NARI Home Show offers remodeling tips

MILWAUKEE -- Remodeling your home can feel like a never-ending project and can be stressful! Many wonder where to begin, and how much it'll all cost, and others need help coming up with a design. This weekend, those hoping to find some answers and ideas filled the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park for the 2012 Milwaukee NARI Home Improvement Show.

A home is one of the biggest investments most people will make in their lives, and the idea of home ownership has changed in recent years. "People are staying home. They're not selling their houses. They're saying 'okay, let's make this a comfortable place,'" garden expert Liz Friemoth said.

Experts at the 50th annual NARI Home Improvement Show spent the weekend giving advice on how to make your house a home. When it comes to the exterior of your home, Randy Miller from Alright Home and Remodeling says a good tip is starting with the roof, and working your way down to the siding and windows. "Taking care of the top and making sure that's not going to end up having leaking problems, and then you can completely seal it up, and finish up with the siding and caulk," Miller said.

A common theme at this year's NARI Home Improvement Show was less maintenance - whether you're interested in replacing your kitchen countertops: "If you're looking for a beautiful, almost an art piece, you might go with a piece of granite or marble," Or - remodeling your bathroom: "We are going to much smaller soaking tubs, bubble massage with a larger luxury shower with maybe some specialty sprays," Nicki Losinski with Bella Kitchen and Bath said. Some are getting rid of their bath tubs altogether, as people are busier and don't necessarily have time to take baths.

The NARI Home Improvement Show even offered tips for redesigning your garden. "Some of the smaller fruited shrubs are really healthy for you and good for the birds, so even if you don't eat it, it's good for the birds," Friemoth said.

Nicki Losinski from Bella Kitchen and Bath says: don't get too caught up in finding the right finish for your wooden cabinets and floors. "You can have the old oak floors that you refinish. They look gorgeous brand-new, and you can pair it with maple or cherry, different wood species," Losinski said.

Experts say they can provide tips, but the bottom line is: how much are you willing/able to spend to make that dream home a reality.