In 1910, Harry Offner opened his first hardware shop on South Rampart Street in downtown New Orleans, setting the foundation for a local network of three retail stores with more than 27,000 items in stock and 90,000 more available through catalogs or the Ace Hardware website. Like a treasured heirloom or the gene for double-jointed elbows, the business has passed through three generations as Harry's grandkids currently mind the store to help homeowners and handy folks find cleaning and painting supplies, lawn-care implements, housewares, and tools from well-known brands. The knowledgeable staff also assists shoppers with a variety of services, from cutting keys and threading pipes to minor household repair jobs performed by licensed and insured handymen.
Pullen Air Conditioning, Inc.'s experienced technicians have helped keep New Orleans homes temperate and efficient for more than 40 years. Two seasonal inspections, one for air conditioning and one for heating, ensure domiciles maintain comfortable climates and fend off potential invasions from snowmen solicitors or needy sun gods. With the aim of increasing efficiency, staffers clean ignition assemblies, check thermostat calibrations, and inspect evaporator coils for potential problem areas. Tests of safety controls and starting capabilities suss out system difficulties, and a cleaning or replacement of standard air filters keeps oxygen free of contaminants and kamikaze pollen. Moving parts benefit from lubrication, and flushing of the condenser coils and condensation drain sheds unwanted liquid from otherwise stellar systems.
Mike’s Hardware's second-generation home-improvement gurus have been helping handymen plumb, paint, and re-wire for nearly thirty years. A veritable toolbox for home improvers, Mike’s extensive product list includes hardware classics, such as locks and fasteners, as well as more obscure items, such as hard-to-find faucet parts and the mystical drill press of Arabia. Embrace odd jobs with the 6-in-1 Enderes screwdriver ($4.79) and buck up blunt blades with the [AccuSharp] (http://www.accusharp.com/) knife and tool sharpener ($9.99). Yard fanatics and ex-entomologists seeking revenge can take up arms with Kill-A-Bug concentrate ($14.95/8 oz.), and garden guardians can whack encroaching weeds and giant-enraging beanstalks with trimmer line ($2.39/40' roll). In addition to heaps of tools and household supplies, Mike’s carries bagged goods including sand, gravel, and concrete, which may come in handy for setting backyard basketball poles or encasing mobster shoes for posterity.
Dombourian Oriental Rugs has bought, sold, cleaned, and repaired decorative floor coverings for more than a century. The showroom displays everything from antique Persian specimens from the 1890s and new oriental rugs made of angora wool to handmade 2'x3' rugs imported from India ($170–$225) and 3'x5' handwoven pieces ($225–$325). Professional rug cleaning, available for customer drop-off ($2.50/sq. ft.) or with pickup and delivery service ($3/sq. ft.), evicts dirt, dander, and inexplicable crop circles from floor décor. The shop's expert scrubbers employ a time-honored process, hand-washing rugs with soap and water before hanging them for a thorough air dry, which preserves the color and integrity. Dombourian also sells rug pads, which help curb potentially painful pratfalls and keep absconder carpets from escaping with drop-off ($2/sq. ft.) or pickup and delivery service ($3/sq. ft.).
River Ridge Electric helps home owners sleep soundly with a comprehensive safety inspection that identifies any rotten wires, smoldering sockets, or faulty filaments. Savvy electricians inspect the house’s main distribution panel and primary grounding system, as well as the air-conditioner and furnace disconnects, outlets, switches, and more. River Ridge Electric can also help pinpoint any persistent problems currently being remedied by an elaborate Rube Goldberg device that rewinds VHS tapes. Smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors are also examined, ensuring they are up to snuff for an emergency situation.
Across hundreds of stores in the U.S. and Canada, Lumber Liquidators provides homeowners and contractors with more than 340 flooring options. Lumber Liquidators, which has been featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and HGTV’s Dream Home, lays down floors such as solid and engineered Bellawood pre-finished hardwood with a transferable 100-year warranty and eco-friendly bamboo and cork. An array of professional-grade tools, such as table saws and floor nailers, help homeowners easily install their new floors, and the company's Flooring 101 search engine and Ask Bob customer-support team answer any questions that arise on the fly.