Let’s say you’re visiting the 13th annual Northeastern Pennsylvania Home & Garden Show and you’re in a practical mood.
You could visit the vendors who offer to waterproof your basement, provide you with new gutters or install windows specially designed to keep the heat in — when you’re craving warmth in winter, that is — and screen doors that will keep the insects out.
“In terms of practicality, the Department of Environmental Protection will be there with a very interactive exhibit to show people how to make their homes more energy efficient,” added Daisy Kong, a show organizer.
But you also might find yourself wandering over to the more luxury-oriented displays.
You’ll find vendors happy to give you information about home saunas, hot tubs and swimming pools — install one of those and you might never have to leave town for a vacation again. Then there are the fun options, from home-entertainment systems to a mix that helps you make wine frappes at home.
At past shows, visitors have gleaned information about everything from roofs and doors to home security systems to water-proofing the basement. And, some savvy shoppers have not been shy at all about trying out the merchandise, clambering into a hot tub to see how roomy it felt or stretching out on a mattress to ascertain the softness vs. firmness.
Now that the holiday season is over, Kong said, people are naturally looking ahead to the home improvements they might achieve during warmer weather.
“Most of our shows are at the very beginning of the year, just to help people get ready for new home renovations,” she said. “They’re more settled down after the holidays.”
Could this be the year you decide to upgrade your kitchen? Do you need the extra work space a kitchen island might provide? The convenience of a built-in microwave or a new refrigerator? An oven that calculates how long a dish should be heated?
If you’re thinking about remodeling, expert carpenter Jeff Devlin of DIY Network fame will give several presentations on Saturday and Sunday and said he welcomes questions. He said his goal is to help homeowners reduce that sense of trepidation about what can be a daunting task and make it less overwhelming.
Planning, inspiration and sticking to your budget are key, he said.
While Devlin, who can be seen on the DIY Network’s “Good, Better … Best” and “I Hate My Bath” is a newcomer to the Wilkes-Barre show, antiques appraiser Harry Rinker, who hosts the radio show “Whatcha Got?” will return to the local show and once again give his opinion on the antiques and collectibles people bring to him.
The main criteria he uses to determine value are the condition of an item, how rare it is and how desirable.
“I think the biggest misconception is that age is value,” Rinker has said. “Today, age is secondary value. The question is, do I have a buyer for it?”