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Thousands attend home show

March 27, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

Saturday was a day of possibilities and dreams for thousands of people at the Washington County Home Show.

Whether they were looking to buy or build their dream home or interested in transforming their home into the perfect abode, there was something at the show to help guide them.

The home show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. again today at Hagerstown Community College.

Many came to get ideas for home projects. Some were interested in practical improvements such as replacement windows. Others were into fun things like spas or saunas.

Scott Nicewarner, 34, owns an older home in Hagerstown.

"It's real nice to come out and get different ideas about things," said Nicewarner, who took from the show some alternatives for fixing up his basement.

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Diane Lambert said her husband, Philip, wanted to scout out drywall and cabinets for the home they plan to build themselves in Wolfsville, Md.

"I'm just coming to get the free stuff," said their daughter Amanda, 11.

The Lamberts have some experience in such a daunting task. They built their last house, in Frederick, Md. That project that took two years.

"Hopefully this one won't take as long," Diane Lambert said.

"I don't count on it," her daughter said.

The payoff will be a 12-acre ranch where Amanda can raise sheep for her 4-H program.

This is the association's 14th annual Home Show.

Last year, 3,200 people came and this year the figure could reach 4,000 over the two days, said volunteer organizer Frank P. Erck III.

This has been the association's largest show ever, with more than 100 exhibitors, said Executive Vice President Debi Turpin.

For the first time, the home show has representatives from every conceivable home building-related industry.

There were architects, lending institutions, real estate agents, home improvement experts, interior designers, electrical contractors, government inspectors and, of course, builders.

"You can do it all," she said.

There were how-to seminars all day on selecting a builder, designing a kitchen, laying brick pavers and landscaping for low maintenance.

For the builders, the show is a chance to educate consumers and, of course, get business leads.

Dennis W. Swope, vice president of Home Construction Corp., said many people aren't familiar with the business even though it's been in Hagerstown for 53 years.

The company usually sells two or three homes from contacts made at the home show, he said.

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