Lowes vs Home Depot vs Menards

26 Replies

I have spent 60k at these stores in the last four years.   Menards has a lower quality but the best prices.   Home Depot is at least 10 to 20 percent more expensive.   I dont know why so many contractors shop there.   Lowes has the best flooring and tile selection.   They also have the best clearance prices.  

No Menards in my neck of the woods.  We have more local Lowes in my area so I'll usually hit those depending on which house we're working on.   Home Depot takes my Lowes 10 percent off coupons and I purchase reduced gift cards for both of these stores.


Gail

I prefer Lowes. They seem to be more friendly/helpful. Like others have state HD seems to be overpriced to me. 

From a contractors point of view, Home Depot is easier to navigate and has more of the things I need.  I think it is they way corporate has things set up. Lowes with the common home owner in mind, and Depot with the contractor in mind.  Their way of being unique in their own way. 

Menard's is great for lighting. I haven't had so much success with their plumbing department. Great drive-through lumber yard (at my last one, anyway) and I prefer to just load it into the car, rather than steer those carts around the store. 

I can actually see Home Depot from my house, so I usually shop there. I always thought Lowe's seemed to have higher prices...

When trying to match screws and the like, Ace Hardware can't be beat. I've never walked out without what I was looking for. I probably only spent $40 a year there, but it's all in screws I can't find anywhere else.

Whichever one you can get a hook in. I prefer Lowes because I've some enough business with them that I never pay retail on anything; including personal purchases now for my own home.

Build a relationship with someone at one of these stores, bring them a gift card or a soda every once in awhile. Stop in to say hi when buying something small. Get a cell number for them so you can chat when you need something.

I have saved over $10k this year with my gal who works there so it's worth a gift card here and there, and the time. Everything is negotiable in those stores. Some of their mark-up is small and they can't do much, but
some of their mark-up is over 200% (::cough:: tile ::cough::).

One of my contractor loathes Lowe's.  He'll go way out of his way to go to HD over Lowe's.  As @Dustin Strahle pointed out HD is laid out and stocked way better for contractors.  Much less time spent with more success finding what they need.  After all time is money!  

As with Gail K there are no local Menard's.  I was in the Army with Bob Menard, not sure if he is related and certainly not relevant.  :)   

'here' which is 100 miles plus distance to compare the three.  At our local town where there is ONLY one of those stores,,,Menards,,,its a no brainer.  Local hardware stores are like 3 to 4 times the price.

But 100 miles away Menards holds the edge if you count up number of skus available,,they have like 3 to 4 times the stock HD has.  Take a common plumbing fitting and compare prices,,,Mennards is less than half.  Lowes had things others dont,,,like Roxal insulation if you order it.  Also will sell blem and damage pieces cheaper and more often than others.

If you have to drive 10 miles across town for small items its time and closest first.  if your buying larger volumes and job lots,,,shop cause they all can work with you.

I think its a locality thing. In my area Menards is my go to place because 1.) I know the layout and 2.) I can find people to help relatively easily. Home Depot is nearly identical in price while Lowes is generally higher priced but when I need nice quality or a specific molding these guys might have it out of the three. At both of these stores I always get frustrated that I can't find sales associates to help when all I need is to be pointed in the right direction. Speaking of sales associates, I've found that the Menards associates tend to know their department very well (especially the plumbers). I feel like every time I'm going to these stores I'm seeing examples of varying levels of good management. 

Menards - lowest overall prices with good quality for the supplies that I purchase.  If I am looking for a higher priced item, I play Lowes against Menards with the price matching discounts.

I use Menards for paint, electric, plumbing, kitchen cabinets (I custom order) and misc hardware items.  Shopping by sales and rebates for high-volume items is also a great savings.  Most Menards employees know me by name and have been great to work with (at multiple locations).

I use Home depot for 1 item - Allure flooring.  It is hands down the best flooring available for use in rentals.

Originally posted by @Dan Perrott :

Menards - lowest overall prices with good quality for the supplies that I purchase.  If I am looking for a higher priced item, I play Lowes against Menards with the price matching discounts.

I use Menards for paint, electric, plumbing, kitchen cabinets (I custom order) and misc hardware items.  Shopping by sales and rebates for high-volume items is also a great savings.  Most Menards employees know me by name and have been great to work with (at multiple locations).

I use Home depot for 1 item - Allure flooring.  It is hands down the best flooring available for use in rentals.

 Dan....

     I've found that menards has the same type of flooring as Home Depots allure, but on sale its $1.25 per sq ft as opposed to allures $1.79  sq ft.  Same quality in my opinion. I'm putting this flooring in all my rentals now and was wondering if it would stand the test of time. Glad to hear someone else has the same opinion of this stuff as I do. 

Originally posted by @Dan Perrott :

Menards - lowest overall prices with good quality for the supplies that I purchase.  If I am looking for a higher priced item, I play Lowes against Menards with the price matching discounts.

I use Menards for paint, electric, plumbing, kitchen cabinets (I custom order) and misc hardware items.  Shopping by sales and rebates for high-volume items is also a great savings.  Most Menards employees know me by name and have been great to work with (at multiple locations).

I use Home depot for 1 item - Allure flooring.  It is hands down the best flooring available for use in rentals.

 Dan....

     I've found that menards has the same type of flooring as Home Depots allure, but on sale its $1.25 per sq ft as opposed to allures $1.79  sq ft.  Same quality in my opinion. I'm putting this flooring in all my rentals now and was wondering if it would stand the test of time. Glad to hear someone else has the same opinion of this stuff as I do. I think that Menards calls it citadel, and another color is Java Teak. You'll know it when you see it if you're familiar with allure.

@Sean Kremer - Thanks for the heads up on the Menards flooring.  I had looked in the past and their flooring did not seem to be of the same quality.  It was thinner and did not seem to me as to be as good of quality.  I will check it out.  Thanks.

home depot for 99% of the items, except louvered closet doors (always broken at HD), and "modern" sinks (lowes only).

HD is cheaper, closer, i know where everything is located.

Menards, .5% of the time.

Lowes .5% of the time

I use lowes more lately because I opened a LAR account. I save 5% on all purchases and they will deliver to the site for $20. When buying drywall or kitchen cabinets it is worth the $20 to deliver plus you add a few extras to the list.

Easier to get 10% off at Lowes but Home Depot has more items discounted online than Lowes like a $65 toilet. Trim and other items are also cheaper online than they are in store with Home Depot. Many of the cheaper altenatives they dont stock on the shelves and you have to have it shipped.  I guess they figure when people shop online they are more price conscious.  Also annoying to buy trim in store at home depot because they make you cut it to shorter lengths yourself while Lowes stocks shorter lengths and they also have cheaper handrails at Lowes.

Mostly HomeDepot however I use Lowes and Menards. If you get the Lowes card you get 5% off. Home Depot use to do it in our area but now you have to ask for it. Since I am in there a lot I go to the same people which know that I have there Home dept commercial card and get the 5% off

Also all will give you 10% if you are a veteran. All with match and possible beat by 10%

Mostly Home Depot but do go to Lowes, there are no Mennard here.  The HD and Lowes are almost next to each other the only thing between them here is K Mart, so its easy to comparison shop.  Just bought a range from HD and a frig from Lowes for the same unit, and each was about $50 cheaper than the other so I saved, but buying one from each.

I agree it's good to shop for the best price and the best product for your rehabbing needs.  I often buy non standard products from other companies, not home depot or Lowe's. Things like historic doors and windows or antique trim.  On standard items, Lowe's as a whole has a better selection and inventory on appliances and about six times a year they offer 10% to 30% off.  And a bit of a shout out to Community Buying Group since their 7% discount stacks on the sale prices at Lowe's. 

I have never used Menards.

Lowes is great for selection on decorative items like mirrors and mosaic tile. I only use lowes for kitchens (they have a great kitchen designer there) and appliances.

HD is better at most pricing, working with large projects and paint. I buy the majority of items from HD.

The Lowes in my area has the best contractor program.

5% off everything: sometimes more on big items/orders.  

I email my guy a materials list by 2pm. He has it delivered tomorrow morning for $25.

He will also do things like check special order returns inventory and scratch and dent appliances or load my order into a cart if I  need it that day.

This caused me to almost entirely switch from Menards to Lowes.

Still go to Home Depot for vinyl plank flooring and on sale glass backplash tile.

I like to shop at lowes and home depot, respectively. It always depends on what you are looking for and with time you will be acquainted with those three stores and see which one you like more and why. 

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