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Home Show opens doors to many ideas

March 28, 1998|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

see the enlargement

Home show

Remodeling a bedroom for 10-month-old daughter Abby is just one of a number of renovation projects Doug and Christy Garner have planned for the home they bought in Hagerstown last month.

Attending the Home Builders Association of Washington County's 13th annual Home Show Saturday afternoon, the Garners said, they got some ideas for their home, made contact with potential contractors and learned how to organize their remodeling through a free seminar.

"It's convenient having everyone here," said Doug Garner, 28, who plans to do some work himself and hire contractors to do the rest. "On the telephone, you can't put a face to a voice."

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Enabled by a move to Hagerstown Junior College's Athletic Recreation and Community Center, the show grew from 86 vendors last year to about 123 vendors this year, said Debi Turpin, executive vice president of the association.

Vendors cover the range of products and services needed for home construction and renovation, Turpin said.

Their wide variety of wares this year included hot tubs, home mortgages, windows, sump pumps, countertops, custom cabinets, property, plumbing, garage door openers, riding lawn mowers, bathroom fixtures, fireplaces and sun rooms.

The event had been at the Ramada Inn and Convention Center, she said.

In addition to allowing more room for both vendors and people attending the event, the move will benefit a scholarship fund at the college through the $1 admission fee for adults and children 12 and older, Turpin said.

About 2,800 people came to the event last year, she said.

With the new location and more vendors, Turpin said, organizers are hoping to increase attendance by at least 200 people this year.

Booth rental fees, minus expenses, will allow the non-profit trade association to run another year, she said.

Along with being the association's main fund-raiser for the year, the Home Show gives members and associate members a forum to show off their products and services, said David L. Corey Sr., president of the association.

"Getting out in front of the public is the key," said Corey, who has been participating with his custom home building business, Landmark Builders and Contractors, for eight years. "I think people would rather do business with someone they know or at least they've seen."

Hagerstown resident Esther Grace Hemphill said she came mainly to look for bathroom fixtures in light gray but found many other things she'd like to have.

"We have a 41-year-old home, so we're interested in a lot of new things," said Hemphill, who wouldn't tell her age.

The home show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

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