It's not yet in the same league as the Parade of Homes, but the annual UtaHome '95 home and remodeling show is gaining ground on the Parade as attendance this year at UtaHome is expected to top last year's 75,000, said Tom Van Voorst, executive officer of show sponsor The Home Builders Association of Greater Salt Lake.
Work is well along on the six homes to be showcased in this year's show under construction in Phase 3 of Pheasant Brook Estates, 12970 South 300 East in Draper, also site of last year's UtaHome showcase.This year's UtaHome will run June 9-18 with the six fully decorated houses and the traditional commercial tent which is expected to have more than 100 exhibits and presentations.
At last week's official dedication of the project, Salt Lake County Commissioners Mary Callaghan and Brent Overson forecast a healthy residential construction climate for the Draper area, fueled by Utah's strong business climate and the appeal of southern Salt Lake County for new home construction.
"With Micron moving in just around the Point of the Mountain, I suspect every home in this show will be sold before the opening in June," said Overson.
Brent Christensen, 1995 HBA president, said Pheasant Brook has proved to be a popular site for the UtaHome show. "Last year we had more people than ever," he said. "This project is in a beautiful setting with great views of the mountains but also excellent freeway access. It's a good development and I have no doubt it will sell out quickly."
Ted Woodger, general manager of McWood/Cannon II, developer of Pheasant Brook, said Christensen's prediction is likely to come true by early summer. Of the 200 lots in the development, all but 30 have been sold.
Lots at Pheasant Brook range in price from $48,000 to $53,000 for one-third acre, said Woodger. Prices of the homes in the project range from $180,000 to "just under" $300,000. About 130 homes are currently completed or under construction in the 90-acre complex, which is located just south of the site of the proposed Draper High School.
McWood/Cannon II principals include Woodger, his wife Marilyn McMullin Woodger and Tracey Cannon. They also have residential developments in West Jordan, Riverton and Magna.
Leah Crossgrove of Western Mortgage, chairwoman of this year's show, said the UtaHome format allows patrons to get one-stop service with home design, furnishings, lending sources, interest rates and building services for new
home buyers and remodelers.
Van Voorst described UtaHome as being for the move-up buyer, as opposed to the "dream home" attraction of the Parade of Homes held in August. "The UtaHome houses are obviously not for the first-time homebuyer, but they not on the level of the Parade, either. They are more attainable homes," he said.
Christensen said one of the unusual attractions at this year's UtaHome is a house constructed entirely of steel framing materials.
"In an era of environmental concerns about wood products, metal is an attractive alternative," said Christensen. "I've never used it myself (Christensen is a well-known Salt Lake home builder) but it has definite advantages in that walls will be straighter using steel rather than wood studs because with wood you have to take what nature gives you."
He conceded that unstraight wood was not a big problem in home building and noted that steel is currently more expensive than wood, but he predicted that steel will eventually be used more in home building, as it is now in commercial construction.
"The problem with using steel in home construction is that there is a lack of knowledge among framers on how to use it. They are used to just sawing off a board and nailing it in place. As carpenters become more familiar with it, we will see it used more," said Christensen.
Builders to exhibit homes in this year's UtaHome show include Steve Dailey Construction, Sandy; Blair Bangerter Construction, South Jordan; Symphony Homes by Rob Miller, West Jordan; McArthur Communities by David McArthur, West Jordan; New Trend Homes Inc. by Edward T. Woodger, Sandy; and MST Builders by Merlin Taylor, South Jordan.