From The Floor To The Attic . . . It’s Home Improvement Time

Biz X magazine April 2022 Home improvement
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From The Floor To The Attic . . . It’s Home Improvement Time

After a three-year absence, the Windsor Home & Garden Show is back and organizers and exhibitors are all excited to welcome area residents to Central Park Athletics the weekend of April 29 to May 1.

“Our last show was in April 2019 before everything suddenly shut down and I think there’s a huge pent-up demand from people looking to update, expand or renovate their homes, and our exhibitors are also excited at the chance to meet potential clients face-to-face,” says Stuart Galloway, President of 20/20 Show Productions Inc., which is organizing the show again.

“I don’t think we will need to do anything spectacular, because I think people are itching to get out and get started on home projects,” he adds.

The 38th annual show will feature more than 200 exhibitors spread out over the centre’s main show floor.

Galloway points out that even though most exhibitors have websites, where they are able to display their products, consumers want to see what they are buying and meet the people they are buying from, when it comes to spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

According to Galloway: “Another factor in our favour is that a lot of people have not been able to travel, so they are spending this additional disposable income on upgrading their homes and living spaces.”

And with local home prices going through the roof in the real estate market, many owners are opting for renovations and decorating projects as a way of freshening up their existing home.

Statistics provided by the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS (WindsorRealEstate.com) reveal, the average selling price for homes in the Windsor area, for February 2022, soared to $704,122, compared to $486,461 a year earlier. The most popular style of homes sold this month were: 2 Storey (119), Bungalow (115), Ranch (68), 1 ½ Storey (63) and Raised Ranch (46).

This is great news for sellers looking to downsize, but not such good news if you happen to be a buyer as well.

“The renovation and decorating sectors are booming and our show is a perfect showcase for just about everything that’s available,” indicates Galloway.

Hours for this year’s show are: Friday April 29, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 with those under 16 admitted for free.

There is ample on-site parking at 3400 Grand Marais Road East where it meets Central Avenue. For more information and a complete list of vendors, go to: OntarioTradeShows.com.

Which brings us now to our cover story . . . Biz X magazine has put together this article about some of the companies participating in this year’s show, as well as others active in the home renovation and decorating sectors. While the whole renovating process may seem overwhelming, local businesses are there for you, every step of the way.

What follows are some possible suggestions to consider to upgrade your home, from new additions, attic conversions, bathroom/kitchen cabinets and fresh paint on the walls to epoxy flooring, trendy furniture and unique products/services — one room at a time.

The Kitchen And Bathroom

This will be the first Windsor Home & Garden Show for Amherstburg’s Tom Martin Cabinets Inc. to participate in, after the cancellation of the past two shows in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic restrictions.

“I’ve attended the show a few times just to take a look around and we were all set to go a couple of years ago, so we are happy to finally get the opportunity to participate,” comments Tom Martin, who has been in the renovation industry for more than two decades. “We’re excited to have an opportunity to meet some potential customers in person.”

Martin’s company handles kitchen and bathroom renovations, cabinet building and refacing, as well as flooring, vanities and countertops.

“We’rea one-stop shop and we do a little bit of everything,” explains Martin who has four employees, including son Reed, who is preparing to take over the business.

Though business slowed down for a while at the beginning of the pandemic, Martin reports it has started picking up again now that people are realizing they might be further ahead to renovate their own home rather than jumping into a volatile high-priced local real estate market.

“Tax season and spring also helps turn people’s minds to home renovations,” believes Martin.

And with the City of Windsor, in particular, encouraging additional dwelling units on homeowners’ properties, Martin is seeing more opportunities for growth in that sector as well.

“For a lot of people, overpaying in the real estate market isn’t really an option so they are creating additional living spaces within their own property,” he states.

Supply-chain issues have provided some challenges, but with more than two decades of relationships with suppliers, Martin says he’s been able to acquire most of what he needs reasonably efficiently.

“Bricks for fireplace surrounds and carpeting have been hard to get,” he admits. “But, we’ve been able to acquire maple for our cabinets without too much difficulty and that’s our most popular wood right now.”

The business is located at 20 Renaud Street in Amherstburg.

The Living/Family Room, Bar, Bathroom, Kitchen And Outdoor Cooking Areas

Now in his fourth year of business, the team at ANR Concrete Studio — operated by partner Andrew Schincariol along with founder Adam Rossetto — are looking forward to the company’s second year at the Windsor Home & Garden Show.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet customers in person and show them exactly what we can do in the way of artisanal and custom concrete,” Schincariol states. “It’s a better experience for everyone if they are able to see the finished product because you can’t edit out any imperfections in your work.”

The company specializes in concrete work, both inside and outside a home, including bars, barbecue patios and outdoor cooking areas, as people move towards turning their properties into their own stay-cation resorts.

Schincariol says ANR hasn’t had any supply issues, since all of the components are sourced within North America.

“Our business is 100% vertically integrated, and when clients are working with us, they get craftsmen who own 100% of the process,” explains Schincariol.

Rossetto, who has more than 30 years experience in the concrete business, concentrates his efforts on creating beautiful and functional concrete products for a variety of clients, having had his interest in the business piqued during a trip to California.

The company is a one-stop shop for clients and handles sales, manufacturing, design, delivery and installation. They are also members of The Concrete Countertop Institute.

“We’re not a middle-man and we don’t buy from another manufacturer and then deliver the product to our clients,” adds Schincariol. “And no two pieces of what we produce are the same, they are all unique.”

ANR focuses on indoor/outdoor countertops, integral sinks, hearths, accent panels, window sills, mantels, cladding, shower pans, bar tops and custom concrete furniture. The company also provides custom concrete designs for vanities, fireplaces and customized glass-fibre reinforced concrete for both indoor and outdoor projects.

Rossetto and Schincariol hope to open a showroom by the end of summer, but for the time being, products and finished projects can be seen at Forest Glade Fireplaces, 11400 Tecumseh Road East; Creative Homescapes, 2619 County Road 42 and Welcome Home Kitchen and Bath, 1641 Provincial Road, inside the Plaza Ontario Design Centre — all in Windsor.

To shop online for their products, ranging from artisan materials to non-combustible mantels (Barn Beam and Cube Mantels), to end tables and vessel sinks, visit their website. You’ll also be able to see a photo gallery of past projects.

The Garage, Porch And Patio

If you’re looking for a way to make greater use of your outdoor covered patio, you might not want to look any further than DB Homeworks Inc., which provides retractable screens to keep bugs at bay during the hot, hazy summer months.

“Our screens allow people to enjoy their outdoor spaces,” says Dan Brook who launched his business in 2008. “We have a fairly long outdoor season in this area and we can screen in porches, party rooms and even garage areas for people who want to use their garage as an extra living space without having to close the door and shut everyone in.”

Brook also provides screens for awnings, shutters over entry doors and smaller hand-operated units, as well as larger electric-powered screens.

“The applications, when you starting thinking about them, are endless,” comments Brook, who has 30 years experience in the manufacturing and home improvement sectors.

One recent client was looking for way to make more use of an outdoor space, which included a BBQ, a smoker, a fireplace, a TV and a pizza oven along with an inviting pool.

“The corner of the patio was one big opening, but we added a square corner post, which allowed us to properly screen the corner and create two separate entrances,” explains Brook. “Our retractable screen capped it off nicely.”

The hoods of the appliances were hidden by tucking them behind the exposed header for the screen and the tracks for the screen were embedded into adjacent stone columns for a clean finish.

“Every project is unique and requires a unique installation solution,” he adds. “I always say that I do every job as if it’s my own place.”

DB’s retractable and motorized screens help keep family and friends comfortable and protected from insects, while allowing air to circulate before rolling up out of sight when not in use.

“All of our screens are custom-cut precisely to the size of the opening,” indicates Brook. “We offer a wide variety of fabrics and hardware colours to suit every homeowner’s needs.”

According to Brook, it usually takes one or two days to install a screen, depending upon the size of the opening being covered.

“Our business has been growing because more people are looking at making their outdoor living spaces more comfortable,” he says.

Brook continues by stating: “We get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals because what we do is very eye-catching and starts a lot of conversations from friends and relatives, once they see the finished product.”

DB Homeworks — which is also exhibiting at the Windsor Home & Garden Show — is located at 110 Lombard Avenue in Harrow; however, the showroom is not expected to be open until this summer.

Cover story continues on Page 18

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Dave Hall is a former reporter for The Windsor Star who contributes monthly features to Biz X magazine. Dave spent almost 40 years at the paper, covering sports, general news, municipal politics and business. Prior to that, Dave worked for The Brampton Times where he covered general news and sports.