FARMINGTON Businesses and organizations from around San Juan County gathered Friday and Saturday at McGee Park in Farmington for the annual Home Expo.

The expo, which is put on by the San Juan County Home Builders Association, provides advice to people looking at building, buying, remodeling or landscaping a home.

This year's expo theme was "building trades is what we do."

The Daily Times is one of six featured media sponsors of the Home Expo.

One of the most popular parts of the expo is San Juan College's playhouse raffle. Three playhouses built over the course of the year were on display for children to explore.

On Saturday afternoon, Marquel Peace, 4, climbed up a ladder into a three-story stucco playhouse with blue trim donated by Ike's Plastering Inc. Her family placed drawing tickets into a large bucket beside the playhouse. They entered a drawing for each of the three playhouses, but Marquel said she preferred the large stucco playhouse.

"I like the up," she said, referring to the top of the playhouse where children can stand on a balcony looking out over their surroundings.

Also on Saturday, members of the home builders association offered advice to expo attendees.

Holly Whitethorn has been in the same position as some of the curious attendees. Whitethorn, who is a member of the association and works in the construction industry, remembers when she was looking to buy a house.

"We looked at about 50 houses," she said.

But none of the houses offered exactly what she was looking for. So she and her husband decided to take aspects from the houses they liked and combine them by constructing their own home.

"It's a chore, and it's nerve-racking, but you get what you want," Whitethorn said.

Businesses also offered tips on different aspects of the home. The Floor Trader offered advice not only on floors, but also on landscaping and on rock work for walls.

At center, Jeff Holmes, the owner of Budget Blinds, talks with Roger Ricks, left, about home automation products on Saturday during the annual Home Expo at
At center, Jeff Holmes, the owner of Budget Blinds, talks with Roger Ricks, left, about home automation products on Saturday during the annual Home Expo at McGee Park Convention Center in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

Kirby Mortenson, president of the Floor Trader, showed off artificial grass, which he said can last 15 to 20 years and saves money on water and fertilizer, as well as time in yard care.

"Once you get it installed, you can forget about caring for your yard," he said.

The grass ranges from $4 a square foot to $7 a square foot.

Budget Blinds and Next Level Audio and Video had booths side-by-side and spoke about home automation.

Bill Jackson, of Budget Blinds, said anything automatized can be controlled from anywhere in the world after being plugged into the automatization system.

Budget Blinds has been working with Next Level Audio and Video to provide blinds that can be open and closed remotely using a smart phone.

"That's truly the future of window coverings," said Jeff Holmes, the owner of Budget Blinds.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.