At Euroclad Windows and Doors, we see this question pop up everywhere. Believe or not, we use the internet too! In home improvement forums across the globe, we often see people wondering if they can, or should, buy windows and doors from a big box home improvement store.
Let’s get this out of the way first: we’re a custom window and door company, and although you can buy window and door products from both Euroclad and a big box store, the two businesses are vastly different. It’s why many home builders choose Euroclad over the big box stores.
These differences are why we have no problem saying that there are reasons that you may want to shop at a big box store, but you’re probably better off in most cases with a dedicated window and door company. If that surprises you, read on to find out the times that it makes sense, and the times you may want to avoid a big box store.
Window and Door Choices
When you’re operating a major chain store, you’ll almost certainly be able to buy products in bulk for all of your stores in the chain, and pass that savings on to your customers. Window and Door Pricing is one of the reasons so many people shop at a chain store.
That bulk buying does come at a cost, and that cost is uniqueness. If you’re going to bulk buy 10 000 doors, you’re not going to be able to get 10 000 different doors – they’re all going to have to be the same. It’s why when you walk into a chain store in BC and the same chain store in Ontario, you’re going to find the same door at roughly the same price.
With bulk buying, you are going to lose out on choice, the ability to customize your product, and most importantly, none of the options will be very bold or unique. When ordering 10 000 doors, the last thing the company wants to do is order a choice that is bold, but won’t appeal to everyone. When ordering, they’re going to pick something everyone will generally not find offensive. This is the mushy middle of choice. It offends the least people, but also doesn’t make any real statement either.
A big box store may sell a larger number of doors and windows overall than a company like Euroclad, but we sell more styles an options than they do. If you’re looking for variety, uniqueness and bold choices, a custom window and door manufacturer is the way to go. That’s not to say bulk pricing doesn’t exist – If you’re a home builder, we can also be more flexible on pricing with larger orders.
Pricing vs. Value
A large home improvement chain store is likely a publicly traded company, which means that it has a legal obligation to think of its shareholders before the customer. Quite often this will work out for the benefit of the customer. For example, by having lower prices, more customers are attracted to shop at your store, and the company will make more profit. However, it’s also the reason that they don’t have exactly what they need: they want to appeal to everyone to make the most money.
Let us say first, that if you’re buying a lot of products from us, it’s very likely we’ll be extremely competitive on pricing. However, pricing and value are not the same. At Euroclad, we like to think we can offer both price AND value.
If you were to put two doors side-by-side, the door on the left may be a lower price, but the door on the right may be a better value. For example, the door on the left may be a generic fibreglass door for $500, while the door on the right uses a higher quality material and build for $650. The first door may only last a decade, while the higher priced door may twice as long making it a much better value.
Watch for Part Two next week, where we explore more of what each store has to offer, and show you when you should shop at a big box store.
For now, if you want to see the difference a custom window and door manufacturer can make, and the value they’ll add to the product, drop in to our showroom and have a look around.