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How to Get the Most out of a Home Show

Posted by Audrey Lichten

Jan 5, 2016

 

 

Whether you’re planning a home remodel or just want ideas and inspiration, visit a home show. They offer an abundance of opportunities to take in the new trends and products for your home that you might not find in a home improvement store. However, that abundance can often be chaotic and overwhelming. So how do you get the most out of a home show without getting lost, confused or taken advantage of?

Plan Ahead

    • Have a reason. Why are you attending the home show? Are you looking for specific products or contractors for a project you want done? Or, do you know you want to give your home some kind of update but don’t know what? Either way is fine! Just decide for yourself what your intentions are so you can plan for a successful visit.
    • Make a game plan. Most home shows provide a list of vendors attending and a map of where they will be located within the show. Grab a floor plan and decide which vendors (or types of vendors) you want to visit. If you feel so inclined, rank them in order of importance so when you’re at the show you won’t miss a booth you really wanted to see. But try to navigate the show in an efficient pattern by starting on one side and making your way up and down the rows of exhibitors.
    • Come prepared. You’re visiting the home show in order to receive information. So make sure you have the proper tools to record and store the information you obtain. A smartphone is often the best tool. You want a camera to capture the ideas and products you like. You also want to record tips or names of products or businesses you’re interested in, so a notepad or app for taking notes is important. If you have ideas for your project already, bring a photo album or notebook of images of the types of products and designs that you want. Also, include a fact sheet with the specifications of your project. This way, when you’re talking to the pros you can be specific about what you want.

Be Proactive

  • Make connections. A huge draw about home shows is that you get to talk to the potential professionals you’d be working with. This is a great opportunity to get a sense of their personality and communication skills. While these qualities may be second to their skills of the trade, they are definitely important to consider when hiring a contractor.
  • Get contact information. If you’re even slightly interested in a product or service a vendor has, get their contact info so you can research and follow up with them later.
  • Visit multiple times. If you’re really interested in a particular exhibitor, feel free to make a second pass by their booth. Be sure to talk to whoever is there; if there are multiple people, talking to more than one can give you great insight into their overall business. If you so desire, schedule an appointment to meet with them at a later date.
  • Keep an open mind. No matter what how much you know about what you want, be open to new ideas. You never know how a company can help you achieve more than you originally anticipated.

Follow up

  • Do research. Check out the companies you were interested in online. Validate their credentials, read reviews of their services and check out their website for more information.
  • Get multiple estimates. When it comes time to get going on your project, be sure to get multiple estimates from the contractors you’ve deemed appropriate for the work you want done.

 

Now go to a home show and have some fun! In fact, the San Mateo Spring Home Show is this month (January 22-24, 2016) at the San Mateo County Event Center. If you’re looking into exterior re-siding projects, contact Peninsula Siding Company or find us at the home show!

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