Lowes may have more floor employees, but they charge a LOT more to pay for
them. A 2x4 8 foot usually costs around $2.69 at Home Depot, but will
cost genrally around $3.69 at Lowes. I've found just about everything to
be more at Lowes. I only go to Lowes if nobody else has an item. Also,
the nearest Lowes is a 15 mile trip each way.
I've been doing most of my shopping at Menards recently even though HD is
only about a mile or two further. Menards prices are always the same or
less than HD these days. Home Depot was the cheapest three or four years
ago, but HD prices have gone way up.
Don't knock Menards. Typically lower prices than the BORG, they hire cute
girls, and there is ALWAYS someone on the floor. Clueless or not, they try
to be helpful.
Menards is privately held, by the way. They may have bean counters, but
those bean counters answer to the owners, not friggin neurotic share
holders. That means a lot. Share holders (the big insuance or pension
managers) can force an ass-rape on a company and then sell when the price
start to go down. Owners are in for the long haul.
That said, I do try to go to the BORG when I can to support the local tax
base. Menards is "just a bit outside" my village's boundaries, but they
still get a substantial percentage of my money.
You might want to do a quick search for their website and have a look.
(I think it's www.menards.com but don't quote me on that.) Most stores
have about everything you'll need to build and maintain a house and then
Given the choice between Menards and Home Depot/Lowes, I usually go
Menards. (We live about halfway between Menards and HD.)
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
Menards is the third largest "Home Improvement" chain based in Eau Claire,
Wisconsin. Stores are located mainly in the midwest in Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan, Nebraska, North/South
Some of their old stores are poorly laid out, but the new stores are
really nice. They are much closer to a lumberyard than HD or Lowes. They
actually have a outdoor lumberyard at the stores so stuff can be put
directly into a vehicle instead of loaded in a cart and hauled outside.
The Menard family is also big into racing. Various Menard family members
have been on the Indy and Nascar racing circuits.
Here's the problem with Menards, though- they'd be all right if John
Menard had the slightest concern about his business practices, but
he's a rotten neighbor. The distribution and manufacturing centers
are local to my area, and he's constantly in trouble for dumping toxic
waste into the local ecology, from burning huge piles of PT lumber to
pouring tens of thousands of gallons of paint where they ended up in
the river. The employes in that manufacturing compound are (on
average) paid less than the average late-night stocker at WalMart and
work in unheated/uncooled buildings with uncountable OSHA violations.
The guy just finds it cheaper to keep paying the fines than to fix the
problems, and does whatever he can to make sure he can keep raping the
Now I'll grant you that all that is pretty much SOP for any large
company I'm familiar with, and I'm sure HD and Lowes are guilty of
many of the same things, though they may be doing them in other
countries- but it's still really tough to support that kind of
behavior, especially when the guy keeps doing it in his own home town.
That, and they're forgetting who they are- I went there today to get a
couple of things and walked into a coffee shop, and then passed a huge
section that looked like a Pier One store before I even found any
tools or building materials. Not what I like in a hardware store-
especially one that fights like the devil to keep any and all
competition out of 100 mile radius of headquarters.
Kinda funny. HD started moving aggressively into our area (Eastern WA)
at about the same time Lowe's took over Eagle. I had preferred Eagle,
because the service was better, selection OK, though not as wide as HD,
and the merchandise seemed better. Then Lowe's took over Eagle, and it
went down the tubes. Now I prefer Lowe's over HD for all the reasons
The last time I was in HD, an employee suggested I use the
auto-checkout since there was no line. She smiled when I said I'd wait
for a human to do my checkout, on GP.
Well, here in the midlands of SC we call them Hopeless Depot. They are
pretty much my last resort if all else fails. Sort of the
Wall-Mart-ization of the home center. A race to the bottom with
understaffed clueless minimum wagers trying to kill time till the end of
The local Walmart usually has lower prices for paint, caulk etc. HD
and their "We must be out of that" and the annoying "self-checkout"
that wants you to bag a 10 ft stick of pipe have run me off- I
usually drive 5 miles further to Lowes.
I like the hopeless depot remark.
Here in central Calif. same story.
About a year and a half ago I purchased some paint from HD, I took the mix
stickers to them and for 1 gallon of each color. They said they could not
do it??? changed brand for their base paint. I told them it did not have
to match exact and that it was going on a fence. Still would not do it. So
I took the stickers to Lowes and they were more than happy mix the paint,
they did and it matched
The original mix that HD did was from a stick from True Value (had a good
one near where I work but it closed when the owner retired). And life goes
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.