Monday, April 20, 2009

How to Make Best Use of Home Shows

Home Shows are pretty neat events. From the local region, to the state and national, you can see the latest advances in building science and talk with the pros who know the most about these products. There are so many advances in the energy end of the materials scene, you can find many new options for your home building that will tickle your fancy and save you plenty in operating costs.

It is fun to bring your whole Home Team to the Home Show, so that you can all be informed about the exciting new developments, and your discussions later on can refer to more details than if you must explain everything from scratch. Plus, the event is fun, safe, and very interactive for the whole family.

You can help your children develop their interests in building by exploring the aisles together. They will like that they can ask questions, touch things, and even enjoy some demonstrations. They will love collecting the colorful handouts and samples, and later enjoy contributing their impressions to your discussions about which products were advantageous for your applications.

You can ask all your questions about the newer products you wish to explore. The folks at the home show represent the product specifically. So they know how it performs, what the manufacturing process is, and whether it would be appropriate for your proposed application. They will know about its impact on indoor air quality, intricacies of installation, sizes available, shipping and delivery issues, and how to properly store the item until it is used. Many times you can get samples to feel and later match with your own home's materials.

Now at the show - the new exciting developments of building science will surround you at these shows. It is wonderful! Solar heating, water supply, electrical generation are just a few of the new realm of products that are well represented at the Home Shows. So many advances have made these reachable for the Northern winters and the homeowner, even with a modest budget. The science makes it efficient in Northern winters; and the manufacturing makes this technology affordable to the homeowner that previously was only accessible to institutions with large product research budgets.

Payback periods will be a term you will hear often. This refers to the time it will take for the cost savings to overtake the expenditure on the product. Just a side note, the Stimulus package (regardless of what you think of such things) does extend and expand the energy tax credit to provide a 30% tax credit for energy saving remodeling. That can apply to $5,000 of your energy renovation, yielding a maximum credit of $1,500. Pretty good, when you calculate that into your payback period. Makes it much shorter too!

You will hear many great ideas, have so many questions answered, and collect a good number of pamphlets. Be sure to take breaks, organize your stuff, and make a note of new questions that come up and booths you want to see again. You may indeed get tired. Plan a comeback trip and you will be refreshed and ready to do serious follow-ups.

At home, sort the materials again. Put them into piles for the different parts of your project. As you look at the piles for parts that need to be addressed sooner, you will study those more carefully. Yet some long-range plans do impact the early designs, so take a detour for those to see if you need to account for sizes, chases, barriers, conduits and so on as you begin your earlier phases of design.

Now, get to the more immediate piles. Keep the stuff for each product together. I like to use clear kitchen food storage bags. Often the right size, they keep things together while allowing you to see what's inside. You can even put sticky notes just inside the bag facing out, with pricing estimates, service support impressions, questions, and hot points you wish to note.

You are preparing for a return to the Home Show, with information under your belt, having evaluated what you have seen and armed with new questions to allow you to compare products and fill in the gaps so that you can evenly consider your options.

Now, let yourself sleep on it. Many things will settle out in your mind as you sleep. The brain is fantastic and can sort and process so much even when we are not looking.

In the morning, talk with your Home Team and see what their second impressions are too. Catch some notes, make a list and game plan for your second run at the show, and bring the pile with you for your immediate project and you are ready to return to the show, a newly refreshed and prepared pursuer of the best info available today.

Your second day can be solo, or bring your helpful sidekick. It is a new level of teamwork and, cooperation. It relaxes and encourages you. Whether you debrief there or when you return home to include the rest of your team, it develops stronger bonds of coordination and trust. Communication can flow from there, as you build your house and your happy Home Team!

Autor: Dr Debi Warner Dr Debi Warner
Level: Basic PLUS
Dr. Debi Warner has combined her three decades of family practice in psychology with her love of home renovating to bring you a great resource ... ...

Dr Debi Warner is a Clinical Psychologist with a lifetime of home renovating in her toolbelt. Dr Warner invented Renovation Psychology� to help people gain skills and improve domestic harmony while involved in building projects.

With three decades of family practice, Dr Debi saw many situations gone awry, so she focused her expertise on developing the skills and teamwork that will help people fully enjoy their home projects, for true home improvement. See more about how to gain harmony on your home team while doing home projects at

Added: April 20, 2009