Some Words on Lowe’s

Disclaimer- I am making money for posting this, not a lot but I want to be transparent, I would not feel the slightest bit inclined to make money from this unless I truly had good feelings about it.

I wouldn’t normally do this but… wait, no I would!  So I got an email in my inbox that says I will get money if I post this ‘ad’ on my site with a bit of nice info about Lowe’s.  If I didn’t have anything nice to say I wouldn’t do that, wait, I just might but then I don’t think they would want to pay me if it wasn’t a positive post…  Lowe’s is just lucky because I have nothing but nice things to say about them!  And also, I happened to find this ‘ad’ extremely helpful, so watch it, you might find it handy too! I can think of a few times in my build that that would have been REALLY handy to know (I realize there are several versions that may come up and I really have no idea which one will but I am hoping its the ‘how to get a stripped screw out with a rubber-band, I WISH I had seen that sooner).  I digress…

When I started out this build I was so dead-set against using ‘big-box stores to source my materials.  I even did a post on the financials behind it, let alone the ‘buy local’ reasons. Now that my build is all but complete I have a different outlook.  I would guess that 70% of all items I paid for came from Lowe’s.  First of all, it would be nice to ‘shop local’, if I didn’t have a job (or two) throughout construction.  The hours those local stores keep are usually about the same as the one’s I keep in my day job so I found it really difficult to get over to them most of the time.  I found that the savings wasn’t really worth the time it took away from working sometimes, there is something to be said for convenience.  Second, supporting Lowe’s (or other big box stores) is still supporting your local community.  It also happens to help the corporation who you just hope is responsible with their investments and gives back to the community in turn.  Fact is though, those people that I have got to know through my build ARE my community.  Lowe’s has given them the opportunity to earn a living and have the life they want.  Believe me, I have got to know quite a few people at Lowe’s and I have not once heard a complaint about their employer, I find that fairly impressive.

Just for a little comparison sake too, in my region, I have found the staff at Lowe’s to be heads and shoulders ahead of the staff at their competitor (the orange place).  I have rarely asked a question at Lowe’s and been unable to find help toward a solution, I can say the exact opposite about the orange store.  That may very well be regional, I don’t know but that fact combined with the last two trips to the orange store involving witnessing huge racial slurs from an employees to two different customers and shotty products which have mostly had to be returned, I am a Lowe’s fan over the Depot by a lot.  Again, I am sure this could just be regional or perhaps Lowe’s actually does have higher standards and offers better training, I don’t know.   I guess my point is just to give a different perspective.  A lot of people building tiny are the same people who eat lots of vegetables and are big on supporting your own community, I would argue that supporting Lowe’s is still supporting your own community.  I would love to hear/have a discussion on this in the comments if you feel so inclined?  What are your thoughts about using big box stores for your house?  Have you/will you? Why or why not?

My only complaint to date is that Denny got kicked out the last time we were in, (both Lowe’s and the Depot allow pets, is that just this region or do other people get that too, I have heard that some people don’t get to do that where they live???).  As it turns out there was a dog fight just a couple days before and they were worried about having that be a trend.  Safety of animals matters to these guys, huh, weird! (I’m sure there is liability too, but still, it was nice to have a place to take your pet in instead of leaving them in a hot car while it lasted)

So that is my two cents on Lowe’s and tiny houses, they have been an exceptional resource for me!

 

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12 thoughts on “Some Words on Lowe’s

  1. I work at Lowes and things there have changed over the last 2 years. While I am “grateful I have a job” (my manager’s exact words), I am also cognizant that I have sold personally over 1.5 million dollars for the company, so I feel a bit indignant that I should be the only grateful one. I once had pride that we did have the experts and we paid them to help our customers. That we were number 2 by the numbers but number 1 by the customer’s standards. I fear that is changing, so please keep after Lowes and tell them why you shop there. If you don’t, Lowes will become the competitor. Our CEO thinks that’s the only way to be equal to or better than them.

    1. I think Lowes is a little higher priced than Depot, and some times do not carry things that the Depot does. But, when on a tiny budget,( soc sec.) every penny really does count. the staff at lowes always has been helpful when i had questions, seemed to know what was “Right”. But local hardware stores have a wider selection on parts for plumbing etc. So i feel we need to source whom ever we need for what ever we need and money goes back into the community all the way around. So it helps all stores. We even shop Walmart if necessary, and they have “it” in stock. just how this small town works.

    2. I am so tired of companies saying to employes, “be grateful you have a job” as if it’s a charitable contribution and they aren’t getting anything in return. It’s a bartership. I find the entire thing offensive. Be grateful you have a job, but if it’s a low paying job it’s stupid of you to have taken it, you should have gotten a better career, job etc… it’s your fault you’re not making more money… etc.. yet every corporate goal is to get employees on the cheap cheap cheap. I find my local orange box and Lowes are pretty much the same. Lowes is a bit more expensive but they do carry higher grade wood than Depot so I do often get my wood from Lowes now but price dictates that I must shop at Depot for many items. I dont find my Lowes employees to be any more knowledgeable or helpful. It’s a mixed bag when I go in. One day service will be great and the next it will stink, for both places. There is no local hardware shop near me, so it’s them or a long drive but one thing that is ticking me off about both is that they are all into corporate partnerships now. We only carry this brand and this cheapie brand and that’s it. I’m sick of only 2 choices. 1 supposedly high end, over priced and not great quality and then cheap junk. Screws, screw drivers, drill bits etc.. I’m having a really hard time finding decent quality materials. I find I have to find a good brand by driving all around and then ordering it online the next time I want it because it’s likely been discontinued by the store by the time I need it again.

      1. I once heard a story about a guy who was in a PhD program for computer technologies. He decided to take a break for a year and live with the Amish, not completely tech-free because he blogged about it weekly at a library. The most interesting thing I heard from him was how the Amish look at technology. According to him, the criterion is not simply if something was made before a given year (although this is often how it’s stated by a community) but how it affects people who use it. Cars mean you don’t know the people on your commute to work, horses just the opposite. Phones mean you can interrupt people no matter what they’re doing. They also mean you communicate without really interacting or socializing with another person. These are the reasons Amish turn down technology. Sounds like an idea that would resonate with more than a few people interested in tiny homes. And some people tired of dealing with large corporations.

  2. and I do wish mine wouldn’t allow dogs, there’s been a lot of people in there lately with really badly behaved dogs! why do bad owners have to ruin it for everyone? I kept getting clotheslined by 2 dogs the last time. Another time someone had a dog that growled at my kids.

  3. Jess and I tried to order our insulation from Home Depot when we were first starting out. We had to special order it, and it was going to take 3 weeks. 4 weeks passed, and I called. They said something along the lines of “Oh yeah, it’ll be another 3 weeks.” They were chatting with the Owen’s Corning rep on the phone, and the Lowe’s CSR literally said to me, “She says she can’t just put your small order in an otherwise empty semi trailer truck.”

    After that incident, I canceled my insulation order with Home Depot, and we bought everything from Lowe’s. The only thing we found cheaper was our windows at a local window store (still new, just MUCH cheaper). Everybody at Lowe’s is also really nice, and they’re always asking, “What are you building? You’re in here all the time!”

  4. Having spent the last 22 years in the lumber industry I have a fair insiders background. My initial job was as an outside salesman for the now befunct Payless Cashways / Furrow building supply. A big box store also. As employees we were encourage to train in each department and were rewarded by the knowledge we could show by passing various tests. These cross training efforts were rewarded with a bit of a pay increse. So there is an investment made in time and tracking to train a good staff. I am sure these costs might affect the retail price a bit but often the increased profit from bigger sales and customer loyalty may even prove that extra cost unnecessary. I am truely amazed each and every time I enter a local Ace Hardware with a odd ball request. Greated at the door they ask what they can do to help and we are off together to find my elusive widget. I have never been disappointed and while not being paid for this endorsement I still give them thumbs up. Boy I wished they would branch into the lumber as well as the hardware.

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