Author Topic: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors  (Read 14790 times)

Kroaler

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Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« on: February 28, 2017, 05:14:23 AM »
How are the prices at these stores compared to local vendors in your market?  Do the big boxes provide good value?


Ive already realized that their paint is not a good value.  I now use Benjamin Moore from the local paint store and prefer it much more even at a higher price point.


Would love input on other comparable items, big box vs local specialty vendors.  Whats your experience?

ncornilsen

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 07:39:22 AM »
Lumber can be cheaper from local lumber yards, for example Parr Lumber. The lumber from these yards is generally better, but at lowes/etc you can cherry pick more easily.

Fastners are cheaper elsewhere if you're buying a significant amount of them.

Dave1442397

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 08:40:33 AM »
We had a local lumber store that was comparable but with better customer service, so I used to shop there until they closed.

We had a local plumbing supply store that was very expensive and seemed to be a place for the old guys to hang out. Customers were an annoyance. They closed.

Now I just go to Home Depot, because it's close by.

CmFtns

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 08:44:17 AM »
I tend to just use home depot & lowes because I'm never buying a huge quantity of materials... If I ever needed an entire house's worth of materials I would probably shop around but for small jobs I tend to just use big box stores. They are super close by, have long store hours, and I can check inventory/prices online and they seem to always have everything I need in one place.

Kroaler

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 09:06:27 AM »
Im waiting for some rehab type people to drop in and provide some input.   

The hours are great at home depot compared to other options.

Papa bear

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2017, 09:28:25 AM »
I'm a fan of Behr paint over other specialty stores. 

Large plumbing projects, HVAC work, specialty store over Lowe's/HD. They'll have specific hard to find pieces and will do counter sales for you.  Let them find your product.

Windows, siding, shingles, wholesale over HD/Lowe's.

Lumber - 2x4's Lowe's and HD (i had an awful experience with carter lumber.  Won't ever recommend them for anything), if you need lvl, trusses, find someone local.

Wood floors, tile, laminate, LVT, need to price shop.  Sometimes you'll get a deal at lowes/HD that can't be beat

Appliances - Lowe's/HD on Black Friday sales

Interior doors - local retailer

Everything else based on convenience.  Local hardware store, Lowe's/HD, or even amazon

TLDR: it depends. Go price shop.






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Lmoot

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 08:34:06 PM »
I have used Home Depot and have used them for years on my rental property. They have good financing deals on their credit card and I've never had to pay interest for up to two years per project, even though I have borrowed tens of thousands of dollars on credit.  Even if they are possibly a little more expensive than working with local vendors, I feel like I have made up for it by being able to quickly get a project done without time or financial constraints, and get a renter in there.  Home Depot credit card saved my butt twice and I was able to get renters in there three and six months earlier than I would have had I had to finance it upfront. The extra months of  rent I got, more than made up for any difference in price.

 That being said, on the Renno part two, I did incorporate some local vendors and had a good experience. I am early in my real estate investing, and as I have more cash on hand I would like to work more with local vendors to build a relationship and to take care of savings and bulk savings.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 08:35:51 PM by Lmoot »

Jon Bon

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2017, 05:22:41 AM »
To me time is is more valuable than the potential savings. So if I can go to HD at 9pm on a Tuesday and get what I need, or I have to wait and spend half the next day running around at all these specialty suppliers to save 10% it is an easy decision for me.

Also: RETURNS I buy to much and the wrong stuff constantly. Again its a time thing, if I am not sure what part I need I will probably buy all 4 different versions to make sure I have the right one. Running out of material is 100x worse than having too much material. HD/Lowes are super easy on returns, and if you shop consistently there you just throw them in the back of the car and use that store credit towards the next purchase.

Just one guys opinion.....

Lmoot

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 11:43:14 AM »
Oh and another reason I like Home Depot, and Lowe's. I live within a few miles of 3 of each. Many times they run out of one thing and I just drive a few miles to the next store and get it. No extra ordering, no waiting.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 12:04:57 PM »
Wood at the big box stores is going to be really high quality and they have a large quantity of it, and generally expensive for non construction lumber.

But if you want something cheaper, specialty, or just a rough cut then you have to go to another vendor or straight to a saw mill.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 12:38:03 PM »
We generally go to Lowes.

Lumberyards around here are WAY more expensive. We don't have a lot of options for "local hardware store".

Kroaler

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 01:50:19 PM »
Sounds good!

Thanks for replies.

Its so convenient going to the HD, and especially buying 1 of every size and option then returning what you dont need.   I just wondered if I was paying a lazy tax.   

Bobberth

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 03:50:44 PM »
Pretty much everything in Lowe's or HD can be found cheaper elsewhere. The question is, do they offer something that compensates for that higher price. I do a lot of my project shopping between 9-10pm as I'm going home for the night and want to get everything I need for the next day. Winner is Lowes/HD. If I'm working on electrical, plumbing and laying floor, winner is Lowes/HD as it's just one stop. If I want quality or service, I go elsewhere.

I've had some big problems with returns at Home Depot so I try to avoid them as much as possible. Also they really piss me off. Several times I have been to their store looking for 20A breakers and they have been out and "will be 2 weeks to get in". The footprint of their stores is many acres and they stock it to the ceiling and they run out of one of the most common size breakers that is 10 in a box the size of a loaf of Velveeta. Come on. You're one of the Dow 30 stocks and you can't do better inventory management than that? Also, my FIL is retired and my BIL is active military and HD always shakes them down then only sometimes gives a discount while Lowes says "Thank you for your service" and gives the discount no questions asked. Maybe it's my local store but they are last on my list.

Actually, I greatly prefer Menards over HD or Lowes. They are not everywhere yet but if you have one, I prefer them for just about everything except for electrical supplies-their displays/shelving is too confusing and I can't find the damn regular outlets! Menard's seems to have more 'landlord quality' items than the other two. For instance, I was looking for a 3 bulb light for a large room. Cheapest at Lowes or HD was fancy ones for $50 each. Menard's has them in a 2 pack of plain dome lights for $25 that is sometimes on sale for $15. Yes the others are fancier but it's for a rental.

Lowes has better quality studs for the same price as HD. For the same price, I'd rather not get splinters. Menard's seems similar to Lowe's. Home Depot's are hacked with an axe.

Home Depot is the best for bulk switch and outlet covers than either of the other two. The screws are already in the holes while Lowes has theirs in a separate baggie and Menard's are loose in the bigger bag. Minor I know but an easily avoidable pain in the ass that also uses less plastic.


Bobberth

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2017, 03:58:01 PM »
I only use a local paint shop-better quality supplies and paint at a lower price. It's worth only being able to get there on Saturdays for the price & quality difference. They are also super good at matching paint colors.

I use a local locksmith that put me on master key system so I only carry 1 key to get into all 13 of my rentals. Definitely worth the extra cost there!

awilbur27

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Re: Home Depot / Lowes Prices V.S. Local vendors
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 01:07:34 PM »
After my own 6 month ordeal completely gutting and renovating an in-law apartment behind my house, I think that Papa Bear's breakdown is pretty accurate.  A few other tips I've learned to save money through the renovation process:

You can purchase 10% off Lowe's coupons on eBay - this has saved me $100s on cabinets and appliances.  If you combine using a coupon with buying through shopping portals (ebates, mrrebates, etc) you can even make a little money.  As Papa Bear stated, try to buy bigger appliances around Veteran's Day/Black Friday/After xmas, as box stores are trying to clear out the previous years' inventories.

Check out lighting and furniture through Wayfair's clearance section.  I've gotten absurd deals through the site.

For building materials, before hitting the box stores, check to see if you have a Habitat For Humanity store near you.  This has also saved me $100s, and you never know what you're going to find each time you visit.  I've gotten brand new (still shrink-wrapped) windows left over from a H4H building project for $50-80 (retails close to $250-$300).

In this vein, check and see if you have any salvage stores in your area.  We have one here in Maine called Marden's, and their business model is to essentially go to fire and flood damaged stores, clear them out, and resell all the stuff at a huge markdown.  I've gotten great deals on flooring, textiles, screws, and random tools. 

Regarding windows, there may be a company in your area that makes custom windows from scratch.  This sounds expensive, but it actually *can* save you money as you don't have to cover the markup from buying Pella/Andersen windows from another vendor or a box store, PLUS pay for them to install. It's worth at least soliciting a quote.

Regarding paint: depending on the size of your project, almost all box stores with a paint department have a 'rejected paint' area or shelf for returned or inaccurately mixed paints.  The cost is usually 80-90% of and may be enough for a project or even a room.  You have nothing to lose, especially if the reject color is a perfect match for what you have in mind.

It goes without saying that Craigslist and local Facebook garage sale groups are also great places for deals - both to buy things and to get rid of the things that you are replacing.