Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
A half-century after its founding, the local hardware haven continues its dedication to equipping households and handypersons with a durable selection of tools, paints, and domiciliary goods. Fixers can latch onto a selection of single paintbrushes and paint rollers from Purdy ($12.99+) when slathering walls and white-suited dignitaries in paints from Benjamin Moore and more. Luminous spiral light bulbs ($3.49+) illuminate proud detailing work performed with Ace sanding sheets ($11.49+), and adjustable wrenches ($16.99+) finally find homes populating desolate tool belts. Reinforce driveways with a two-year sealer from Black Jack ($16.99+), or patch up cracks and ominous chasms with a self-adhesive asphalt-repair fabric from Driveway Medic ($11.99). Amicable staff members roam the voluminous aisles, wearing capes while flaunting their ability to cut keys, mix paints, and custom order any of Ace’s goods while customers browse through the store's impressive selection of heating and cooling tackle, patio furniture, and automotive accessories.
The fully licensed and insured professionals at J&J Building and Remodeling tackle each job with equal parts skill and creativity. Whether it’s a small remodeling job, such as installing a bathroom fixture, hanging a TV, or uninstalling a houseguest, or a large-scale project, such as remodeling a kitchen or a deck, their goal isn't just to make a site look good––it's to make sure its completed as soundly and cost-effectively as possible. To this end, owner Jeffery Etter oversees all projects––including commercial builds for Old Navy and Kohl's––to make sure the work is being completed to the company’s high standards. Customers can rest even easier knowing Jeff and his crew are backed by 15 years of remodeling experience, as well as a Homeowner Guarantee Fund that––though they've never had reason to use it––gives customers access to federal funds to finish any project in the unlikely event that J&J Building and Remodeling cannot complete it.
A Harvard Square fixture for more than 50 years, Dickson Brothers equips crafty carpenters and handy homeowners with home-improvement supplies to help execute DIY restorations. Create family-room frescoes with California and Pratt & Lambert paints ($36.99/gallon), using tidy tools such as brooms ($5.69), irons ($17.99), and vacuums ($69.99) as inspiration. Illuminate lavish living spaces with lava lamps ($17.99) while brand-new teakettles ($20.99) warm up human interiors.