Home comes with various conversation areas in addition to the traditional family room. You will find sitting areas and fireplaces in lofts, in the owner’s suite, in sun rooms and screened-in porches.


I am disappointed about the lack of new technology in Parade Homes. I expected more smart home features and advanced energy saving options.

It’s Worth a Visit

If you can spend a few hours in the afternoon or evening, it’s certainly worth a visit. You will get inspired by unique interior designs and the variety of home styles. You will also start thinking about the pros and cons of the different layouts when you walk through Parade Homes.

Please share your opinion in the comment box below!

What did you like or dislike about 2014 Parade Homes?