When a baby room takes the place of a man cave, once-cherished leather couches and entertainment centers often wind up curbside, waiting for their ride to the landfill. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore saves furniture from an untimely demise and stocks new and used building materials, using the proceeds to help to create affordable homes for the city's low-income families. Manufacturers, businesses, contractors, and individuals regularly stop in to donate a variety of items ranging from caulk to file cabinets to paintbrushes. The mostly volunteer staff at ReStore spent 2010 keeping more than 730,000 pounds of usable supplies out of landfills and trash mountains.
With its friendly, knowledgeable staff and a panoply of home-improvement tools and services, Tomchek Ace Hardware ensures handypersons have the gear to grapple with home repairs and DIY projects. Prospective renovators can pick up an Ames True Temper seven-in-one planter buddy, a multipurpose garden tool for troweling, cutting, weeding, and transplanting seedlings ($16.99). Sunwax outdoor furniture wax with UV protection seals up and confers gloss to lackluster adirondacks ($9.49), and an Ace six-piece precision screwdriver set tightens screws on door hinges ($15.49). Adjust leaking pipes and assist Professor Plum in the study with an adjustable crescent wrench ($13.49–$94.99), or revive devices with Duracell AA rechargeable batteries ($12.99). Tomchek Ace Hardware's list of services, ranging from key duplication to custom paint colors, as well as the company's willingness to special-order any product, make the shop a place houses dream about during existential crises.
Since 1912, four generations of Zimmermanns have stocked the shelves at the 15,000-square-foot Zimmermann True Value Hardware store with durable hardware supplies, gardening equipment, and other home-improvement goods. Shoppers can peruse the aisles to pick up handy items such as screwdriver sets, hammers, and miniature contractors for DIY projects. Standing strong by their commitment to superior customer service, the staff also provides convenient services including knife sharpening, computerized paint matching, and screen repair.
Although the big-picture motto “a clean home is a happy home,” guides the skilled staff members of Happy Homes during its detailed, in-depth cleaning packages, it's the little gestures that set them apart. Their dedication to detail extends to doling out free treats to canine residents as well keeping an experienced horticulturist on staff to tend to lawns. They also recognize that their customers spend a large part of their lives in vehicles and offer mobile car detailing and boat cleaning so that owners look and feel great when driving their boat down the highway.
American Heritage Fireplace's chimney technicians scour soot and finesse flues to leave home heaters clean and free of excessive soot and creosote build up. After arriving at abodes, an experienced sweep performs a visual inspection of the chimney interior and exterior, as well as any connected fireplace or wood stove. Then they’ll prep the work area to corral dust and debris and manually scrub Santa chutes with a brush perched atop a graphite rod. The sweeping process ferrets out ash, creosote, and minor clogs, such as bird nests, squirrel nests, and licorice-rope nests; an industrial vacuum devours the falling particles.
In 1955, James and Gladys Bluemel opened a small nursery dedicated to growing trees and shrubs and to helping locals with landscaping projects. Now, their son, Mike, runs the much-expanded family business, which thrives on bulk-supply sales, playground resurfacing, lawn care, and snow and ice control during snowman uprisings. Though he’s moved away from the nursery’s original shrub and tree business, he and his green-thumbed staff still maintain a garden center stocked with seasonal plants, garden décor, and essential supplies.
While customers browse Bluemel’s aisles, they'll likely spot a commonality between the perennials, annuals, flowers, herbs, and vegetables: a sticker reading “Dome Grown.” This label marks a plant born and raised in the garden center, which accounts for about 85% of the center’s living merchandise. Having tended and nurtured the plants since their geneses, the staff—who share 35 years of experience—can dispense tips on how to properly care for them, as well as share adorable baby-plant photos.