Cavalcade of Homes

Construction workers put finishing touches on one of the showcase homes. (Jessica Tezak, Chicago Tribune / July 20, 2014)

After a five-year hiatus, the Cavalcade of Homes is returning to the Chicago area.

The showcase of six custom homes runs from July 26 to Aug. 17 at Ashwood Park in Naperville. The last show the Northern Illinois Home Builders Association hosted was in 2008.

Houses in the show are by Crestview Builders, James Scott Design & Build, King's Court Builders and Overstreet Builders Inc.

Special activities and events will be held throughout the cavalcade, including a Lego building competition, bean bag tournaments, raffles, home improvement demonstrations and live entertainment.

The housing crash forced builders to come up with design and construction developments that would position them for a healthy market and reflect today's housing trends, such as building for extended families.

"There's a renewed energy and willingness," said cavalcade Chairman Scott Eckstein. "This is a chance to see what's new."

Visitors will see changes in roof design, landscaping, furniture style, tiles, technology and paint colors, Eckstein said.

The luxury homes feature up to four bedrooms, three-car garages, 51/2 baths and 4,600 square feet of living space.

Each home highlights the builder's distinct amenities and style — from modern to country — along with designer kitchens, luxury baths and energy-efficient appliances.

Though the price range for the properties is $700,000 to $1 million, Eckstein said the show should appeal to any homeowner looking for design or improvement ideas.

"It's a longer-term goal than the immediate show," he said. "We found that it's not always an immediate transaction. These shows establish relationships and have a lasting impact on people."

Stephen Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders, said relationships are the most important factor for real estate companies, especially with first-time homeowners. He said there's reason to be optimistic if companies can maintain connections with homebuyers.

In a recent national homebuilders survey, the previous quarter saw the largest increase in month-to-month pending home sales in four years. With it comes a rise in sales of existing and new homes. "It certainly bodes well for the industry," Melman said. "It gives people a lot of hope that, maybe, things are starting to turn around."

For floor plans, photos and more information, visit cavalcadeofhomes.com or call 630-978-9000. Free admission for children under 12. One-day passes $12 at the gate and $10 online. Multiadmission passes, valid for any day of the event multiple times a day, are available online for $50.