Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I love my electrical supply house They are the best, closest but it takes an hour out of my day to actually go there as opposed to just going to HD or in a worst case scenario actually buying something from "M". (Although it is more convenient than ever now to pick up a 240 volt breaker, order some trusses and pick up a gallon of milk or get some beef jerky and a "People Magazine" at the same store). I don't want to get thrown off this site, because I love it, but I am sure many of you have the same dilemma. That is why I am not bashing any store by name. Actually they all have their place and have all saved my time by their convenient locations and I can't help but have some respect for them.
I usally guess the total parts run in my head, then if the electrical portion of that exceeds $200, I make the run to the supply house. They carry Juno, and all the good stuff at the same price as HD and have never failed me when searching for an oddball part or breaker. I refuse to buy anything of any substance from "M". Much of it, especially the fixtures and devices are from China.
I sometimes feel like I am hurting my supply house by frequenting the big box stores, but most of the time as you know, the HD is right down the road. Again, I really do like the incredible variety in the big boxes, but I would be curious to know any thresholds you guys have set for when to bypass the HD and M and keep supporting the supply house that has bailed you out time after time.
Any thoughts or comments?
 

·
I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
·
12,610 Posts
I don't have a problem stopping by a big box just to fill in a small gap in material I need, especially if they're closer. No need to drive all the way to the supply house for an odd cover plate or device just to wrap up a job.

But if I'm loading up, it's the supply house.
 

·
Builder/Remodeler
Joined
·
3,712 Posts
Does anyone actually buy groceries at Menards? That one I really don't get. It always looks silly seeing dry goods right across the isle from the ductwork.

The home centers are damn convenient, especially when you need multiple trade items for a job. For all the lip service we pay to the supply houses, you're dead on about the time you kill going in there. Hell, even will-call sh** ends up taking me 30 minutes while I wait for the teenage kid to roam the isles trying to decipher whatever new code they're using this week to map out where my stuff is.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
LOL Chr-as I told you the other night, I love the dog photo-nice puppy. So far it sounds like you, me and sparky are of the same mindset. And no, I have never bought groceries from them. I get attracted to the ductwork instead.
 

·
Carpe Diem
Joined
·
20,712 Posts
Does anyone actually buy groceries at Menards? That one I really don't get. It always looks silly seeing dry goods right across the isle from the ductwork.
My business partner can't walk out of Menards without beef jerky.

We will also get conduit, unions and connectors from there. Don't like their outlets or switches (Pass & Seymour?????). They also have really good prices on wiring. 99.99% of our electrical work is in conduit. The electrician never complained about the supplies.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just want to be cautious in not mentioning any store names here, but whenever I have a HO supply their own fixtures, and I see them walk in with an "M" bag, I know that a simple pendant light will take 4 times as long as a HD product because whomever wrote the english portion of the directions has never installed anyting more than a computer program. It may just be a coincedence for me, but the screws on the mounting plate have to be reversed and nutted, otherwise the 3 foot screw they provide will hit the square to round plaster ring. And as far as their ceiling fans, dont even get me started.
 

·
Carpe Diem
Joined
·
20,712 Posts
whenever I have a HO supply their own fixtures, and I see them walk in with an "M" bag,.
Ya never know, maybe one time they'll be treating you with an extra large jar of cheesie poofs!

Those damn impulse purchases by the check-out line :furious:

RS, where abouts are you located?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
And what about those "frou frou" low voltage pendant lights that are supported entirely by an allen set screw and the neutral is provided by a sleeve of braided crap on the outside sleeve.
If it wasn't for my reading glasses, I would have to bring my 7 year old daughter to work with me in order to thread those needles at work.
The worst culprit for producing those are only a few miles from me in Skokie Illinois.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
I can't find me the 75kva 480v transformer display in the HD and I searched all over isle 13 looking for it. I had the same problem when I went looking for the 7 jaw meter kits with the test bypass sections. They weren't anywhere, not even over by the 100' rolls of cat 5e cable.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Angus, I am in the western suburbs of Chicago. Mostly very affluent suburbs even though I live in a townhouse. (I am living beneath my means so I can someday retire)
The good part is that in my area, we are loaded with clients who are trying to impress their neighbors and keep me busy trying to out-do them.
I do high-end kitchen and bath remodels, and occasionally a basement. My main area of focus is electrical work. (Fully licensed, insured with work comp, and bonded as needed per job) NC, remodeling, 24 hour service calls, troubleshooting, service ups, etc.
 

·
Builder/Remodeler
Joined
·
3,712 Posts
And what about those "frou frou" low voltage pendant lights that are supported entirely by an allen set screw and the neutral is provided by a sleeve of braided crap on the outside sleeve.
If it wasn't for my reading glasses, I would have to bring my 7 year old daughter to work with me in order to thread those needles at work.
The worst culprit for producing those are only a few miles from me in Skokie Illinois.
We joke about those a lot. One manufacturer we've installed calls their canopy the "Fusion Jack Flush Mount Kit"... (you have to say it like Don King. :laughing:)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow Angus, I just noticed your location. I do ton's of work in Naperville, Plainfield, Aurora, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Lisle. When I saw Will County on your profile I realized that I have probably seen you before over the years. The supply house I was talking about before was Villa Park Electric on North Avenue in Addison. I'm sure you know the guys there too.
Ron
 

·
Carpe Diem
Joined
·
20,712 Posts
Holy crap, you are my competition!!!!! We did work this year in Tinley, Palos Park, Batavia, Oakbrook and Naperville.

Our electrician uses a supply house somewhere on 191st in Tinley, east of LaGrange. Not sure of the name. When we need supplies, we just go to Menards. My partner is actually a former union sparky so he still has his hookups from those days. He worked for a shop that does commercial downtown. I'm trying to get him to take the test to become licensed himself so we don't have to sub the work out but he doesn't want to study :rolleyes:

Are you with RS Electric or an actual remodel company? We are K&S Remodeling and should HOPEFULLY have a showroom in Plainfield soon. Ever deal with Light Source Lighting?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Since I really dont know you and never go very far on the first date, :) I will just tell you that I am "associated" with several large custom cabinetry firms in your area. Joliet, Euro Tech, etc. Let's chat a little more, because I am expanding my business effective 1/1/10 in this area.
As I have said in this forum several times in the short time I have been a member, the fact that you are on this site means you are passionate about what you do.
I prefer the term colleague rather than competition so long as you are legitimate and are licensed, and paying for the correct insurance. I am always interested in meeting "competitors" in my area for a lunch or a beer to share thoughts that could better both firms, as well as make referral relationship as long as they are up to snuff. From your posts, you sound knowledgeable and professional and shouldn't have any problem with that but this is the internet you know. I have been pushed in that direction and attempted to be mislead before. I have become a cynic and check everyone out thoroughly. I do everything by the book.
Let's chat a little more, then go to Hooters in Naperville for a beer.
Ron
 

·
Carpe Diem
Joined
·
20,712 Posts
Since I really dont know you and never go very far on the first date, :) I will just tell you that I am "associated" with several large custom cabinetry firms in your area. Joliet, Euro Tech, etc. Let's chat a little more, because I am expanding my business effective 1/1/10 in this area.
As I have said in this forum several times in the short time I have been a member, the fact that you are on this site means you are passionate about what you do.
I prefer the term colleague rather than competition so long as you are legitimate and are licensed, and paying for the correct insurance. I am always interested in meeting "competitors" in my area for a lunch or a beer to share thoughts that could better both firms, as well as make referral relationship as long as they are up to snuff. From your posts, you sound knowledgeable and professional and shouldn't have any problem with that but this is the internet you know. I have been pushed in that direction and attempted to be mislead before. I have become a cynic and check everyone out thoroughly. I do everything by the book.
Let's chat a little more, then go to Hooters in Naperville for a beer.
Ron

I see we're on the same wave-length. :w00t:

I'll get in contact with you soon!

Hooters, here we come
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Angus, I got your private message but am having difficulty navigating this page because I am new to it.
You did not scare me off with the competition thing, in fact I think it is healthy and I don't scare easily. See previous post.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Angus, thanks for the last "stinky" note, I mean sticky note. Schwingggg I think we are bound for Hooters. (75th Steet location)
I have to get to bed so I can think straight for a cabinet install prep and electric trim I scheduled for tomorrow at 8 am in Aurora (the non-ghetto part).
I just have to make sure that the pic in your profile isn't really you. You know how paranoid these high end clients can be, and the long beard thing will scare them to death. :)
Sorry, I know that was an obnoxious thing for me to say.
Ron
 

·
huntington beach, ca.
Joined
·
362 Posts
"especially the fixtures and devices are from China."

I'm going to guess everything you/we buy is made in China, no matter the brand.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top