Big purchase at Lowes or Home Depot

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I am starting with a big flooring project and expect to spend around 2k on material for hardwood and tiles. Any suggestions on how i can save money on my purchase. As a fallback i am thinking of using 10% movers coupoun for Lowes/Home Depot if i can't get anything else.

Appreciate your suggestions / pointers.

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Read that as "what I am selling is the best." What a diaper-load!

Mickie3 (Sep. 21, 2010 @ 5:44a) |

Where do you live? In some places in NJ, for example, if you buy your stuff from the stores in the urban areas sales tax... (more)

scottvm (Sep. 21, 2010 @ 7:54a) |

I live in NOVA (Northern Virginia)

va1234 (Sep. 21, 2010 @ 9:02a) |

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Sometimes they have a promotion where if you sign up for a commercial charge account they will take 10% off.
As an individual you can sign up for a commercial account and cancel it when you are done.

Did you look at Lumber Liquidators or flooring wholesalers in your area instead?

doncrescas said: Did you look at Lumber Liquidators or flooring wholesalers in your area instead?

Don: I keep hearing online that Lumber Liquidators product quality is questionable and lot of hassles associated. Not sure how far that is true but that is what i got researching online.

Any site to find reputable wholesale hardwood stores in northern Virginia area?

You can save another 10-15+% (on top of the 10% lowes card) by purchasing gift cards (eBay) It's common to find $500 GC's for $450, combine that with at least 1% from your CC, 2% in eBay Bucks and another 2-4% from your Fav. CashBack site. (Was very nice when you could also combine with Bing for another 8-35%

A few issues:
1. Might have problems with value on cards (I've purchased over 10k of GC's over the years and had 1 bad card so far, seller issued refund within an hour of e-mailing them - but you never know.)
2. For some items it's nice to have your Credit card protection (doubles warranty time, etc.) I don't think a GC will fight for you...

Good luck!

Also, BillmeLater is offering 10% off on eBay buy-it-now items. I just bought a $450 WalMart card and got $45 from them, plus 3% Cash Back from Mr Rebates, plus eBay bucks, plus CC 1% when I pay for the gift card.

The FatWallet way!

- Forgot to mention, the BillmeLater 10% is once per customer

va1234 said: doncrescas said: Did you look at Lumber Liquidators or flooring wholesalers in your area instead?

Don: I keep hearing online that Lumber Liquidators product quality is questionable and lot of hassles associated. Not sure how far that is true but that is what i got researching online.

Any site to find reputable wholesale hardwood stores in northern Virginia area?

Depending on what type of tile you're getting, HD/Lowe's may not be the cheapest, and they are rarely the cheapest on hardwoods. You'd probably be better off going with a local flooring store that will negotiate on price with you. Are you doing install yourself?

I definitely agree with PMonkey, local store will almost always be able to beat HD/Lowes, sometimes by a shocking amount

I used Hosking Hardwood when doing my floors. It was much cheaper even with the shipping than HD and Lowes. Delivery service brought all the boxes right into the house with no hassles at all.

I've been intrigued to try www.builddirect.com, for a large quantity flooring job, you might want to check them out.

I purchased a lot of tile for my home from Home Depot and asked if they could discount for such a large purchase. I got a great discount and used gift cards that I purchased for additional savings.

shadow1woman said: I purchased a lot of tile for my home from Home Depot and asked if they could discount for such a large purchase. I got a great discount and used gift cards that I purchased for additional savings.

Agreed. Go to the pro desk with a list of every item you need for the job and ask for a package price. The more you spend, the better the deal will be, but they usually do a lot better than the standard 10% off coupon. They usually throw in free delivery too.

drodge said: shadow1woman said: I purchased a lot of tile for my home from Home Depot and asked if they could discount for such a large purchase. I got a great discount and used gift cards that I purchased for additional savings.

Agreed. Go to the pro desk with a list of every item you need for the job and ask for a package price. The more you spend, the better the deal will be, but they usually do a lot better than the standard 10% off coupon. They usually throw in free delivery too.


Lowes has the same deal, you can get better pricing if you buy a bunch of stuff at one time.

Also, go to the Post Office and get a change of address package. Inside, you will find a discount card for 10% off at Lowes, if you decide to buy there.

Another +1 on using gift cards. http://www.abcgiftcards.com/store/ usually has 7-10% discount on gift card purchases for Lowes or Homedepot

shadow1woman said: I purchased a lot of tile for my home from Home Depot and asked if they could discount for such a large purchase. I got a great discount and used gift cards that I purchased for additional savings.

A few years ago I fixed up my garage. I got material quotes from all of the big box stores and local companies. I worked with Menards, HD, and Lowes. I called and talked to the GM and explained that I'm looking for the best deal on the package. Lowes worked with me more than the others. The agreement was that they would price match everything to the lowest quote + 10% anything they price matched. Then I signed up for the CC for another 10% off the entire order. In the end I saved about $400 on a $2K purchase. I also got better quality material (like a wayne dalton garage door instead of a cheapie).

PMonkeyDishwasher said: va1234 said: doncrescas said: Did you look at Lumber Liquidators or flooring wholesalers in your area instead?

Don: I keep hearing online that Lumber Liquidators product quality is questionable and lot of hassles associated. Not sure how far that is true but that is what i got researching online.

Any site to find reputable wholesale hardwood stores in northern Virginia area?

Depending on what type of tile you're getting, HD/Lowe's may not be the cheapest, and they are rarely the cheapest on hardwoods. You'd probably be better off going with a local flooring store that will negotiate on price with you. Are you doing install yourself?


No i have my regular handyman who is going to do the installation.

For purchases greater than $2500 before tax, Home Depot has a concept called "Bid room". You write down the SKU(s), quantity and take it to the pro-desk, they punch it into their computers, goes to somewhere on the east coast and comes back with a magic discount number. They were able to turn-around our quote in like 5 mins. Got a slightly more than 10% discount on our total purchase. What they effectively do is give a bigger discount on items that have larger profit margins and none on items that do not have good profit margins.

You get to see the prices before and after discount and can take your time to decide on the purchase. So you can remove items that did'nt get a good discount in the bid room and purchase with a 10% coupon.

myhotrs said: Also, BillmeLater is offering 10% off on eBay buy-it-now items. I just bought a $450 WalMart card and got $45 from them, plus 3% Cash Back from Mr Rebates, plus eBay bucks, plus CC 1% when I pay for the gift card.

The FatWallet way!

- Forgot to mention, the BillmeLater 10% is once per customer


www.mrrebates.com said:
Cash-Back Rebate Restrictions:
Cash-back not available for purchases on the following items:
- Sam's Club
- Tires
- Optical
- Pharmacy
- Travel
- Financial Services
- Wal-Mart Connect Internet Service
- Gift Cards
- Online Gift Cards
- Cell Phone Service Plans via WalMart.LetsTalk.com


How did you endup with 3%CB on gift cards?

All the above are great suggestions. I just bought 5k in carpet- went to a local flooring store and got great prices. My uncle is a contractor who works with the store a lot so I was able to use his name (he wasnt doing the flooring) and they instantly gave me a rather substantial discount, and talked more about good ways to save more money. Also, the service they provided was excellent, with accurate measuring and quick installation. Long story short shop around and ask managers for a discount!

megabyte1024 said: For purchases greater than $2500 before tax, Home Depot has a concept called "Bid room". You write down the SKU(s), quantity and take it to the pro-desk, they punch it into their computers, goes to somewhere on the east coast and comes back with a magic discount number. They were able to turn-around our quote in like 5 mins. Got a slightly more than 10% discount on our total purchase. What they effectively do is give a bigger discount on items that have larger profit margins and none on items that do not have good profit margins.

You get to see the prices before and after discount and can take your time to decide on the purchase. So you can remove items that did'nt get a good discount in the bid room and purchase with a 10% coupon.

Thank you very much for the info. Are you saying we can use the 10% rebate on top of their adjusted(discounted) rate?

wp746911 said: All the above are great suggestions. I just bought 5k in carpet- went to a local flooring store and got great prices. My uncle is a contractor who works with the store a lot so I was able to use his name (he wasnt doing the flooring) and they instantly gave me a rather substantial discount, and talked more about good ways to save more money. Also, the service they provided was excellent, with accurate measuring and quick installation. Long story short shop around and ask managers for a discount!

Cool!! Could you please share the wisdom you gained from them(tips) on good ways to save more money. Probably it is relevant to some of us here.

The easiest thing to do is buy 20% off Home Depot coupons from eBay. I usually get about 5 of them for ~$15 or so. Lowe's accepts HD coupons. If you are spending 2K, that's a $400 savings for just one coupon so it's well worth it. I always do this whenever I have a big project and need to buy items from Lowes.

va1234 said: Thank you very much for the info. Are you saying we can use the 10% rebate on top of their adjusted(discounted) rate?

It's very much your mileage may vary. If they don't notice, they will give you 10% off, you get the quote from the service desk and then go to the regular checkout to pay and then use the 10% off coupon. Lately though the cashier has been redirecting back to the service desk and they reject the coupon because it says it can't be used with any other discount or coupon. Might have just been one store though.

Also as I recall I believe those 20% off coupons may be fake. They were issued to employees at one point but somehow eBay and photoshop somehow keep them alive. It might work at a store that doesn't know about that though, depends on the manager and how well the cashiers are trained. Should keep a 10% as a backup in case it doesn't work.

Lowes also has 18 months no interest on purchases over $299. I can't remember how long the offer is for.

Just built a home and got a few larger items from Lowes and they were great with pricing. They will
match anyone. Once you pick out your tile ask them to submit it to corporate for a better price. Takes a day or 2. I did that plus on some smaller tile purchases I just asked and got a better price.

i got the gift card off eBay

Lumber Liquidators will not take unused boxes of flooring back. HD/Lowe's does without much hassle. I found no bargains at LumberLiquators. I am happy with quality of Bruce oak from HD.

if you have an AMEX they've got a promo right now, where they're offering 20% extra on Home Depot i think.

thank you all for your inputs. Some local store guy was telling me HD and Lowes carry lower grade wood even though it from same Bruce where as the local stores maintain better quality product. Not sure how much truth to it.

henry33 said: va1234 said: Thank you very much for the info. Are you saying we can use the 10% rebate on top of their adjusted(discounted) rate?

It's very much your mileage may vary. If they don't notice, they will give you 10% off, you get the quote from the service desk and then go to the regular checkout to pay and then use the 10% off coupon. Lately though the cashier has been redirecting back to the service desk and they reject the coupon because it says it can't be used with any other discount or coupon. Might have just been one store though.

Also as I recall I believe those 20% off coupons may be fake. They were issued to employees at one point but somehow eBay and photoshop somehow keep them alive. It might work at a store that doesn't know about that though, depends on the manager and how well the cashiers are trained. Should keep a 10% as a backup in case it doesn't work.


Never heard of the coupons being fake, like I said, I bought them on several separate occasions; I did check with store manager before buying them and was assured they took them. They did and I used them to re-tile my kitchen and put wood flooring in my foyer, my office and my family room. Worked like a charm and I have saved a couple of thousand with those coupons. It couldn't hurt to ask, 20% beats 10% any day of the week.

va1234 said: thank you all for your inputs. Some local store guy was telling me HD and Lowes carry lower grade wood even though it from same Bruce where as the local stores maintain better quality product. Not sure how much truth to it.
We have found that ifloor.com is a good place to not only shop but get unbiased opinions/reviews on all sorts of flooring--carpet, tile, laminate and hardwood. Also go to your library. A recent issue of Consumer Reports did a good analysis of hardwoods and laminates.

va1234 said: thank you all for your inputs. Some local store guy was telling me HD and Lowes carry lower grade wood even though it from same Bruce where as the local stores maintain better quality product. Not sure how much truth to it.

I usually find comments like that hard to believe. I usually just feel that's sour grapes on the part of the retailer. I think it costs extra money to put out two grades of materials, one meant for HD/Lowes and a higher quality for everyone else. What's more likely is that HD/Loews uses their purchasing power to get price concessions from the factory, but the smaller guys don't have that leverage so that's all they have left to say about HD/Lowes. Home Depot is actually the #3 retailer in the US, WalMart is #1.

Amazing how these guys take you for a ride if you are less informed. The local guy i was talking to , he said he is going to give the best of the BRUCE product for 3.75 psft while HD is charging 4.4 before discounts. He also said HD and lowes carry lowers quality but he is going to give 'Select and Better' grade. HD and Lowes only carry '1 Common' grade. These are all prefinished.

Yesterday i went to Abey carpet and he said Bruce prefinished he can give it for $4.3 but Bruce is a inferior company. It only has 4 coats while his own brand Abey Blah brand has 7 coats and 25 yrs of warranty. Which he said will give it for $3.75 He also said Bruce doesn't carry any "Select" grade in prefinished products. It is applicable only for unfinished wood. Hmmmm now both are authorized bruce dealers .. who to believe.

This is a large purchase for me hence i am extending the conversation here as i find information, just to make sure these guys are not driving me to hell.

Now i know many of you have done hardwood and also experts in the ares.

What is your take on Bruce vs other brands for a natural red oak solid 3/4 * 2 1/4 prefinished strips.

Situation:
I have hardwood in my main level and now we wanted to do it on steps leading to top level and the whole top level. Driving factors for wood selection: As the steps are leading from main level which is already having wood, i am with an impression that i better match the wood i.e. Bruce natural red oak.

Questions:
How far is it correct that i have to exactly match the type and brand in the whole house?
I am also inclined to save some on steps the FF way. As steps are becoming very expensive, one of my friends said they have taken planks (i don't know maple or oak) and installed and stained. He says that way it cost him $25 per step which otherwise could have cost $100 per step. I have no clue what he was talking but if any of you have an idea please let me know if that works in my situation.

1. Brand doesn't really matter at all, as long as the finished product looks the same. Obviously it's easier to match if you buy the exact same thing as before, but everyone carries red oak in a natural finish. It shouldn't be that hard to match the finish with any manufacturer. FWIW, Bruce really isn't great wood flooring, it's just sold as such. 99% of people have no clue what is good or bad, so they buy it for the name.

2. Stairs will kill you either way. By far, the most expensive pieces they want to sell you are the stair parts - nosing, wider tread pieces, returns, etc. The markup on those are astronomical, because they know you have to buy them. If you have someone who can do it, building them yourself is definitely cheaper. They sell the treads complete at HD and Lowes. The problem is that you have to have someone that you trust who can install them properly, stain to match the other wood, and apply the finish well. If you have someone, they can do a much better job than someone using Bruce moldings, and at a lower cost. Problem is, most people don't know anyone in the business and you are rolling the dice with a stranger.

drodge said: 1. Brand doesn't really matter at all, as long as the finished product looks the same. Obviously it's easier to match if you buy the exact same thing as before, but everyone carries red oak in a natural finish. It shouldn't be that hard to match the finish with any manufacturer. FWIW, Bruce really isn't great wood flooring, it's just sold as such. 99% of people have no clue what is good or bad, so they buy it for the name.

2. Stairs will kill you either way. By far, the most expensive pieces they want to sell you are the stair parts - nosing, wider tread pieces, returns, etc. The markup on those are astronomical, because they know you have to buy them. If you have someone who can do it, building them yourself is definitely cheaper. They sell the treads complete at HD and Lowes. The problem is that you have to have someone that you trust who can install them properly, stain to match the other wood, and apply the finish well. If you have someone, they can do a much better job than someone using Bruce moldings, and at a lower cost. Problem is, most people don't know anyone in the business and you are rolling the dice with a stranger.
Very helpful. To my understanding steps shouldn't be that difficult as long they are precise in cutting and the tread and raiser, of course attaching to correct size nosing. Staining and finish can be done by anyone again. Am i missing something that i need to be cautious about?

Not really, it's just a matter of the skill of the installer. The risers are as basic as it gets, and a pro will probably use one piece treads with the nosing already attached. The mechanics are pretty easy, but apparently it's too hard for some people to measure and cut accurately. I've seen some very questionable work, so try to get references or see prior work if you can. Make sure they glue down all of the pieces, or it will squeak like crazy later.

Now a local flooring seller is educating me that its a no brainer to go with an engineered wood(Capella) than solid wood(Bruce) because it is better made...
One pattern i noticed is all independent flooring salesmen say Bruce is high priced and inferior than others while HD and Lowes maintain Bruce is the best

va1234 said: Now a local flooring seller is educating me that its a no brainer to go with an engineered wood(Capella) than solid wood(Bruce) because it is better made...
One pattern i noticed is all independent flooring salesmen say Bruce is high priced and inferior than others while HD and Lowes maintain Bruce is the best


Read that as "what I am selling is the best." What a diaper-load!

Where do you live? In some places in NJ, for example, if you buy your stuff from the stores in the urban areas sales tax is 1/2 off.

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I live in NOVA (Northern Virginia)



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