Area residents interested in the latest trends for home improvements will see several familiar faces among the more than 300 exhibitor as this weekend's Maryland Home & Garden Show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Catonsville native Denny Kougianos and Gayle Marshall, a "transplant" from Virginia who came to Catonsville in 2005, each will be representing their companies at this weekend's event, which is open Friday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Kougianos will be available to answer questions about geothermal heating and cooling options for the home at his Supreme Air company's booth.
"We'll talk to them about the benefits of geothermal, which is not as publicized like solar is," said Kougianos, who began the company with his older brother Alex, in 2005.
"It's good to get out there in front of people," he said.
More than 30 companies at the Maryland Home & Garden Show will present energy-saving solutions with solar panels, efficient heating and cooling systems, and energy audits.
Kougianos said he explains that the geothermal process means moving heat around and taking advantage of the ground's consistent 55-degree temperature four feet below the surface.
In summer, that means moving heat out the house into the ground and in the winter, pulling the heat out of the ground into the house, he said.
Interest in the process continues to grow, he said, and his company, which has 11 full time employees, now has two or three installation projects a week.
The fall is an especially busy time of year, he said, as homeowners look to take advantage of possible tax credits for such improvements.
"We're already booked up to the beginning of December," he said.
Still, he sees value in being among the exhibitors concerned with energy efficiency at this weekend's event in Timonium.
His company was represented at 10 shows last spring and another event in Howard County last month.
"It's tough, but it's worth it," he said.
Marshall said she attended four festivals last spring and this weekend's event will be her Leesburg Gardens company's only fall appearance.
"I did the (Maryland) Home and Garden Show last March and it was very good, so I thought I'd try it again," she said. "Usually, I do outdoor festivals."
She said the name of her company often confuses people.
"People ask where my store is, and I say, 'You're standing in it.'" she said.
Her company offers "lots of whimsical garden art" for residents to decorate their yards, she said.
She said she plans to showcase items with a fall theme, such as ghosts and witches for Halloween, at this weekend's event.
"I like designing the booth, putting it all together, and I get a kick out of selling the stuff," she said.
This weekend's show will feature seven garden displays created for fall by local landscapers, as well as the work of more than 75 local crafters.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $3 for ages 6-12, and free for children under 6 years old.
Admission is also free for active military, police, and fire employees with proper ID.
Discount tickets are available online at http://www.mdhomeandgarden.com.
Parking is free.
For more information, go to http://www.mdhomeandgarden.com or call 410-863-1180.