Home Depot Vs Lowe's Vs Ace Hardware: Home Improvement Stores Compared

Updated March 19, 2018
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Home Depot

Home Depot was founded in 1978 by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank when they opened their first two hardware stores in Atlanta, Georgia. Home Depot is the fastest growing retailer in United States history. In addition to their online store, Home Depot has retail hardware and home improvement stores across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and China.

Home Depot Home Improvement Products

Home Depot carries a large selection of home improvement products and hardware including tools, home improvement products, appliances, flooring, paint, plumbing and more. You can search the Home Depot website using their search engine or shop by their departments.

  • Appliances
  • Bath and Faucets
  • Building Materials
  • Home Décor
  • Doors and Windows
  • Electrical
  • Flooring and Area Rugs
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Kitchen
  • Lighting and Ceiling Fans
  • Lumber and Composites
  • Outdoors
  • Paint
  • Plumbing
  • Storage and Organization
  • Tools and Hardware

Like all hardware stores, Home Depot carries all major brands and with some products, their own Home Depot brands.

Home Depot Helpful Resources

The Home Depot website has many helpful resources to help you with any home improvement project you want to do. Their resources include:

  • How to paint interior walls.
  • Interactive guides that will help you choose the right colors for each room.
  • Project Guides with topics such as outdoor guides, top projects, energy guides, bathroom guides, kitchen guides, maintenance guides and décor guides.

Home Depot Low Price Match Guarantee

If you find a lower price on an identical and in-stock product, Home Depot will beat the price the price by 10%.

Home Depot Pro Xtra

Home Depot has their Home Depot Pro Loyalty Program, Pro Xtra, which saves you time and money. You can join Pro Xtra for free and receive the following benefits:

  • Get eReceipts and online tracking
  • Receive exclusive Pro coupons
  • Save time at checkout
  • You can get the Pro app
  • Track store purchases
  • Estimate your projects
  • Save time and get aerial measurements

Home Depot Myinstall

Home Depot has partnered with home service professionals and installers that will do the work for you. Their installers can do everything including countertops, flooring, windows, heating and cooling, fencing, electrical, cabinets, siding and more.

Home Depot Free Shipping

Home Depot offers free shipping on more than 400,000 products with orders over $45.00. Home Depot also offers free ship-to-store on most hardware and home improvement items.

Home Depot Free Delivery and Pickup

Home Depot will deliver free standing refrigerators, ranges and washers and dryers. This service includes basic hook up of the appliance. Home Depot will also take your old appliance with them. This offer is good on most appliance brands.

Home Depot Return Policy

You can return any product you buy online to any Home Depot retail store. Returns can be made within 90 days of purchase with exceptions. Due to the wide variety of products Home Depot sells, there are some return exceptions. You can read more on their Return Policy page.

Home Depot Coupons

Home Depot Customer Comments

Home Depot has excellent customer ratings and comments. Google.com has rated them 4.5 out of 5 stars. Bizrate.com has given Home Depot the following ratings:

  • Overall satisfaction of 8.7 out of 10.
  • Would shop here again: 8.8/10.
  • Likelihood to recommend: 8.9/10.
  • Satisfaction with checkout: 8.9/10.
  • Prices relative to other online stores: 8.5/10.
  • Product selection: 8.6/10.
  • Product availability: 9.1/10.
  • Customer Support: 8.7/10.

A few customer comments include:

  • Home Depot has all the best products and all the best prices hands down. Anything you need for household goods is all there from gardening to cleaning supplies for the home. It’s nice to shop at one place without going from store to store.”
  • I just got some nice lights for my walkway at Home Depot and they work really well and shipped fast. I would shop here again its easy.”


Lowe's is another large and popular hardware and home improvement store. Lowe's was founded in 1946 by Carl Buchan as part owner of Wilkesboro Hardware Store in North Carolina. Today, Lowe's is the second largest home improvement retailer in the world. In addition to their online store, Lowe's has 1,825 retail stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Lowe's Home Improvement products

Lowe's has a large selection of tools, hardware and everything you will need for home improvement projects. Lowe's carries all major brands of hardware, tools and paint. Their categories are:

  • Appliances
  • Bathroom
  • Building Supplies
  • Cleaning and Organizational
  • Electrical
  • Flooring
  • Garden Center
  • Hardware
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Home Décor
  • Kitchen
  • Lawn Care and Landscaping
  • Lighting and Ceiling Fans
  • Outdoor Living
  • Outdoor Power Equipment
  • Paint
  • Plumbing
  • Tools
  • Windows and Doors

Lowe’s Helpful Resources

Lowe’s website has great resources section to help you with your home improvement projects with an Ideas and How-to section. This section can help you remodel every area inside and outside of your home. The Build and Remodel section has articles that include:

  • How to install shingles
  • Tankless water heater guide
  • How to install sheet vinyl flooring
  • How to install bifold doors
  • Range buying guide

Lowe’s also has a plant guide, which will teach you about the planting and caring of 12,000 types of plants.

Lowe’s Installation Service

Lowe’s offers more than 50 interior and exterior installation services. These installation services include home improvement projects include:

  • Bathroom remodel
  • Cabinet installation
  • Blown insulation
  • HVAC system install
  • Flooring installation
  • And many more

Lowe’s Low Price Guarantee

Lowe’s has a low price match guarantee that states if you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retailer, bring the competitors current ad and Lowe’s will beat their price by 10%.

Lowe’s Free Shipping

Lowe’s offers free standard (3-7 business days) shipping for orders of $49 or more. This free shipping offer is only good within the 48 continental United States. This offer does not apply to gift card purchases weighing less than 150 pounds or less than 70 pounds for PO Box addresses.

Lowe’s Return Policy

If you are not satisfied with your purchase, Lowe’s allows you to return the product within 90 days to any Lowe’s store or you can ship the item back with their pre-paid mailing label. They can refund your money or exchange for another product. There are some differences in the return time frame for a return depending on the item.

Lowe’s Coupons

Lowe’s Customer Comments

Lowe’s has excellent customer comments and ratings. They were awarded the Stella Service Excellent badge in 2013 and Google rates Lowe’s 4.5 stars out of 5. Bizrate.com has given Lowe’s the following ratings:

  • Overall satisfaction of 8.3 out of 10.
  • Would shop here again: 8.6/10.
  • Likelihood to recommend: 8.6/10.
  • Satisfaction with checkout: 8.6/10.
  • Prices relative to other online stores: 8.4/10.
  • Product selection: 8.6/10.
  • Product availability: 8.6/10.
  • Customer Support: 8.3/10.

A few customer comments about Lowe’s include:

  • I love Lowes! Just got my painting supplies and paint from a local store and they did everything perfectly. I will shop here again anytime to be sure.”
  • Online was easier than expected. Glad I could use the 10% of coupon I had when I couldn't find the item at the store.”

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware is another popular nationwide hardware and home improvement store.  Ace Hardware was founded in 1924 by a group of Chicago hardware store owners. Today, Ace Hardware has 4,700 retail stores around the U.S. and world. Of those Ace Hardware stores, 4,600 of them are independently owned by local businessmen and women.

Ace Hardware Home Improvement Products

Ace Hardware carries a large selection of hardware and home improvement products like tools, garden supplies, paint, hardware, plumbing and much more. You can search for home improvement and hardware products by looking through their categories.

  • Lawn and Garden
  • Outdoor Living
  • Paint
  • Home Goods
  • Tools
  • Hardware
  • Plumbing
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Electrical
  • Auto

Ace Hardware carries all major brands including:

  • Weber
  • Craftsman
  • Black & Decker
  • Scotts
  • Werner
  • DeWalt
  • And many more

Ace Hardware Helpful Resources

Ace Hardware has a Tips & Advice section that can help you with many home improvement projects. Their featured tips this week are “Ladder Safety” and “Weather Stripping a Window”. Their Tips & Advice sections are:

  • Interactive Project Videos
  • Learning Guides
  • Paint Tips
  • Step-By-Step How-To’s
  • Tip’s From Ace’s Home Expert
  • Get Moving
  • FAQ By Category
  • Lawn and Garden Advice
  • Preparing For Natural Disasters

Ace Hardware Services

Ace Hardware in-store customer service is excellent and they offer many services that include assembly, blade sharpening, glass and acrylic cutting, pipe cutting and threading, screen repair, carpet cleaning machine rental and many more services.

Ace Hardware Rewards

Ace Hardware Rewards members receive the following exclusive benefits:

  • 1,000 bonus to get started
  • 10 points for every dollar spent
  • 2,500 points = $5
  • Money savings coupons
  • Instant savings
  • Sale reminders

Ace Hardware Rewards is free to join.

Ace Hardware Free Shipping

Ace Hardware does not offer free shipping to your home. They do offer free shipping to your local Ace Hardware store.

Ace Hardware Return Policy

Ace Hardware has a 30-day return policy. You can return an item within 30 days of the date of purchase to receive and store credit. Ace Hardware recommends that you return the item to the nearest Ace Hardware store. If you do not have a nearby store, call their customer service at 1-866-290-5334.

Ace Hardware Coupons

Ace Hardware Customer Comments

Ace Hardware has very good to excellent customer ratings and comments. Google rates Ace Hardware 4.5 stars out of 5 and Bizrate.com has given Ace Hardware the following customer ratings.

  • Overall satisfaction of 8.6 out of 10.
  • Would shop here again: 8.6/10.
  • Likelihood to recommend: 8.8/10.
  • Satisfaction with checkout: 8.7/10.
  • Prices relative to other online stores: 8.6/10.
  • Product selection: 8.6/10.
  • Product availability: 8.8/10.
  • Customer Support: 8.3/10.

Home Improvement Stores Conclusion

All three home improvement stores are similar with minor differences. They all carry the same types of hardware and home improvement products. All three stores have great helpful resource areas. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s provide professional installation services while Ace Hardware has many in-store services. Comparing prices can be difficult since many products that look to be the exact same, could have small differences in the model numbers. Prices are similar on most products.