GLENN HAEGE

Handyman: Good weather draws big home show crowds

Glenn Haege
Special to The Detroit News

The Novi Home Improvement Show sponsored by the Homebuilders Association of Southeast Michigan, (248) 737-4477, builders.org, held Jan. 29-31 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi had good weather again this year, and it showed with the large crowds each of the three days.

Mike Bratcher of Bratcher Electric, (734) 722-0037, bratcherelectric.com, said he can’t remember seeing such large crowds. “On Friday people were lined up outside the door to get in when the show opened, and I have never seen that in all the years I have exhibited here,” he said.

While there are always some unique products being displayed at the show, this year saw some firsts. For example, Kohler had its “Bold Look of Kohler” exhibit. Sponsored by by Infusion Kitchen and Bath Showrooms, (248) 624-6905, infusionshowrooms.com, the exhibit was housed in a semi-truck trailer complete with all the latest Kohler bathroom technology, including working showerheads, toilets, digital shower systems and a variety of faucets.

In Michigan, having a little place up north to get away has always been a popular goal for many people. But not everyone needs a huge cottage to enjoy the up-north escape. Woodhaven Log and Lumber, (888) 988-7463, woodhavenlog.com, was displaying its Tiny Cabins line, including the 12 feet by 26 feet model on display at the show.

These cabins are built with log siding, knotty pine paneling and barn wood products to give it a rustic feel. The model at the show featured a great room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, and it will be delivered to your property pre-built, pre-finished, insulated and fully wired. The show model listed for $35,500, and sizes range in size from 12 feet by 12 feet up to 12 feet by 30 feet.

If you love the taste of a great pizza, you can make your own right on your deck or patio with the Torino Signature Series pizza oven from Forno de Pizza, fornodepizza.com. This portable dual fuel wood or gas fired oven features a stainless steel hearth and a 2-inch refractory cooking stone that can cook a pizza in two minutes. Locally, it is available through Trevarrow, (248) 377-2300, trevarrow.com.

If you are remodeling a bathroom, the free-standing bathtubs on display at the Herald Wholesale Exhibit, (248) 398-4560, heraldwholesale.com, can be a stylish, functional alternative to a standard bathtub. The Ionian model from Victoria Albert, vandabaths.com, is made from one piece casting of volcanic limestone and resin, making it harder and more durable than an acrylic tub. It has a 25-year warranty and retails for a little more than $4,000.

There are a lot of ways to make your home more environmentally friendly, and Greenbright, (734) 929-2423, greenbrightdb.com, was displaying massive solar panels to promote its solar energy systems services for new homes and home remodeling projects. The company can design and install their solar panels on the roof of the home and help work with the local utility company to enhance the home’s green footprint.

2016 appears to be another year where the improving housing market and economy has created more demand for home remodeling products and services. Get started on your project planning now so you don’t end up at the back of the line for the good contractors.

If you would like to suggest a question for this column, e-mail 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, from between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations.