While shopping around for the best prices of supplies, I’ve been fortunate enough to live less then five minutes away from The Home Depot and Lowe’s. The contents of the entire house were removed except for the frame and the kitchen. The kitchen was just remodeled a few years ago and needs nothing more but a few coats of paint. The selection is rather limited in my area for stores that carry supplies so both stores have been competing for my business.
To give you a bit of background, I’m a 60″ twenty-six year old female who could probably pass for a middle schooler.
I received a 10% off coupon in the mail good for up to $500 off my next single purchase at Lowe’s. This seemed pretty exciting to me because I knew I would be spending a large amount of money for supplies.
The first part of my “DIY” quest was the purchase of new sheet rock. I remembered the price from the last visit to Home Depot and just assumed since they were competition stores, the prices would be about equal. I was wrong. I called the store for their business hours and thought it would be a good idea to ask the drywall prices. Seems to be that Lowe’s wanted almost four dollars more a sheet (keeping in mind tax) then Home Depot. When you’re buying 80+ sheets of drywall those extra dollars really add up. I took my business to Home Depot and purchased 86 sheets of drywall the next day at $7.86 a sheet.
The home needs all new doors, with frames, along with closets. The same exact doors were almost ten dollars cheaper at Home Depot. Lighting fixtures for the bedrooms, bathroom and hallway were also much cheaper at Home Depot. It seems the bright orange home improvement warehouse was winning my vote.
To be fair, I must also talk about my opinions of the staff. As much as I find it completely annoying to be constantly “bothered” with “Can I help you with anything?” I came to realize the value of this. In the basement the shallow jet pump for my well and the sump pump needed to be replaced. I went online to both home improvement stores. Once again I found the prices to be some what cheaper at Home Depot. I threw on my raggedy jeans, my stained up zipper hoody and my hair was “highschoolish” with twists and rubber bands. I enter the store with my one year old son. Normally when I visit these types of stores I’m surrounded by my “male posse” and we always get “bothered” by staff. This time, there were no hellos, no can I help you’s. I waited in line at customer service because I wanted to talk to someone who had well/sump pump knowledge. I stood there for about five minutes while the two older gals chatted about their day. When the woman asked if she could help me and this older fellow walked right up and started talking. Instead of saying “she was next in line” she proceeded to assist him with whatever it was he needed. I walked away. I spent an entire hour in the store when I knew exactly what I needed and where it was located. I finally had to ask the cashier if she could find me some assistance. The one employee who came walking down, I said, “excuse me” and his reply was “Oh hunny it’s OK, I understand babies need rocked” and kept on walking. (I was now holding my son who became very cranky)
Was it me being female and looking childish that kept me from getting service?
When I was browsing Lowe’s, by myself, dressed similar as above, I was constantly being asked if I needed help. While over in the lighting department, I was checking out the under cabinet lights and a fellow came over to help me. He described to me exactly how difficult the project could be, what I would need and where everything was located. I next told this gentleman that I was interested in heater fans that go in the bathroom ceiling. He escorted me over to the proper section and described all the different types and why there was such a difference in price. The man spoke to me as if he was speaking to a home improvement specialist. Lowe’s gets my vote (and recommendation) for the place to go when you have DIY questions.
Lowe’s also boasts a price match guarantee. If you can find an item cheaper somewhere else, they will match the price and give you 10% off your bill. This seems like a pretty bold move seeing as the prices do not seem very competitive. I did not attempt to test the ease of getting this accomplished. I do not know if they require exact brands/model numbers or if it applies to same items. If in the future I do attempt to do a price match, I will provide a follow up.
If you’re planning on updating your home now or in the near future, my advice is to shop around. While the prices seem to be much lower at The Home Depot, the knowledge and service you can acquire at Lowe’s is outstanding.
*Disclaimer: These are my own personal opinions based on my own personal experiences at my neighborhood home improvement stores. This is by no means to imply that you can not receive outstanding service at Home Depot, or that all of Lowe’s items are move expensive. I have, however, been to both stores many many times and have had basically the same experiences*
Rating: 4 out of 5