Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home Depot Atta's

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.


Unknown said...

Overall, I've generally not been impressed with the expertise at the box stores (mostly Home Depot since there are a couple closer than any Lowe's). However, it has gotten a lot better over the last year.

Nathan said...

I LOVED the 'Depot (as I affectionatelly dubbed it) in Fargo. If you ever read my old houseblog, I ranted many times about how much I loved that place. There actually is one in Manhattan on 23rd street. I get little odds and ends there just because I like being in the store, browsing through house bits. It's weird to have the 'Depot without a parking lot in an urban setting. It is stacked up with three levels and has escalators. Not your average big box hardware store!

I'm glad to see someone else has the appreciation for the guys in Orange!

Anonymous said...

Every store is different. Also, there are always some employees who are more knowledgeable and motivated than others.

Honestly, I don't like other stores nearly as much as Crescent Springs.

Nathan, I do remember reading your old blog. Hope all is well for you.


Tom said...

My wife works part-time at the Home Depot and they are really emphasizing customer service. They've realized that Lowes and Home Depot are the exact same store, plus or minus a few brands. They want to differentiate themselves through quality customer service to keep people coming back.