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Peoria Home Show Builders Expect Different Needs This Year

In Washington, some of the homes have been under construction for months already, while some are just getting started
WASHINGTON - Peoria's spring home show is often a great "one stop shop" for people looking to spruce up their homes. But after November’s tornadoes devastated the Washington area, this year's show will be more about rebuilding and starting over. This year, vendors expect a near-record turnout as tornado victims begin the long road of rebuilding.

"A lot of homes need to be rebuilt there, and I think that's really going to make the show a lot busier this year," said Mark Lankston, superintendent for Scott Lewis Homes.

"It was a crush at first for them, but now they're really engaging in finding what kind of repairs they need," said Jeff Thompson, service manager for Peoria Siding and Windows.

In Washington, some of the homes have been under construction for months already, while some are just getting started. The needs of the area vary, with some places already beginning a total overhaul.

"Right now, they're looking for more of the necessities," said Thompson. "You've got to have a roof, you've got to have siding, you've got to have windows."

"Even if it looks like the house is still standing, we've had to go out and do a lot of demos because the house is not stable enough," said Lynn Worthington, owner of Worthington Builders.

Worthington says winter weather has delayed several projects already, and the line grows longer by the day. Those who only need slight repairs and tweaks could get service soon.

"People that need remodeling done will still be able to that type of thing because we have a separate crew that does the remodeling," said Worthington.

And builders say that line probably won't be shrinking any time soon.

"Probably even three, four, five years running," said Lankston.

But seeing progress, however small, is rewarding for these builders.

"It's just kind of sad to look at it every day, but they've done an incredible job of cleaning it up, and it's coming along great," said Lankston.

Builders say they expect to have steady tornado business for at least the next year and a half, but some could take even longer, if they've found temporary housing and have more time to re-assess needs.

The Peoria Home Show starts Friday at 4 p.m.

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