Handyman: More home show exhibitors spring up

Glenn Haege
Special to The Detroit News

The Novi Home and Garden Show, sponsored each spring by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan ( is a great opportunity to research lots of home improvement products while taking in the backyard garden and rockscape displays that dominate this particular show.

And according to Michael Stoskopf, executive director of the association, this show had the most exhibitors since 2004. “We had 270 exhibitors this year, and we also had a large influx of first-time exhibitors,” Stoskopf said. “And the exhibitors I talked with were very happy with the quality of leads they were getting for home improvements and the types of jobs people wanted estimates on.”

There were plenty of unique displays and products to give attendees some ideas for home improvements. And since it is the spring show, outdoor products dominated the landscape.

One unique outdoor waterscape was the stacked slate urns at the Waterscape Inc. display, (734) 944-7625, The three urns set in a rock garden each had a steady fountain of water coming out of the top. The unique feature is that at night, you can attach tiki lamps to the top of each urn so you can have the water coming out of the urns with fire above it. The cost of the three stacked urns installed is $7,500.

The Rock Shoppe in Plymouth, (734) 455-5560,, always has a lot of large rocks on display at the show, but this year I was particularly drawn to the array of handmade, painted metal flowers for the garden in a variety of styles and colors. Each one retails for around $100, and unlike real flowers, the only maintenance needed is spraying on a layer of clear coat each spring.

Railings and gates have become an important part of any deck or backyard project these days for both safety and style. Northville Lumber, (248) 349-0220,, had a full line of railing products on display, including the Trex Transcend rail and Signature gate and the Feeney aluminum design rail that features stainless steel horizontal cable infill.

One of the best ways to improve a home’s curb appeal is with a beautiful entry door. And Iron Doors by HDB, (248) 377-9460,, is offering dramatic iron doors to give the front of your home a one-of-a-kind look. The doors can be customized to fit any size, shape and design, and also feature a variety of metal color and glass options and glass options. The doors cost around $125 a square foot, and the double iron doors on display at the show cost around $6,000.

EcoGranite, (248) 820-9196,, has a lot of recycled granite products for the home’s exterior, but at the show it was an interior product that caught my eye. The company’s display featured a backsplash for kitchen, bath or even a wet bar application made from thin marble veneer. The unique part of the product is it has LED lights integrated into the veneer that you can change colors using a remote control. The company is also bringing its recycled granite products to outdoor living by offering a variety of fire pit designs and outdoor grilling kitchens.

Another line of interior products that could best be described as spectacular were the artistic tiles from Motawi Tileworks, (734) 213-0017, The company was displaying its distinctive American art tiles that can be used as art around the home or as accent tiles and its installation tiles that can be used for backsplashes in the kitchen, flooring and even fireplace surrounds. The tiles are made in the company’s tilework facility in Ann Arbor.

Now that the weather has become much more spring like that means more people will be in a hurry to get things done around the house. So if you already did your research at the show and have booked an appointment with a contractor, you are in great shape to have your project completed in a timely manner.

For more home improvement advice, call “The Handyman Show With Glenn Haege” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 from 8-10 a.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can also be heard on more than 135 radio stations nationwide.