Huey, the woman behind Parade of HomesPublished 3:06pm Monday, April 30, 2012
By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist
When the Parade of Homes launches its 56th year Shelby County’s Alicia Huey will be at the helm as the fifth woman chairperson in its history. It is a nationally recognized, award-winning event that draws people from all over the Southeast to the greater Birmingham area.
Huey is chairman by virtue of her position as vice president of the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders.
The event will be held on April 28-29. It was also held April 21-22.
There are 110 houses in the parade, including at least 20 in Shelby County. The houses are judged as gold, silver or bronze, according to the quality of construction, curb appeal and innovative ideas they possess.
Huey says the most exciting part of her job as chairman is “when the judges came back in with their comments – what they liked most about each home.”
She should know what their preferences because a three-bedroom, two-bath home with a split foyer she built in McCalla was recognized as a gold-level home meeting the highest standards of the judges.
This year’s Parade of Homes offers more than previous years because the market has changed so much since 2009. There are new energy codes and advanced technology. As the market and economy took a brief downturn, many builders saw it as an opportunity to become more educated and creative.
Two of the homes, one in Pratt City and one in Pleasant Grove, have been rebuilt from last year’s devastating tornadoes. The home recognized as the “Ideal Home” is in the Chase Lake community and has the latest in technology and home automation. Its lights, music and security system can all be turned on and off from a smart phone.
The biggest challenge for home builders is consumer confidence, according to Huey.
“We want people to realize that with the interest rate being so low they can still afford a new home or to remodel one at a reasonable price,” she said.
For ticket information, visit Birminghambuilder.com and click on the Parade of Homes link.
Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.