AUGUSTA — Folks streamed in and out of the main auditorium Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center, checking out the latest in modular and manufactured homes in warm surroundings despite the chill outside.

Six homes, most double-wide structures with open floor plans, electric fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens, were showcased by three dealers from central Maine.

Other vendors — offering hot tubs, air purification, water testing, replacement windows, wood furniture, mortgages, vacuums and oil — filled in the spaces along the walls.

Julie Beaulieu, general manager of Townsquare Media, which produces the Maine Manufactured Home Show, said the traffic Saturday was brisk and showed an increase of 15 percent over last year.

“Next year we’re hoping to have houses outside,” she said. In some previous years, some two-story homes were erected temporarily in the civic center parking lot.

Linda Burnell, of Augusta, accompanied her son Rob Burnell and his girlfriend, Ashley Edward, who are expecting a child in June, to the show.

The younger couple, who rent an apartment in Hallowell, are looking to have a modular home put on Burnell land in Augusta.

“I like how most of them are affordable and most of them you can make how you want,” Edwards said, after touring several of them.

Edwards and Burnell also admired the wooden furniture — some crafted from logs — offered by North Country Furniture and Country Creations.

“I’m enjoying the show and all the diversity,” said Linda Burnell, as she rested on an upholstered log bench.

According to statistics offered by the nonprofit Manufactured Housing Institute, 81,000 manufactured homes were produced in 2016. The average new home price was $70,600 — which excludes the land cost — and the median household income was $30,000. In that year, 539 of those homes were shipped to Maine and the breakdown was almost even between single-section and multi-section homes.

Tim Hodge, sales zone manager for Titan Homes, talked to people touring a home offered through Atlantic Home Solutions, of Auburn.

“People like the open concept/open floor plan,” he said. “It feels bigger.”

He explained that some of the homes have wallboard on the walls and others have vinyl gypsum board.

Several of the homes on display offered entertainment centers where TV screens hung above electric fireplaces. Others had interior barn doors on bathrooms and closets and some half-doors on media centers. There were large glassed-in showers, some bathrooms with double vanities, and one with a window in the master bedroom closet. The features included shiplap on walls and dining tables set with dishes and bureaus and beds in bedrooms.

The homes could be made to be placed on slabs, and some modular homes, which left room for stairs to the basement, could go on full foundations. Twin Town Homes offered a model that would cost $105,995 on cement and $135,995 on either a full foundation or a crawl space.

Carolyn and Ed Boyd, of Industry, came with questions about their and found the answers.

“We purchased a home in 2012; best route I ever went,” Carolyn Boyd said. She said they had viewed a number of them, and opted for one by Pine View Homes in Winslow. They were in a hurry because they had lost their previous home — a trailer with an addition — to a fire in November 2011.

Now they enjoy their three-bedroom, two-bath home.

Ed Boyd said the homes live up to their reputation for cutting heating costs.

The show at the Augusta Civic Center continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The next show for some of the presenters is the Oxford Area Modular and Manufactured Home Show, scheduled for April 27 to 29.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

 

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