Home improvements

Home Show will host home and garden experts at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center

People walk through last year's North Central Florida's Home Show at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville. This year's Home Show takes place on March 10 and 11.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer/2011 file
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 6:04 p.m.

The start of spring marks the beginning of do-it-yourself season, and North Central Florida's Home Show is here to help.


If you go

What: North Central Florida's Home Show
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 10; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 11
Where: University of Florida, Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville
Tickets: Adults $4; 16 and under free


Ask the Experts seminars

“Cost Efficient Home Safety Solutions”
11 a.m. March 10 — Presented by Gainesville Police Department Officer Nicole Tierney, Crime Prevention Unit
Seminar focuses on safety and security measures that homeowners and renters can implement at little cost.
“Protect and Prepare your Home from Storm or Hurricane Damage”
1 p.m. March 10 — Presented by Kara Sutton, Sutton Family Homes & Management Consulting, Inc.
1:30 p.m. March 11 — Presented by David Hilman, Custom Design Renovations LLC
Important construction techniques that will reduce both wind and water damage to your home in case of storm or hurricane. Information presented by the Division of Emergency Management.
“Ground Covers and Turf Alternatives”
2:30 p.m. March 10 — Presented by Wendy Wilbur, Horticultural Extension Agent, UF IFAS Alachua County Extension Service
Learn about plants that are Florida-friendly and help conserve water. Wendy will cover low maintenance choices to include in your landscape.

Presented by the Builders Association of North Central Florida and The Gainesville Sun, the 13th annual Home Show will host home and garden experts at the University of Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center March 10 and 11.

The show will include as many as 200 exhibits, with vendors representing every aspect of home ownership, from home sales to interior design.

Remodeling services, landscaping artists, interior decorators and credit unions with information on home financing will all be featured in the expo.

This year, more vendors are focusing on environmentally friendly home solutions, said Art Zappa, the home show's coordinator and The Gainesville Sun's sales and marketing manager.

There will be booths dedicated to solar energy, green building materials and energy-efficient heating systems. The Chevy Volt, a hybrid car that can run on electric power, will also be on display, he said.

The increase in green technologies and materials at the home show reflects a national trend toward eco-friendly products, Zappa said.

“It's the future,” he said. “There's a demand for it, so we're going to supply it.”

The home show will feature four “Ask the Experts” seminars, where professionals provide information and answer questions about home issues.

Nicole Tierney, of the Gainesville Police Department, will discuss home safety and crime prevention at 11 a.m. March 10. At 2:30 p.m. that day, Wendy Wilber, from the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, discusses ground covers and landscaping.

There will be two presentations on ways to protect your home from hurricane and storm damage — one on March 10 at 1 p.m. and another on March 11 at 1:30 p.m.

The show provides something for every homeowner, said Margie Krpan, the deputy executive vice president for the Builder's Association of North Central Florida.

People can come in with specific questions and ideas about projects they want to accomplish in their homes, or they can have an open mind and just browse the booths, she said.

“A few years ago I went in looking for blinds, and I walked out with a plan to build a koi pond,” she said. “You never know how you'll be inspired here.”

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