Ferguson Hardware has been helping do-it-yourselfers spruce up homes and beautify gardens for more than a century. Banish closet clutter or marauding garden weeds to a 32-gallon black trash can ($21.49), which can double as a handy holding place for a 32-day supply of vintage milk. Handy customers can organize screwdrivers, wrenches, and hammers in a Stanley toolbox ($13.99), soothe crying hinges with an 8-ounce can of WD-40 oil ($2.99), or woo a lonely mail carrier with a Step 2 mailbox specially designed to attract attention for its durability and taste in shoes. A professional-grade driveway sealer keeps tricky asphalt from escaping the confines of driveways ($17.49), giving customers the freedom to roll out one of Ferguson Hardware’s wide selection of Weber grills for a driveway barbecue.
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.
If its full name––Two Fat Guys Summerfield Ace Hardware––isn't a clue about this store's unconventional nature, maybe its pet shop is. Or perhaps that distinction belongs to its owners' related endeavor: not only do Rick and Smokey inspire ambitious homeowners with rows of home-improvement implements, but they also encourage handiness by taking to the airwaves with a weekly hardware radio show. Summerfield Ace Hardware also doubles as a U-Haul Center, and animals are welcome, especially if they're able to drive a U-Haul but also if they just want to sniff around the pet shop. Prepping for barbecue season is a cinch on these premises: in the words of Rick and Smokey, "With a name like the Two Fat Guys you might expect that we have a complete grilling center and we offer assembly and delivery." Salespeople are trained to answer nearly any home-improvement question their customers ask, and a wide selection of hardware, paint, plumbing, and electrical supplies shares space with gifts, home decor, and housewares.
A clean-cut man enters your house. He's wearing a pressed red shirt, crisp khaki pants, and red shoe covers on his feet. He places a small red mat onto the ground, preventing his tool bag from crimping or scuffing your carpet, hardwood floor, or indoor boxing ring. He hails from Service Plus Heating and Air Conditioning, whose professional technicians travel throughout the greater Indianapolis area to diagnose and treat problems with plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. Since starting the company in 2002 with just one service vehicle, Chris and Emily Cunningham have expanded their fleet to 14 trucks fully equipped to replace or repair virtually any HVAC unit, detect leaks, unclog faulty plumbing, or tune up almost any system. After scheduling an appointment online, customers receive a picture and brief bio of their assigned technician so they know exactly whom to expect.
PPG Porter Paints' team has dedicated 90 years to sprucing up homes with its revered brand of vivid, low-odor paints, stains, and primers. Multiple lines and sheens of interior paint offer to protect walls from presidential portraits painted in mustard ($25.79+/gal.). Eco-conscious shoppers can snag gallons of Pure Performance color, designed to thwart mold and mildew without angering Mother Nature's overprotective rottweiler ($33.39+/gal.). Peruse exterior paints if looking to prevent al fresco fortifications from cracking and peeling during super-soaker season ($25.79+/gal.). Effective on most surfaces, Porter's acrylic, synthetic, and alkyd Seal Grip primers also help house-wide paint jobs to stay put ($40+/gal.). Amicable staff members roam each locale's voluminous aisles and are eager to provide product recommendations for any home, office, or abandoned grain silo.