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 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.
Family-owned Flood Square Hardware offers a plethora of home-improving products and helpful services to ease minds and shorten lengthy to-do lists. Clear pipes of rent-dodging hairballs with Liquid-Plumr (one quart for $4.99), or grime-fight on the go with a wheeled trash barrel ($19.99). For giving walls fresh attire, Flood Square Hardware stocks Benjamin Moore paints. Handy rentals such as the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner provide ease of mind and peace of plush ($26.99 for 24 hours), scrubbing away dirt, dust, and embarrassingly cheap wine stains. Or opt for simple services such as a double-sided key copy ($2.85) to self-actualize lonely hide-a-keys. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable enough to help you plan out any project and find anything in the store, even if it’s lost hope.
In 1934, Ben and Lena Rosen realized their humble dream of opening a mom-and-pop hardware store on Norfolk Street. As business flourished, customers began to request items beyond the scope of the shop's plumbing supplies, such as paint, window treatments, or tools to convert Cold War bomb shelters into Y2K panic rooms. Over the years, Norfolk Hardware & Home Center has responded to demand by expanding into a 40,000-square-foot store and warehouse manned by more than 50 employees. Their helpful, honest advice—along with their stockpile of appliances, paint, tools, hardware, and other home supplies—makes DIY home makeovers a breeze.