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Many warm up to new ideas at builders show

March 17, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Considering the weather Friday, L&S Fireplace Shoppe likely had the best of the outdoor displays during the opening day of the 24th annual Franklin County Builders Show.

As snow piled up outside the former Lowe's store in the Franklin Center, Wes Strite, Jared Thomas and Bill Baublitz stood under the shelter of the company's open-sided trailer. The cold did not seem to be an issue as wood, wood pellet, coal and corn-fired stoves blazed away inside the trailer.

"We weren't sure whether we were going to open or not, but we thought it would keep it warm outside," Strite said.

On the cusp of Spring, Old Man Winter had one more storm up his sleeve, yet it did not deter several hundred people from showing up for the opening of the Builders Show, where about 250 vendors had spent the balmier days of the week creating often elaborate displays.

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"Actually, it's an amazing turnout ... We had over 300 in the first hour," Association Executive Officer Tom Hanks said. Friday might not produce the usual crowd of 4,000 or so, but Hanks expected plenty of visitors today, when the show is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

From A1 Motors Carmate Trailers to Wolff Marketing, the number of vendors is the most ever and Hanks said dozens more were on a waiting list. While its was still winter outside, flowers were blooming in beds surrounding ponds and patios inside.

"The landscapers have really stepped up this year," Hanks said.

Randy Yerton of Pond Appeal said his company, working with Kelsey Springs Landscaping & Lawn and Nitterhouse Masonry, spent three days on its displays. Looking over the fountain, pond, patio and landscaping displays, he said they involved about 2 1/2 tons of natural stone, 1,500 block pavers and 800 bricks.

Wilma Carbaugh of Chambersburg said she was there "to look and see what might interest us in the future. I don't have anything in particular in mind right now ..."

"But you get some good ideas," said daughter-in-law Cassandra Carbaugh.

"One thing I'd like to have is a patio like this," Wilma Carbaugh said, indicating a comfortable-looking arrangement by F&M Surfaces Inc. of Chambersburg.

While many homeowners come to add to their wish lists, Rick and Kathy Vanderau of Chambersburg know what their spring project will be.

"I'm going to build a new bathroom ... and a closet," Rick Vanderau said. The couple has been remodeling what had been the attic of their century-old home into living space.

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