Tip #1: Make a list for fun, and a list for function. You may be planning to visit the Home Improvement Expo because you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel, but once you arrive, it’s easy to get distracted. Fortunately, most shows list their vendors and events online. Make a list of things you’d like to do for fun (browse the gardens or see a cooking demonstration, for example) and a second list of vendors you need to talk to in order to keep your project moving forward. Creating a physical list can tether you to your purpose and stick with it!
Tip #2: Check out the map. The Kentucky Home Improvement Expo in Louisville, like many other home shows, has a website that allows visitors to download a floor plan map with the location of each booth. Save time and steps by planning to visit each vendor in the order they are from the door, so that you’re not doubling back or fighting crowds.
Tip #3: Do a little online research first. When meeting a contractor at a home improvement show, you may find that the salesman at the booth is quick to say his company is the one for you. However, if you have a unique problem or specific need, you may want to check to ensure the vendors you visit are actually licensed to do the type of work you’re looking for. It doesn’t hurt to also check customer reviews on Google or Angie’s List.
Tip #4: Ask the vendors about their process. If you’re building a new house from scratch or doing a major renovation, it’s very important to make sure you understand at what stage each contractor’s work should be done. For instance, you may know that you want a great home theater and audio setup in your new place, but you may not realize that the custom solutions offered by Hawkeye should be in place before drywall. Having this information ahead of time can help you save time and money down the road.
Tip #5: Maintain reasonable expectations. Home and Garden Shows are fun, energizing, and a convenient way to meet several contractors in one day. However, keep your expectations in check – you’re not likely to get on-the-spot quotes or make important decisions before you pull out of the parking lot. Keep an open mind, and remember that while the show can help make your project easier, great home improvement work is still going to take time.
Whether you follow these tips to the letter, or simply stroll around the pavilion, you’re certain to have a great time attending your next (or first!) Home and Garden Show.
Here are two free tickets for you and a friend to attend! Be sure to drop by and check out Hawkeye’s booth at the Kentucky Home Improvement Expo Feb 10-12, Happy Expo-ing!