CANFIELD, Ohio – The Home Builders & Remodeling Association of the Valley opened the doors to its 71st Annual Home and Garden Show on Friday afternoon at the Canfield Fairgrounds Event Center, featuring long-standing home improvement companies and others that are brand new.
The show runs today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Presenting sponsors are Banner Supply Co. Inc. and WW Heating & Air Conditioning.
A sampling Friday of contractors and vendors with displays at the event found all looking forward to greeting prospective customers at the show – the first since pandemic-related shutdowns.
Leaf Home Water Solutions, a water analysis and filtration company, has been open for a year, said Alexa Irizarry, event marketing manager. For the company’s first appearance at the show, she said it’s important to educate attendees on the potential side effects of bad water conditions and offer free testing, as well as to support other businesses.
“As we come out of the pandemic, it is important to support a lot of these businesses, especially because our economy took a hit,” Irizarry said. “Most of these are local companies … it is important to support businesses like that in your community as we go through these trials of economic times.”
Among the challenges home and garden businesses face are material shortages and a lack of job applicants – common issues with many industries.
“I’ve been in a lot of home improvement companies,” Irizarry said. “I have been in the event marketing business for about eight years. I sold windows before this. Selling those I noticed supply chain issues.”
Gallery images include Matthew Brown, owner of Absolutely Custom Closets and Home Solutions; Gault Heating & Cooling’s Glenn Gault, Joe Polis and Ryan Lee; Enviroscapes’ Bill Dunn and Chris Kline, and other shots of the event floor.
Matthew Brown, owner of Absolutely Custom Closets and Home Solutions, said that while the business is not new to construction, it’s new to the “closet game.”
“[We] have been doing it for about two years, after realizing there truly was a need in the area for some new custom work,” he said. “Today is really all about the home storage and garage.”
Brown said the company has been lucky, but as a newer member of the HBA, he has seen some issues since they have started.
“We are fortunate because all of our actual products – with the exception of our hardware – is all made in America,” he said. “ We’ve had extended lead times because of the volume of orders that are being processed right now, but not the actual shortage of the materials. What we’re really needing is more employment – more help.”
Joe Polis, installation coordinator at Gault Heating & Cooling, said the third-generation family-owned company was able to prepare for the shortages and keep work moving forward. One of the things Gault takes prides in is never having to turn away a customer, he said.
“We have been gearing up towards it all along,” he said. “Obviously things have gotten a little more difficult, but we’re rproud to say thus far we haven’t had to turn any customers away. We were always able to make it happen,” Polis said.
“With supply issues, there are always ways around things as far as knowing what’s going to be an issue with a pre-buying those things,” said Glenn Gault, company owner. “We are fortunate that we have locations in three counties. So we stocked up on everything to make sure our customers have everything when they need it.”
As some companies learned how to cope with issues surrounding supply shortages, others had a bigger struggle. Chris Kline, landscape designer and estimator with Enviroscapes, said supply chain issues have “pretty severely” affected the landscape and contracting company.
“We had a lot of jobs that slowed up because of them [supply chain issues],” he said. “We have a building right now that we’re building and we’re probably three or four months behind because of it. It orces you to be creative and come up with new ways to do big projects and get your materials … It’s been a challenge but we’re getting through it.”
Kline said the issue initially emerged about three or four months after the COVID outbreak began and had come to a peak over time. While he said it is starting to get better now, the issues are still there, affecting availability of things like irrigation materials, plastics, PVC materials, glazing materials, windows and doors.
Pictured at top: The Home Builders & Remodeling Association of the Valley opened the doors to its 71st Annual Home and Garden Show on Friday afternoon
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