Choosing the Best Snowblower – What to Know Before Heading to the Home Improvement Store

If the winter of 2010 has proven one thing, it’s that you can’t always rely on Mother Nature to be predictable. With record snowfalls on the East Coast and bone-chilling cold temperatures in the South, this winter has simply been a free-for-all, with everyone not knowing what;s in store for tomorrow.

However, those how live in heavy snow areas are sure about one thing–nothing beats a good snowblower. One of these gas powered or electric babies can really come in handy when the white stuff comes down hard…especially if there’s an emergency situation and you absolutely, positively need to get out of your garage.

But how do you shop for a snowblower? What features should you look for? And what’s the best snow blower for your needs? Here’s a few tips that might help you get started on the right track…

–Consider the engine first. A gas power snowblower will operate much like a lawn mower, with similar starting systems and features. Plus, many of the heavier duty snowblowers will most likely feature a gas powered engine. Electric snowblowers are lighter and require less energy to use–perfect if you have most dustings and the occasional blizzard.

–Get the right width and path for your region. With snowblowers, you can go extremely heavy duty (which cuts through thigh high drifts like butter) or extremely light weight (which gets an inch or two off your driveway pretty quickly). The best advice is to check with a snowblower expert at Lowes, Home Depot, or Sears. They’ll steer you in the right direction for your particular needs.

–Finally, consider converting your lawn tractor to a snow thrower. If you have a riding lawn mower, you can easily purchase a conversion kit to add a blade on the front that clears a path quickly. Plus, you can offer to clear your neighbor’s driveways and sidewalks as well–for the right price, of course. And easy way to make a few extra bucks.

Choosing the best snowblower doesn’t have to be difficult. Just find the one that’s perfect for your needs and stick with the top brand names, like Toro, Ariens, Cub Cadet, Troy, Yardman, Yard Machines, or MTD. You should be cutting a swath through the white stuff in no time at all!

Support Your Community: Shop Local Home Improvement Stores Instead of Big Box Stores

Often, people want to improve their homes, but they just don’t have the patience to try to struggle through trying to get a big box home improvement store employee to help. Surly, clueless hourly employees are just one of the many drawbacks to using a big box store for your renovation project. Instead of making revitalizing your home into a hassle, opt to shop at a locally-owned home improvement store. Not only does a local store offer significantly better service, but they also know their products incredibly well, making it much easier for you to find both the help and knowledge you’ll need to make your project a success.

Better Customer Service

Local home improvement stores can offer a better shopping experience all around. With knowledgeable staff, mom and pop stores have an advantage that big box stores don’t have: personal connections to the customers. Many times local home improvement stores are owned by individuals within the community, and because of this, they have more of investment in their customer service. They help their neighbors, their friends, their friends’ friends; basically they represent the entire community within one store. Because of this, they offer a more personal connection to their customers. Local stores tend to be smaller, which gives them more opportunity to get to know their customers and gives the customer a greater sense of comfort. Often in big box stores, customers have to search out an associate to help them, and most of the associates are not as knowledgeable as the local home improvement store owner.

Specialty Stores

The best kind of locally owned home improvement store is definitely the specialty stores that focus their business on one aspect of home improvement, like flooring, cabinetry or countertops. Specialists like this know their product inside out and are able to make the best recommendations for your specific project. Often, flooring, cabinetry, countertop and other specialty stores also have professional installation teams on staff that can help you take your inspiration and turn it into a reality. Even if you want to go the DIY route, specialized stores are an amazing asset thanks to their extensive knowledge.

Community Connections

Because local home improvement stores are owned by individuals within the community, they also have inside information on contractors, builders, electricians and plumbers. Store owners will know the perfect person to help you with any need; all you have to do is ask. They know the people in the trade and can guide you to the business or individual who can solve your home improvement problem. Local business owners will know the ins and outs of who is a reliable tradesmen and who is not, helping you find individuals who will give you the best customer service for your specific needs.

Community Support

Supporting your local economy is always a great idea. This means money being earned within that county is being applied back to businesses within that community. Big box stores do not have much stake in how well the local economy does, but locally owned businesses will. Putting money back into the community helps to support the county as a whole and keep big businesses from moving in. Also, local home improvement store owners will often refer customers to local tradesmen and businesses, which helps increase the overall revenue within the community. Big box stores may not have such information to give. This not only gives the customer a better experience, but helps promote the community’s economy.

Better Shopping With Online Home Improvement Stores

There are so many reasons why consumers prefer to do online shopping when it comes to home improvement projects. Imagine the hassle that comes with having to physically visit the store, browse through their many products and supplies, line up to purchase them, and then load them onto your truck to take all of those bulky products home with you. Imagine just how daunting that task can be! Fortunately, with the advent of online home improvement stores, such as Lowes Home Improvement Store, you do not have to go through all this burden any longer.

Plus, there is just so much good that can come from shopping from online home improvement stores. Imagine how convenient it would be to just click your mouse from item to item. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about having enough cash on your person because online home improvement stores allow you to use your debit or credit card. Of course, you would have to worry about paying the items that you buy off, especially when you choose to use your credit card. Still, there is much convenience when you do not have to have enough cash at the moment.

Another huge advantage that these online stores have over the physical stores is the fact that the items you purchase are delivered right to your very doorstep. Yes, this feature might be offered by physical stores, but this may mean extra charges for delivery. With online stores, however, delivery is almost always offered for free so there just might be no need to worry about such charges anymore. This way, the only budgeting you will prepare for would pertain to the items that you need to buy. And when it comes to effort, the only effort you would have to exert pertains to the projects themselves.

One common worry that discourages customers from doing business with online home improvement stores is that they are worried that the stores would not have the merchandise that they need. Since it’s an online store, then you cannot expect it to have all the supplies you need, right? Wrong. This is because even the huge stores in the market have joined the bandwagon already when it comes to operating online stores. As mentioned above, Lowes Home Improvement Store has already opened its online store for its customers. Home Depot is another store that has realized the advantages that come with online shopping.

And if that is not enough, online home improvement stores also offer assistance or support 24/7. If you have questions about a certain tool, you can easily click on links provided on the website. An associate will then handle your queries in no time.