Home work

More than 30 exhibitors of everything from paving stones and shrubbery to custom-built kitchens and baths were part of this weekend’s 38th annual Washington County Homebuilders Home Show at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Marietta.

“This is our first time at this home show. We had an open afternoon so we decided to step in and check it out,” Mark Minerd of Cutler said as he and wife, Kathy, strolled past the displays in the Junior Fair Building.

“I have a lot of projects I’d like to do at home, and this gives me some good ideas,” Kathy said.

Terry and Janet Welch of Marietta were also considering some projects for their home.

“We’re looking for our summer projects,” Janet said. “We could use some work on the kitchen, patio, and our landscaping.”

Terry said the patio would be a likely choice.

“It’s been there for several years and could use some work, so it’s probably time for a patio renewal,” he said.

David Garcia, who is remodeling an older home in Williamstown, talked with Ron King, adult services supervisor at WASCO, Inc. in Marietta, about the stamped plastic ceiling panels WASCO workers produce that can replace the more expensive stamped tin panels found in many of this area’s historic homes and buildings.

“The panels are made of Kytec, a PVC material that costs much less than tin,” King said. “We take original tin panels and duplicate them with a mold, then use that mold to stamp out the Kytec panels.”

He said the panels are shipped all over the U.S. and used in a variety of applications.

“Some of our panels can even be found in the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C.,” King said. “We get a lot of business for these panels.”

Nearby Jim Wiblin with Your Way Landscaping in Marietta said in spite of a colder-than-normal winter, business is picking up.

“Winter pushed things back a little, but now that warmer weather is here we’re getting off to a good start,” he said. “I don’t think we’re seeing as many people at the home show this year, but we’ve still received some good leads on landscaping projects.”

The big trend for Greenleaf Landscapes of Marietta is outdoor living, according to Greenleaf owner Al Lang.

“People are looking for outdoor living spaces like patios or outdoor kitchens,” he said. “We still do some plantings, but about 70 percent of our business now is landscape construction with bricks or pavers.”

Brian Schultz, superintendent with JES Basement Systems of Cumberland, Ohio, said the home show is an ideal way to tell people about his business that waterproofs and repairs basement walls.

“I had at least seven people here Saturday who came in just to find someone to work on their basements,” he said.

That’s the whole idea behind the annual home shows, said Bruce Hall, president of the Washington County Homebuilders Association.

“It’s getting the word out to the public about area contractors and products they offer,” he said. “And this is a good time of year for the show because people are thinking about home improvement projects.”

Nancy Arthur, who helps coordinate the yearly event, said approximately 800 to 900 people attended the weekend home show.

“The crowds may have been a little down from previous years, but many of the vendors say they’ve generated some good leads for business this year,” she said. “We’ve had a hard winter that’s done a lot of damage to many properties, and now is the time to start doing repairs and fixing up your home.”

Sponsors for this year’s Washington County Homebuilders Home Show included The Marietta Times, Advantage Real Estate, Farm Credit Mid-America, and Wayne Homes.