For more than three decades, Rocky Ridge Hardware has kept handy Birmingham homeowners well stocked in topnotch tools, gardening supplies, collegiate memorabilia, and antiques. Fanatical fixer-uppers can get their fix by perusing aisles adorned with brand-name wares organized in an array of do-it-yourself categories including paint, electrical, lawn care, plumbing, and robot defense. Protect newly painted walls with odorless Kilz spray primer ($4.99), keep hardwood floors fresh with a Bona floor-care system ($29.99), or measure that giant reptilian bone you found in the backyard with a brand new 25-foot measuring tape ($7.89).
With humble beginnings in 1924, Ace Hardware now comprises 4,600 stores in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries, guiding everyone from seasoned do-it-yourselfers to novices through its massive inventory. Enlist the aid of a knowledgeable pro while sifting through tools, lawn and garden supplies, electrical equipment, and outdoor-living accessories that simplify the hosting of backyard barbecues and the hanging of Christmas lights on zoo animals. Holiday accessories such as 100-count lights ($9.99) and portable fireplaces ($29.99) aid and imbue celebrations with seasonal spirit. During any time of year, a hatchet ($18.49–$36.99) helps forest visionaries see the wood for the trees, and a second mailbox ($13.99–$84.99) doubles the amount of fan mail homeowners can expect to receive.
Ace Hardware's project people assist and advise on a gamut-running range of home- and garden-oriented endeavors. The 20-pound propane-tank refill will pump up a deflated cylinder with the energy to grill juicy burgers, cook corn on the cob, or blaze a flame that can be used as a nightlight for adults locked out of their own houses. Like a roaring campfire or a solar panel, the propane-tank refill can also be used for outdoor heating.