The just ended JLC Live Residential Construction Show in Long Beach seemed to be well attended by my estimation on Thursday, May 15th, the day I attended the show.
Getting in early to check in as a speaker, I wandered down stairs in the seminar area, where the office of JLC staff is and where the speakers lounge is too.
I met Sherri Daniels, a dynamo who was making decisions and introducing me to staff and telling me about my seminar and room assignment all at once and never seemed out of sorts the whole time. “Just another day” Sherri deadpanned.
Leaving me off, I met up with Dave Frane, a senior editor at JLC magazine. We struck up a conversation on waterproofing and enjoyed some banter before heading up to the show floor.
Tons of peole milled about on the floor, a mix of trade show booths with live demo’s of installations of windows, tiling, stair building and vendors selling tools and various software-estimating stuff mostly.
Wandering the floor, I met a number of vendors/manufacturer’s with interesting products and ideas..including Landon Innovations of Moorpark CA’s “Gorilla Gripper”, (www.gorillagripper.com )a handy tool that allows one with ease to handle sheets of plywood and drywall materials with an ingenious handle that grips the piece. Simple Man Products booth had some ingenious “why didn’t I think of that” products that makes life easier on many construction tasks; an electric box finder that one slips into the elec boxes, then puts up the drywall and you can easily find your placing to cut out the hole for the box. Check out their line of stuff at
Shower and bath waterproofing products were represented well, the market for easy to install and waterproof tile showers and baths is ripe for change, leaks in these areas contribute to a lot of construction defect issues like decks do. Nobel Company amongst others has a line of foam cast tile ready forms and pre-sloped floors along with their all in one waterproofing sheet membrane for tiling, which also integrates a crack isolation membrane in it as well. They claim it will work with exterior tiled balconies too. I’ll have to do some research…the material looks interesting.
Wandering further on the show floor, I came across the only actual deck coating manufacturer to smartly buy a booth and meet 100’s if not thousands of potential customers who may need deck coating on one of their projects (pretty dang likely they will!)and now are on Westcoat Specialty Coatings mailing and contact list. I met Curtis at the booth who had some of Westcoat’s cool water based stains and other flooring finishes, along with their deck coating lines and waterproofing.
I watched Michael Byrne do a live tiling demonstration for a while, then went in search of lunch at the speakers lounge.
Down at the speakers area, I met a local from Atascadero-Turko Semmes, of Semmes & Co Builders, who was giving a talk on green building. Then as I’m sitting across from a guy, Tim Faller, who sports a JLC Live badge that says “Westerly, RI” as his hometown…I find out that a couple of Rhode Islanders are out here for the show -stair guru Mike Kennedy is giving demo’s on the floor. Being from RI, it was funny to hear the other speakers, many of whom are on their 3rd or 4th show, ribbing us on “are akshents”. (our accents)It was nice to see that an accent on bringing in California based speakers was made with great success. I joined an esteemed group of caring craftsmen, including Dennis Allen of Allen Associates in Santa Barbara, Michael Byrne of Los Olivios, Jay Elbettar of Newport Beach, Gary Katz, Reva Kussmaul, Michael McCutcheon of Berkeley, Turko Semmes of Atascadero and Bill Robinson of Arroyo Grande.
I walked around the show again before heading over to my hotel, the Queen Mary, for a quick refresh before my seminar at 430.