Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association's Home Show stirring up 'good energy'

March 08, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Joyce Omps of Whitacre, Va., is shown flooring samples by Ronnie Masters, owner of Masters Flooring Friday at the Eastern Panhandle Home Show at the Martinsburg Mall.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Martinsburg businessman P.J. Orsini was feeling a lot of “good energy” at the Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association’s Home Show Friday at Martinsburg Mall.

“I’m getting a lot of good questions,” said Orsini, standing among several sleek and shiny appliances on display from Orsini’s Appliances Sales & Service.

The Home Show continues at 10 a.m. today. Admission is free and home-related seminars, which also are being offered Saturday at no charge, begin at 10:30 a.m. On Sunday, the show opens at noon and continues through 6 p.m. Bidding in the show’s silent auction ends at 4 p.m., Sunday.

Seminar topics include: landscaping, improving your credit score, cooking demonstrations and kitchen design from a chef’s point of view, “green” design and home efficiency and new paint and fabric trends.

The Orsini family-owned business, which Orsini said will celebrate 65 years in the community in May, is among 190 companies participating in the home builders association’s 18th show this weekend.

“We couldn’t do it without great volunteers,” said Orsini, who is serving as chairman of the Home Show committee this year.

With more than 225 exhibits, the Home Builders Association’s 18th annual show is expected to continue to attract residents from the four-state area, according to David Hartley, the association’s executive officer.

“Probably 20 percent of our exhibitors here (this year) are new, so there’s some new things here as well as the folks who have been here for a number of years,” Hartley said.

Among some of the larger categories of exhibitors at this year’s show are those offering services and products that improve energy efficiency, as well as remodeling and outdoor living, according to Hartley.

John Mason of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said he comes to the home show every year.

“I didn’t even know some of these places existed,” Mason said.

Hartley said he has reason to be optimistic about the housing-related business, noting association members have seen an uptick in activity in recent months.

Applicants for 125 building permits obtained last month in Berkeley County reported a total of $10.9 million in construction work, with more than half of the value attributed to new single family home and townhouse projects, according to the county’s monthly report.

There were 1,907 permits obtained in 2012, which saw an increase from 1,771 in 2011, according to the county.  The 2011 tally was the lowest level since 1992 and far from the 2005 peak of 4,307 permits, according to the county.

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