With spring around the corner, many are itching to erase the toll the winter doldrums took on their homes—or simply eager to start a new project. For Northwest Indiana residents, Porter County’s 41st annual Home Improvement Market was just the place to consort with the experts.
With close to a hundred exhibitors, the Home Improvement Market offered the cream of the crop in terms of all things home building, remodeling, painting, design, electrical, landscaping, and much more. Representatives from such businesses as Overhead Door, ABC Supply Company, and CertaPro Painters filled the Porter County Expo Center to the brim, ready with answers to questions, fun activities, free goodies and entries for various giveaways.
The market served as an opportunity for local and family-owned businesses to mingle with potential new customers. Brian Roney, who operates Roney Painting with his sons, was thrilled to be a part of the expo.
“We come here every year,” Roney said, one of many friendly and seasoned veterans among the exhibitors.
NWI Home Builder’s Association was thrilled to kick off another weekend of activity with the Home Improvement Market. Executive officer Eddie Castellanos emphasized the ways in which the market serves more than recreational purposes.
“[The Home Improvement Market] is another chance to attract potential trade workers, and to increase jobs in trades and crafts,” Castellanos said. “There are so many jobs that are available and need to be filled, but there really aren’t enough people to take advantage of them.”
Castellanos’s fellow members of the NWI Home Builder’s Association, Vicky Gadd and Ed Kelly, agreed.
“Young people are so college-focused, which is great, but not everyone is college-suited,” Gadd said. “Some people are much more suited and success-bound for trades, and they don’t even realize that it’s an option.”
With so many knowledgable vendors, the Home Improvement Market provided an excellent opportunity to further NWI Home Builder’s mission to shift the general perception of careers in trade.
Frank Hendricks of Overhead Door, another seasoned veteran for the market, shared some insight on his method of entertaining attendees.
“The key is to never have a long, flat table between you and the visitors,” Hendricks said, gesturing to the open air concept of Overhead Door’s booth. “We never want to alienate our potential customers—we want to be right on their level!”
Indeed, Hendricks maintained a steady stream of visitors for Overhead Door, his approachable manner and expertise drawing passing attendees.
Alexis Pozdol of ABC Supply Company balanced conversations about both business and pleasure, managing to catch the attention of drifters who might otherwise move past her booth.
“This is our first time at this particular expo,” Pozdol said. “It’s a really great chance to expand our footprint! We’re a nationwide company, so we can negotiate and compare prices with our local customers to make sure they’re getting the best prices.”
Pozdol then clicked with two visitors who shared her birthday; the trio laughed over their mutual zodiac sign patterns of behavior, illustrating a lovely moment where connections were formed.
Most business representatives present agreed that their favorite thing about the expo is meeting new people each year.
“The best part?” Jamie Heintz of CertaPro Paints mused. “Just meeting all of the people. Talking to new people, giving them ideas, getting ideas back. It’s really nice.”
Attendees enjoyed themselves equally as much. Sharon Klemoff of Porter County handed her daughter-in-law the bags of goodies she’d gathered from the event so far, and demonstrated how much better she could walk after trying a sample of an oil meant to soothe stiff joints.
“I could NOT do this before,” she insisted, laughing. “Now, look! It’s amazing. We’re remodeling our house, and there is just so much helpful material here. Obviously, more than I even anticipated!”
Thanks to all of the vendors who gathered for the expo!
A&M Home Services
Advanced Property Specialists, Inc.
Albert the Chimney Sweep
All Services Electric
American Concrete Raising
American Sunspace Additions
Bailey's Discount Center - Cabinets
Bailey's Discount Center - Furniture
Bedzzz Direct - Valparaiso
Boulder Designs by Concrete Design Studios
Calumet Painting & Restoration
Century 21 Affiliate- B. Woodward
Century Pipe & Supply/Bath Gallery
Culligan of Valparaiso
Dave Long State Farm
Dean's Lawn & Landscaping
DG Anderson Construction
Diamond Residential Mortgage
Earl's Heating & A/C
First Class Decks, LLC
First Federal Savings Bank
Free Flow Environmental
Garage Experts of NWI
Gutter Toppers (Dennison)
Habitat for Humanity of NWI
Holdfast Technologies LLC
Home Pro of Valparaiso / Gutter Pro
Home Town Mortgage
Indiana Spray Foam
J&B West Roofing & Construction
Jackson's Home Improvement
JR's Custom Cabinets
Kent Heating & Air Conditioning
Klean Gutters Midwest
Landscape Illumination, Inc.
Lange Windows & Siding
LeafFilter North of Illinois, Inc.
Leafguard Chicago (Beldon)
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Luxe Design Center (Luxor Homes member)
Miracle Water/Eco Water
Modern Woodmen of Amerca
Northwest Indiana Fence
Optimum Viewing (Direct Connect)
Osby Water Conditioning
Overhead Door of NWI
Pella Windows (National Building Prod.)
Porter Co. Recycling & Waste Reduction
Premier Window Systems
Real Time Pain Relief
Regional Plumbing, Heating and Air
Renewal by Andersen of Indiana
Rose Brick & Materials
SHI Home Improvement
Small's Garden Center
Summit Strageties (Firestick guy/Pain free pillow)
Terry's Discount Windows & More
Valparaiso Exterior Designers/Bath Fitter
Von Tobel Lumber & Hardware
West Lakes Phase 4
Window World / Neal Co.