Solutions both practical, creative found at annual Remodeling Expo
By Bob Karlovits
Published: Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Joann Fullen and Ryan Robertson say their organizations will offer two different outlooks of planning at the Pittsburgh Remodeling Expo beginning Jan. 4.
While one topic leans to the creative and the other to the practical, both are vital elements in any home job.
Fullen, owner of a Penn Hills-interior design firm that bears her name, and Robertson, senior vice president and market manager at Fifth Third Bank's Downtown headquarters, say they will be offering examinations of ways of getting into projects.
The two topics fit the nature of the event, says Nick Vedder, show manager from L&L Exhibition Management of Minneapolis. He says the show will have 160 vendors who provide information on interior remodeling, but do not deal with exterior projects that are part of the bigger home-and-garden show in March.
Fullen will be joined by four other area members of the American Society of Interior Design — Nancy Sakino Spears, Patty Ringo, Nancy Barsotti and Liz Murphy — to offer suggestions on projects and even one-on-one consultations.
Such planning is an obvious start to any project, but Robertson says Fifth Third staffers will look at financial preparation — which will allow the work to be done.
“Going to a bank when you are considering a home project may not be the first step you take,” Robertson says. “The show will allow a person to have a conversation with a banker to see what can be done.”
He says staff members will discuss the differences between equity and non-equity loans. Equity loans are built around the collateral a creditor has built up in a home.
Equity lines of credit allow a homeowner to have an amount of money available for projects, but Robertson realizes some people don't like putting another mortgage on the property.
“Equity loans are popular and have become a good tool, but, sometimes, they are not the right fit for everyone,” he says.
The bankers also will discuss matters of purchasing and refinancing homes, she says.
For design consultations, Fullen asks homeowners to bring floor plans and photos of each wall so the designers can get a good idea of what the room offers and demands. Besides the one-on-one talks, which will be about 15 minutes each, there also will be panel discussions with question-and-answer periods.
She also offers her own kind of financial warning: Money often plays a bigger role in home jobs than it sometimes seems on home-renovation TV shows.
“People in those projects talk about getting all these jobs without really discussing the money too much,” she says. “It's a reality show that really isn't.”
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7852.
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