Handyman: Home Show offers big ideas for attendees

Glenn Haege

As I talked to many people at the Novi Home Remodeling Show held Oct. 10-12 at the Suburban Collection Showplace, it was evident that they were following my advice of “proper prior planning prevents poor projects.” The research on products and services they were doing translated into many of the exhibitors booking appointments for estimates and jobs, which, once again, shows that homeowners are starting to spend more money on home improvements.

This year’s show, put on by the Home Builder’s Association of Southeast Michigan, (248) 862-1018, builders.org, also featured the Home Stage where attendees got a chance to hear presentations from experts on electric generators, flooring, heating and cooling, insulation, roofing and, of course, my speech on “The Five Biggest Money Saving Home Improvement Tips.”

The show also presented unique products and services, including a manufactured home being marketed by AJR Home Sales, (248) 380-6150, ajrhomesales.com, that showed how this industry has come a long way since the days of the double-wide trailers. The 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home is available for $74,900 at any of six communities in Southeast Michigan. Manufactured by Clayton Homes, claytonhomes.com, it featured an open design with granite countertops in the kitchen, premium appliances, a master bath, a utility room and the latest in home energy efficiency. Adding a garage, shed or brick skirting around the home’s exterior would add additional costs.

Newer technologies in toilets were on display at a few exhibits this year at the show, including the Serenity AirFlo odorless toilet system and the San Souci and Numi model toilets from Kohler.

The Serenity AirFlo, (248) 922-0630, serenityairflo.com, provides an odor-free bathroom by integrating an air chamber that runs along the full contour of the toilet bowl and is channeled through the rear of the toilet to an exhaust port that runs through the bathroom wall and connects to a vacuum pump. The vacuum pump is installed in the attic area, close to the existing venting system or bathroom venting soil pipe. This will allow odors to vent to the outdoors. A wall-mounted motion sensor is used to activate the vacuum pump only when the toilet is being used.

Infusion Kitchen and Bath Showrooms, (248) 624-5000, infushionshowrooms.com, was displaying Kohler’s San Souci touchless toilet that enables you to hold your hand over the sensor mounted atop the toilet to flush it. Kohler also offers a touch-free upgrade kit for both canister and flapper-type toilets. For the technology lover, the Numi from Kohler is a one-piece toilet with an integrated bidet that opens, flushes and closes automatically. It also features a self-cleaning bidet wand, precision air dryer, a deodorizer and heated seat and foot warmer. Bluetooth wireless technology is also built in to the Numi, so you can stream your favorite music, FM radio stations or podcasts while using the bathroom. It comes with a touch-screen remote and it monitors and adjusts the heated seat settings to save energy.

While unique products certainly captured people’s attention, so did the sample crawl space encapsulation display from Foundation Systems of Michigan (FSM), (877) DRY-MICH, DryMich.com. The display really showed FSM’s unique Vaporloc Elite system for sealing and encapsulating the walls and floors of a crawl space to keep it dry.

Based on the activity I saw, we are in for a busy fall and winter home remodeling season. Don’t worry if you missed the show. The next Novi Home Improvement Show is Jan. 23-25, 2015.

If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email askglenn@masterhandyman.com. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations.