Home show lets ideas grow, homeowners rebuild

More than 200 vendors at fairgrounds today
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn Fall Home Show is a place for new ideas to bloom and a source of hope for some 49 Fire victims that normal could return for some. The annual exhibit of household services brought more than 200 vendors to the Gold Country Fairgrounds and continues through Sunday. The home show also featured special help for those with a special needs. Barbara and Skip Koski of Auburn lost their home and possessions in the 49 Fire. This year more than 40 vendors offered deep discounts to fire victims. The Koskis stopped at the Solar Master’s table where owner Kevin Boedecker was offering his services at cost for victims. Boedecker said he could relate to what homeowners who lost everything are going through. At the age of 10, his family’s home burned half-way down. “I get the feeling they’re going through,” Boedecker said. “So offering any fire victim solar power at cost while they’re rebuilding their home I feel like is the least we could do.” Barbara Koski said words couldn’t express how grateful she feels to community members who want to help. “It’s totally unbelievable,” Barbara Koski said. She said the outpouring of community support just reaffirmed her and her husband’s decision to rebuild their home at the same spot it burned down about a month ago. As the Koskis perused the fairgrounds so did hundreds of others. Vendors sprawled themselves and their product-filled booths across the grounds and answered a variety of questions for those looking to build their first home to others wanting to update what they already have. “I think this is the best home and garden show in the area,” said Kristina Smith of Folsom. “There are really friendly vendors here and lots of great ideas.” Smith and her friend Jenny Louis strolled through the Garden of Eatin designed by Foothill Design & Landscape in the landscaping section of the show Friday. Louis remarked that she liked to see pieces that are usually trashed — such as an old bed frame — put to use as a design feature. “This gives me the idea that I shouldn’t be so quick to get rid of things,” Louis said. Other vendors, including George Henley of Henley Homes Inc., were also on hand to assist those look to rebuild or remodel, including fire victims. Henley, who is a member of the Placer County Contractor’s Association, said he’s already helped some with basic templating. He said one of the biggest needs of fire victims is to get a construction cost analysis. He added that it’s important for those who are rebuilding to be wary of unliscensed contractors. A good way to verify a contractor’s validity is to see if their license number, which should be on their business card, is in good standing with the state contractor’s license board. Henley added that for the most part, he and other contractors want to allow victims time to grieve and be ready to help when they are asked. “Through this horrific disaster if there is a good side it’s that it will help stimulate our local economy,” Henley said. “It’s really important to take care of each other locally.” Barbara and Skip Koski said they’ve finally cleared off their plot and now the land where their home used to sit looks like it did 23 years ago when they first saw the property. “It’s easier to look at now,” Barbara Koski said. She added that she and Skip are considering making more environmentally friendly additions to their home such as solar panels. “We can do those things easily now,” Barbara Koski said. Jenifer Gee can be reached at