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The Home Front


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001

Briefs and news of note...

Home show theme is anything but dry

Another opening, another home show. This one continues today and Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds on U.S. 301 in Hillsborough. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $6.50 adults, $5.50 seniors, children under 12 free with an adult. Dealing with the drought will be a major focus of this show, with landscaping techniques and water-saving appliances and devices. Stroll past more than 650 exhibits, including water-saving washers and speed-cooking ovens from Maytag. Plus all the exhibits you know and love: windows, siding, countertops, doors, insurance, flooring and lots more.

Its time has come again

Remember this guy, proof that classic style never goes out of fashion? It's the 1950s Moon Beam from Big Ben, and it will wake you with four minutes of soft, blinking light. (A bell goes off if you don't rouse yourself.) It's $40 at Restoration Hardware and L.L. Bean.

Watch 'Today' raise the roof

Don't forget to tune in to the Today show Wednesday mornings on NBC (WFLA-Ch. 8) to watch the progress on the David Weekley home at FishHawk Ranch in Brandon. Viewers vote online on the colors, fixtures, materials and floor plans they like, and that's what the builder puts into the four-bedroom, three-bath Bordeaux model. Today's "Mr. Fix-It" correspondent, Lou Manfredini, hosts each week's segment, tracking the progress of the house, which will be auctioned on eBay to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Synthetic slate is great

Take another look: This is MiraVista Slate from Owens Corning. The synthetic shingles are made from natural slate particles and clay bonded with resin and glass fibers; they're molded from casts of real slate. Home magazine put this product on its list of the 10 best building products for 2001, along with DuPont's Zodiaq quartz countertop surface, Trex decking made from waste wood and recycled plastic, and Pozzi's double-hung wood windows with divided lights that combine energy efficiency with classic appearance.

-- Compiled by Homes Editor JUDY STARK

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