Tag Archives: Home Maintenance

3 reasons (and 6 stores) to avoid the Big Box.

Not too many cars in this scene. Back in the day, people walked to to the store. It was social. It was exercise. It was fun.

Yesterday, I made a very gratifying sale.  It was for 68 cents.  I happened to be riding in the elevator with a neighbor who said, “Hey!  Maybe you can help me.  But I doubt it.”  When I asked why she doubted it, she said she had already tried Home Depot and they didn’t have the screws she needed for her faucet-repair project.  She also said she preferred to go to Home Depot because she liked to drive to do her shopping. To this, I thought, “WHA??” When did we get to the point where driving in city traffic trumped walking 5 to 10 minutes to a store that has everything you need?

Up for the challenge and sure that I could help, I took a sample of the screw she needed to one of our locations and found the exact match in about 15 seconds.  Problem solved and no gas or time wasted on a trip to a Big Box. 

Here are 3 reasons why we can top a Big Box experience:

1. We carry a LOT of different products and are always surprised when our customers are surprised at how much we offer. We’re not just hardware. Indeed, we have absolutely everything you need for home-maintenance, DIY projects, kitchen and bath, gardening, storage, and even novelty and gift items. 

2. We have parking at several of our stores, so if you’re a drive-and-shop kinda person like my neighbor, this is good news. It’s generally short term with validation, but we’ve designed our customer service so you can get in and out quickly. One hour is TONS of time.

Glover Park: Behind the building, free for 15 minutes and $1 for the first hour.  

Tenleytown Ace: We validate 1 hour of free parking in the garage at

5th Street Ace: If you combine your trip to see us with your grocery shopping at Safeway, you can get free underground parking for 90 minutes through their validation.

In Baltimore, Waverly Ace and Federal Hill Ace both have outdoor lots.

At Logan, admittedly, there is not much convenient parking, but if you’re clever, you can combine your trip with a certain grocery store nearby and get their validated parking.

 3. 5th Street Ace also offers a free personal-shopping service as well as free delivery (call the store at 202-682-4570 to see if you’re in the zone).  Email us at shop@acehardwaredc.com by 2 p.m. and if we have the products in stock, they’ll be ready for you to pick up in the afternoon. 

And we can guarantee you won’t find that at Home Depot!

2010 Color Trends: Charcoal is the new black.

From Ace’s merchandising department:

Color for 2010 is sophisticated, organic, and contemporary yet comforting. According to World Global Style Network, the tinted, shadowy colors inspire a romantic mood with overtones of drama. Dense darks create mystery and a desire for hibernation.

Here is a recap of what to expect in the 2010 season:

  • Dark charcoal replaces true black.
  • Grays are tinted with blue, green and mauve for a new take on neutrals.
  • Greens turn more gray and to oceanic blue-greens. You will also see brighter spearmint greens.
  • Intense indigo-ink blue and gray-tinted blues are important.
  • Rich purples are tinted with gray or brighter blue. Dark mauves have an almost brown cast and pale tones are washed out or metallic-inspired.
  • True yellow is replaced with nature-inspired tones of corn and wheat. Browns and oranges are organic and earth-based.
  • Color-washed pales are pretty and clean with a hint of nostalgia.
  • Super-bright red with an orange cast is important, as are raspberry and watermelon.
  • Highlights of neon pink and bright lime are used across many palettes to add a modern aesthetic.
  • Another important trend is using bright colors on accent pieces like chairs and side tables.

Stay tuned for our painting DIY video with Kendra at Tenleytown Ace Hardware.

C'mon Groupon!


Why didn't we think of this concept?

We have a Groupon coupon out there for the Baltimore stores, Waverly Ace Hardware and Federal Hill Ace Hardware. It’s a $20 coupon for $10. It’s a really good deal. It’d be like if you gave us $10 and we gave you $20 back in change.

The deal ends at midnight tonight.

Baby, it's gonna get cold outside.

Homes lose lots of energy. Save money with weatherization.  

With winter just around the corner, now is the time to give your home a check-up to make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible. DRO Enterprise’s Bill Smith shares his  tips on what to look for and take care of toget your home ready for the season of BRRRRRRR. (Don’t forget to sign up for Earth Aid’s utility rewards program! Get rewarded for saving money and energy.)

 1. Have your home tested for air leaks.  Air infiltration (aka leaks & drafts)  is the most common energy and comfort problem. Common leaks are easily identified and can often be sealed by the homeowner with caulk, spray foam, gaskets and backer rod. Look at your outlets, baseboards, switchplates and along the kick panel of your cabinets. Trim around windows and doors can be caulked – be sure to check along the top of the trim above the doors and windows. Window sashes can be tightened up oftentimes with “V” weather-stripping. For a more thorough sealing, consider getting a blower door test or energy inspection.

 2. Close any crawlspace vents. If your home or any part of it are over a crawlspace, make sure the vents are closed for the winter. They should only be open for spring and fall. Recent research finds that leaving them open in the summer actually brings in more unwanted moisture! Many building scientists are now recommending drying out crawlspaces, covering the exposed soil with a sealed plastic vapor barrier, and sealing and insulating the crawlspace walls permanently.

 3. Check your attic insulation and ventilation.  The attic plane is where the largest amount of heat is lost during the heating season.  Typically, if your home has difficulty heating or cooling all the rooms evenly then your attic insulation is probably not performing properly. You may need more insulation, it may be installed incorrectly or it may need a supplemental heatshield.

 4. Have your heating system cleaned and tuned by a qualified contractor. Have the system checked for carbon monoxide and install a CO alarm. Install a programmable thermostat and adjust your thermostat to a cooler temperature when away or when sleeping.

 5. Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clean and properly secured. Clogged gutters can lead to ice formations which can cause significant damage.

 6. Check your perimeter screening and close up any wall openings/cracks. Critters may want to take up residence during the cold season.

Makin' Change (and Dollah Bills Ya'll).

You will save so much money with Earth Aid.

You will save so much money with Earth Aid.


We’re participating in Earth Aid’s utility program. It lets you monitor electric, gas, and water usage online, and get rewarded when you save.

Are you participating? You should, and here are 5 reasons why:

1. It’s free.

2. You will learn how to save money on our utility bills.

3. It’s free.

4. You’ll save money and you’ll get rewarded by local businesses like ours who are giving away free hot fudge sundaes from Comet Ping Pong or $5-off coupons from us when you meet your energy saving goals.


To get as many rewards as possible, you need to save energy. A good way to start–especially now that it’s about to get cold out (like, tomorrow)–is to make your home airtight. Weather stripping helps. This is what it looks like and this is how to use it!

This is weatherstripping. It can help save you money.

This is weatherstripping. It can help save you money.