The three-day Original Western Mass. Home and Garden Show on the grounds of the Eastern State Exposition this weekend is an event designed around the COVID-19 era.
“We are calling this our ‘Special Summer Edition’ since we had to cancel last year’s show at the last minute when the state shut down because of the coronavirus, as well as this year’s spring show,” said Andrew Crane, executive director of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Western Massachusetts, organizers of the annual event.
“We are in the middle of a severe manpower and product shortage due to COVID. It’s not going to be the same as our March shows, we’ve had to scale down to one building, but every product and service consumers are interested in will be represented. The Eastern States Exposition had two dates available for us, either now or in November. I had to pick one, but the challenge was that the summer is a busy time for many of our vendors and in November you don’t see people undertaking many new projects,” he added about the opportunity to get a last-minute show in before next year’s March date returns.
The show opens Friday at 1 p.m. in the Better Living Center and Young Building and runs through Sunday. Admission is $10 per person and children under 12 are free. Special $2 discount coupons are available throughout the community and online at westernmasshomeshow.com.
The show will allow vendors to showcase their products and services to consumers looking to find contractors willing to complete their home remodeling, building or decorating projects. Hundreds of vendors showcasing a wide array of home and garden products and services will be front and center, including builders, remodelers, kitchen and bath specialists, financial institutions, landscapers, roofers, painters, pool companies and more.
Crane noted not having a March show for the past two years because of COVID was a setback for both association members and the public.
“For our members, the Home Show would potentially provide them with hundreds of leads to follow-up on for business throughout the year. And for consumers, our Home Show was an integral part of their decision-making process for many years and now they had to rely on word-of-mouth. There is something to be said for coming to the show and ‘kicking the tires’ so to speak. You can actually pick up that gutter you want and see how thick it is or actually see the block that would go into making the retaining wall you want…..something you can’t do online. And you can get to know the person who would be doing the work and see if it is a good fit for you,” he said.
While demand for contractors is at an all-time high and many consumers are unable to find anyone to complete their home improvement projects, Crane noted the overall message at this year’s show is “plan ahead.”
“Don’t expect to have your project done next Monday. Everyone is busy and you are going to need to plan ahead. So, find a person you think you can work with and trust and get some prices, then make a decision,” he said about getting on their calendar even if it is something you are planning as far out as four or five months from now.
Two additional keywords for this weekend’s show are “energy efficiency,” Crane added.
“I expect with winter coming some of the busier booths will be those offering energy efficient products such as insulation, new heating sources for the home, as well as energy efficient doors, windows and siding to survive the harsh winter, he said.
Special attractions at the show include the Delta Mobile Showroom presented by Frank Webb Home. The showroom on wheels features Delta kitchen and bath products that you can actually turn on. It is located in the outside display area.
There will also be a DeWalt Tool sale and demonstrations with a special giveaway at the Frank Webb Home booth.
Crane noted the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Western Massachusetts has an array of free services and information for consumers who have questions about their building and remodeling projects. If you are planning to build or remodel, stop by the Home Show office by Door 7 of the Better Living Center to speak to one of their knowledgeable staff members. Visitors can all pick up their free guide to building and remodeling when entering the show.