Home & Garden: Help for those large projects

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By Gabriel Vasquez

Los Alamos residents looking for home improvement ideas got a taste of what area businesses had to offer Saturday at the Re/Max of Los Alamos Home and Garden Show.

An assortment of products, including cabinets, tiles, indoor and outdoor furniture, art, windows, countertops, portable storage and an assortment of “green” items, were on display at the Central Park Square parking lot.

“We’re very excited with this event,” said Re/Max representative Kendra Henning. “I’ve been listening to people in the crowd and I think we are reaching our goal of providing people with resources for home improvement.”

The event provided a little bit of something for everyone. From those looking to tackle large-scale remodeling projects to those just looking for an extra piece of art to hang on their wall.

“I’m really pleased they are doing something like this,” said attendee Gerry Strickfaden. “This harkens back to the old days when the home show was the big deal in Los Alamos.”

Strickfaden said he was particularly interested in the kitchen cabinets and counter-tops that businesses were offering to help complete a home improvement project he currently had underway.

The occasional gusts of strong wind forced several vendors to anchor down their displays with makeshift tools, but that didn’t stop people from zig-zagging through vendor displays dispersed through the parking lot and checking out what they had to offer.

“I’ve been so busy putting up things I haven’t had the chance to look around,” said Brady Means, who was helping set-up the both for The Finishing Touch, a local home improvement business. “This is good to stimulate the economy and get people spending their money locally. There is a lot of people that don’t even know our store exists and we’ve been here over 20 years.”

The Finishing Touch flooring manager Angela Maes said the company has been a staple of the Los Alamos home improvement community for 28 years, and she was glad to have the opportunity to display their products for a wide audience.

“This is good to show people they can do a lot of stuff in town, it gives them some good ideas,” she said. “We are also displaying some of our environmentally friendly stuff.”

Among the “environmentally friendly stuff” on display at The Finishing Touch booth were carpets padded with recycled plastic bottles and others padded with corn products.

Other vendors offered solar-powered products to the public as an alternative to traditional energy-powered technologies, to provide long-term solutions to rising energy costs.

“This is a success – people are really enjoying themselves,” said Christina Wagner, associate broker for Re/Max.

Although groups of people seemed to be constantly trickling in and out, some attendees thought the event could have benefited from better advertising.

“It’s not bad; it’s a good effort on their part to get the information out to the public,” said Bob Visel. “But I don’t think they advertised good enough, they could have advertised better.”

Area businesses like Los Alamos National Bank and Dahl Plumbing Supply provided plenty of free water for thirsty event-goers, and some local restaurants offered hot-dogs, burritos and kettle corn to the public. About 20 area businesses were on-site.

“We’re very pleased with the turn-out,” Henning said. “This is really good business for local vendors.”