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#51
Old 09-20-2014, 08:01 PM
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A deck by HD {{{shudder}}}.

OK -

Their dimensional lumber over 2x4 is green - it still has the original (sap) moisture in it. That will eventually dissipate. As it does, it will cause the wood to twist, warp and split.
They do carry KD (kiln dried) lumber in 2x4 - it is the "premium" studs and 2x4x8.*

They used to carry the green-colored pressure-treated lumber. They now sell brown pressure-treated. Many good carpenters lived and died without even knowing the brown stuff existed.
Reason: It is crap. The green stuff is rated for structural use - read the table for "pine" or "spruce" and the green stuff meets those specs. The brown stuff is not rated for structural use.

* - redwood is the exception. Even real redwood is not KD (except the lovely clear center heart). If you can find a complete (not missing an edge) straight bit of redwood in HD, it is as good as the stuff in real lumber stores.
#52
Old 09-20-2014, 09:07 PM
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I was going to respond, saying hey, I posted a thread just like this years ago! Then I realised, it's the same thread.
For the record, I still like Menards the best. For lumber, I avoid the big boxes and go with independent yards that carry domestic lumber in longer lengths and a wider variety.
#53
Old 09-20-2014, 10:28 PM
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia
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Wish I'd come across this thread years ago. I'm a 20-year Orange Box employee, and can tell y'all the view from the other side of the orange apron. If you're interested.

One difference between HD/Lowes and Menards is that HD/Lowes are warehouse stores. There's nothing "in the back", because the "back" is atop the racking. Ask an HD/Lowes employee for something that's not on the shelf and she'll look up. In theory, all merchandise is supposed to be in the overhead above it's spot on the shelf - they call that "striping". Doesn't always work out, of course.

Menard's, on the other hand, is a more traditional store that does store its overstock in a back warehouse. So the racking is not so high - it's more like a traditional hardware store. At least, that's the way it was the last time I was in a Menards, twenty years ago.
#54
Old 09-21-2014, 12:55 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Barsoom
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The worst thing about Menards:

♫ Save big money, you save big money, when you shop Menards ♫

Two minutes later:

♫ Save big money, you save big money, when you shop Menards ♫

ad infinitum.
#55
Old 09-21-2014, 09:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
A deck by HD {{{shudder}}}.

OK -

Their dimensional lumber over 2x4 is green - it still has the original (sap) moisture in it. That will eventually dissipate. As it does, it will cause the wood to twist, warp and split.
They do carry KD (kiln dried) lumber in 2x4 - it is the "premium" studs and 2x4x8.*

They used to carry the green-colored pressure-treated lumber. They now sell brown pressure-treated. Many good carpenters lived and died without even knowing the brown stuff existed.
Reason: It is crap. The green stuff is rated for structural use - read the table for "pine" or "spruce" and the green stuff meets those specs. The brown stuff is not rated for structural use.

* - redwood is the exception. Even real redwood is not KD (except the lovely clear center heart). If you can find a complete (not missing an edge) straight bit of redwood in HD, it is as good as the stuff in real lumber stores.
If you need ground contact rated wood, you need to go somewhere else. HD and Lowes do not generally carry it in many sizes. Menards carries a lot more of the structual stuff, in fact you can buy home kits and pole barn kits there. Menards is a much larger lumber operation, and they carry metal roofing panels in several colors. Local HD only has it in white. Menards carries different types also. I haven't seen that at HD or Lowes. Menards here are much bigger than HD or Lowes. I like Lowes for service, HD is closer, but I have to go to Menards for metal roofing or ground contact rated lumber. It's about 40 miles away, but it is the only place to get that stuff here.
#56
Old 09-22-2014, 02:26 AM
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I was talking, specifically, about HD - I have never seen a Menards, and cannot/did not comment on their product lines.

Back in the early 80's. any wood/earth contact would pretty much condemn a house. Don't know about storage or equipment shelters, or livestock.
#57
Old 09-22-2014, 10:33 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
The worst thing about Menards:

♫ Save big money, you save big money, when you shop Menards ♫

Two minutes later:

♫ Save big money, you save big money, when you shop Menards ♫

ad infinitum.
ARGH!!! That's the one thing that's always driven me nuts about Menards: their incessant playing of that infernal jingle in the store. I'm already here! I don't need the continuous barrage of advertising to convince me to shop here because I'm already here! Argh!!

After shopping for a bathroom remodel around here, I found Menards to have better stock and availability compared with Home Depot, but it seems to be very much location dependent. My local Home Depot, to be honest, was kind of crap in choice of tile, cabinetry, sinks, etc. All that ended up being bought at Menard's.
#58
Old 01-20-2017, 04:00 AM
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Menards info

I know this is a dated thread, but thought I might add some info. One thing no one commented on was that unlike HomeDepot and Lowes, Menards is privately owned. Because of this you can negotiate prices, especially on larger projects. Try this at HD or Lowes and the managers go blank. Menards is owned by John Menard, whose son Paul races their NASCAR car. When you go into Menards and see anything labeled Midwest Manufacturing that is a Menards company and you may see these products sold at other stores. At their DC's they roll their own steel roofing, just like the roofing companies and top pole building company Morton's does. They have a concrete block/paver plant at their DC's, unlike the other two who buy from who ever is in the area. They repackage hardware vs buying it already packaged from a hardware company. It may be imported, like most other hardware. They haul lumber in by rail to their DC's and then deliver by truck, the others truck everything in. They make their own trusses and have engineers that can work with you on complex designs. They do sell name brand tools, appliances and promote what is actually made in the USA. They are currently changing store layouts to simplify the lumber yard purchases. They usually beat the other two on the service end, with my local store having the lowest level of any Menards I have been in, but that is just our area, poor workforce. I like many others was glad to see them come into our area, Lowes was not. Before this I would go to a Home Depot an hour away over our local Lowes. It was the only store in town and they knew it. Menards is based in Wisconsin and John Menard will only expand as he has money to do so, a wise man that avoids debt. I do see a day that Menards will be larger than the other two. If you do not see something in Menards, just ask the management, they may be able to get it for you, just not a stocked item. Per their rebate program, it is only bad if you are never going to shop with them again. Fyi, if they had a 11% rebate a week or so before you can ask for a special form to still get that rebate, as long as what you are buying is not on a special sale. Sometimes you just have to ask, the worse to happen is a no.
#59
Old 01-20-2017, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye100 View Post
I know this is a dated thread, but thought I might add some info. One thing no one commented on was that unlike HomeDepot and Lowes, Menards is privately owned. Because of this you can negotiate prices, especially on larger projects. Try this at HD or Lowes and the managers go blank. Menards is owned by John Menard, whose son Paul races their NASCAR car. When you go into Menards and see anything labeled Midwest Manufacturing that is a Menards company and you may see these products sold at other stores. At their DC's they roll their own steel roofing, just like the roofing companies and top pole building company Morton's does. They have a concrete block/paver plant at their DC's, unlike the other two who buy from who ever is in the area. They repackage hardware vs buying it already packaged from a hardware company. It may be imported, like most other hardware. They haul lumber in by rail to their DC's and then deliver by truck, the others truck everything in. They make their own trusses and have engineers that can work with you on complex designs. They do sell name brand tools, appliances and promote what is actually made in the USA. They are currently changing store layouts to simplify the lumber yard purchases. They usually beat the other two on the service end, with my local store having the lowest level of any Menards I have been in, but that is just our area, poor workforce. I like many others was glad to see them come into our area, Lowes was not. Before this I would go to a Home Depot an hour away over our local Lowes. It was the only store in town and they knew it. Menards is based in Wisconsin and John Menard will only expand as he has money to do so, a wise man that avoids debt. I do see a day that Menards will be larger than the other two. If you do not see something in Menards, just ask the management, they may be able to get it for you, just not a stocked item. Per their rebate program, it is only bad if you are never going to shop with them again. Fyi, if they had a 11% rebate a week or so before you can ask for a special form to still get that rebate, as long as what you are buying is not on a special sale. Sometimes you just have to ask, the worse to happen is a no.
Sorry, but John Menard is a miserable son of a bitch to work for, an accused sexual predator, and a free market economy advocate. In other words, another conservative multi-billionaire asshole who is in bed with Scott Walker and the Koch brothers. My son finally got free of that asshole this past year and his health has rebounded.

From this article:

Quote:
A columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune once described Menards’ manner of handling an employee as “something exhumed from the Bronze Age with all its primitive logic intact.”

A copy of the employment agreement for managers was leaked to Bill Lueders and The Progressive magazine: it stipulates that “The Manager’s income shall be automatically reduced by sixty percent (60%) of what it would have been if a union of any type is recognized within your particular operation during the term of this Agreement.”

The employee who leaked the contract said the agreement is required for all management staff, Lueders wrote, and added that the threat was effective: ‘The mere mention of the word ‘union’ is a workplace taboo.’”

The National Labor Relations Board, in response to the Progressive story, found that Menards committed multiple violations of federal labor law. The NLRB found merit to five of the eight complaints. It determined that the clause threatening a 60 percent cut in pay for a manager who lets a union be established was a violation, but took no action, as Menard’s has already removed this language from the agreements. But the NLRB also found Menards was violating labor law by requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements that preclude them from engaging in concerted activities, including class action suits. The ruling could require the rewriting of employments agreements with all of its 45,000 employees.

Menard was a major donor to an anti-union program run by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and is also among the donors who’ve given at least $1 million to the Koch Brothers, according to Mother Jones, to help supports its conservative and anti-union causes.

Nohl found Menard and his company had more run-ins with state Department of Natural Resources than any other Wisconsin company. Menard and his company were ultimately fined $1.7 million for 21 violations. Menards was fined for disposing hazardous waste in 1994, charged by the Minnesota Attorney General in 2003 with manufacturing and selling arsenic-tainted mulch, fined $2 million in 2005 for having a floor drain that DNR officials believed was dumping chemicals into a tributary of the Chippewa River, and hit with an administrative order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for damaging a stream that ran through its property in South Dakota.

The company extended its string of violations in January 2011, when it was ordered to pay $30,000 in fines and court costs for dumping a pallet of herbicide on a parking island.
#60
Old 01-20-2017, 11:02 AM
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I hear anecdotes from friends that it's very difficult to return items to Menards. But I don't have personal knowledge of that.
#61
Old 01-20-2017, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
I hear anecdotes from friends that it's very difficult to return items to Menards. But I don't have personal knowledge of that.
I've never had any problems returning items.
#62
Old 01-20-2017, 01:52 PM
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Lowe's is better laid out, cleaner and often has a better selection.

Home Depot is closer to my house and I often shop there for quick one or two item purchases.
#63
Old 01-20-2017, 02:27 PM
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I have returned items at Menard's without problem. It is my preferred store among the three, but I will agree with those who hate the rebate program. Who the hell can be expected to snail mail rebate forms these days?
#64
Old 01-20-2017, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkis is Willin' View Post
I have returned items at Menard's without problem. It is my preferred store among the three, but I will agree with those who hate the rebate program. Who the hell can be expected to snail mail rebate forms these days?
As far as I'm concerned, rebates are a sucker's game no matter how they're run. So a non-issue AFAIK. If I have to buy on price, it's the price out the door and no other.

In my neck, Menard's is closest (other than a lovely locally-owned Ace HW store less than 5 blocks away, but they're tiny and don't carry much lumber or bulk construction stuff). And my experience lines up well with the others WRT the other big-box home improvement places: I go into Home Depot if I'm sure I won't have to interact with the help. If I wanted to chase people around, I have my wife.

9 times out of 10, if the local HW store doesn't carry it, Menard's does. The fact that Menard's feels like a local hardware store on extreme growth hormones is a plus in my book, even if I never buy a bag of cat food or a pair of boots.

I also like Menard's garden center during the season much better than the other big-box stores. Much better bedding plants, vegetable starters, and herbs.

Last edited by gnoitall; 01-20-2017 at 02:56 PM.
#65
Old 01-21-2017, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
In my neck, Menard's is closest (other than a lovely locally-owned Ace HW store less than 5 blocks away, but they're tiny and don't carry much lumber or bulk construction stuff). And my experience lines up well with the others WRT the other big-box home improvement places: I go into Home Depot if I'm sure I won't have to interact with the help. If I wanted to chase people around, I have my wife.

9 times out of 10, if the local HW store doesn't carry it, Menard's does. The fact that Menard's feels like a local hardware store on extreme growth hormones is a plus in my book, even if I never buy a bag of cat food or a pair of boots.
There's also Farm & Fleet. If you want an odd assortment of stuff, they're your go-to place. As an example, the "impulse buy" racks at the checkout have both M&M's and sheep de-wormer.

In Illinois, we had HD, Lowe's, Menards, and F&F within a mile of each other (the first 3 were actually all on the same street, F&F was further away). I mostly avoided Menards because they incessantly played their "Save big money at Menards" jingle over and over and over. Not sure if they still do that.

Back in the Northeast, HD used to be good because many stores were open 24 hours and had a separate "Pro Book" for commercial accounts that you could special order stuff from. These days, HD and Lowe's seem pretty equivalent and I've found them both giving out wildly incorrect advice to DIY-ers. Regular staff seem equally non-present at both, with better staffing at the Lowe's specialty areas (appliances, carpet, etc.).

Lowe's has those "Push for assistance" buttons that trigger a "Special assistance needed in the loafing area" PA announcement (substitute the department you're in for "loafing"). These time out after a few cycles and seem to be generally ignored. However, there's a hidden reset button on the call boxes, and with appropriate manipulation you can generate a long cycle, complete with Max Headroom effects "Special special spec spec spec assistance assist assist assist needed in the paint cutting area area area a a a a". The trick is to reset the box and move away just before the very irate manager and a bunch of assistants show up. Then you can act innocent and go "Since you're all here, can you help me find...?"

P.S. - the trick was shown to me by a Lowe's manager
#66
Old 01-21-2017, 12:58 AM
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Farm and Fleet is an example of farm supply chains, where most of their inventory is not specifically agricultural. Other examples are Rural King, Tractor Supply, Theisens, Orsheln, Bomgaars...They have lots of hardware stuff, work clothing, etc.

Of the big three home center chains I prefer Menards as their lumber selection seems broader and cheaper.
#67
Old 01-21-2017, 02:08 AM
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Not precisely on topic, but I have a story to share.

In my area, Menard's, Lowes, and Home Depot are equivalent - you shop around for the best deal/quality and any of the three could end up the winner depending on the item.

Anyway, we bought a fridge from Menard's just recently, and we ran into a few problems upon delivery. The delivery guys refused to remove the fridge doors to get the fridge in the house (our older house couldn't quite accommodate the 30" fridge, as our door opening is 29 3/4"). This, despite the fact that we chose Menard's specifically because their salespeople promised us that their delivery people would be able to remove and replace the fridge doors in order to get it in the house.

There were additional problems, i.e., scratches on the freezer door and the doors being set to a left hinge instead of a right hinge, as ordered.

So there we were, with a fridge in our backyard at 6:30 PM on a Saturday, with two angry delivery guys who claimed they weren't being paid for this, and me on the phone with a very unhelpful night manager at Menard's, who kept referring to clause #4 of our service contract which simply did not state what he said it did.

I had my wife call our contractor (he did our bathrooms, and will be doing our kitchen this year) on her phone, to see if he knew of a guy who could help get the fridge in the house since the delivery guys refused to remove the doors and I'm just barely on the wrong side of handy enough to do it myself.

Turns out, my contractor builds million dollar homes on the reg (Lord knows why he still does business with peons like me), and frequently uses Menard's for his work. They know him. He's a celebrity there. He makes a call.

Suddenly everything is coming up roses. I'm being offered $150 off the deal, just because. The delivery guys are taking the fridge back to get the hinges fixed, and re-delivering it the next day, and are apologizing to me as we stand in my wintry backyard. The store manager is handling the replacement of the scratched freezer door with the manufacturer for us, and is calling us daily to make sure we're happy with how things are progressing.

It's quite a feeling to have someone with real influence have your back in a situation like this. In trying to come up with an analogy for this, my mind ran through every cheezy justice-served type movie ever made. My contractor has my loyalty, forevermore.

Menard's... not so much.
#68
Old 01-21-2017, 07:20 AM
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From where we live, Lowe's is about 15 miles away and Home Depot is more than 25 miles away. When we were doing major work on the house, we did go to HD a couple of times, and the only thing we ended up getting there was our dining room light fixture. Mostly they either didn't have what we needed, or it was more than we wanted to spend.

But we spent thousands at Lowe's, including for appliances, flooring, cabinets, lumber, sheetrock, and the assorted hardware and other bits one needs to do major remodeling. I seem to recall my husband did go to a plumbing supply once for a specific part of the project, and on a few occasions, we'd run to a closer, more expensive hardware store for screws or nails.

For a while there, it seemed we couldn't get out of Lowe's for under $500. Fortunately, those days are done. No more remodeling - just maintenance.
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