Recycled building materials

The Parade of Homes has closed its doors for the season. Members of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) will take stock and purge many new and gently used building materials to be donated to the Builders Warehouse Sale on Oct. 17. The re-use and recycle store offers items such as model home furniture, appliances, light fixtures, countertops, cabinets, vanities, windows and doors. Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 17 at 5905 Golden Valley Rd., Golden Valley. Sales benefit the BATC Foundation.

Project central

Tap into the expertise of builders, remodelers, landscapers, architects and designers at the Home Improvement and Design Expo, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 17-18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S. Stage presentations and demonstrations on topics such as "Aging in Place" and "Interior and Exterior Color Trends and Tips" are scheduled during both days. Cost $6; free with a food-shelf donation. Go to

Avoid toxins in nursery

Find out how indoor air quality and environmental pollution can affect your baby at Natural Built Home's free class "Planning a Non-Toxic Nursery." You'll also learn about — and how to avoid — toxic chemicals in finishes, cleaners, pesticides and other products. The class is at 10 a.m. Oct. 17, 4020 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. RSVP at 612-605-7999 or e-mail

Beer and blooms

It's October and time to harvest hops. To celebrate the bounty of fresh hopped beers by local craft brewers, Mpls.St.Paul magazine is holding a Harvest Beer Festival and Fresh Hop Throwdown from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 17 at Bachman's, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. Sample Twin Cities craft beers and vote on your favorites. Stephanie March and Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl will host the festivities. Tickets are $10 for designated drivers, $30 general admission and $50 VIP. Buy tickets at (click on Promotions) or get $5 off when purchased at Bachman's in Minneapolis by Oct. 16. Call 612-861-7600.

Seasonal seminars

Now that it's cooling off outside, it's time to say goodbye to your outdoor garden and say hello to houseplants. Whether you want to bring some of your outdoor plants inside for the winter or try some new plants, you'll learn what you need to know at a free Houseplant Seminar at Gertens. The seminar will cover plant selection, lighting needs and basic green-plant maintenance, as well as how to care for tropicals, 1 p.m. Oct. 11.

Also at Gertens on Oct. 11 is a free seminar at 2 p.m. focused on preparing your landscape for the weather ahead. Learn which types of plants need extra attention to make it through the coldest months at "Be Yard Ready for Winter." Preparation methods, including mulching, wrapping, covering and screening, will be featured.

And if fall lawn care is still on your to-do list, pick up pointers at two Gertens seminars. "Dormant Seeding" will be covered at 10 a.m. on Oct. 17 and 24. "Weed Control, Fertilization and Fall Lawn Cleanup" will be covered at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 17 and 24. Register at Gertens is at 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights.