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comical DIY incident

Gene_3 Member Posts: 289
shop at big box stores, buy only what they have in stock and visually check it, DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING

Have a pro do pro things and ask which products they recommend.

They deal with the factories and have more experience in knowing which ones are not good quality.

Most of what is in big box stores are last runs or last years model or discontinued. They buy in bulk.


  • no worries mon

    Recent involvement on a partial DIY installation/remodel where a big box co delivered a new refrigerator. Seems the doors were reversed from what the HO had requested, which is no big deal. The instructions clearly indicated how to swap the orientation & the door/refrig had the tabs with threaded openings, but the HO did not want to do it themselves or let us handle the change. They called Sears and asked it be changed only to be informed they must have ordered it incorrectly. You'd have to know these folks as we do - a teacher and an executive - and that set a fire under her bonnet!

    She even tried explaining that the instructions show how to swap the door orientation.

    A second delivery was made(G).

    The dishwasher came from another big box store. I got suckered into picking it up for them so they could avoid the $65 delivery charge - thinking it would save $ because it was on my way. 45-minutes it took for them to bring it to the front of the store and what a time we had because it was pre-paid and not by me. The packaging (not that there's much in the way of protection - four corners with styrafoam and the remainder shrink-wrapped) was busted and falling away - exposing the finished surfaces!

    Some wiring behind the old dishwasher that ran from the basement to disappear into a wall (countertop receptacle) was chewed by a rodent to a point where the copper was laid bare. Good thing they'd opted for a pro to do the install - pros catch things like that.

    The elec range had been hard-wired. The new one was coming from yet a third big box store. Aluminum wiring with no goop on the ends to prevent oxidation. Copper conductor to the rescue. Another pro catch.

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  • here's one of many stories

    This customer had countertop "custom made" by Lowe's.. A straight top.... Just needed a little trimming at the door trim.. Waiting for him to put the top on cabinets so I can install the sink,etc. Too long, not sqaured, asked customer if I shud leave to save him money than me standing around waiting.... Nope I gotta stay there as the non english speaking installer kept saying almost finnish.... Oopps, stills too long, cut it free hand with jigsaw, oops, not straight cut, re cut free hand again, still not straight ( there was a clamp down straight edge in his trailer) belt sanded the curvy spots, opps, too short but installed with huge gap on other end.. Asked customer if this what he wanted with sink installed, nope wait til replacment.. 4 tops later... Finally installed sink unit.. Got paid for every minutes watching this comendy..
  • Your story reminds me

    of several odd incidents that were somewhat similar. A kit remodel by a big box contractor was like something out of a theme park haunted mansion. Cabinets crooked, countertop askew and a chip in their very expensive sink. HO called us in to disconnect and remove the sink, which stayed that way for a very long time while the HO & big box store fought. They eventually prevailed, but stated they'll never go back.

    Another one dealt with the aftermath of a dishwasher installation - again, by the big box installing contractor. Drain connection at floor leaked and ran under the Pergo flooring they'd had installed too. Took a while, but it surfaced once the flooring was toast. Same drill - as in the Big Box store refused to take care of the mess. However, the botched connection point was something covered quite well in the mfgrs installation instructions. After lawyers were involved and I was deposed for testimony, the Big Box guys bellied up to the bar. But, they lost another customer in the process.

    We've run into a number of other incidents similar to these ones. So, it's not always a DIY incident. HO's looking to save bucks don't realize there's a valid reason why the pros cost more and get snookered into thinking they're getting the same quality - both in materials and skilled labor. You & I know they're not. Our industry has failed miserably in promoting itself while big box retailers have spent millions promoting the notion that we don't bring much of value into the equation. A fool and his money.......

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  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 767
    Big Boxes

    I shop at the "big boxes" but I would never hire them for the reasons stated here. One of the things that makes the big boxes successful is our society is so ingrained in "buy now pay later" that they heavily promote it. Interest free for a year, so much off your first purchase if you open an account etc etc.

  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
    Run with the ball!!!

    So go ahead then give them a year interest free!!!! Or 6 months or whatever we quote a monthly payment on virtually every job!

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  • I hate to disagree, but I will.

    Home Depot moves SO MUCH STUFF, that the inventory is usually the freshest in town. It's exactly the same stuff that we sell to the wholesalers. Some stuff they sell for less than list price, some stuff they sell for almost double list price. They know which items people check on to judge the pricing in the store.

    I've shopped there, and I've noticed.

    I can't comment on how some stores allow the merchandise to be mauled by the customers (at least I hope it's the customers...)

  • Dennis
    Dennis Member Posts: 98
    The value of a skilled professional can save you money,

    A landlord called a few years back, he had a big box install a new boiler, said to save him big bucks on his fuel bill. The installation, which looked terrible, but worked fine cost him just as much to run.

    The boiler was a gas fired 225,000 btu unit, which seemed a little large for the foot print of the basement with two stories of house on top of it, total square footage of 1500. The tenant said the heater ran all the time, giving him a $1200 bill on very cold days. This is Philadelphia, PA with an average low of 35 degrees.

    The basement was a dungeon, filled with crap,and cob webs (ick) so you see the landlord, tenant, and big box didn't notice the 2.5 inch feed and return mains exiting the rear of the house.
    These pipes fed the oldest radiant floor slab I had ever seen, unfortunately the building was long gone just a nice 10 inch thick 30X40 foot slab, now that is global warming.

    I took the high road, I quoted the landlord a price to fix the problem at $4200, we installed a 70k boiler, deleting the radiant panel, and all of the insane piping mains feeding it.

    See the dead man had installed two large gate valves above the original boiler, he must have know a big box installer would one day close those valves thus not needing to drain the system.
    Oh the fuel bill dropped to just $104 on next billing period, so the landlord got a payback in just 4 months.
    This landlord is my best customer, he never asks for a quote, just pays the invoice, and that is good.
    Just do it, right.
  • Kevin O. Pulver
    Kevin O. Pulver Member Posts: 380
    Awesome story Dennis!

    So didn't anybody notice all the cats, dogs, and winos congregating on the warm slab outside? Kevin
  • Gene_3
    Gene_3 Member Posts: 289
    ha haaa

    that is hysterical, funnier than the leaking underground tank I found, they built an addition over it, slab, oil was coming through the wall in the original basement, town approved it, they ran a 20ft fill and vent to the edge of the new slab, so we got a ..........


    it was fun, their faces as we jacked through their floor was ............. priceless
  • Dave DeFord_4
    Dave DeFord_4 Member Posts: 26
    True story...

    I was recently in the market for some Plaster of Paris. Was in a local big-box store and they wanted I believe 5.69 for a milk-carton sized jug of dry plaster. I bought the same thing at the local hardware for 2.99. I have found the same thing on boiler valves and other items. I try and patronize my local hardware/supply house whenever possible as they leave their money in my community and provide fairly decent jobs for my neighbors - the big box stores don't. You also can't get the good advice at the big-box stores that you can at the local hardware.
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