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      Finding Inspiration for Your Next Home Improvement Project

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      The 38th annual Nebraska Home and Builders show showcased the latest in home improvement, design and landscaping. Taking place Jan. 18 through 20, many took the opportunity to find inspiration in an exhibit filled with home experts.

      "The house we live in now, we built ourselves," homeowner Alice Stevens said. "But now we've lived there for 18 years, so it's time to upgrade and fix things up again."

      Many shoppers came to the home show with a clear plan for what they need, but many said they leave with new ideas.

      "We also saw hot tubs, and I'd like to have one of those," Stevens said.

      Slogans like "entertain, exercise or relax in any weather," drew shoppers to outdoor renovations.

      William R. Jackson, of the Jackson Group, produced the three-day event. Jackson said the biggest trends of the year are outdoor renovations like patios, gardens and sunrooms.

      "A sunroom is an addition to your home that you can get your family in without bugs bothering you," said sunroom builder Ron Bures, of ABC Seamless. "And you put a hot tub in them and you could do all kinds of things in a sunroom."

      Many people may also be choosing to renovate and upgrade instead of buying a new home.

      Grand Island realtor Amber Gerdes, of Woods Bros. Realty, said people are afraid to put their homes on sale because they may not find another home to buy. She said, "124 homes were available at the beginning of the year."

      She added that many renters want to become buyers but they're having a hard time finding the best home in the best area with the floor plan of their needs.

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