Lowe’s™ is a great store that sells lots of everyday products that each of us use in our home and garden projects.  If you happen to be a hands-on guy like me, you tend to know the cashiers and store helpers on a first name basis.  They make shopping easy and convenient with so many different items all in one store.

As great as Lowe’s is, in my opinion, they have their limitations.  They are great at selling things that are very common in the building industry.  But on the things not so common, I have found that those that work in the store are less knowledgeable about the items.  For example, I have found that many times they do not stock a fitting or bolt that I need if it is not a standard size.  Often these items can only be obtained by special order and take days, if not weeks, to come in.  I have found it easier, rather than wait to receive the item, to go to a specialty supply house or contractor.   I find it so nice to walk into a specialty store and talk to someone who really knows about the item I am looking for and that can help me make the right choice.

How about Lowe’s vinyl fencing?  I have found vinyl fencing to be one of the items where a specialty store still holds value .  Vinyl fencing can really vary in quality and it is sure great to purchase the fencing from someone who fabricates it and can make recommendations as to what should be purchased and how it should be installed.  A specialty vinyl fabricator can typically customize a fence to the needs of my project easier than a large store could who has to order these custom items.  A specialty vinyl fence company is probably very knowledgeable about vinyl fencing and will offer suggestions on what I should purchase, why I should purchase it, and how it should be installed.  I would guess that I would not find this level of expertise about vinyl fencing in a Lowe’s store.  I doubt most of the employees have much experience installing vinyl fencing at all.  My experience is that a vinyl fence company that sells vinyl fence will generally sell a great quality product and be very knowledgeable since that is all they do and their reputation and livelihood rides on it.

I am grateful for the Lowe’s down the street from my house whenever I need some basic home and garden items, but for the specialty items around the home, I still rely on and appreciate the good old specialty supply house and contractor down the road. I would prefer that each of them stick around for years to come.

Lowe’s is a registered trademark of LF, LLC.