Opening doors for homeowners

Home Show 2019

Written by Karen Long

“Years ago, I remember when I built my first home, the choice was vinyl, some tile, wood floor, laminate or carpeting. Now there’s hundreds of different types of flooring,” says Wess Galyon, president and CEO of the Wichita Area Builders Association, the organization that founded the Wichita Home Show back in 1954.

In 65 years they’ve built the Home Show into a regional phenomenon, covering 178,000 square feet in two large halls in Century II. Around 260 companies — many of them WABA members, and all vetted by the organization — will be displaying and demonstrating every possible product or service needed for building, remodeling or renovating a residence. Showers, carpets and insulation; pools, patios and sprinklers; fire safety and financing — everything from basement to shingles can be found under the round blue roof of Century II.

In the four days from Feb. 7 to 10, homeowners can take advantage of 16 seminars, led by experts in the field and designed to answer questions and provide guidance on subjects such as the plethora of flooring options facing the modern homeowner.

“Homes aren’t plain vanilla anymore,” says Galyon. “They use varying colors and textures throughout the home. There’s a lot of thought given to the big-ticket items like the flooring and solid surfaces.”

One seminar titled, “Which Flooring is Best for You?” will explain the diverse materials such as acrylic, wood, carpeting, vinyl and wood laminate, plus the best applications for each one.

Galyon explains, “You’ve got vinyls now that look just like woods; you can hardly tell the difference and they are very, very durable.”

Other seminars on the list represent some of the biggest questions weighing on homebuyer’s minds: Granite, quartz or some other kind of solid-surface countertop? How to improve energy efficiency? What’s the best kind of security system? How do I apply for financing? What’s all the buzz about connected appliances?

“It lets the person reimagine how they want to live. It’s all in one place, it’s all at the Home Show.” — Wess Galyon, president and CEO, WABA

This is a fast moving industry — for example Galyon says that most people will apply for a home loan only a very few times in their life, “and qualifying for financing has really changed since 2008. You need more documentation to secure financing and there are different kinds of financing available.”

Another rapidly evolving niche is aging in place. A number of remodelers at the Home Show are CAPS certified, a national designation representing intense training and specialization in this area. A CAPS-certified remodeler will evaluate a homeowners current and anticipated needs, and consider building at-grade entrances or ramps, and widening doors and turn-around areas, just for starters.

“It’s more about universal design. It doesn’t affect the desirability of the home at all,” says Galyon. “Actually, in many cases it enhances it, because it opens up the spaces.”

That speaks to another major trend, which is building in openness and flexibility from the beginning, making living spaces more adaptable.

“Millennials seem to want — not so much a large home,” Galyon says, “but they want the home to be spacious. They want it to be really usable. It’s more about the experience while they’re living in it.”

And a large part of that experience is lighting, yet another area where products and choices have exploded. Intricate design planning goes into where the lights — now almost exclusively LED — are placed and their interaction with other colors in the décor to create the desired ambiance.

Home Show 2019
Feb. 7–10
Century II Exhibition, Convention and Expo Halls
Free parking and shuttle bus service from Gander Mountain parking garage
For full schedule visit wabahome.com.

 
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