Thought it had been presented in conjunction with the Santa Fe Home Show, the Remodelers Showcase is going it alone – with some changes – as the Home Show is shelved by COVID restrictions.

Remodelers fill a certain niche in their industry, separate from new home construction, which the showcase aims to recognize. Each year, the showcase invites association builder-members who specialize in remodeling to enter the competition. Entries are juried by a panel of judges, all professionals in the field, some local and some from out of town. For fairness, their identities are kept under wraps until the awards ceremony.

Judging covers a number of categories, each given for Excellence in Remodeling and includes Whole House, Kitchen, Bath, Commercial, Green Renovation and Grand Prize. There also is a New Mexico Heritage award, recognizing a well-executed preservation. Occasionally a new category pops up, like the Award for Most Dramatic Transformation.

The Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, which serves seven counties — Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Taos, Colfax, Mora, and San Miguel— has stepped up to the challenge of hosting the showcase and its related events almost completely digitally.

“It’s a way we can highlight the excellent work our folks do,” says association executive officer Miles Conway. “I think this is really important — when somebody invites a builder into the personal space that is their home, they need to know they’re bringing someone in who’s going to be reliable, who they can trust, who will give them peace of mind. They need to see that their vision is going to be achieved and it’s going to be done well and done right.

“An important part of the Remodelers Showcase is letting people know that, yeah, you’re going to see some beautiful pictures and some really interesting remodels, but you’re also going to get a chance to meet some remodelers that will execute your project to a really high standard.”

With help from association members and the showcase entrants, Conway has created a comprehensive online forum that makes up for the lack of a live event.

“Since we don’t have the in-person event, we’re not going to be face-to-face for the showcase. It’s all online with photographs and videos,” he says.

Nothing can replace the visceral experience of walking through a home and feeling the space. But, where that door closed, another opened. By taking the event to a virtual platform, he’s able to post engaging portfolios, with still images, video tours and interviews with the remodelers. This virtual showcase is more far-reaching, and is now accessible to many more people, than the traditional in-person tours could have been.

“The remodelers are excited because there is more exposure,” he says, noting that even people outside of Santa Fe, or out of state, will also be able to enjoy the showcase in its entirety. “This is the first time we’ve created these portfolios of work. We’re putting a lot of marketing behind it, making sure that if you pick up your phone and search for Santa Fe remodelers, you’ll find this. The website will stay up indefinitely, so people can continue to enjoy the entries.”

In conjunction with the showcase is a fun and creative offshoot, the Lego Creations Contest for Northern New Mexico kids. Participants, 12 years old and younger living in the territories served by the home builders association, could use Legos or other “building” materials to show off their design and construction skills. Entrants submitted videos and photos of their handiwork for review by a panel of judges that includes members of Somos-Unidos Foundation, Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Del Norte Credit Union, Meow Wolf and SFAHBA. Lego Classic builder sets will be awarded to nine grand prize winners.

Kicked off on April 25, the showcase runs through May 14, culminating in the Builders Rendezvous. It’s an in-person multi-purpose event taking place outdoors, at the home builders association headquarters on May 15 at noon. Attendees will enjoy a cornhole tournament, awards ceremonies for both the showcase and Lego competitions, and a building materials swap. They also will mingle with the builders and other members of the trade, and can pick up lunch and a copy of Haciendas magazine. All guidelines for COVID-19 safety will be observed. The awards ceremony will be live-streamed as well.

Be on the lookout for upcoming Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association events. Its annual golf tournament is scheduled for June 18, and the association looks forward to a live (with some online features) Haciendas–A Parade of Homes the weekends of Aug. 14 and 21.

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