The Weekenders: Favorite Hardware Stores

  |  August 3, 2012

Cucumbers we grew in the raised bed garden we built with tools and lumber we got from hardware stores.

As a follow-up to my previous post about our favorite and most useful tools, I thought this week I’d share some of our favorite hardware stores in Greene and Ulster counties.   If any hardware store owners are reading this, one piece of advice: expand your weekend hours!  Especially for weekenders, closing early on Saturday and not being open on Sundays makes us go to Home Depot!

Williams Lumber (Ace Hardware)  – Tannersville
This is the closest hardware store to our house (about 20 minutes away).  We like this store – they are always nice and helpful there, they sell Benjamin Moore paint and have a good selection of tools and garden tools (though no plants).  Unfortunately, I can’t really recommend their lumber, at least their basic untreated lumber.  My dad and I went to get some 2×12 untreated pine boards to re-build the stairs to our cellar (Thanks dad!  I love when you visit!) and we had a hard time finding decent 8ft boards – even just for cellar stairs.  Now my dad is a lumber guy – he has his own sawmill, so he knows good lumber from bad. He finally convinced them to let us take two 10 ft boards to replace bad 8ft ones they had left.   They also have stores in Rhinebeck, Redhook and Hudson.

Herzog Supply  (True Value)  – Kingston
This is a big and well organized store that caters to both homeowners and  contractors.  They have a garden center, a home design center and we got some really nice lumber from them last year.  They sell Benjamin Moore paint and have a clearance shop across the mall where you can find real bargains (right now, there’s tons of Christmas stuff available).

Young’s (Agway) – Prattsville
A true local hardware and feed store if there ever was one, Young’s is a unique place with great people and service.  What other hardware store sells baby duckings and chicks in the springtime, had a piano in the store that customers would play,  beautiful old wooden floors,  baskets of grass seed that were sold by the pound in paper bags, a wall decorated with old tools and farm implements, and display cases of country curios, including a civil war-era cap that they found in the wall when doing a renovation?   Unfortunately, like the rest of Prattsville, they suffered significant damage in hurricane Irene last summer and a lot of the old character got washed away (including, I think, the piano).   Read about Brian Young’s personal account of the flood and support by shopping there if you can.

Ducklings for sale last spring at Young’s Agway in Prattsville

They are rebuilding, but don’t have their greenhouse back yet.  They have a good selection of animal feed and care products (including items for horses and other farm animals) and a well-stocked outdoor clothing and outdoor activities department upstairs..  They also have a location in Catskill.

Wadler Brothers (True Value)  – Fleischmanns
This is a big, clean and well organized store with a great selection of garden and woodworking tools and a fancy paint mixing machine that can match colors you bring in.  They also have a cement ready-mix plant and cater to contractors and professionals.  The only negatives: they close at noon on Saturday and are closed on Sunday.

Village Hardware  – Hunter
Small selection, but they have the essentials.  We always know that they will have lamp oil (for hurricane lamps, except they were sold out right before hurricane Irene).  Really nice people who will special order things for you if they don’t have them.

H. Houst & Son (True Value) –  Woodstock
This is a great old-school feeling store smack dab in the middle of Woodstock.   H. Houst & Sons definitely caters to the local homeowner clientele rather than professional contractors.    They don’t sell lumber, but they do rent tools and equipment like compressors, floor sanders and power tools.

GNH Lumber Inc –  Windham
We don’t  shop here often – it’s a little further away from us and also seems to focus more on contractors and professional building supplies.    As with other stores, they suffered some damage and lost goods in the hurricane last year, but as a result, they reorganized the store so it’s easier to find what you need.   We haven’t actually bought any lumber from them, so can’t attest to the quality.  They also have locations in Greenville and Coxackie.  Only problem is that they close at 4 on Saturday and are closed (in Windham) on Sunday.

Windham Equipment Rentals – Windham
If you’ve got a big (or small) project for which you need a specific tool that you don’t have and don’t want to actually buy, many hardware stores offer tool rentals.  Windham Equipment Rentals rents and sells power tools and construction equipment.  They are  Elite Stihl equipment dealers, so if you are looking to purchase a chainsaw or other power equipment, or if you need repair on any power tools you have, they can help you out.

If you do go to one or two hardware stores regularly, we’ve found it worth it to open an “account” with them so they track what you buy and give you points (cash back rewards).  We have both Ace and True Value accounts.

We do, of course, sometimes shop at Home Depot and Lowes for several reasons:  we can only find accessories for some of the brands of tools we have (namely Ryobi) at Home Depot; they are open later than smaller local hardware stores (the HD in Kingston is open until 9pm) and we’re often in Kingston on Friday evening coming up from the city, so it’s easy to stop in and get stuff we need so we don’t have to drive 20 minutes to the hardware store on Saturday or Sunday.  Less time spent driving means more time spent painting.

One piece of advice we’ve gotten that we intend to follow when we get around to buying a lawn mower – don’t buy lawn equipment or bigger power tools (chainsaws or table saws) from big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes:  they have special models made specifically for these stores that are not the same quality that you’ll get directly from a dealer.  If you’re looking at a John Deere, Husqvarna or Club Cadet, it’s supposedly better to find a dealer in your area and purchase from them.  They will also be able to service your machine for you, and some of them give extended warranties without paying extra.

Anyone have any favorite hardware stores in other areas they can recommend?

 If you’re interested in what I made with the lovely cukes pictured above, check out my recipe for Bread & Butter pickles on my other blog.

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