(Photo by Hiya Papaya Photography/Millhaven Homes)
(Photo by Hiya Papaya Photography/Millhaven Homes)

 It’s a great and terrible experience.

Like other complicated and expensive processes, having the right professional partner makes navigation easier and, dare we say, enjoyable.

This importance to hire a capable captain to steer the residential rudder is why you should use a contractor who belongs to the Utah Valley Home Builders Association.

In addition to presenting the annual Utah Valley Parade of Homes®, the UVHBA is a cooperative of skilled, professional businesses and craftsmen working together to protect homeowners.

“Our high-profile event is the Parade of Homes®, but we are quietly — and not so quietly — working to protect the rights and interests of the homeowners of Utah County,” says Caroline Merrill, executive officer at the UVHBA. “We work to create the best conditions possible for new home construction in our valley.”

Industrial filter

If a builder is a member of the UVHBA, potential homeowners can rest assured that the professional has been vetted by the organization to make sure the builder meets the highest levels of professionalism.

“We work to take the ‘buyer beware’ philosophy out of homebuilding,” Caroline says. “We research each company to make sure they meet a strict set of guidelines.”

Plus, if there is a concern, the UVHBA can work with homebuilders and clients to work through challenges.

It’s just another way the UVHBA is helping the community of homeowners.

Working the lobby

The UVHBA is a voice to government officials. UVHBA government affairs specialists work to ensure impact fees and other new construction fees are reasonable and don’t hinder development in a given city or area.

On the state and national levels, UVHBA members work with officials to protect property rights and ensure that the American Dream of homeownership remains a reality in the 21st Century.

“When city fees rise, those costs get passed directly on to the homeowner building the home,” Caroline says. “If we can keep those costs reasonable, it only helps the public.”

Giving back

Besides protecting the homeowner from undue government burden, the organization’s members use their unique resources and expertise to help others in the community. Builders assist Habitat for Humanity. The UVHBA has also donated $1.5 million to BYU, UVU and Snow College, mainly with proceeds from the Parade of Homes® and sale of “Cougar Houses” around the valley.

One highlight is the annual Subcontractors for Santa program, which involves contractors and subcontractors providing free home repairs for needy local families during the holiday season.

“Ours is an organization with heart,” Caroline says. “We genuinely want to serve the community that has been so supportive of our organization all these years.”

Hosting a Parade

But, for most, the organization is known for its breathtaking Parade of Homes® — held this year from June 6-21 — that gives visitors a first-hand look at the latest building techniques and materials.

It’s a must-see event each summer for not only thousands of Utah Valley residents, but for out-of-town visitors from around Utah and surrounding states. “It’s a great chance to meet the builders, ask questions about the homes and make connections with the builder who will eventually build your dream home,” Caroline says. “It’s a real-life Pinterest board you can share in-person with your friends and families.”

When the time comes for you to build your next home, check with the UVHBA before you hire the captain of your yacht.

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