Vendors say La Crosse Area Builders Association Home Show is essential for business

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — The cost of materials for new construction is rising, making it difficult for builders and new home buyers. Vendors at The La Crosse Area Builders Association Home Show say the show is crucial to their businesses, especially now.

Vendors from all across the state have come to the show at the Omni Center in Onalaska to connect with other vendors and builders. This window of opportunity may be small, as new home construction numbers continue to decrease since the start of the pandemic.

Since the start of 2020, the prices of necessary building materials such as copper, windows and door frames have increased. Supply chain issues also have contributed to the decrease in building.

Residential construction in Wisconsin has dropped 5 percent since 2020. Vendors hope the show can help them weather the conditions.

Larry Hutson, owner of Used Anew, says the show gives vendors an opportunity to schedule future projects.

“We get a lot of our businesses through word of mouth, but a lot of it starts right here at previous homes shows,” Hutson said.

The show gives people ideas, and many of them will contact vendors years down the road, Hutson said.

Wisconsin Builders Association representatives say they are encouraging President Biden to reduce duties on Canadian lumber and provide relief on building materials so that home builders can get materials at a faster rate.

The home show runs through the weekend. Admission $7, includes 2 free drink/treat tickets. Kids under 18 can attend for free.

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