From the first English settlements in Jamestown in 1607, entrepreneurs used their home improvement skills to help build a better life. These specialized skills will always be necessary, no matter how they are used and / or distributed. From plumbing to window installation, these business services are practiced in all areas of civilized life.

Until the late 1800s, most home improvement services were run by individuals or smaller family-type businesses. It wasn’t until stores like Lowe’s started popping up in the early 1900s that we began to see larger entities becoming highly competitive against smaller family-type home improvement businesses. The fact is that these big companies could offer services at a cheaper price, but not necessarily better.

So why do big box chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s provide home improvement services? Why don’t they just sell enhancement products? Isn’t the whole idea behind these great hardware stores providing products to DIYers? Well, the problem is … more and more do-it-yourself consumers are buying your products online. Saves time and allows the consumer to be more flexible when it comes to getting their work done. These big hardware stores are trying to send a message to these consumers. They want these people to not only buy their products, but also allow them to install them at minimal cost. By doing this, you could attract consumers who need a job done, but can’t necessarily afford a home business. Without realizing that these stores usually do a bad job, because they use, in most cases, inexperienced personnel.

The fact is … family home improvement businesses are often family owned and operated. They pass on their many years of experience in their trade to their workers. They often use the best quality products and offer top-notch warranties. We are not saying that big box stores cannot deliver quality, we are just saying that your chances are better with smaller service providers.

As these great home improvement companies grow … will they expand and improve their services or will they go back to their roots and just sell products? These large companies are most likely looking to improve the quality of service and offer a broader range of these services. The three biggest stores, Home Depot, Lowe’s Companies, and Lumber Liquidators aren’t going away anytime soon. Little mom and dad know. They also know that they do better and most of the public knows it.

So before you choose who will install replacement windows, replace kitchen countertop, or repair leaky plumbing, do your research. Compare the experience, the quality of the products used, the warranties and most important of all … customer service. Who are you going to love inside your house? Someone who has been doing work their whole life or someone from a department store without credentials. The choice is yours and probably a choice that you will have to live with for years to come.

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