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Jul 20,2006
18th Annual Tour of Home Features Latest Building Innovations
by K Guice

The Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) 18th Annual Tour of Homes opens its doors July 21-23 and July 28-30 to over 50 new homes showcasing both builders and designers in Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Terrebonne, Prineville, Sunriver and Powell Butte.

“It is an opportunity for builders and trades people to show the public what’s happening in the building and trade industry here in Central Oregon,” said Tim Knopp, the executive VP of COBA.

There will be a wide variety of styles of home, including townhouses which have not been on previous home tours.  “They are something like you would see on the east coast,” said Knopp. 

There are two reasons Central Oregon will start to see more townhouses in the area, according to Knopp.  “Land is more expensive, so building homes closer together is going to become more common,” he said.

“Also, there is a generational shift in the population,” Knopp said. As people are aging they are looking for something that requires less maintenance and works for their lifestyle.  “They want a lot less yard and a lot more livable space,” he added.

Among the amenities featured on the tour, sponsored by Home Storage Solutions, visitors will find more organization solutions built into the new homes. 

David Laflame, president of Home Storage Solutions, says they are seeing more people installing storage amenities during construction, rather than after the fact.

“One of the biggest reasons is, they don’t have to tear out when they move in,” he said.  “They can find and design something that suits their needs and get it all done.”  Laflame adds that many like being able to incorporate the cost of their storage solutions into their home. “It’s only an extra $6 or $8 a month.”

The most popular organization items being requested are in the closet and garage.  “Those are areas where people really want to maximize their space,” he said.

There are also several homes on the tour that incorporate green building.  “In fact, we have an award for the best green-built house,” Knopp said.  It is given to the builder based on energy efficiency, lot placement and use of renewable resources during construction.

That is one of several competitive categories which are divided up by price range.  Additional awards will be given for: best value, best interior design, best landscape, best front facade, best feature, best master suite, best kitchen and best garage.

Home prices range from $268,000 to $2.5 million.  “That doesn’t include the Habitat for Humanity home on the tour,” he said.

The tour is free and open to the general public.  However, COBA is encouraging visitors to make a charitable donation.  “We are asking people to bring a non-perishable food item to one of the homes they visit to help our local food banks,” Knopp said.

There will be bins set up in all of the homes on the tour.  The charity bins will primarily be located in the garage. 

Bend Weekly Newslink: www.coba.org

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