Get Inspired at the Rochester Area Builders Home Show

The 41st annual event brings together dedicated home experts and motivated homeowners
By Trish Amundson

Let’s face it, after too much time indoors, escaping the cold, we’re sick of staring at the same old walls.  Shake off your cabin fever and attend the annual Rochester Area Builders (RAB) Home Show, February 7-9 at Mayo Civic Center. Whether you want to build, remodel or just get new ideas, the event offers inspiration to transform your indoor and outdoor living spaces.   


Exhibitors will display their products, hand out literature and visit with attendees, many of whom are interested in building or remodeling their homes. With different representatives from some of the same specialties on hand, you can see the variety of options before choosing a company to work with. And rather than driving or calling all around town, you will have easy access to many professionals in one convenient location. You’ll find qualified experts who can provide information and answer your questions about garage doors, landscaping, plumbing and heating, real estate, custom homes, countertops, fireplaces, interior design, flooring and more.

Lindsay Lueck collaborates closely with John Eischen, executive director of Rochester Area Builders Inc., and serves in dual roles with the home show. “I am chair of the Home Show committee, and I also help with a booth for Quality Overhead Door,” she says. Lueck is the office administrator at Quality Overhead Door and has staffed the company’s eye-catching exhibit for the past two years. “We will have garage doors on display, and we like to have a working garage-door opener on display as well.”

Lueck was eager to join the Home Show Committee in 2018. “Rochester Area Builders has supported the local trades industry for years,” she says. “The home show is an event that has benefitted not only Quality Overhead Door, but hundreds of local businesses throughout southeastern Minnesota. I jumped at the chance to be involved in such a well-respected and highly attended event.”


Experts will showcase innovations and trends, including home products and building practices that focus on quality assurance, energy efficiency and green building. According to RAB, green building is “incorporating environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process to minimize environmental impact.”

The RAB Home Show promotes environmental consciousness, and green building options will be highlighted through the Resource Way feature. Look for exhibitors with green curtains, as they offer products and services that are sustainable and energy-efficient and can help you explore different aspects of green building. “I enjoy looking at new energy efficiencies and learning about things like furnaces, because when it needs replacing, I’ll have a better idea of what I’m looking for,” says Catharine Bliss, who has been attending the home show with her family for about 10 years. 


RAB gives back to the community in many ways. Recognizing an ever-increasing labor shortage in building trades, the organization promotes building careers and collaborates with Rochester Community & Technical College and Riverland Community College, which both offer carpentry programs. A feature of the home show will be a Construction Career Center, with representatives from the local colleges providing information about educational programs and careers in the construction field. 

If you’re a pet lover, you’ll want to register to win an indoor or outdoor custom “furever home.” Building experts have constructed and donated these dog or cat homes, which will be raffled off at the event. Proceeds will benefit the Paws and Claws Humane Society, which helps animals find their forever homes.


The home show is an opportunity to see your favorite things, while spending time with some of your favorite people. “My husband and I really enjoy seeing all the offerings for homes in one space,” says Bliss. “I love looking at the new landscaping ideas and chatting with all the contractors in one place.” 

Rochester native and 20-year attendee Patti Price is a gardener, and her favorite exhibits are the landscaping and outdoor displays, such as the exhibit for Custom Retaining Walls and Landscaping, Inc. She also looks forward to getting ideas on high-tech improvements. “So many home technologies are developed each year to make life easier and more streamlined. It’s fun to see what’s out there, even if I don’t plan to purchase anything,” she says.


“If you have a specific project you are working with, come with a list of questions,” suggests Bliss. “Then you can narrow down the best person to interview for your project.” With several exhibits and activities, it’s easy to forget your questions without a checklist.

Take time to browse the home show exhibitor list and map at to locate the vendors you want to meet. If you’re interested in a service or product, consider leaving your contact information at their booth, and ask the exhibitor to follow up with you at a later date. Go early and plan on staying awhile.

At the RAB Home Show, you can explore any aspect of a home, from small design options to large home additions and new builds. Rochester-area professionals will be accessible to share their valuable knowledge to bring your ideas to life—or to inspire you with new concepts to make your dream home a reality.

2020 RAB Home Show
Mayo Civic Center, Rochester
Friday, February 7, 3-8 p.m. (“Date night” with 2-for-1 admission)
Saturday, February 8, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, February 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$8 per day for adults, Children 17 and under are free