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I have been taking a lot of trips to the home improvement store lately. The sheer number of these trips seems to have brought a few realizations with it. Primarily, my preference between my local Orange for certain things and my preference for my local Blue for others (I’m using these names instead of their actual ones simply because this is one consumer’s opinion only and this is not a paid endorsement). So, it got me thinking… which side of the great DIY divide do you fall? Here is mine:
For paint swatch color selection, I prefer… Blue
But when it comes to actual paint, I prefer… Orange
For quick expertise, you can’t beat… Orange
But when I need to be in and out (closest to the house)… Blue

For bulk items (hardware, blinds, switch plate covers, etc), I prefer… Orange
For project inspiration, I rely on… Blue
For lighting, I prefer the styles at… Blue

But when I look for deals, I go to… Orange

Everyday deals (thanks to the 5% on all purchases) can be found at… Blue
But I wind up buying the bigger ticket items at… Orange

These are just a few of the observations I’ve noticed over my own spending habits, and it seems like my preferences are divided right down the middle. What about you? Are you only drawn to one store due to their expertise, or is convenience the key decision maker in your household? Do you refuse to step foot in either store (for whatever reason), or do you have specific preferences for different items? Is there another store at the top of your list which isn’t around my neighborhood (Menard’s) or do you avoid big box improvement stores altogether? There’s no formality here; just one curious shopper asking another. Feel free to weigh in!

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  1. I agree with your assessment. For gardening its a toss-up. Usually we get building materials (2x4s, plywood, etc) at Orange. But the decorator stuff is Blue all the way. I'm trying to support the local hardware Place, too. The service is better and much faster and they have those screw thingies that hold lamp shades on:)

  2. We are a Blue and Orange family here with the hubby preferring Orange while I'm primarily a Blue woman. I'm in charge of how it gets 'pretty' so everything in that arena comes from Blue (including the paint since he despises painting). Getting it to the stage of needing to be made 'pretty' falls in his lap so he happily trods off to Orange. Got to give a negative on both for gardening (except stone needs and mulch – there Blue wins). We live close to Amish country here in Pa so a nursery in East Earl PA called Black Cr… wins my heart and way to much of my cash each growing season according to my hubby!

  3. I have family that live in PA and we always shop for handmade Amish goods when we get up there to visit. Lucky you that you're always so close!

  4. We primarily rely on Blue, but sometimes we do go to Orange or Menards or Ace Hardware or even Costco if Blue doesn't have what we want/need.

  5. I'm surprised I haven't seen you. I have been at Blue by you nearly everyday this week. But I prefer Orange for my tools, especially my new Milwaukee Sawzall!

  6. Blue people here – for some plants and lawn stuff we hit up Orange. There's an Ace here, but it's much farther away.

  7. Neither…Green! Menards puts both HD and Lowes to shame when it comes to prices and lumber yards. We don't have Lowes around here but everything I've ever priced over the last 3 years Menards wins. They have more experienced employees, an excellent return policy, and often better of deals (for the last week it was 11% off everything in the store so we stocked up on all the things we needed for our remodel).

    For paint we go with Sherwin Williams and for things like fixtures we usually go with higher quality pieces from non-big box stores.