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Home show builds a crowd at community college

March 12, 2006|By ROBERT SNYDER

HAGERSTOWN

Tools, pools, floors and drawers were only some of the items on display at the Home Builders Association of Washington County Home Show Saturday at Hagerstown Community College.

More than 150 vendors set up shop to showcase their wares in HCC's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center as part of a event that has grown over the years from a trade show for contractors to an event for the public to come and gather ideas for home renovation and building projects, said association board member David Nelson.

"If this were just an industry event, we'd be looking at a bunch of guys driving up in pickup trucks and blue jeans," Nelson said amid a crowd that milled about the showroom floor ogling a cornucopia of goods and services. "Not that there's anything wrong with that ... but now it's much more."

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The show, which ran all day Saturday and continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., has grown to become a community event, said association Executive Director Debi Turpin.

Turpin said about 6,000 paid admissions were counted for last year's show, with more anticipated this year.

"There wasn't a minute it wasn't crowded in there," she said.

Other products and services on display for the two-day event included homebuilders and remodelers, mortgage brokers and Realtors, and fencing, flooring, fireplaces, roofing, furniture, hot tubs and shower stalls, and doors and windows sellers and suppliers.

Innerspace Floor to Ceiling representative Kelli Nunnally said the show offers her company the opportunity to showcase products both unique and unusual, such as cork flooring and quartz countertops.

"We have all the basic, traditional things at the store," Nunnally said. "I just think it's interesting when you come to a show to stand out."

The annual event also introduces buyers to new products, Turpin said.

"That's the one good thing about having the Home Show every year," Turpin said. "Products are continually changing and improving and it lets people stay up to date."

Turpin said a trend she sees as a result of rising real estate costs is people investing in upgrades to their present homes, rather than trading spaces.

"Homeowners are tending to spend more money on their current home," Turpin said. "The value of new homes has gotten so high, it's much more cost effective to keep your own home and improve upon it."

If you go...



WHAT:

Home Show 2006

WHEN:

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today

WHERE:

Hagerstown Community College Athletic, Recreation and Community Center arena, 11400 Robinwood Drive, southeast of Hagerstown.

COST:

$2, adults; children 11 and younger, free.
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