Home & Garden Shows inspire change for a new year

January 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Maybe it’s due to high gas prices. Maybe it’s because of a better selection on TV. Or maybe, it’s yet another fallout from the rising number of home computers.

Whatever the reason, we are becoming a society of homebodies – cacooners – and many are happy about it. Our homes have become the foundation of all things good, safe and restorative, and the increasing amount we spend on our homes, both interiors and exteriors, reflect that fact.

Do It Yourself (DIY) projects and home improvement sales have been growing at a steady clip for more than a decade, and are projected to continue though 2013. National annual projections for building materials alone are expected to exceed $77 billion in US sales. So, you want to redo a bathroom, or create a new outdoor living space? What are you waiting for?

For many, the answer lies in another question: where to start?

The 7th Annual Katy Home and Garden Show offers solutions to that question, and many others, for all those on the west side and beyond. Slated for Jan. 26-27 at the Merrell Center and Robinson Pavilion in Katy, visitors will find 300 hand-picked exhibitors of all things home-related: from decorating, to gardening, to remodeling, to food samples and more; the show is a cornucopia of products and services.

“Yes, we’re now a nation of cacooners,” stated Robyn Cade, President of RJC Productions and organizer of the Katy Home and Garden Show. This 40-something Katy-ian has been producing the show since its inception, and has watched the industry unfold. “Everyone is renovating and remodeling. We’re especially excited about the range of exhibitors, demonstrations, and experts at the show this year, who can help.

“And about 95 percent of our exhibitors are local,” Cade continued. “When a visitor seeks flooring services, or landscapers, or any other service, in most cases, they’re speaking with members of our community. And when visitors use their services, they’re helping our local economy. This is very important to me.

“The show offers a chance to see examples of the work exhibitors have done for others, and comparison shop. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to meet face-to-face with someone who might be coming right into your home.

“Many of our exhibitors are here every year; they have a track record and we have done research on them, so we know they are reputable. After all, it’s my reputation too,” Cade added with a knowing smile.

This year, attendees of the show will have a chance to meet celebrity DIY TV Host, John DeSilvia, a contractor who has helped families cut thousands of dollars from renovation projects with his hit TV show “10 Grand in your Hand.” DeSilvia will hold four workshops at the home show and it will be his first visit to Texas. The celebrity is very grateful his virgin voyage is to Houston.

“I strongly dislike the Dallas Cowboys,” DeSilvia told HERE in his thick Brooklyn accent while laughing out loud.

What tips does this entertaining expert offer someone interested in remodeling?

“It’s remarkable how many people have been screwed over by a contractor,” the brutally honest DeSilvia explained. “We see it all the time.

“Contractors ask for 50 percent down, but why? I suggest you give him some money, maybe a thousand, to make sure he takes it seriously, but let him do some work, then pay ‘em.

“I always also suggest people do some research before they hire a contractor. Check for a license, and check references. Look at other work he’s done, and always check with the Better Business Bureau.

“And nobody does enough planning. People just attack the job, without planning. A lack of planning can cause a job to go on for months, even a year.

“In Texas, I will encourage people to take advantage of the weather with wind and solar energy options. Today, it’s possible to use solar panels and pay no electric bill at the end of the month.

“These are all things that can prevent expensive mistakes or will save a family money, for a long time to come,” the charming New Yorker concluded.

With 17 years in the home improvement industry, we wonder what trends President Cade sees on the horizon for ours.

“Sustainability is still very big. And, as more people age, more are interested in the idea of aging in-place, so remodeling geared toward accessibility is also big,” Cade explained.

“Bringing our indoor living spaces outside continues to be of real interest to consumers, and we are seeing movement toward a less formal garden and less formal landscaping … like an English garden,” she continued.

“And then there’s the fact that, um, brass is coming back. I am scared … very scared of that,” Cade concluded with a comfortable, contagious laugh.

No, say it isn’t so, Robyn Cade.

For more info about the show, John DeSilvia or more, go to www.katyhomeandgardenshow.com.

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