Most of K Komfort's technicians and engineers draw on more than a quarter-century of experience in improving indoor air quality and lowering energy bills. Having witnessed the evolution of heating and cooling technology, the crew deftly repairs old furnaces and installs efficient, new air-conditioner systems with techniques learned in NARI continuing-education programs. HEPA-approved equipment clears ductwork of pesky particles that cause asthma, allergies, and dinnertime interruptions by nuclear physicists, and filtration systems help maintain fresh air once technicians are out of the picture. Their preferred brand is Carrier, but the service truck is stocked with a library of parts from other manufacturers so maintenance often can be completed in one visit.
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.
Since 1851, the Wisconsin State Fair has annually showcased the state's finest resources, stuffed fairgoers with an aromatic selection of world-class foods, and entertained guests with live bands and terrifying tractor flyovers. In between hot-stepping to the Steve Meisner Polka Band on August 9 and singing along to "Cracklin' Rosie" with Eric Ebert's Tribute to Neil Diamond on August 11, fair browsers will get their choice of day to frolic manfully among a ton of food stalls, games, thrill rides, outdoor events, interactive activities, and competitions. If your trio of the fair's famous cream puffs—whose airy creaminess is just as legendary in this reality as it is in alternate realities where Wisconsin won the Civil War—doesn't fill you up completely, test your gut's maximum occupancy with August 9's brat-eating contest (4 p.m.), which is best washed down beforehand with the root-beer-float-drinking contest (3 p.m.). Kids, meanwhile, can plummet down the fair's 200-foot giant slide, take splatter-art to messy new places at the Kohl's Color Wheel, or watch the state's fastest pigs race for the coveted frosted oatmeal cookie.