The 60th annual NARI Milwaukee Spring Home Improvement Show takes place this weekend in the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park.
NARI is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
The show comes as NARI members are almost universally busy, amid a jump in demand for home improvement work, spurred at least in part by people spending so much time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Homes weren’t meant to be utilized the way they are being utilized,” said Diane Welhouse, executive director of NARI Milwaukee. “They were not meant to be cafeterias, offices, schools, day cares — everything else.”
That has led homeowners to renovate for functionality as well as aesthetics.
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The trend is not expected to slow, at least for this year. Annual spending on remodeling in the U.S. is forecast to top $430 billion this year, Welhouse said.
Contractors are busy. Some “are booking projects a year out,” Welhouse said.
The pandemic and its resulting supply chain issues have somewhat changed the way projects are done. Now, contractors try to avoid starting a project unless they can be sure all the components — windows, doors, lighting, plumbing fixtures, for example — for the remodel are available and ready to be installed.
“I’m not going to rip up your house and then make you wait for months on end to complete the project” because needed supplies aren’t available, Welhouse said.
NARI show is a good place to start
As for the show itself, “It’s a great way to comparison shop,” Welhouse said, when trying to decide, for instance, what type of replacement countertops you might want in a kitchen or bathroom.
It can also allow homeowners to get an idea of costs associated with a project.
“It’s a great place to go to freely ask questions of contractors and get a feel for how your choices are going to impact the cost,” Welhouse said.
“You can talk to professionals and they can guide you through the process of deciding what’s most important to you” in terms of a remodeling project, she added.
The show includes approximately 150 NARI Milwaukee members who provide remodeling and home improvement services and products — from design/build firms to specialized contractors for all areas of the home, including roofing, gutters, windows, doors, HVAC, electrical, painting and more.
If you go:
The NARI Milwaukee Spring Home Improvement Show runs Friday through Sunday at State Fair Park in the Wisconsin Exposition Center, 8200 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis.
Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
$10 in advance, online only at NARIMilwaukeeHomeShow.com; $12 at the door; Adults 60+, $10 at the door; children age 17 and younger, veterans and active-duty military personnel and front-line workers and medical personnel (with I.D.) are free.
$10 for parking at State Fair; ample street parking available.
For more information on the NARI Spring Home Improvement Show or to receive a free copy of “Renovate,” the 2022 consumer magazine and membership directory, visit NARImilwaukee.org