Are they preparing funeral invitations yet? They get worse and worse.
There is hardly ever any help around anymore. I thought they used to
have walkie talkies to get help with questions but none of them have
them (did I imagine it). I went to get a shower valve and couldn't
find it, first guy I asked didn't know what one was and pointed me
toward the "plumbing guy". He figured out that they were out of them.
I asked where another HD was and he told me but didn't offer to go
check and see if they had them in stock. Went to the other HD and
they didn't have any either. So I went to a Lowe's. Asked the Gal in
the aisle if they had the valve I wanted and she had never heard of it
but said she would call and have a plumbing guy come over. While
waiting I found one in a packet that had been cut open. The valve
inside was a used valve. When the plumbing guy arrived I showed him
the used valve, he checked and said they had no more in stock but that
another store had 12 in stock. So I went to the other Lowe's and got
one there. Four stores to find a $12 valve, ridiculous.
I was using a box of leftover wall tile on a backsplash. SHIT, 3/4
way thru the job figured out that someone had mixed about 10 tiles of
the wrong "sheen". So I call HD, do you have 4x4 American Tile BW
703, bone white with stippled surface. Oh yeah, he said. Are you
SURE I said? Yeah, we have it in stock he said. Could not believe my
luck! So I drive up there. Guess what. They don't have it. I knew
in my gut I should go back and peel the tile off of the wall while the
mastic was still wet, and just get a new box of tile. But I asked if
he could order it. Oh no problem he said. So I order a box, leaving
the backsplash about 6 tiles short. Be there next week he says. Next
week they call and tell me that they no longer make that tile. I had
to rip the tile, sheetrock and all and start over. That idiot cost me
about 8 hours of work. Round here, Menard rules HD.
A real plumbing store can be one aisle of a real hardware store. So, to
answer your question, I go to a real store 99% of the time for critical
items. Might be a plumbing supply place, might be one of three hardware
stores that are no further away than HD.
Well, when I need something that goes "ding" and has a pleasant
fragrance, I got to Art's Bells & Smells. And when I need a car tire
of a known religious denomination, I shop at In The Name Of Jesus
Guaranteed Used Tires.
Those are real stores around here.
If I went to a "speciality" store every time I needed something, I
would spend *more time* looking through the phonebook for the closest
"specialty" store instead of going to HD and getting what I need.
I'm not talking about a HW store. (which are far and few in my area)
I'm talking about *speciality* stores. A lot of people told this guy
should have went to a *plumbing* store, not a HW store.
Also, a few wks ago I asked about fixing my ice maker here,
which turns out needed a new control module. Called a bunch of
appliance repair stores and the *cheapest* one I found was
$60.00. I bought this http://tinyurl.com/2rhyb3 from Lowes for $50.00.
(an exact replacement) That is one example right there of something
that Ace isn't going to carry and being a LOT cheaper than a specialty
store. I couldn't imagine what an appliance repair store would have
wanted for the *entire* unit with a new tray.
Hmm. Carpets. Tile. Fencing. Cabinets. Riding lawnmowers. Pepsi Cola.
"All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public
order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what
have the Romans ever done for us?"
All of those items are far more expensive at Home Depot that at other
stores, all of which are open on weekends (or at least Saturday). I just
did a remodel with lots of carpet, tile, and cabinets, and I would spent
at least $6,000 more if I had bought the materials at HD.
One time the HD cashier advised my wife to stop buying pavers there, and
to go to the nearby rockery, which sold them for less than half of what
That's true. The last carpet I bought, about 3 weeks ago, I didn't even
have to go to a store, the owner came to me. Plus, I hate Pepsi, I only
drink cane sugar Coke in terms of colas.
I checked out Home Depot as well. For the same grade of carpet they were
about 50% more expensive, plus they had a longer lead time. They
insisted that it would take two weeks, minimum, to get the carpet from
the mill in Georgia, to their store in California, and said that they
were the largest carpet retailer in the country and that no smaller
store could get it any faster.
In fact, one store I looked at, that was about $300 more than where I
bought it, stocked the carpet I wanted, and if I had chosen a more
standard color for rentals, I could have gotten it in one day. Home
Depot stocks some carpet, but it's the lowest grade polyester carpets,
Similarly, Home Depot was much more expensive for cabinets, tile,
granite, shower enclosures, and electrical.
Many people just automatically go to Home Depot because they think the
alternatives are always higher priced because they're looking at stores
like Carpet 1, or the highbrow kitchen and bath remodeling stores. They
don't know where to go, and they pay for their lack of knowledge.
One of the persons renting my rental in San Jose, has a rental of her
own in Marin county (north of San Francisco) and was asking about my new
carpet after she got a very high quote from Home Depot. I gave her the
phone number of the guy I used.
In one day, the carpet company I used was over the GG bridge giving her
an estimate for carpet. He was about $800 less than Home Depot, for much
better quality carpet and a better pad (1/2" versus 7/16"), plus he
included fixing the installation of some previously installed carpet
that was still good, but wasn't stretched properly. Also he could do it
sooner because for some reason he can get carpet shipped to him faster
than Home Depot can get it shipped to a store. Maybe Home Depot has it
go to a warehouse of their own first, I don't know why it takes them
longer to get it.
Sure, if you want to spend the afternoon rooting through a pile of their
lower quality lumber they buy trying to find something usable.
I can pull into my local lumber yard and everything they stock is good
quality and if I need more than a couple they will deliver them and they
will all be good.
Lumber yards don't allow high grading. Building codes require lumber to
be of certain grades, and "#2 and better" (also known as Construction
Grade) has to have a certain percentage of #1 and Select Structural
mixed in. You can reject the occasional stick as unsuitable, but they
won't let you sort through the pile.
Big box stores are good for hobby wood. I bought some 3/16 x 6" pine
for a radio enclosure from Lowes not long ago. They can also be good
for shopping ideas. When I replaced my patio door, I saw a neat french
door set at HD that was a Pella knock-off. It was a great idea, so I
ordered the original from Pella. Hey, I live here. Sometimes cheaper
is not always better. :)
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