AUGUSTA CIVIC CENTER

February 4, 2011

Weekend show touts affordable homes

Starts at noon today

AUGUSTA -- Sandra Trepanier spent Thursday with a cleaning rag in her hand.

click image to enlarge

David Bergeron casts a long shadow while sanding an archway in a New Era modular home being set up in the Augusta Civic Center on Thursday afternoon. Bergeron and other works for Steve's Modular were setting up homes for this weekend's manufactured housing show that runs through the weekend.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Trepanier and her crew were busy sprucing up manufactured homes on display at the Augusta Civic Center.

More than 30 vendors showed up for the 23rd annual Maine Manufactured Housing Show that runs today through Sunday.

"We're cleaning them up to make them look nice and respectable," said Trepanier, who works for Millsy's Cleaning Service in Augusta. "We're vacuuming and dusting. Aren't they nice? We're all going to come tomorrow and see them."

The event will be open noon to 7 p.m. today,10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults or $7 with a coupon. Tickets for seniors are $7 and for children younger than 14, $4. Children younger than 7 are admitted free.

Bob Cole of America's Best Shows, producer of the event, said attendance has been low for the past few years as the recession kept home buyers sidelined.

He said 4,500 people came to the three-day event last year. But with the economy improving, he said he hopes twice as many will attend this year.

"All the signs are very positive," Cole said Thursday.

Cole said the recovery should play well for the manufactured home industry, which builds affordable homes. And with the credit markets on the mend, financing is more widely available.

"There's a lot of government money out there for low-income homes that people can qualify for," he said. "If you can afford $700 to $800 in a rental payment, you can own your own home."

In addition to eight manufactured homes on display, there will be four modular-home display booths and exhibits featuring garden and lawn equipment, finance companies including the Maine State Housing Authority, hardscape companies, basement and attic refinishing companies, air filtration services, security system companies and more.

Manufactured homes are built to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That code regulates design, construction, strength, durability, fire resistance and energy efficiency. It also prescribes performance standards for heating, plumbing, air conditioning and thermal and electrical systems.

The homes are built in factories under climate-controlled conditions. Materials and supplies are purchased in large quantities at lower prices and are available when needed. All these manufacturing advantages add up to savings for consumers.

Tim Robinson, who works for Pine View Mobile Homes in Winslow, said the homes come in 14-foot wide sections that were able to squeeze through doors at the side of the Civic Center. Workers then fit them together.

Robinson said they brought the sections in Tuesday, and are now just cleaning them up and rearranging furniture for the show.

"The last pieces came through just before the snow storm started," Robinson said. "There's another storm coming when we have to move them out. We'll have to cover them all up with plastic."

 

Mechele Cooper -- 623-3811, ext. 408

mcooper@centralmaine.com

The event will be open noon to 7 p.m. today,10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults or $7 with a coupon. Tickets for seniors are $7 and for children younger than 14, $4. Children younger than 7 are admitted free.

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