Friedman’s Home Improvement, in Santa Rosa, is my favorite go-to for building supplies. Why? Because of its enormous, drive-in “expressyard.” Every time I drive in to buy a single item—say, a treated 2×12—I leave with my Nissan Frontier maxed to capacity with concrete blocks, pavers, gardening soil and more lumber. And I’ve never regretted it yet.
Case-in-point: Last May I moved from an apartment in downtown Santa Rosa to a glass house in an apple orchard in rural Sebastopol, and for the first time in millennia, I found myself with room to garden, plus a patio and a deck and a fenced-in yard all of my own. In the weeks that followed, a strange and unstoppable force caused me to hightail it down to Friedman’s again and again to purchase planks and cinder blocks and decking screws and ½ wine barrels and soil and God knows what-all else. In seven short weeks I installed a five-tier, above-ground, semi-shaded vegetable garden, two stretches of decking, an 8-foot-long gardening bench, benches for sitting on and a raised counter for a camp stove—all of it portable and movable.
Need treated lumber of any conceivable size and dimensions? Friedman’s has it. Need untreated lumber of any size and dimensions? Friedman’s has it. In fact, it has every building component an enterprising homeowner or contractor could ever want or need, all of it self-serve: composite boards, pre-built wooden fence panels, fence posts of all types, spools of fencing wire, water tanks, stock tanks, metal and wooden gates, culverts, cinder blocks, bricks, conduit, irrigation line, pavers, pallets, shingles, pre-built raised garden beds, wheelbarrows and bags of concrete, sand, compost, conditioner and gardening soil.
I won’t lie—the exit line can get a little long at times, but I use those down minutes to catch my breath after the effort it takes to overload my truck. Actually, my truck takes a breather, too. Whether you’re a Friedman’s regular or a first-timer, I hope to see you there this spring.—MF
Friedman’s Home Improvement, 4055 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. Mon–Fri 6am to 7pm, Sat 7am to 6pm, Sun 8am to 6pm. 707.584.7811.