Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears... where to start?

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-23-07, 04:56 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears... where to start?

I just purchased my first home, and I'm really excited to start working on the house. I just stumbled upon this site for the first time and I can see there's lots to do. I'm tearing up the carpet, replacing the faux wood walls in the basement, and redoing the stairs, hopefully all this summer.

My first question, where's the best place to start? I searched this forum and found a Lowe's vs Home Depot thread from 2003, but I figured I'd ask again to see if opinions have changed in the past few years?

Obviously price is a huge point, but quality is up there too, who has the best combo? Thanks, and good to meet you all!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-23-07, 05:07 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 25,474
Received 576 Votes on 529 Posts
I got mad at Homer Depot when I went there looking for pocket screws (for a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig) and they had none. Lowes and Menards carry them, I was quite suprised that HD did not.

Ive found their prices to be identical on most items.
 
  #3  
Old 05-23-07, 05:14 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,315
Received 261 Votes on 231 Posts
Welcome to the forums!

All 3 sell decent tools. I've not comparison shopped in awhile but wouldn't think there would be a big price difference except during sales. Obviously sears wouldn't be a place to shop for materials. Big box stores have a lot of convience with everything under 1 roof but generally you will find the best products at stores that specialize in that certain trade supplies.

IMO it would be best to first identiy what you need and then shop.
 
  #4  
Old 05-23-07, 05:32 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,515
Received 105 Votes on 81 Posts
FWIW, I prefer Home Depot for their tools and basics like wood and moldings, but I prefer Lowe's for decorative things like flooring, lamps, towel bars and things like that but I do like the carpeting better at Home Depot. If you have a Harbor Freight near you, they actually have some pretty neat tools, cheap.
 
  #5  
Old 05-23-07, 05:39 PM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,563
Received 94 Votes on 83 Posts
It depends on the tool, the sale and the quality needed. I buy different tools from HD, Menards, Sears, Grainger and Harbor Freight - no Lowes nearby.
 
  #6  
Old 05-23-07, 07:21 PM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I prefer Lowes to HD simply because I'm less likely to stumble over crap in the aisles at Lowes. I also get po'd at HD because it seems like every time I go there the aisle that has the merchandise I want is closed off for restocking and there's no one around.

On the other hand I buy more at HD because they are closer.
 
  #7  
Old 05-23-07, 08:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Well I work for Home Depot and my suggestion for fasteners or plumbing parts is your nearest large hardware store like an ACE. Independently owned stores have the ability to buy what the customers in their local area really need and have control on how many to keep in stock. For things like faucet parts I recommend a plumbing supply.

At Home Depot it's all about what the vendors and Atlanta think the store should have not necessarily what the customers really need. How many you actually get for sale in a shipment depends on projections of gross sales and other things in a complex computer forecasting program not common sense. Complaining really does no good. Even if you can find a SKU for an item your store should have but doesn't have getting the SKU turned on is often impossible.
 
  #8  
Old 05-24-07, 04:59 AM
IBM5081's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 655
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The best place to start is with a friend or local contractor who can help you with the planning. They can tell you how long the project should take and what it will cost. They can also help you to understand when it is cheaper to hire someone to do something and when it will cost less to do it yourself.
Talk with some of your neighbors who do it themselves as well.

Some of those proposed changes will be a minor inconvenience if you cannot finish them in a timely manner (basement woodwork). Others, such as the stairs or carpet, will be a significant impact to your lifestyle if the materials are delayed in shipment or installation. The dust and disruption are more significant than you realize. Some people make these kinds of changes before they even move in.

Remember that there are some tools that you rent rather than own, since you won't use them again for another 10+ years.
 
  #9  
Old 05-24-07, 11:52 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your help everyone! I actually have two friends, one's a contractor and the other is just a diy kinda guy, the contractor shops at home depot, probably because it's a half mile from his house.. the other guy goes out of his way to get to lowe's. honestly i can't remember the last time i went into a lowe's, but i find myself in home depot or the local ace or true value for simple things like nails and screws. I really want to replace the basement toilet so that might be the first thing I buy, I'll probably paint the walls a new color too.. so i guess toilet and paint has been bumped to the top of my to-do list. any guidance on this? Thanks a lot!
 
  #10  
Old 05-24-07, 12:26 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,315
Received 261 Votes on 231 Posts
You will find a better quality of paint at a paint store versus a big box. The cheaper paint coatings often don't apply, cover or wear as well as the better paints. Using a good brush and roller also makes a big difference.

No matter which job you are tackling don't expect great advice at a big box. The supply houses that cater to a certain trade usually have qualified help [plus the contractors that do business there] to aid you in what you need to do or use.
 
  #11  
Old 05-24-07, 01:16 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,515
Received 105 Votes on 81 Posts
IMO the only good paint at the Big Box stores is Glidden at Home Depot, otherwise listen to Marksr, and Kohler toilets are nice.
 
  #12  
Old 05-25-07, 06:46 AM
logcabincook's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Rocky Mountain Foothills
Posts: 549
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
As others said, each store has its advantages/disadvantages. I like Home Depot for my general hardware and building materials, though they don't always have what I need (in our area we have the second smallest HD in the world and they are woefully short on basics). Lowes is where we go to browse for decorative items, then we compare with HD to make sure there is nothing else available. However for the big building materials (steel studs, drywall), we try to work with local companies that will treat the regular DIYer like a true repeat customer, both with pricing and customer service.

Don't be afraid to think outside the big box if you want something different - we are only considering a local kitchen designer vs Ikea for our kitchen cabinets because the big box stores quoted no less than twice the price for the same product. You can also find killer deals at Habitat for Humanity and similar "used" outlet stores - much of the stuff is brand new, and it's like a little treasure hunt to find that ultra cool thing that can't be found or afforded elsewhere (two weeks ago I scored about $150 worth of beautiful tile for $14 - what a bargain!)

A little tip - subscribe to Consumer Reports online ratings while you are remodelling. They rate all sorts of stuff, so when it comes to buying your appliances or paint or chainsaw or even your bath linens, you will know what CR says before you buy.

Enjoy your new house and all the fun you can have with it!
 
  #13  
Old 05-25-07, 09:39 PM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,563
Received 94 Votes on 83 Posts
No way would I buy paint from a big box store.
 
  #14  
Old 05-26-07, 04:15 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,315
Received 261 Votes on 231 Posts
I agree, Glidden makes some great paints but unfortunetly the line they sell at HD is glidden's cheapest line.
 
  #15  
Old 06-11-07, 11:29 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ah, where's the best place to buy Glidden then? I think I saw it at my the True Value down the street
 
  #16  
Old 06-11-07, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears... where to start?

Keep in mind that many items (tools, paint and other materials) are very often made to their specifications and may not be equal to the same items that look the same elsewhere. Check model numbers for tools and labels for paint and compare to other stores. Any differences should be questioned. Go to the manufacturers site to look for the manuals AND replacement parts to see if they are the same.

The big boxes sell on price and you can be sure they want to sell items that cost them less.

Similar thing for tires and appliances elsewhere. - You cannot comparison shop if the model numbers are different.

The big boxes have a few good seminars, so go to them and make them earn your purchases.

Make sure you find a good local hardware store (Ace, Hardware Hank) where you can easily get the things needed for the whole job. You will also get some good one-on-one advice. Can't live without them.

For paint, go to a good paint supplier - it will be better and cheaper in the end. Usually the big boxes only have one good person. Painr stores have the know-how and guts to explain the differences between their products.

Dick
 
  #17  
Old 06-11-07, 02:21 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,315
Received 261 Votes on 231 Posts
The best place to buy glidden paint is at a glidden paint store. Choose from their better lines of paint because they also sell the same cheap coatings they supply the big box with
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: