A quick Google quickly finds the following unmissable events for the wannabe renovator on the Melbourne Exhibition calendar:.
- Better Homes & Gardens Live (February)
- HIA Melbourne Home Show (April)
- Building & Home renovation expo (July) (this looks relevant)
- Herald Sun Home Show (August) (this may be relevant but currently wins the prize for Most Broken Website I Have Visited Today).
- Build Green Expo (August)
- Grand Designs Live Australia (September)
- Home Buyer & Property Investor Show (October)
I tried the HIA Melbourne Home Show last Saturday and that list already exhausts me. But if we are thinking renovation (or more specifically, if I am thinking renovation) then the name of the game is Research
Of most interest to me were the builders and extension specialists, some more pushy than others. I spoke to one very nice builder who is only a couple of suburbs away. (Those are my criteria right there. He was nice and he is close by. And he won an award.) There was a free design service where you could take your plans and show them to a designer for advice. The guy thought my plans were good and achievable within the budget I have. Suck-up. And there was a bank you could discuss your loans with. They gave me free inflatable hands for the children. Otto spent a good fifteen minutes smacking herself in the head and saying “Ouch” when I gave hers to her. Who says banks are evil?
Everyone I spoke to asked which Local Government Area we are in. When I told them, they said “OH. You’ll need a lot of lead time then”. Which is what I hear from friends and family as well. Not reassuring.
There were a range of products on show. Some were awesome. I know because the people demonstrating them told me so. Lots of other people seemed to think so too because they were wandering around with AMAZING INDOOR OUTDOOR BROOMS and GRATE PLATES and various other awesome things. Fortunately, there were no shoes. I resisted.
In the middle of the very big exhibition hall was a display of beds. This was very good product placement. I did not try one because I would have fallen asleep and drooled on the covers. Also because I was on a deadline – I had to get back to talk to the free design advisor. (I made it with 20 minutes to spare and was very glad to have somewhere to sit while I waited).
Also in the middle of the very big exhibition hall was Telstra. Not very interesting for what I was looking at but they had free bags of jelly beans. Mmm! Telstra!
I also found AMAZING EUROPEAN WHITEGOODS! NEVER BEFORE SEEN IN AUSTRALIA! I fell
a little bit desperately in love with a fridge which was actually not white at all but stainless steel. Which is the trap of a home show, given that I was not really looking for a fridge at all. And it would not fit in our current fridge cavity.
Overall I was disappointed in the show. I am not sure what I wanted – not mystic lights and a voice over saying MELISSA! WE WANT TO GIVE YOU A FREE RENOVATION! – although I wouldn’t have knocked that back – but maybe a more cohesive feel to the event? I didn’t feel I could navigate very efficiently. Would have preferred to see builders in one area, kitchens in another,
tat demonstrations in another. And definitely fewer MAGIC BROOMS.
Time not wasted though: I left with some specific information that I needed. About builders and doors and decking and such like.
And some that I did not realise I needed, like MAGNETIC RETROFIT DOUBLE GLAZING. There is a reason it rhymes with AMAZING.