This year unfortunately JB wasn’t able to attend the Remodeling Show being held in Chicago. BUT, I managed to make it, as it just so happens to be in my new back yard, and eeks! I was now on the other side of the presentation podium. With that, here are my rambling thoughts on the two days I spent at the 2013 Remodeling Show.

my fix it up life at the Remodeling Show 2013

One of the best thing about attending these shows is – it is always good to meet up with old friends. In this case, I had a nice chat with Mark & Theresa before they started their program at the NADRA booth. Let me just add – if you happen to be involved in decking, this is a good group to look into and the (Building Moxie) interview with Mark & Theresa from last year (linked above), well, you shouldn’t miss it.

Hello Chicago || Remodeling Show 2013

Hello Chicago – trust me, Atlanta still ranks as having the worst traffic, but Chicago’s traffic on the other hand… well, let’s just say it brings new meaning to the term “Parkway” (if you happen to be traveling at the wrong time). Yeah, this was a good time.

Press and Speaker Ready Room at the 2013 Remodeling Show

* Prepping for a Presentation

I don’t know what good the signs were, I never got a response…

2013 Remodeling Show Floor

2013 Remodeling Show Floor Before it Opens

I had to arrive the day before the conference started as I needed to pick up my packet. An real early session. This is a look out on the Show floor as they still had a day & a half to go.

2013 Remodeling Show Class Signage

Oh no – what did I agree to do… ?

Lake Michigan outside of Conference Center

Projector check, everything set… good, that leaves me a few to go get a breath of fresh air & relax.

Energy Efficiency Auditing

Whew, first one on the docket & wow, that’s cool! They actually allowed attendees this year to pull the presentations up directly on their smart phones and tablets. Good call! But now about the early hours for some of these classes. Well, maybe they can work on that for next year. The nice thing, it allowed for a much more personalized presentation. Heh, missed the presentation and want to see them…? Well, the QR codes still work.

Presentations Accessed via a QR Code @ the Remodeling Show

Who says a great title doesn’t bring people in…? I got to say the turnout was better than expected compared to many “green” style classes, especially on a day where many people were still traveling. The only bad thing is having to use a mic, which unfortunately was wired & not wireless – locking me into one place. Beyond that, it was time to catch up with some friends and get ready for the Show floor to open the next day.

The Remodeling Show Floor

I was surprised at the size and turnout – but you know, if it wasn’t for the Deck Expo. Part of it had to do with the location (i.e. if you don’t stay in the Hyatt, getting to an early class after catching breakfast is nigh impossible … as all the hotels are so far away). This is made even more clear when talking with many contractors around here.

Another issue which hurts it is – there is not much around it like Baltimore where “they” hold parties at restaurants and you can grab something to eat, etc., instead of temporarily setting up areas on the floor. One of the other items that hurts this show location is the cost to vendors. Not only with the booth price, but the setup fees (heavily unionized & many items that one might normally do, well, you have to pay for them to be done here).


* Andersen Windows

Andersen Windows Red Outside

One of the booths I was looking forward to seeing (especially as JB set up an appointment for me) was Andersen Windows. Like others on the floor, many of the new items deal with new colors … like this window.

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The interesting part though is on the other side – hmmm don’t see anything?

Andersen Wireless Locks

How about now?

Andersen Locks and Alarm

No … well, that is a locking mechanism that holds a wireless sensor that works with any Honeywell alarm system. Got a window closed, but not locked?  Well, it will actually tell you that and not just that a zone is not fully secured.

Andersen Wireless Locking Mechanisam

This is a picture courtesy of Andersen windows, which shows the hardware behind the scenes.  And I don’t know about you but I do love seeing how things are made and look like inside – this is one of their windows.

Andersen Seriously.

Okay, I got to say, though, are you freaking kidding me? You know fiberglass shouldn’t be used not only per the codes, but by your own directions, so why are you using it in your sectionals?

* Fantech

Fantech New HRV @ the 2013 Remodeling Show

One of the items that caught my attention is Fantech’s updated HRV, though I do have to wonder who thought up this crazy connection detail? I really do have to wonder how much thought and testing was involved, as I am not sure I buy that as a good idea.

* Panasonic (Exhaust Fans)

Panasonic Bathroom Exhaust

Ooh look even Panasonic jumped in with the same connection detail. Well, as neither company offers an adapter for hard pipes, I would definitely be staying away from this bathroom exhaust fan for sure at this time.

* Jakob (Deck Rope Railing)

Jakob Deck Railing Rope Solutions

Okay, I got to say – this Jakob deck rope railing option has a very cool look and the picture doesn’t really do it justice. Part of the issue with most railings is they block the view and dealing with glass panels or standard stainless cabling poses their own issues. While they show this with metal railings they also have ways to work with typical wood posts.

* Waymark Products (Decking Lights)

Waymark Solar Deck Lights

Tired of normal deck lights, well I can definitely say this display by Waymark caught a few people’s eyes, including my significant other… Don’t want to wire them, no worries they even have solar powered options.

* CSH (Barn Door Hardware)

CSH Barn Door Hardware

What can I say? I can easily see a barn door in my future dream house or at the very least on the shop…

* Dodge & Bosch

Bosch Loading Dodge Van @ 2013 Remodeling Show

Dodge Van Bosch Loaded

Each year Dodge does a specialized “tool” truck, this year they actually went with a van & choose Bosch as their inspiration.


* Angie’s List

Angie's List Doesn't Do What?

Heh, who says Angie’s List doesn’t market to contractors or allow them to pay to get listed / market their company???!


* Solar Energy Industries Association

Solar Industrial Institute

Interestingly SEIA was getting their area setup for their annual convention in an adjacent hall. I did take this shot as it does pose an interesting question. Just how much land is required to provide the power we need? Do we really want to see seas of solar panels?

With that I am out.


For much more from Sean Lintow, including an excellent article on the Energy Audits, please he’s other profile. For more Product Round Ups and much more coverage on the Remodeling Show, see are category Trade Shows, there. Great info for Pros and Diyers alike.

For our coverage throughout the years from the Remodeling Show.