Steady crowds at home show

PARKERSBURG – People are getting back to investing in their homes with improvements, additions and more, said a number of vendors at the Great American Home Show this weekend in Parkersburg.

The home show, which was held at the former Big Bear building in the Park Shopping Center, saw large crowds throughout the weekend as people were getting out to see the latest trends in home improvement, getting ideas for things they can do and making contact with local companies who can do the work, said John Farnsworth, executive officer of the Home Builders Association of the Mid-Ohio Valley, which organizes the annual show.

“We had record attendance Friday and Saturday,” Farnsworth said.

There were 459 people on Friday and 2,306 on Saturday, he said. They did not have totals yet for Sunday, but Farnsworth said crowds were “very steady” throughout the day.

With the national elections over, people were now interested in spending money to improve their homes, Farnsworth said.

“We know people are interested in doing new insulation on their homes and doing anything to conserve energy,” he said. “Gas is getting expensive and electric is getting expensive.

“People are trying to get their homes sealed up, making them more energy efficient, and renovating that way. Many people are looking into new doors and windows.”

This year’s home show had 97 booth spaces available with around 70 vendors and 30 crafters. Organizers said the number of crafters at this year’s show was double what they had last year, the first year they brought in the crafters.

The Great American Home Show has been an annual event in the area for around 35 years and remains popular with local residents.

The show featured builders, remodelers, landscapers, heating-and-cooling experts, flooring specialists, carpet services, energy-efficient windows and doors, home security, home design, insulation products, satellite television, lawn and garden equipment and more.

Kevin Siers, of Kevin Siers and Associates, who does radon detection and home inspection services said the show was very productive for his business.

“We have had a lot of activity and a lot of interest,” he said.

People are becoming more health conscious and are looking to do things to make their homes more safe.

“We have several people who have already told us they want us to come out and test their homes,” Siers said. “We were able to educate a lot of people and we were able to get a lot of business from it.”

This is the second year Siers has been apart of the home show.

They have talked with people interested in adding on to their homes and needing a system to deal with the radon. They have also talked to older people who have lived in the same house for 40 years and who are becoming concerned with radon as they start to develop more health concerns, he said.

“There is a good cross-section of the community coming to this show,” Siers said.

Tim Hanlon, owner of Grogg’s Heating and Air Conditioning, said people are interested in doing things around their homes, new home construction is picking up and there are a lot of new things people have been interested in checking out. Tax credits are also available for a number of home improvement projects to make homes more energy efficient and people want to see what could be done.

“I think attendance has been outstanding,” Hanlon said. “We have set a bunch of leads and there has been a lot of interest.

“We have set a bunch of appointments, around 20 appointments already. We also have a number of names of people who want us to call,” he said.

People have been inquiring at Grogg’s about doing work for room additions as well as doing service maintenance agreements for people who want to get their systems serviced and get them running at peak performance, Hanlon said.

“All and all, it has been a really good show,” he said. “This is the busiest Sunday that I ever remember at the show.”

Russ Thomson, of Thomson’s Landscaping and Garden Center in Marietta, said people are ready to do things around their homes.

“This is our traditional start of the season,” he said. “Spring is not that far away and this gets everyone excited.”

Jack Jones, of Williamstown, was at the show Sunday with his wife, Nancy. The couple were interested in some plants and some flooring, visiting the appropriate vendors.

There is always something of interest at the home show, Jones said.

“We come every year,” he said. “We come to see who is here and what is new on the home scene that we weren’t aware of.

“There is always something to do if you own a home.”