The customer-service-focused staff at Goodman Building Supply, founded in 1955, arms to-do listers with hardware from an inventory of more than 60,000 items. Collect scraps from an upstart paper airline in a trash bin ($12.99+) or replace a bathroom elephant with a gleaming showerhead ($9.99+). The Certified Green Hardware store bathes Marin County in metaphorically verdant hues with its selection of more than 2,500 green products, including water-saving toilets and smart faucets.
The arrangements and installations of green door design fill homes with carefully balanced constructs of living plant material housed in and surrounded by artfully placed objet d'art. Single orchids ($28–$48) sweeten air and views with curling, colorful petals and intoxicating scents rumored to cause normally stoic house plants to shed their petals and go skinny stemming. Water-retaining succulents ($3–$38) thrive on arid counter tops or in dry gardens to steadfastly stand at attention flanked by fragrant candles or guardian statuary. Vintage pots line shelves alongside modern ceramic containers and one-of-a-kind carved wooden bowls, each competing to serve as the next vessel for an orchid arrangement with soft greens and wending branches ($45+) or to serve as a prop for the opening scene of Oliver!.
Mr. Fixit, Inc. employs sure-footed roof ramblers who rid mucky gutters of detritus and gunk so that rainwater may find its way back to earth. Prevent damage to a home caused by standing water or an unplanned koi pond by having roof trenches unburdened of stubborn sticks and loitering leaves. Once gutter-jambs are thoroughly unclogged, home owners can enjoy a 30-minute complimentary remodel consultation and may also choose to have their abode pressure washed and the deck cleaned by Mr. Fixit at a savings of 25%.
Green-certified Jackson's Hardware, named Marin County's Best Hardware Store by Pacific Sun in 2011, buzzes with home-improvement experts who help visitors accessorize and maintain their domiciles with functional pieces and handyman tools. New showerheads ($3.95+) douse vertical bathers in smooth, aqueous streams, and door locks ($13.95+) and window screens ($9.95+) protect them from becoming horror-movie clichés. A new smoke detector senses the first waft of smog and alarms homeowners to ensure a quick evacuation ($7.99+). When finished flexing home-improvement prowess, follow the trail of sawdust crumbs leading to a trash can where construction carnage lays to rest ($22.99+). Invest in a hammer ($9.99+) to expand DIY capabilities, such as hanging up shelves or paint-by-number portraits of Charles Martel.
Someone walking up to Cole Hardware for the first time might think they've stumbled upon a modern art gallery instead of a hardware store. Their front window displays everything from Pollock-esque paintings in gilded frames to chandeliers built from Christmas ornaments to a fine-dining table setting re-created with only tools. In fact, all of the eye-catching installations are created using exclusively Cole Hardware merchandise.
But the displays are also a testament to how the shop has set itself apart in other ways?for nearly 100 years, Cole Hardware has been known for exceptional customer service. What started out as a one-man operation with the motto, "There are no strangers here, only friends we haven't met yet," has grown to a family of stores that also provides home repair services and commercial supplies. Their retail inventory is expansive and competitively priced thanks to backing from Ace Hardware, which has helped the company garner awards from SF Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.