We all buy everything on the Internet at a discount from clothing and cosmetics to builders’ supplies and gifts. We get our music, food, and other life essentials on line. We look for those name brand coupons and website specials. Who pays full price! But there are times when you even go into a brick and mortar store to make a purchase, especially when you find a sale.
I am always doing DIY projects at home or for friends and family. It is a great hobby and relaxer. I help them, they help me. So, home improvement items are on my mind. I need some basic hand tools such as an electric saw, nail gun, and screwdriver. I must have paint, sandpaper, wood slats for repairs, and rollers. A ladder, a bucket, some drop cloths, and some plastic tarp are all handy essentials.
A trip to the home improvement store is fun and inviting. Recently the hardware department had an anniversary sale. I rushed over and joined the crowds. Handymen, painters, fellow DIYs, and assorted others filled the aisles grabbing the marked down merchandise. It was an old-fashioned experience. Someone’s kid knocked over a bin of nails that went cascading across the floor, stopping wary people in their tracks. That was a new experience.
I went to the mezzanine floor where they stocked handles and knobs. These can be very expensive—a couple of dollars apiece—and they add a lot to renovations of bathrooms and kitchens. Small things have a big impact. There were walls of stacked see-through boxes filled with pulls in every finish from satin, polished chrome, oiled bronze, to brass and matte silver. I counted out a dozen of three different types that I knew I could use in some upcoming projects. It was a great savings in the end. The important point here, however, is that I got to hold them in my hands, touch their surfaces, eyeball their size and shape, and assess their functionality in their new space. You can’t do that online! And you don’t have to wrap them and go to the post office to make a return.
I then went back down to the fan section and selected three ceiling models with different light fixtures. I would keep these on hand. They are some of the best ceiling fans on the market. Everyone likes them and they work in every room of the house. They can even go on patios. Again, I could look closely at the color, surfaces, and metal details. The woods were truer to life than photos on the Internet. Sometimes cherry looks too red and maple more like walnut. I bought a little portable number for the garage on a whim.
The hardware home improvement outing yielded a bonanza of things I needed, wanted, and coveted. The budget covered a lot. More than I expected. I added some extras on my list including wood glue, rub on patina, cabinet trim, and more. It was a welcome relief from the impersonality of a website, more tactile, and more fulfilling. I will visit them more often in the near future.