Okay, so this post isn’t based off of some kind of in-depth consumer-based study. I didn’t go visit every home improvement store known to man to compare prices and services.
The first few weeks after buying a new house I can guarantee that you’ll need a few new tools and home improvement products. I made about 20 trips to three home improvement stores in a matter of a couple of weeks.
Lowe’s vs Home Depot: If I had to choose between Lowe’s and Home Depot based on my personal experience, I’d probably go with Lowe’s. In general, I found the personnel a bit more more educated, helpful, and friendly at Lowe’s. They made sure I got what I needed. But some of the products they recommended weren’t right for the job. After completing the project, it was easy to return the products that were not needed or used.
I also compared prices on the materials for my picket fence and Lowe’s prices were slightly lower. However, Home Depot’s prices were lower for solid-wood fence panels. I think it’s a toss-up on the prices, depending on the products and promotions.
Shopping at these big stores can be fun and exciting. You feel like a kid in a candy store. So many choices. But you can also get lost. It’s overwhelming at times. I know there will be projects when I’ll need to shop at Lowe’s or Home Depot. But my preferred choice for home improvement shopping is with the little guy: Ace Hardware.
Ace Hardware is about a half mile from my house vs. four miles to the big stores. Whenever I go to Ace, I’m greeted by friendly, gray-haired people. That’s not an insult. The folks at Ace are older, more experienced, more patient, and extremely helpful. They’ll take more time to make sure you get exactly what you need. You will likely pay a little bit more, but unless it’s a major purchase, it’s worth it. You won’t have to fight traffic and crowds, and you’ll get fast and friendly, top-notch service. Plus, the smaller stores are more likely to be locally owned and you’ll be supporting your local economy.
So that’s my take. Local first. Lowe’s second. Home Depot third. Wherever you shop for home-improvemet products or services you need to beware. Some products and services can be faulty or dishonest. I discovered early on that you need to do your research.
What home improvement stores do you prefer? Why?
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