1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Garden Section of Lowe's/Home Depot

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, May 13, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Anybody ever notice that consumers spend a ton of money on the materials to "do it themselves" at Lowe's and Home Depot? It doesn't matter that they don't know what they're doing or that what they install will probably look like crap, but by george, they're going to do it themselves. The thought of calling in a professional, especially the lawn guy, to install seasonal color that they'll actually be proud of, never even crosses their minds.

    I've got customers all over town that have seasonal color displays, if you want to call them that, in unammended soil with bermuda growing all over them. The plants are literally starving for nutrients. They plant shrubs and trees in places a professional would never dream of. They bring in mulch, but because they're trying to get it home in the trunk of their Camry, it gets spread less than an inch deep. And they buy the died mulches, the kind that look ok for the first month, but after that, the sun fades the paint on the mulch and they look HORRIBLE. They try to build bed edging with the left over bricks from the masonry contractor. Or they actually go to Lowe's or Home Depot and spend good money on bed edging but completely botch the install. And I love seeing the homeowner out in his lawn with a squirt bottle of pre-mixed 2-4-D spraying crabgrass and nutsedge. But next to the idiot on the sit-n-scoot who's pulling weeds from the lawn, these people rank as geniuses.

    I'm totally convinced the do it yourself approach to residential landscape maintenance is a failed endeavor before it even starts. That's why neigborhoods go down hill over time. Shrubs get overgrown. Lawns get neglected. Weeds take over the beds. Then the neighbors feel a little less pressure to keep up their landscape. Eventually, the entire neighborhood is completely overgrown and going down hill. The houses are still in excellent shape, but it's the landscapes that look horrible, bringing down everyones property values.

    But what bothers me, these people, who will gladly drop a $100 bill at Lowe's or Home Depot on products they're probably going to misuse (or may never use) after they buy them, are the very same people who simply will not pay us for what we know. Or they want to pick our brains about why this plant is doing this or what plants would look good there. But they're not going to actually spend any money with the lawn flunky on something they can do themselves.

    Does this frustrate anyone else, or is it just me?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    that is a good point. I was at Home Depot the other day and I couldn't believe what people were buying, not necessarily spending, but buying.

    The reason for the weekend warrior I feel is that it gives them pleasure to be proud of something that they accomplished in 2 days, when it would take us only 4 hours to do.
  3. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    My grandfather and dad don't have one day's worth of experience or expertise in landscaping or horticulture or anything like that, but they spend a crapload of money at Home Depot on landscaping stuff and their installs and plantings always seem to come out great. I do wonder what kind of pride people retain by dropping a crapload of money at Home Depot and putting it in themselves when they know it will just look like crap. I don't see any sense in doing something half assed. But there's america for you. They have the freedom to do what they please. It just gives me a laugh when I am there. But this world takes all kinds.
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Actually this is my biggest money makers. I actually target some of the more prominent older areas. In this I mean the 250000-400000 houses with the 5.99 landscaping. Every one that actually sees what you do in these neighborhoods want it done also. (well most). I dont get the weekly maintenance of turf grass cause that is there domain but as for the fertilization program and hedges and such I just schedule in my spare time.
  5. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 616

    I went to home depot last night and the guy told me that it's nothing for them to sell $200k of merchandise just from the landscaping department in a single weekend!!! I guess people love cheap stuff.
  6. Jackman

    Jackman LawnSite Member
    from Zone
    Posts: 231

    The big surprise to me is the poor plant quality and care that Lowe's and Home Depot have and the customers just keep on coming
  7. neal-wolbertsinc

    neal-wolbertsinc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Don't we all have a bit of DIY in us? Why were all you guys at Home Depot and Lowe's anyway? Did you call a plumber the last time your toilet stuck or just go buy some DYI stuff and fix it? Same goes for the guy who buys landscape stuff at the box stores. He probably wants the same thing you want, the satisfaction of doing his best at the cheapest price he can find. If we just keep doing over-the-top work and we'll never go hungry or have to duck if you see one of your disgruntled customers at Lowe's. Don't cheap-out on pricing and you'll be able to be a pace setter and get noticed by DYI's that care about quality. I don't know anyone who has stuck to his/her guns on quality that didn't make it over the long haul. Being satisfied with your work brings a different kind of paycheck. If it's just all about the money, chances are you'll just stay ticked off all the time. Go for quality and enjoy yourself. Neal
  8. Burger

    Burger LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Posts: 192

    Give the poor home owners a break. Home Depot and Lowe's are simply filling a demand profesional landscapers tend to turn their nose up at, Parts and supplies. The local profesional high quality parts distributors won't sell to individuals, only contractors, Why? Volume Level sales, they do not want to screw with one or two sprinklers. They want to sell the box of twenty four. there is nothing wrong with this. However this totally ignores an entire segment of the industry, the do it your selfer, The occasional repair, or heaven forbid, the hair brained scheme. Profesional people, with high priced mowers, and pipe plows have also neglected this. Home depot and lowe's is simply filling a niche "some" people have all but ignored.
    The Simple act of getting a Remote for my Hunter Clock was absolutely agonizing, Not One Single So Called Profesional wanted to take the time to screw with it. I wound up buying it straight from the Distributor. Thats a sale I would have been more than happy to give to the guy that buried my system, but he simply did not want to screw with it. He is willing to drive to east jesus to adjust a head, but he is not willing to cop up parts and pieces. Now I am a business man, and I know that there is limit to what a business can do, and i am well aware the difficulties in inventory and outside sales. Not to mention the whole Genie out of the bottle aspect of trade secrets. The question is, do you continue to lose parts and peices sales to home depot, are you even in a position to provide such? How many more labor jobs would you Gain/Lose by opening the door to the single sprinkler sale?
    My Two Cents.
  9. cantspranomo

    cantspranomo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    Yo, I have 1 cent for you. They are called HGTV, DIY, TLC, DISCOVERY, all the great networks, developed for the great need of all of us so-called do-it-yourselfers (most homeowners etc.) We see it done on tv by people who are supposedly (are) like us, and we want the same thing. JMO.

  10. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    "I'm totally convinced the do it yourself approach to residential landscape maintenance is a failed endeavor before it even starts"

    DFW......you are totally missing the point of the do-it-yourselfer!

    your assuming that the goal of the doityourselfer is to have a landscape that would fit into a lawn and garden photo shoot.

    when in fact many people do it themselves just to be outside and get their hands dirty,,,,,for a sense of pride of doing it themselves,,,,,for the satisfaction of making something grow when at work they have no control,,,,,saves them money on working out at a gym.....saves them money spent on antidepressants and so on....

    there are many healthy reasons to be out in the lawn and to do it themselves,,,,,,and yes one of the other reasons would be to save some money!

Share This Page