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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Don't Buy Home Improvments From Big Box Stores

If you're shopping for home improvement services, stay away from big box stores. Reason? First, nothing you buy is made exactly the same as a product from a local building supply store. If you want proof, shop for a lawn mower or a washing machine with model numbers from a Consumer Reports magazine. You'll find that none of the model numbers match any models sold in the big box store. Why? Because the big box stores dictate to the manufacturers that their prices must be lower than anyone's elses so they must cheapen the product somehow to meet the big box price points. Secondly, big box stores never pay their sub-contractors on time which results in shoddy workmanship and long delays. Here's how it works. Say you purchase a $10,000 vinyl fence for your property. The fence is delivered by the big box store except for the decorative caps that go on each fence post. Result? The sub installs the fence, but you won't sign off that the work was completed because there are no fence post caps. Since you didn't sign off, the sub won't get paid until the caps come in and you sign off on the job. This may take 2 to 3 months. So you're mad and so is the sub. This is how big box stores make big money on the backs of tradesmen trying to make a living. Plus if you financed your purchase through the big box store, you've got no recourse for satisfaction. They've got you coming and going. That's why contractors who are really worth their salt would never be caught dead buying anything in a big box store nor would they work for them as sub-contractors.

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