The ReStore is a righteous place! They accept donations of used and surplus building materials and then resell them here at great price. They have everything from vanities and cabinets, lighting and plumbing fixtures, windows, fireplace mantles, tiles, lumber etc. What a great place -- keeping this stuff out of the landfill and providing people a place to buy things at a big discount! When I asked if I could call ahead to see if they have a certain something, they said they actually *want* people to call and check if you're looking for something specific, so that gas isn't used unnecessarily!
We bought some skylights from Leader during their truckload sale that they have a couple of times a year. We got a really good deal on Anderson skylights. Good, friendly customer service over the phone -- I never even had to go to the store.
I had never used a big construction company before, but this was a big job that we wanted done fast. They were available, came when they said they would, and delivered us a finished room in quick order. They took care of every detail, were excellent with communication, and we are very pleased with the result. Ask for Dave as your foreman -- he was excellent!
AJ Pelletier replaced the missing slates on our old barn roof. It is very high and steep. He ordered matching slates and it does look good. He did a couple extra things like trimming a tree that was up against the barn (not even the roof), so I would highly recommend this craftsman.
Kevin came over and painted part of the exterior of our house. I think he did a good job with the work. I think the price was quite reasonable and he worked very hard in the sweltering heat. He wasn't the very neatest so I might not recommend him to the most fastidious yard owners but I would not hesitate to hire him again.
We had Buzzee's do some ductwork. He was kind enough, and seemed to do good work, but left part two of the job undone for sometime. This I can understand, since life happens especially for an owner/operator, but I can not understand contractors who do not call back for ten days at a time to explain their absence.
I enjoy wandering around the yard of Cook Builder's Supply, dreaming about all my future landscape projects. They have a huge variety of stone, pavers, bricks, etc on display. I was happy to get a bargain on some pavers from their clearance section. The one I go to is in Easthampton but they also have a location in West Springfield.
When a part in my Hoover broke, I tried to nagivate the byzantine customer service of the Hoover company, which ended with a frustrated email on my part saying I would never buy a Hoover again! Happily, one day I was driving on Rt 9 and noticed the Vac Store. I returned with my vac, and 5 min later I had a working vac again, thanks the part selection there. Doh!
I feel good about shopping at Ten Thousand Villages, where you can count on the goods being made in a fair way. The company gets together with artist groups around the world to make sure the craftspeople are making a fair living. They always have interesting linens, I love the fine blue-and-white china from Vietnam, and someday I want to buy one of those gorgeous carved tables from India. I usually buy holiday gifts here too.
I feel so lucky to have Fleury Lumber as my local hardware store. I usually have so many questions about my little home improvement projects I am attempting. The nice guys in there never make me feel stupid or rushed. They helped me figure out the parts I needed for a gutter. And when you just need a piece of wood cut they do it right there and you can practically drive right up to the table saw.
We are very satisfied with Sears in Holyoke. We have bought, and been satisfied with the delivery and service on our refrigerator, oven/range, lawn tractor, grill and dishwasher! When the refrigerator got dented during delivery (it's on the side and you can't see it) they gave us a nice credit. I also love the sears credit card reward program, because you can save up for something like a dishwasher just by doing your normal spending.
A while back I bought a good-looking bunk bed from Fly By Night. The delivery came as scheduled and the men set up the bed. I also bought a futon frame and a high-quality futon, and it is still comfortable 5 years later. I thought these things were reasonably priced and I think their merchandise is high-quality. I really love their styles although their recent expansion seems to have been filled with more expensive items, such as their couches, which I like but would not buy because of the price.
I asked All-Star to come and give an estimate. I really liked that they listened to me a gave me different options on the estimate. Some companies won't do that. So, I was able to pick and choose according to the actual cost. We had blow-in insulation and also fiberglass put in the attic space, and stiff board put on the kneewalls. I was pretty satisfied, though they forgot to plug a couple of hole and I had to call them. To their credit, they came back right away to fix it. I was impressed that they had very thin worker who crawled into the tiniest of spaces with who-knows-what creatures to lay down insulation.
We used Whitely Electric to update outlets and add electricity to a garage. They were very neat and professional. Different tradespeople we asked said that they do great work. (Not being an electrician, I can't tell, but everything still works!) Larry was the electrician that worked here and he was very pleasant to have in the house and also gave a a suggestion on an easy, inexpensive way to solve a problem that I thought had to be fixed exzpensively. My only gripe is that it was very difficult to get an estimate and I wouldn't bother even calling for a small job.
When we bought our house, we called Richard's Plumbing and Heating of Easthampton to fix many small problems. The plumber they sent was very pleasant and friendly and explained everything I asked about until I could understand. At a later date we had some trouble with our town water meter, and the fact that there was no shutoff. They helped work with the town to coordinate the schedules of all who had to attend this meter/shutoff work.
We bought our soapstone woodstove from Olde Hadleigh Hearth. The sales people gave us a lot to think about to help us make our wood stove choice. There was a huge selection in the store. They also helped us order a good hearth pad. When the installation (by someone else) was not quite right, someone from the store offered, and came over to our house to check it.
This farmstand is a bit off the beaten path, but it is a special experience. In addition to plants and garden ornaments, the store carries an interesting assortment of home goods and gifts. You might find Polish pottery, hand-made placemats and children's dresses, honey, dairy products, and toy llamas. The real llamas right outside the store are very entertaining and you can get an ice cream cone to eat while you watch these beautiful creatures.
I feel as through I'm in another place and time when I walk into this store, which has been in the building for 130 years. One of the owners is usually at the counter, always ready to explain which part I might need. My 80-year-old dad loves to go into this store when he visits because it has such a great atmosphere and reminds him of old times.