Posted in home improvement storest

Bay Area hardware stores battle through a crazy year

In San Francisco, the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn have hit many local businesses like a ton of bricks. But for a select few sectors, business has been booming, from the grocery stores that saw mobs of panic-buyers to the gardening centers overwhelmed by bored quarantiners starting victory gardens.

So, what about our neighborhood hardware stores, trustworthy bastions of power tools and cleaning supplies? Are they crazy-busy from the legions of people taking on home improvement projects, or struggling to survive? Four of our favorite local spots told us how they’re doing, from enduring multiple burglaries to seeing soaring sales on unexpected items.

Cliff’s Variety


While business has generally been OK in 2020 at Cliff’s Variety in the Castro, general manager Terry Asten Bennett said they’re forecasting a rough fourth quarter. A lot of the store’s sales come from gifts, souvenirs and seasonal items, and with Halloween effectively canceled and

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Posted in home

Bay Area home prices soar with suburban boom

With millions out of work, and restaurants, shops and retailers closing, one spot in the economy shines for thriving and affluent professionals — Bay Area real estate.

As if the devastating pandemic had passed over the tech campuses, Spanish-tiled roofs and Tesla-filled garages of Silicon Valley, luxury home sales exploded in August and drove median prices up 16 percent from the previous year to levels approaching the market peak in 2018.

The median sale price for an existing single family home in August in the Bay Area was $975,000, according to DQNews data. The gains were driven by a limited supply of properties for sale and a greater portion of high-end homes selling, agents and economists said.

“We’ve never seen such high price appreciation in a recession,” said Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist with real estate data firm CoreLogic. “The recession hasn’t hit everyone the same way.”

Year-over-year prices soared

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Posted in home remodeling

A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Fall 2020 edition)

Find home improvement and gardening classes for Milwaukee, Waukesha and the surrounding counties. Here is a roundup of home and garden events, craft and hobby shows, and where to find more information:



a group of people standing in a garden: They're decking out the Mitchell Park Domes for the popular Milwaukee landmark's annual holiday show, which opens Saturday.


© Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
They’re decking out the Mitchell Park Domes for the popular Milwaukee landmark’s annual holiday show, which opens Saturday.

All Saints Lutheran Church: Fall Craft Fair, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nov. 7. Crafters, raffle, bake sale and luncheon. 9131 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek. (414) 762-5111.

American Legion Park: Pioneer Farm Days, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 10-11. Old-time farm show with antique tractors, engines and machinery. Flea market, farmers market and food. Free admission. 9327 S. Shepard Ave., Oak Creek. (414) 768-8580; pioneerfarmdays.com

Get daily updates on the Packers during the season.

Apple Holler: Apple Picking, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Last bag sold one hour before closing. 5006 S. Sylvania Ave.,

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Posted in home remodeling

Area Rugs – The Home Depot Flooring A-Z

area rug

What’s under your feet (or however you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to home. That’s why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A to Z guide that’ll give you the confidence to make flooring choices you’ll love. Check out the A to Z handbook here.

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While eye-catching details certainly make a room’s design pop—a whimsical light fixture here, the perfect polished-meets-punk cabinet handles there—you should take it from the experts and start from the ground up.

“Area rugs can bring all of the pattern and color and interest that you need in a space, so we often start with the rug and build from there,” says Laura Umansky, President & Creative Director of the Laura U Design Collective. Umansky also believes that area rugs can be an asset atop any flooring, from classic hardwood to tile and beyond. “We use area

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