70 years ago, in the sleepy town of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, a legend was born. Here, Lucious Smith Lowe began crafting his empire that would eventually stretch across North Amerca, Central America, and even Australia. Of course, this could be none other than the infamous Lowes Companies, Inc. The famous retail home improvement and appliance store has been serving loyal customers since 1946 and continues to expand at an impressive rate. While not as big as it’s competitor Home Depot, the company continues to rank in the top 50 in the Fortune 500 list.
That being said, there are still plenty of worthy alternatives. Perhaps a big-box home improvement store isn’t convenient to you or maybe you just have something against Lucious Smith Lowe himself. Whatever the reason may be, here are 10 home improvement alternatives to satisfy your DIY craving.
1. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: BUILD.COM
Build.com is a popular home improvement retailer. The company started off selling faucets in the year 2000. Since then, they’ve quickly risen to glory by selling many other home improvement products with a focus on lighting, plumbing, appliance and hardware. Build.com employers nearly 500 people and has been a constant contender in the Top 500 List of online retailers. For those looking to take their home improvement skills online, Build.com is a worthy alternative to Lowes.
2. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: MENARDS
Menards is all about family. The family-owned company started in 1958 in Eau, Claire Wisconson. Since then, they have opened up 280 home improvement stores in the mid-west and continue to grow. They may not be as large as Lowes but they are first and foremost committed to high-quality Guest service. They offer low prices, well-stocked and maintained stores and of course, that friendly mid-western charm. If you don’t live near a Menard’s, they have an impressive online ordering system that’s easy to use. From brand name appliances to various home improvement needs, Menards provides it for all skill levels.
3. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: AUBUCHON
For those in the northeastern United States, Aubuchon is a quaint alternative to Lowes. The hardware store chain consists of 121 locations throughout New England and upstate New York. The Fitchburg, Massachusetts company may have started in 1908 but they have ridden the wave into the present with a vibrant website. Furthermore, for any painters out there, Aubuchon has entered and exclusive partnership with Benjamin Moore Paints which has led to a massive increase in sales of paint for the company. For any hard noses New Englanders who can’t get to lowes, Aubuchon is te place.
4. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: DRILLSPOT.COM
Lowes is great for the DIY home improver but for industry professionals, DrillSpot.com is worth a looking. Since 2005, DrillSpot has been helping pro’s save money and time by getting them their products fast. They are not a big-box store like Lowes but they use their small size to their advantage. Like the Speedy Gonzalez of home improvement, Drill Spot uses their large catalog to deliver quality products in record time. With over 6,000 positive customer reviews, DrillSpot stands by their products with confidence. Furthermore, they pride themselves on customer service, a dying art in today’s environment. Their website features a live chat with professionals for any questions you have regarding their catalog.
5. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: SEARS
Ah yes, Sears. Sears is an oldie but definitely a goodie. The company dates all the way back to 1886 and still offers a strong selection of appliances, clothing, and hardware. It’s come a long way from the mail order catalog days. There are over 793 retail locations in the U.S with others in Canada and Mexico.
Judging by their online store, it’s easy to see why they were once the king of the catalog. Sears.com has everything from electronics, fitness, home appliances, outdoor furniture and a wide selection of tools. Essentially, if there is a job, it can get done with Sears. It may not be as home improvement focused as Lowes, but Sears has been in business this long for a reason. Hence, it’s a great alternative to Lowes.
6. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: BOB VILA
Throughout the world we have celebrities, but few of them actually become icons. Bob Vila is one of these icons and he is immortalized on his website BobVila.com. Bob has spent his whole career helping people upgrade their homes and their lives. While you may originally know him from TV, all of his episodes can now be found online.
Need to restore an old home? Bob Vila. Want to install a coat rack? Vila. Need help to build a community for underprivileged kids in Panama? Bob Vila is your man. Sure, Lowes has the tools but Bob Vila has the knowledge. Furthermore, he even has his own online academy. There’s really no excuse not to DIY with the help of Bob Vila.
7. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: ACE HARDWARE
You know that a friendly local hardware store you used to know and love? Well, odds are that it’s been taken over by Ace now. That being said, Ace is the helpful place and they continue to prove it. While they may take over the mom and pop stores, they make sure to remain a healthy part of the community. They have over 4,600 stores and the world and are still independently owned by local business folk.
Their stores come in all shapes and sizes and cater to every need one may have. There are small urban stores, large rural stores, medium suburban stores and much more. Ace offers a wide variety of pain, lawn, tools, garden, and local services to help with virtually anything. Their website has a constant list of specials, sales, and rewards. Furthermore, their free store pickup makes things more convenient than most. You can even easily apply to own an Ace store online. You can’t say that for Lowes.
8. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS
For those looking for extreme budget-friendly tools, Harbor Freight tools are the way to go. What’s their secret to selling high-quality tools at a low price? Magic my friend. And by magic, they mean they buy directly from factory suppliers and then pass on the savings to you. Lowes doesn’t exactly do that. Just visit one of the 700 stores around the U.S and see why 30 million customers are obsessed with Harbor Freight Tools.
9. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: LEHMAN’S
When life gives you Lehman’s, make lemonade. In all seriousness, though, Lehman’s is like that helpful neighbor with a great smile and strong handshake. He’s the one that will come over and help you build your shed in exchange for a few beers. Lowes would charge you money. For those who don’t have access to a Lehman’s nearby, their extensive online catalog and website give access to all sorts of practical goods. Furthermore, if you want to build a house off the grid, plant a garden or just look at some tools, Lehman’s is the place to do it.
10. LOWES ALTERNATIVE: HOME DEPOT
You seriously didn’t think there would be a list of home improvement sites without Home Depot on it did you? Lowes may be popular but it doesn’t get any better than Home Depot. Home Depot is the premier home improvement store in the world. The unmistakable orange and white logo never go unnoticed. Their website is an overwhelming display of products from appliances, doors and windows, kitchen, paint, tools and just about anything you could imagine. Except food, they do not have food. Although that’s not out the question someday. Home Depot is taking over the world it seems and frankly, it doesn’t seem like a bad future.