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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just curious if there are any Lowe's installers on here, and if so what their experience has been. I was a subcontractor to a Lowe's installer but recently cut ties with him. They provided good steady work, but I'll be danged if there weren't a lot of headaches associated with it. Has anybody had a good experience doing installs for Lowe's?
 

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I considered it, but never did it
What were the headaches?

I actually applied but there were no opening in my immediate area and I didn't want to travel too far.
 

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General Contractor
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I don't know what the headaches are other then being underpaid, but I know few of them are hacks, been getting quiet a few calls from HO to repair or finish the substandard work done by Lowe's or HD installers.
 

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I'm just curious if there are any Lowe's installers on here, and if so what their experience has been. I was a subcontractor to a Lowe's installer but recently cut ties with him. They provided good steady work, but I'll be danged if there weren't a lot of headaches associated with it. Has anybody had a good experience doing installs for Lowe's?
You need to NOT be a sub of a sub.
I used to do installs for HD. Back then I was the sub. Then HD went with large GC who then subbed out to individual contractors. He essentially became the middleman who skimmed 30% right off the top.

That was when I said goodbye to HD.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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I did windows & doors for them for a while. Special orders were screwed up about 5-10% of the time, resulting in PO'd HO's and a bunch of scrambling. If we got to do the estimate on a job, sometimes the salesperson added a few things we weren't apprised of until the morning we were picking up materials. If someone else did the estimate, we had to guess at his reasoning for the materials provided--like the time they gave us 10 bags of Quickcrete for a storm door install. :rolleyes:

To be fair, they did usually compensate us for their screwups, and it was steady work even if not very profitable.
 

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When I first went out on my own, that's what I wanted - steady work.

I didn't even know what they paid.

I was thinking, Windows, doors, siding, and misc., like shutters, etc.

Kitchens and baths required a plumbing and electrical license. I have neither.
 

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well...I asked some people who had hired Lowes and HD why they didnt hire a local guy directly..and they told me that they wanted someone ( L & HD ) who would stand behind the job. whatever that means. When you see a job in progress, stop and ask the HO why...
anyway, by the time you get all the licenses, insurance, and paperwork done for them, you are in business ...for yourself. Main thing I have found is the generating of leads...and I solved that with the internet.
and I , for one, dont want 'steady' work....I want profitable work...and that has turned into full time business for my son ...i just do the lead generation.
best thing you can do is to 1. make up a simple flyer of samples of your work ( pictures) and go out and meet people ..door to door...I focus on commercial work that is negotiated, so I meet with architects, designers, and such. also, commercial property owners.
nice to be back ..I had forgotten about this website....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Tim, that's basically what was going on with me, except he took 34%. I started out with him as a helper and he's the man who trained me, but there wasn't enough money in it after his cut to deal with the headaches...which brings us back to the headaches people asked about...

You have to make a recored of the date and time you make all calls and weather you spoke w/ the HO or got a VM.

The paperwork was ridiculous. I installed doors. When I did an estimate it would take me say 10 minutes to measure a door and answer HO questions. It took me longer than that to fill out the paperwork I had to submit. The goal of the paperwork was to make it dummy proof, but they obviously failed at that. Not long ago they did away with their commission system and went to hourly. In the process, they lost all their good employees and now have a bunch of salesmen who A) don't know their job and B) don't get paid enough to care about learning it . This has resulted in a greater (much greater) number of miss sold orders. The store I got a large portion of my work through messed up 80% of their orders resulting in either an excessive wait time, trip charge, busted day, or additional labor to make the product sold work. It was a cluster f out of all the stores, but that was the worst. It just makes it impossible to plan your day. Somedays I'd be done by 12:00 noon because none of my jobs worked out, somedays I'd be done at 10:00 cause I was dealing w/ Lowe's. It was a nightmare.
 

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Kowboy
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I fabricated and installed solid surface countertops for Lowe's a decade ago. Send 'em a bill, get paid in two weeks like clockwork.

When I sold my business, that account went with it. There was a call back and the guy who bought my business took it out of my hide because Lowe's was taking it out of his. I'm not bitching; it was the fair thing to do.

My biggest complaint? Lowe's mistakenly 1099'd me for the $70,000.00 worth of work my buyer did the following year. I got a bill from the IRS for $35,000.00:eek:

Disregarding my lawyer's advice, I sent the IRS all the documentation figuring they'd either think I was the best liar they'd ever seen, or telling the truth. I got a two-page letter several months later saying "Forget the whole thing.":clap:
 

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My observation is that many Lowes and HD jobs were sold wrong in the first place - cabinets that don't fit, doors that swing the wrong way, windows that won't fit, etc. - and the installers have to figure out what's wrong, pacify the homeowner, then re-start the job. Around here most Lowes and HD work is done by a few national companies that specialize in that work, and the guys who show up to do the work are just employees, making a little more than minimum wage. Most of them are desperate to get out of it, and ask me if I'm hiring.
 

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The trick is to get yourself set up with one good store. Get to know the sales people and get them to see things your way. If you know your job they will see that and know that if they do what you say, they will always
come out on top.
If they don't do what you tell them, they get all screwed up.

When I was with HD I had the run of door installs for one particular store. The sales people knew every job I was on they (HD) would come out smelling like a rose. Eventually the store manager told the sales crew that all door installs were to go to me until I was so backed up, then give some to other installers.

The basic $$ is just that, basic. Maybe 1 in 50 jobs was "basic". All the others I did the up sell at the customers house. That was where the real money was. Sales people at the store just collected the customers money and put the order info in the computer.

All that ended when they went to the Big GC way they have now. The money gets siphoned off and it isn't worth it to be a sub for the GC.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Been there and done that, would not do again. The time frame they wanted was ridiculous at times, I was constantly fixing other installer mistakes because they had a couple horrible installers but would still give them work, WTF?

NEVER was a job simple and the change orders were horrible, it was just easier to replace rotting sills and frames then go through the headache of trying to get the customer to go back, pay for the extra, have the store get everything right....yada, yada, yada. Would cost more time and just back up other jobs, then other people are pissed off because you schedules tight to just make some money but now you are an hour behind and all of your jobs are rated and scored after. Not like a bad score meant anything apparently.

I was the highest rated installer in a 6 state area for a year, never got a thank you, nothing other than the install manager said "did you know you were the highest rated installer in Iowa,Nebraska,South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois and Kansas"? Nope, no clue....

Run from the job
 

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These guys normally do shotty work, it's normally why they work for these guys, because they can't grow their own business on the backs of repeat customers.
 

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"lemony snicket"
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NEVER!!! Lowes blows. Why in the world would you consider working for them. Don't you like to get paid what your worth in money not in points? If I hang a cab I wan all my money. I sure s heck wouldn't want to give them half of it. And the hoops you have to go thru. And if you install for them it won't be ,long before you start ctinc like one of those corporate types,
 

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master hacker of wood
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I talked to a contractor yesterday, saying he's looking for 10 quality guys. So I let him keep talking and then he said he had work at every city lowes was in!

Then he said I am the main contractor for lowes now everything goes thru him, then he asked me how I felt about fixing other people's work!!! I told him I don't like doing it the first time and you want me too fix someone else's ?

I don't expect too hear from him lol
 

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I talked to a contractor yesterday, saying he's looking for 10 quality guys. So I let him keep talking and then he said he had work at every city lowes was in!

Then he said I am the main contractor for lowes now everything goes thru him, then he asked me how I felt about fixing other people's work!!! I told him I don't like doing it the first time and you want me too fix someone else's ?

I don't expect too hear from him lol

Buddy works for that company and it is a complete cluster....

he tried to get me to talk to the woman in charge of instals in Syr to see if I could take over their instals.
Word is he has resigned and they are looking for someone to replace him.
 

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master hacker of wood
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The secretary was hired from lowes! I'm thinking I'm not employable any longer, they need good solid guys too fix their hackers work but don't want too pay the good guys!!

I don't need anything from the guy other than the work, I got more tools than most contractors around here even!!

I don't think it's a people don't want too work thing it's more of a people don't want too work for what they started out as a kid pay wise thing!!
 
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