A lot of folks rant against the Big Box Stores, and there are shortcomings to a major corporate approach to hardware and building materials. That said, in the past year and almost 5 months, we've gotten a good deal of personal help, attention, and support. We've come to know a number of folks by first name at the old Crescent Springs Home Depot and they seem to want to go out of their way to help us.
By help, I don't mean "you can find it in aisle 13". I mean expertise. I mean patiently figuring out what you want to do and then sharing what they know or simply ideating and problem solving with you. It helps when someone has done a lot of similar stuff to what you're doing and who also knows where all the tools and materials are.
Our first helper at the very beginning of the process was Doug. He found us a hammer drill for all those tapcons we put in the brick, on sale and in budget. That was the first of many, many times Doug was there to help with advice and direction. Framing issues, epoxy, railings, fittings, adhesives, faking historic trim, whatever. We must have used his skills dozens of times. And if Home Depot didn't have what we needed, he often knew just where to go. That's good service.
He also directed us to two others who were instrumental in getting our floors figured out, and our walls painted. That's Walt in tool rental and Janet in paint. Hands-on experience lends you the confidence needed to work quickly.
But our first and our go-to generalist is Doug. Seek him out.