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Show is one-stop shop for home improvement projects

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- More than 200 exhibitors are busily preparing for the 2013 West Virginia Home Show, which kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday at the Charleston Civic Center.

A host of contractors and building suppliers will be on hand Friday through Sunday to display products and offer information on home building, remodeling, furnishing and landscaping.

"It's kind of like a one-stop shop," said show manager Peggy Sampson. "Everything that you could possibly think of that you can use for a home is going to be here."

The show is sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Greater Charleston.

Sampson has helped put it together for 14 consecutive years. She said many exhibitors — including many locally owned small businesses — have been displaying products and services at the show for decades.

"The show is over 50 years old," Sampson said. "It is the largest show of its kind in West Virginia and one of the largest in the eastern United States."

Exhibitors include local homebuilders, landscaping firms, contractors and kitchen and bathroom specialists. There will also be flooring and carpeting specialists, fencing contractors, furniture outlets and Amish woodworkers.

Representatives of several local banks will be available to talk about home financing options.

"This is a great time to build because the interest rates are so low," Sampson said. "We'll also have Realtors here to talk to you about what's available in the market."

She said the Home Show isn't just for those thinking about buying or building a home though.

"Even if you don't own a home and rent an apartment, there will be people who can talk to you about how to spruce up a kitchen or bedroom," she said.

Dale Oxley, owner of Hurricane-based Modern Home Concepts, is president of the Home Builders Association and said the show helps bring local contractors and consumers together.

"It brings attention to our industry," Oxley said. "This allows people to get into that transition for spring, whether they're landscaping, or building a home or remodeling."

He said the timing of the show not only helps contractors get immediate business, but also reaps benefits for the months to come.

"There's a lot of firms who'll get leads for the next six to seven months off of this show," Oxley said.

John Miller, president of Kanawha Brick & Block Co. in Nitro, has participated in the show for 26 years in a row. He said it's a great way to attract new customers.  

"It generates business from day one and well into the fall," Miller said. "People come in six to eight months down the road and say, 'We saw you at the Home Show.' "

About 5,000 to 8,000 people attend each year. Exhibits stretch from the Civic Center's Grand Hall through the lobby and into the Coliseum.

This year organizers have added a special prize giveaway.

Sampson said every 15 minutes organizers will conduct a drawing for prizes. One of those whose name is drawn will win $50,000 in cash and merchandise from four show sponsors.

The big winner either can select $50,000 in merchandise from exhibitors Ashley Furniture, Trojan Landing, Moses Factory Outlet and Gravely Polaris, or take $10,000 in cash and select $40,000 in merchandise.

Sampson said several charitable organizations also will participate this year, including the Alzheimer's Association, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.

The Charleston Fire Department will have a booth offering home fire safety tips. Firemen will give away smoke detectors while supplies last.

The Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council have built a model home entirely of Girl Scout Cookie containers. The walls are made of cases, while the roof shingles recycled cookie boxes.

Girl Scouts will be on hand to sell cookies to show goers.

"We have over 300 cases of cookies with 10 boxes in each case," said Black Diamond spokeswoman Morgan Robinson.

Admission to the show is $7 for those 12 to 64 years old, $6 for seniors 65 and up, and $1 for children aged 2 to 12. Children under age 2 are admitted free.

The show is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Contact writer Jared Hunt at business@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.


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