questionslowes or home depot... which do you like more?

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@eneref: Personally, I'd ask the neighbors where they shop. If there's a local place, non-chain, that will be your first choice. Lowe's has better paint, and a much better selection of stones (my soil eats wood, so I use stone pavers to define garden beds). OSH is probably west coast; Sears acquired them years ago, anyway. Ace is a franchise, rather than a chain, so you may have a local place that's affiliated with Ace. Ace will still be on the building, and in the advertisements, but probably below the actual store name.

I love to remodel. You have to decide your skill set, and how much your time is worth, and how much money you're willing to give someone else to do things. Plumbing really needs a plumber for the big stuff, and electrical things ought to be done by an electrician. Painting is purely a decision on $$$, and the value of your time. It's a skill, but both Lowe's and Home Depot will explain what you need to know (and have good booklets, too).

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I agree with catbert, there isn't a huge difference between the two big box stores when you consider them as a whole.

You will probably find that you enjoy certain sections of one (like paint, lighting or the garden shop) better than the other. Or one store may be better managed, meaning that the staff will be more knowledgeable and helpful. I've noticed that with the economic downturn they do at least seem to be glad to see you in the store now.

If you're interested be sure to take advantage of both stores' 10% moving discounts for folks just like you.

Home Depot: http://homedepotmoving.com/SignUp/Registration.aspx?PromoCode=

Lowes: http://www.lowes.com/cd_Lowes+Moving+Center_509684072_

Congratulations on the new home!

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Generally, it comes down to which is closer, which for me is Home Depot. They are pretty much the same, massive aisles, one employee with 2-3 people waiting to get help or you can't find anyone. They seem to have everything until you are looking for that one obscure part. Unless they are completely different up in NY than SoCal, I'd stick to the one closest.

The smaller places like OSH and ACE Hardware are generally better places to head to if you have them. OSH is a lot like HD/Lowes with a simpler selection, ACE has a far better selection as they have a little more freedom in what they can stock, small things like fittings, and other weird bits and bobs you find out you need halfway through a project, but no large things, like lumber, cement, bath tubs, appliances, etc. The aisles aren't 15 feet tall either.

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@eneref: Whoa. You just said FLEAS. Make sure that you move nothing that's dirty (as in clothes, furniture, you name it), and try to use plastic bins or tubs to store things in to move from one place to another. You may also want to consider setting off flea bombs (do they still have such things?) before you move in. Do you have any animals? If so, they need a bath. Remember, you are trying to move sans insects.

I was actually joking about helping, although I do know a fair amount about remodeling stuff. I wish you were closer, though. I could trade off lawn mowing for painting (I have a riding mower, and a walk behind).

I'm still claiming that Lowe's and Home Depot are good for different things, and same with Ace, too. I can get a single screw or nail from Home Depot or Ace; Lowe's people will want to sell a package of them.

I'm glad to live in an area where I can go to various feed and grain stores to get decent equipment. Fooey on any big box stores.

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Having worked in two different Lowe's I can tell you the store is only as good as it's employees. The Lowe's in Nevada was fabulous, great customer service and people willing to go above and beyond to help a customer. The Lowe's in California was dirty, unorganized and filled with hateful employees. Yelp.com is a really good place to get reviews on the stores closest to you. Best of luck!

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Oh, I don't live in NY. I'm down in Atlanta.

We USED to have ACE hardwares everywhere around here, but I'll admit, it's been decades since I've seen one. It could be that I'm just looking in the wrong places, or it could be that they've pulled out of the area or state.

I don't think I've ever heard of OSH. Is it just called OSH or OSH Hardware or something?

I need to find out what's closest to the new place. I'm guessing Home Depot, but I'm really not sure. Perhaps there's an ACE up there somewhere...

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Well lookie there. There's a Home Depot very close, and JUST beyond it, according to the online yellow pages, is an ACE Hardware. Handy! The closest Lowe's looks to be 6 miles away.

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@eneref: I take it you have already chosen a house. Have you closed? Do you have plans on moving in soon? Painting, and certain other things, too, is better in an empty house, or at least an empty room. Can you work on the house and stay somewhere else?

Too bad you're so far away; I could interfere like crazy. Oh, wait. You probably think it's GREAT that you're out of my reach.

[Edit] Purchase plants from none of the above. Start looking for local nurseries. Pity it's been so long since I've been in Atlanta. I no longer know where anything useful is. So, do you live on Peach Street, Peach Avenue, or Peach Place?

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@shrdlu: Hah! Yes, it's probably best you're elsewhere. ;) I've already got many a person willing to help me decide what to do with the house from decor to remodeling.

Closing date is October 29th, so I've got some time before I move in to decide what colours to go with and where to apply them. Interestingly, I spent a couple of summers in college painting houses (inside and out), so that's reasonably straightforward to me. As for electrical work... well... as an engineer, I'm sure I can figure it out readily enough with a little guidance. I've a friend who's a trained electrician who's happy to help there.

It is a MASSIVE bloody house... so it's a bit daunting. But they don't build small houses in this area. Still... has a nice yard. Looking forward to playing with that. Really excited about it altogether. I am, frankly, sick of this miserable excuse for an apartment -- from its dead rodents in the walls, to its behind-the-walls flea infestations, to its surly staff. Horrid place.

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@shrdlu: No animals. There was a family of raccoons living in the walls. Took the complex 3 months to get around to hiring someone to get them out. In the meantime, they brought fleas with them, that have stayed in the walls. I don't have any fleas in the apartment. Just in the bathroom (as underneath that is where the nest was). I keep that reasonably clear with Ultracide on a regular basis. But it's annoying as I can't get into the walls. Most items here are already packed and ready to go. I had to move all the stuff out of the area with raccoons LONG ago, as the closet smells like a rodent's toilet (something about which the apartment complex people don't seem to care). I'll just be happy to leave all this 'luxury' behind (the current owners of this complex have named it Rockledge, Luxury Apartments).

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One way to save some money is to buy gift cards from Ebay at a discounted rate. I bought three $500.00 gift cards from Home Depot for $400.00 each. Then used them to buy a riding lawn mower that was on sale. Saved a lot of money. Made sure the sellers on Ebay had good reputations before buying, and all the gift cards were good for $500.00 each. If you are going to do this, start sooner rather than later. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more you will pay for gift cards. Congratulations on the new house!

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Well Lowes would be the erm 'localish' store for you since its corporate offices are up here in Huntersville, NC so that is something to think about.

It depends on what I am shopping for. I bought all my appliances at Lowes, the prices were lower and I got a giftcard. Both of them are within a tenth of a mile of each other. I bought all my paint a Home Depot, I like their paint guy better he was cuter. I also had a Home Depot Card - don't get one dangerous stuff.

But if you are really wanting to learn about tools Ace Hardware or a locally owned hardware store might be better because the owner/manager should actually have a clue. I have had trouble at both HD and Lowes with people not being able to help me find out what I need. They can direct me to the aisle I need, but they aren't DIY people so they have no clue they just work there.

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I like lowes better, because in my area they are cheaper than the home depot on almost everything, plus they give a 10% military discount all the time.

Having lived in other places, no two stores are identical, and some store are larger than others. I used to love going between the 2 lowes and 2 home depts that I used to live by, and getting them to beat each other's prices by 10%.

Both of these stores are good for general items. When it comes to higher end products, do not buy faucets from either. They both tend to sell units that look like other units on the manufacturers webiste, but the internal parts are very different. Go to a plumbing supply place for faucets for showers and sinks, unless you want cheap junk. Do not buy their oak or poplar wood for trimming out a house, they are ungodly expensive. Find a mill or shop on ebay.

have fun with the renovation of a new place.

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Home Depot's corporate offices are located in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you want to get advice about a project, it suit you to ask any frequent contractor. I worked as a cashier at a Home Depot and whenever I had a personal project going on at home, I would ask the people who were regularly in my lines.

I've found that the go-to employees are the people behind the Pro Desk and the higher-ups on the Front End, namely the Head Cashiers and the Front End Supervisor. They have the mobility to personally escort you to the section you're looking for and the authority to get someone from the department over to you quickly. Ask a cashier to point you in their direction and you should be okay. Good luck!

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Personally, I prefer Lowes. They do a little more for their business partners. That's what they call us if we have a business account with them. Several times a year someone will call & see if they still carry what we need and if there's something that they need to add to stock for us. And next weekend, they'll feed us free hot dogs. HD does squat.

Like mackibble says, get your installations done from area businesses. The smaller companies will appreciate your business and are easier to deal with, if something goes wrong. Also, make sure that they have paid their suppliers before you pay them. Go ahead and request copies of paid invoices. Nothing ruins your day faster than finding out that the tile supply guy was never paid for the tile in your $3000 tile installation. And he wants his money from you!

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Lowes - at least in my area - tends to have a better selection and lower prices - they are half a mile from each other - so it's easy to check prices. Home Depot doesn't have lamp shades - a much smaller ceiling fan and lighting dept - and lss home decor

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OH! don't forget to look for Habitat's Restore's if you don't care about not having a warranty for some things - faucets, door knobs etc that is THE place to go cheap cheap cheap! Come up to Charlotte we can go together.

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Lowe's is an advertiser on Glenn Beck's show. For me, that rules them out for my shopping dollar.

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Size matters. The Home Depot near my house is small and lacks many items. It always seems to be out of stock of the item I need.

The help inside differs on a store by store basis. When I lived in San Diego, the Home Depot had better help. In the DC area, Lowe's employees are better.

In the end, find a good size store and figure out everything you need to know on the internet - including stock levels and SKU numbers for their products. You can ask them for something that's on the shelf behind them and they will tell you that they don't carry it. They don't even bother to know or check.

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Home Depot all the way.

1. They know what they're talking about.
2. They do not ignore you whether you look confused to just browsing around.
3. Customer Service is their middle name...Home Customer Service Depot.
4. Things are generally a bit more expensive then Lowe's however, you get what you pay for.
5. They have a variety of product THAT GETS THE JOB DONE.

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I have been doing some home improvements in the last year and have found that home depot and lowes are much better stocked than some of our other large home improvement stores in the upper midwest. They have relatively the same prices EXCEPT! Home depots small items say less than $20 are higher priced, and lowes items over $20 are higher priced. (Its best if you have a Menards, Lowes, and Home Depot within 6 blocks of each other then you can do fine price comparisons.)

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Here's the deal, imo, Home Depot associates know more, they are extensively trained. Not to say that there aren't a few that have no clue, but in general you just need to ask an employee who they go to in each department. No they all don't know every department and that's a ridiculous idea that each employee will know everything in the whole store.
Now, Lowes looks a whole lot prettier and that's what they went for. They knew there was no beating HD as a depot or warehouse; HD is a contractor driven store. Lowes targeted the typical female: Color coded organization, wide clean aisles, more decorative products & more options as far as brands with appliance, etc.
But hands down Home Depot will have better prices. If not originally a better price, HD beats Lowes price 10% less. Lowes will only take 10% of the difference between the prices.
It's impressive how the employees at both are so loyal; esp when Lowes offers more to their employees. HD employees don't get discounts or commission.

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@snitily: really? How unfortunate. I don't like him.

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I agree with @ohcheri - it comes down to staff. The staff at my local Blue is more knowledgeable and will go out of their way to help me more (or ask if I need it) than the staff at Orange. And the Blue here seems to be cleaner and better tended to than it's Orange counterpart.

The test is to wander around the store aimlessly and look lost and see if you get the sort of help you'd like. If neither one pleases you, then go for an Ace or TrueValue. Since you're probably not at the store for lumber or powertools (like I usually am), the smaller hardware stores like Ace and TrueValue should have what you'd like. And then often tend to have even better service than their big box counterparts. I had to go a short distance to the back of the TrueValue once and was approached by three different people asking if I needed help.

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For me, convenience usually trumps. There's six Home Depot stores reasonably close to here (5 miles) while the closest Lowes is 8 miles away.

For most stuff, I'll go to HD for convenience. However, the contracting shop at Lowes seems to handle things far better. We've done a couple of moderate sized flooring jobs with them and I find the Lowes oversight better than what HD provided. The Lowes folks took much more responsibility for making sure that everything was right. Not to mention the time HD double shipped me wallpaper and treated me like an idiot for trying to return the extra.

As others have said, the important part is the quality of the staff, which really depends on the local management. I guess in my case the Chantilly (VA) Lowes wins.

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I'm a home depot fan myself. Both stores seem to have a huge selection, but the depot seems to have items that fit my style better. Peg board accessories, for example. At Lowes, the peg board stuff is in the closet organization section, and they offer a few prepackaged items. At HD, a large section of an isle is dedicated to different configuration options. You buy prepackaged items, or single items. I like that.

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What BOTH stores need is little computer terminals (or something!) so we can search for items and find their current isle. Where's the glue? With the paint/tape? Or with the construction stuff? Or with the cleaners? Who can tell?

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If you have one close, I prefer Menards 1st, Lowes 2nd, Home Depot 3rd.

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Congratulations on your new home ma'am. From my experience, Lowes seems to offer the best selection on just about everything, but like everyone says, try the closest to you first. Best of luck. Cheers.

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Generally, I like Lowe's better than Home(ly) Depot. However, the hardware selection in Lowe's is much more restrictive, in that you cannot buy just a couple of specialty screws- you have to buy a whole box... IDK about you, but i dont need a whole box of size 12, 4inch wood screws when I only needed 4 for a door jam...

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I have four Home Despots closer to me than the nearest Lowes, so I wind up there. Convenience is a huge factor (not unlike Sam's vs Costco vs BJ's).

As some others have said, the locations somehow manage to be different. Parking at one is horrendous, another never seemed to have exactly what I'm looking for in stock (had midway-sized lightswitch and receptacle plates in almond, but never in white). And all four are laid out differently - electrical is in the back left corner of my preferred HD, while another one has it more in the middle.

My one trip to Lowes - five years ago - was good, but too far out of the way for me.

If you know what you're looking for and like plenty of choices, a big box is great. If you need a lot of personal help, try a smaller place like ACE, TrueValue or a local shop.

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From what I've seen, Lowe's is more consumer oriented, and Home Depot is more contractor oriented.

So if you need a ceiling fan or medicine cabinet, go to Lowe's. If you're buying a bunch of sheetrock or interior doors, go to Home Depot.

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They each have a store opposite sides of the street near to my home. The staff at Lowes are by far:
1. easier to find
2. more knowledgeable
3. less odorific
4. less creepy, like they weren't trained how to be "friendly"

Plus, Lowes usually has what I want in stock, whereas Home Despot is full of empty shelving. (edit: @texasmojo's comment about general public vs. contractors rings true here.)

Same with the checkouts: there's always at least one checkout open so I don't have to fight the stupid automated checkout that insists I place a large, unweildy object in the bag before it will let me buy anything. Last time it did that, I just left the bugger behind, crossed over the street to the store with the blue logo.

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They each have a store opposite sides of the street near to my home. The staff at Lowes are by far:
1. easier to find
2. more knowledgeable
3. less odorific
4. less creepy, like they weren't trained how to be "friendly"

Plus, Lowes usually has what I want in stock, whereas Home Despot is full of empty shelving. (edit: @texasmojo's comment about general public vs. contractors rings true here.)

Same with the checkouts: there's always at least one checkout open so I don't have to fight the stupid automated checkout that insists I place a large, unweildy object in the bag before it will let me buy anything. Last time it did that, I just left the bugger behind, crossed over the street to the store with the blue logo.

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@eneref: OSH is Orchard Supply Hardware (http://www.osh.com/). Like mentioned previously, they are a smaller scale HD/Lowe's, but tend to offer better service to their customers. Many of them even still fell like "small mom and pop" stores.

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Lowes. Because my best friend was treated horribly when employed at Home Depot. The things that go on are truly shocking. From misconduct to out and out illegal behavior, it's certainly not a healthy or safe place to work. And they really take advantage of their elderly employees. If, in your business, you have a senior citizen wet themselves because they can't get a break from a cash register in four hours, you basically suck.

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IMHO:

Lowes: Better Price

HD: Higher end Mdse

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Just use care having anything installed from a big box store. We bought a patio door from HD and it took five months of drama to get it installed. They contract the work out to another company. It was like a season on the Jerry Springer show. Never again!

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SO! being that I work for HOME DEPOT and my Cousin works for LOWES, there is quite a difference in many things. you can weigh the pros and cons all day. When you read through all of these comments all I see are opinions and little factors that puts someone ELSES emphasis on a store. you want a good opinion CHECK them both out for yourself.. but putting all of this into a good reality for you. it all comes back to a little thing I learned in middle school. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!
Most stores stock their items based off of numbers and sales of things in the direct area.

like SEATTLE and SANDIEGO Markets are more likely to sell more Tables and Umbrellas than a PORTLAND market.

so of course if im in management Im gonna relocate my products to an area that are gonna make me rich not break even.

SO here are a few truths..

FACT: Home Depot treat their employees better than Lowes.
FACT: Lowes costs less than HOME DEPOT

If your shopping in a ghetto are. Customer service probably bad

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I live in the DC area- we have alot of both kinds of stores. Hugely prefer Lowes- nicer customer service, more knowledgeable. Alot better selection. Home Depot doesn't even have cashiers just self help registers although there are lots ofif employees roaming around, talkig to each other try getting one of them to help you.