How old do you need to be to work at home depot

How To Avoid Choosing The Wrong Lock At Home Depot

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

You need a new lock. Maybe you need a few. Chances are you are going to go to a big box store in your local area. And there is a good chance that the store you end up at will be Home Depot. So you park your car and walk into the warehouse size store. Then what? What are you looking for? There are all kinds of locks all over the store. Some look very different than others. Do you just need to find your same type of lock you already have and be on your way? How do I know what is good and what isn’t? In this post, we will be talking about what you need to look for in your Home Depot lock purchase. Keep in mind that some of the finer points of selection may vary depending on the specific store. To combat that, we have some general information, and some slightly more specific general information. Take your time, and make sure that you don’t rush to a decision that can compromise your security.

You want a good lock. No, you want the best lock you can get. Well, not the best lock, because that one is too expensive. If you don’t care about getting a good lock then you really don’t need a lock at all. But you do care and you do want a lock, so you go down to your local Home Depot. When you are at the store making your decision, there are going to be several things you need to do. Read the fine print, and read between the lines. Some locks will advertise as having a numbered security rating. These types of ratings are ultimately meaningless to the average consumer. The methodology for the third party testing is obscured, and the findings often conflict with the reality of the product’s protection.

When it comes to security, you get what you pay for. A larger initial purchase will almost always ensure a higher level of security. The biggest exception to this trend is when a lock has a bypass that the company refuses to invest in finding a solution for. This could be for many reasons, but the most common is money. A high price can also be deceptive if the product includes electronics. Smart locks are going to be very expensive, but they are not necessarily more secure than a standard manually operated lock. You need to understand what cost is being passed down to you. Ideally, you want to be paying for security pins, solid construction, and stronger materials, because that will decide your level of protection.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Knowing a brand is not the same as knowing that brand’s track record. Unfortunately, brand awareness does not always transfer over to quality. Some of the most “trusted names” in the industry make some very insecure locks. I hesitate to say “the worst” because off brand locks tend to be pretty horrible as well. Schlage is one of the few exceptions to this trend. They are not the best locks, but they offer better hardware construction and picking resistance than a company like Kwikset. If it is not a name you recognize it is for one of two reasons: it is cheap or it is expensive. If it is cheap, then it is most likely made in China with shoddy craftsmanship and weak construction. If it is expensive, look up the brand, but chances are it is a brand whose price makes the locks too exclusive to build brand awareness. Brands like Assa-Abloy, Evva (a nearly unpickable lock), and Medeco are not household names. Mul-T-Lock you may have heard of or, at least, seen the logo, but none of that matters. As we will discuss, it is not about the name, it is about how the particular lock fits your need.

These are the types of locks that will be on the front of your home. Your doorknob (at least on the front door) will be keyed. In addition to a keyed in knob cylinder, you should also have a deadbolt. A deadbolt can either be double sided or single sided. For a front door, it will make sense to have a single sided deadbolt with a thumb turn, this will help increase the effectiveness of your front door security. If you have glass or windows on the door, or in close proximity to it, the best option will be a double sided. Once you have installed a double sided deadbolt you must consider that door a wall. In an emergency situation, it will require the time-consuming task of retrieving a key, preventing any type of quick escape.

  1. Successful Installation – First of all, you want to be able to install the product successfully. You can take care of this yourself or seek the help of a professional. A professional locksmith is always available to help with new lock installations and they will also give you some handy security tips. If you choose to do it yourself, or would simply like to remain informed about the service you are purchasing, take some measurements from you door and locks. If you currently have a mortise lock on your front door, then you will most likely want another mortise. If you plan to change from one lock type to another, be sure that you understand the work that is required. To keep with the mortise example, if you want to change to a keyed in knob cylinder you will need to fill in the pocket of drilled out wood.
  2. Save Money Without Compromising Quality – The best way to make sure you are not breaking the bank, but you are still getting the best product, is research. Product comparison will help get to the root of why a particular lock is more expensive than another. Beyond product comparison, find out what you really need. If the bolt work is functioning perfectly, then you may only need a new cylinder. A new cylinder will be cheaper than buying all new hardware. This also goes for installing the product yourself. Self-installation is a good way to save money if you have the time and skills necessary for the job.
  3. Practical Security – The lock should not be so easy to pick that anyone that has seen a video on raking can open it. The level of pick resistance is dependent on how big of a threat you believe lock picking methods are in the area you are installing the lock. When it comes to hardware, the metal should be strong, and the construction should be solid. The heaviness of the device will be a good indication of both those factors (the heavier the better). That goes for the lock as well as the strike plate that your bolts will extend into. You do not want your lock being defeated by a single well-placed kick.
  4. Research – Where you get your information from is very important. Look for video documentation. If you can see the product being used in real time, then that is a good sign. Better yet, if the lock is taken apart, you can trust that the review is accurate. For documentation of the locks internals, search the lock you are interested in and the term “gutting” or “gutted”. This is often used for describing the process of taking apart the lock, and may be used in conjunction with a picking attempt. Finding videos of professionals rekeying locks will also provide you with visuals on the lock’s internal workings. Try and find a video of the product being installed as well, to gauge how difficult it may be.
  1. Choosing Price Over Quality – You do not want to choose the cheapest lock on the grounds of it being the cheapest lock. This mindset will ensure that you are not getting the best lock for your home. It is fine to try and save money, but this should not be the end goal. The end goal should be to have effective security protocols in place. The price point is a plus, and may be a factor, but it is not a good deciding factor.
  2. Mixing Purposes – The lock that you buy should be for practical application or picking practice, and never both. Choosing your application is very important because picking the lock (or attempting to) over and over will weaken the mechanism.
  3. Bad Information – If you are buying a product because you saw an advertisement for it, then chances are the information you received was biased in favor of the company. If the employee that is selling you the product, cannot answer a question without looking at the box, then chances are they are not the expert you need. If they are only referring to the box for specific information, then this is not a red flag. Knowing a bit of information ahead of time will help you determine who is misleading you. When you are being lead astray, it may be the result of an honest attempt to help, and the person may not understand that they are misinformed. Bad information is not always malicious.

A padlock is historically defined by its ability to be removed from what it is securing. Nowadays a padlock can be recognized by a shackle and a lock body. They may have a dial, a wheel combination, or keyway, but a padlock is a padlock. If you can take the lock with you after you open it, then you have a padlock. The type you want will depend on what it is you are securing. There are all kinds of things to consider based on your personal needs.

  1. Fit to Size – The most important knowledge you need for buying the right padlock is what you will be using it for. Measure the distance you have to reach in order to secure the lock. You want the closed shackle to be tight around whatever type of hasp, or similar securing point, the lock will be placed on.
  2. A Strong Support – If this lock is going to go around a chain, hasp, etc. you want to those items to be as strong as your lock. A weak support system for your padlock will undercut the effectiveness of your lock. Also, take a look at what your chain or hasp is secured to. The anchor points, whether they are posts or gates, must also be secure.
  3. A Fairly Priced Lock – In this case, “fair” will depend on what type of item is being secured. For example, the padlock on a child’s bike does not need to be as expensive as the lock on a vintage Harley Davidson. The more you spend, the better the padlock is going to be (within the confines of the lock manufacturer’s ability). For something you really want to keep the minimum price you should spend on a padlock is around $100. [FIND OUT IF THAT IS EVEN POSSIBLE AT HOME DEPOT].
  4. Ball Bearings – You can tell if a padlock has ball bearings by opening the shackle and looking for circular grooves. The packaging might also mention if the product has ball bearings. Ball bearings afford you protection against shimming, which is a bypass method that anyone can perform with an aluminum can and a pair of scissors.
  5. Drill Protection – Drill protection will vary in effectiveness, depending on the material that is used. The bare minimum protection is hardened steel. This steel can be used on an anti drill plate, or pins in the lock. The idea is that the material which is “anti drill” will be harder than most basic drill bits so that these attacks will glance off the lock.
  6. Cutting Protection – For cutting attack protection you need, at the lowest security, hardened steel. Better than that is some form of alloy. And still better than that is an alloy with ceramic inserts. This type of protection should be used in the shackle as well as the lock body. Using a shroud will also help to protect the shackle. A shroud can be located protruding from the lock body to cover the sides of the shackle.
  7. Weather Resistance – If the lock is going to be left outdoors for long periods of time and exposed to different temperatures/weather, it is a good idea to purchase something with weather resistance. This may come in the form of a plastic casing, drain holes, etc. If there is the danger of dust and dirt being kicked up into the lock you may also want something with keyway shielding.
  1. A General Purpose Lock – Attempting to purchase a general use padlock is a good way to harm your security. Nonspecific plans will get you a lock that leaves you unprepared. A shackle that is too short will not close, and will therefore not secure your possession. If the shackle is too long this will give a thief leverage to attack the lock, chain, or hasp more directly. The easier it is to directly attack your security, the worse your security is.
  2. Cheap Locks – Padlocks that are cheap are cheap for a reason. That reason is the company has not invested in the types of protections that a sturdy padlock needs. That is still no excuse. Most big name lock manufacturers could decrease their profit margins to allow for better quality locks, but this is not what they do. Low prices, especially with padlocks, means low security.
  3. Redundant Models – If you are going to be using more than one padlock, do not get duplicate models. Once a weakness is found in one of your locks, this can be exploited to defeat the rest of your security. Even if you believe that you have found the single greatest lock in the world, using two of them does very little for your security. Variety in your security is a much stronger than repetition.

When you first go into Home Depot it can be overwhelming. The store is as large as a warehouse. Things are also very spread out. There are two different lock sections. Lock cylinders, keys, rekeying sets, latch bolts, and padlocks are all in one aisle with the key cutter. The sign details that there is cabinet hardware, nails, and locksets. If you are looking for door locks, you can stumble upon any of the three brand specific displays. There is one for Kwikset, Schlage, and Defiant. Each section only has that one style of lock with a set of knobs and a deadbolt. They may have a couple finishes to choose from, but other than that you will need to go to the door section if you want a bit more choice. And I do mean a bit more. When you get to the door section you will be introduced to the option to purchase some electronic locks and smart locks. The only new brand this discovery will afford you is Baldwin. We also start to see quite a few SmartKey cylinders from Kwikset.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

I can not stress this enough, DO NOT purchase a Kwikset lock with a SmartKey cylinder. You may have seen some propaganda commercials on the internet where locksmiths try and pick the SmartKey. It is hard to pick, no doubt. Bumping it is also very difficult (I have yet to see documentation of a successful bumping attack). But there are simpler ways to overcome these locks with no knowledge of how the mechanics work. With just a key blank, a screwdriver, a hammer, and a pair of vice grips and you can open any door with this lock. This warning extends to the Kevo, which despite having a display for, there was not even a section I could find where they stock it.

At this point, we have four brands to choose from. There are some electronic locks, but other than that the choice is to buy one of these brands as a deadbolt, keyed knob, or both. Out of the selection, it comes down to Schlage and Baldwin. Don’t get me wrong, both of these locks are not great. In fact, they are pretty far away from the security of something like Mul-T-Lock, Evva, or Medeco. Both use Schlage keyways, and though Baldwin used to have a better reputation for better high-low bitting on their keys, that has fallen out of the present and into lock and security history. In the hierarchy, there is a pretty close tie between Schlage and Baldwin, then Kwikset is worse, and then Defiant is going to the lowest quality. When I talk about quality I am talking about the construction of the hardware and the security of the cylinder. If you just pick up a Schlage and a Kwikset you can feel the weight difference. The extra weight you feel in the Schlage is solid construction with metal components. The Kwikset uses less metal, and in the case of the SmartKey, plastic.

In order to bring these low prices to the general consumers, cuts need to be made somewhere. When it comes to security, cuts are bad news to the person seeking protection. Less metal. Less, and in most cases, no security pins. The level of intricacy in the cylinders is inconsequential if not nonexistent. The amount of attention paid to the biting will decrease. Also, pay attention to keyed alike codes. Take two Kwikset doorknobs for example. One on the right, and the other on the left. I pick up both and find that they have the exact same key code. This is done for customer convenience. If you want all your locks keyed the same (bad move), then it is simple to find some with the same keys. More bad news for you is that anyone buying a lock that day has a pretty fair chance of ending up with the same key you have. As unfortunate as this may all seem, it is still important for people like new homeowners to look into having their locks changed or rekeyed.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

When it comes to padlocks you have far fewer options than you do with door locks. In all, you have two choices, “Master Lock or no lock at all”. It is by far the most difficult choice to make. On one hand you will have no protection, and on the other hand, you can save money by not buying a lock. To answer your question, “Yes. Master Lock is that bad.” Much like the door lock section, all they have is the cheap stuff. Unfortunately, the cheap stuff is the most insecure stuff. Whether you are getting the most expensive locks, which are the truck door lock and the mounted lock box, these things are pretty terrible. And in terms of price variation, Master mainly offers varying amounts of Master padlocks. This is another bad idea. If you get 5 of the same lock, then there is no diversity in your security. The same attack that works on one lock will work on all of them. For something you really care about, you want to spend at least $75 to $100 dollars on the padlock protecting it. Out of what they had at Home Depot nothing even came close to the quality that would deserve that price, and Master Lock agreed because the most expensive lock was under $30.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

If you bought your lock from Home Depot, then Home Depot can cut you a key. I will give it to them that they have quite a diverse selection of key styles. And when I say key styles I am only talking about the images on the keys. In terms of the graphics you can have on the key, there is everything from Frozen to M&M’s. In terms of the keyways, they fit Kwikset and Schlage. Their key machine shows a car key (for replacing car keys) and a house key, and it is a code machine, so this leads me to believe that it can cut car keys (I could not find anyone to ask). My speculation would be if it does cut car keys, then I would guess you need to have purchased the proper key blank because I did not see any car blanks around (they may keep them locked up). Kind of hidden in that section there are rekey sets. These are perfect for rekeying a Schlage or a Kwikset lock. You will need a different set depending on the brand. With these kits, you have instructions, new keys, new pins, and the proper tools.

In the same section as keys and padlocks, there is all the other miscellaneous lock gear. There are sets that will strengthen your door, replacement rim cylinders, latch bolts, and mortise cylinders. In the case of the store, I went to, if you can’t find it in this section then they don’t have it. The organization can be pretty overwhelming. Everything is just kind of on top of everything else. Upon really analyzing it, the organization is not that crazy. There are all kinds of different latches right above peepholes, which are right above strike plates. It is very much the additional lock supplies section. There are products that would add more protection to your doors, or at the very least the appearance of more protection. The so-called chain door guards are not going to stay intact after a firm kick, but a rubber band can also do the trick. The U-bar latch is also pretty insecure, and the hardware securing plate they have is made out of brass. Brass lines up on the Rockwell hardness scale with aluminum and soft steel, so it is fine but not great. Anything you get from this section is going to give you a minor addition to security. The cylinders will save you money, as long as you don’t care about having a very low-security cylinder. Overall this was very underwhelming.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

In my experience, and this might be a regional thing, the only task that is harder than finding employees is an employee that can answer your question. In the case of this particular excursion I was looking for mortise cylinders. I had found rim cylinders in the Miscellaneous section next to the padlocks, but I wanted an image of their mortise cylinders. I knew they had them because I had bought one just a month ago. However, when I was buying it, a colleague of mine had brought it to me, so I did not see where he got it. Spectacularly there was a gentleman who saw my confusion and frustration and he asked if he could help me. I asked where the mortise cylinders were. He needed further information. I explained that it was a replacement cylinder for a mortise lock. This did not help, so I explained that a mortise lock often has the bolt work in a rectangular box and fits into a pre-made pocket, or mortise, in a door. The cylinder was the locking mechanism that used a rotating cam as an actuator for the bolt work. It was also threaded, unlike a standard rim cylinder. I explained that if there was a section with mortise locks then that would most likely be where the cylinders are. This prompted him to take me over to the hinge section of the isle. He handed me a square corner flush bolt.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

As you can imagine these are not at all similar. I can only imagine what he would have given me if I had less information to give him. No, I did not want a bolt at all. After asking me to tell him if I found it because he would like to know what it is, this man left. I returned to the section where I had found the rim cylinder and was so sure it should be there. It was. It had been staring me right in the face. The packaging obscured what it was, but clearly said mortise cylinder lock. So in all, very overwhelming presentation to the point where an employee looking over my shoulder could not help me. I never found that employee again. I would have liked to show him what I was talking about, as well as ask him some questions about the key machine. Would he have been able to answer my questions? Well, I had a friend that asked him if the “Laserkey” used lasers to cut the keys. The man said, “Yes.” The correct answer is, “No.” There are no key cutters that I am aware of that use actual lasers. I am not sure where you can find answers in Home Depot, so if you have any questions go ahead and ask them in the comments section below.

After really considering your options and finding out exactly what you need, there is a good chance that you will be leaving Home Depot empty handed. But do not let that get you down. Leaving with nothing is much better than buying something that doesn’t really help you. Be sure that you do find the equipment you need (there is always the internet). I would love to know what types of locks people are finding at their Home Depots, and exactly how much of a difference location makes to your selection. Hopefully, you were able to find some useful insights in this post. For any specific questions, feel free to leave a comment below. If you ever need any help with lock installation and/or damaged lock repair, never hesitate in contacting United Locksmith directly. Other than that, we have Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr to keep you up to date on the most recent Lock Blog posts. Alright, enough will the shameless self-promotion that everyone stopped reading about three plugs ago. Take your time, and make the right decision.

All I Wanted Was a 10% Veteran Discount at Home Depot and Here’s What Happened

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

While the title of this article sounds like I got screwed over as a Veteran at Home Depot, quite the opposite is true.

Today I’ll be walking through my adventures with the Veterans Administration when I attempted to obtain a VA ID so that I could get a 10% Veterans discount at Home Depot. Granted, my reasoning for obtaining one isn’t the most valid reason, but it’s honestly what finally got me into the VA to get one made.

It’s a fairly comical story and one I thought everyone might enjoy hearing. In this, I also hope my details will help fellow Veterans that might not be “in the system.” You’re going to hear that term quite a bit too, as it’s caused me to smack my head quite a few times in dealing with my local VA.

When I heard that both Home Depot and Lowe’s offer a 10% discount to Veterans, I inquired to to find out more. My wife and I are homeowners and like many of you in the same boat, you probably have the same love/hate relationship with your local home improvement store that I do. On one hand, it’s exciting to look at all the eye candy there, envisioning what you can do to upgrade your home.

On the other hand, when something breaks, which it always does when you own your own home, you wind up at your local home improvement store covered in dirt and grime. You walk up and down multiple isles as fast as possible trying to find the repair part you need. Despite walking these same isles for 10 years, you still can’t find crap and wind up having to walk even more to track down a sales associate. Just me?

I digress, back to the ID situation. When inquiring with these home improvement stores about their discount, I obviously had to prove I was a Veteran to get the discount. Cool, so I’ll just finally get off my butt and go down to the VA and grab an ID. I’m in the system with the Texas VA and every few years they schedule appointments with me to verify my status.

Just to fill in a bit more on the backstory, I was medically separated from the Navy about 10 years ago due to my disability, which if you read my bio here on the ITS Crew page, it was the result of a diving accident while I was at BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.) Anyhow, I went through TAPs (Transitional Assistance Program) during my out processing, where they go through all the Veterans benefits available to you after being separated.

There’s a dedicated section of the course that helps you register with the local VA office in your home state. This is done to ensure you have a local VA to go to for checkup appointments, etc. I mention all this to say again that I was in the system. I’ll save you the details during this spot in the article where I complain about getting a severance when they medically separated me and then had to pay it back with my disability benefits, which I didn’t receive in full until that repayment was satisfied.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Apart from attending my regularly required appointments, I really never had a reason to visit the VA for medical care. My wife and I have always had our own insurance policy, but this recently changed due to the exorbitant costs of the so called “Affordable” Health Care Act. This being the case, I figured I’d go ahead and inquire about my options for VA healthcare while I was picking up my shiny new VA ID.

I’d received a booklet months back that went over all the VA benefits, including instructions on how to apply for a VA ID. This included a document to download, complete and bring down to your local VA when applying. I followed the instructions, filled out the form and finally got off my butt to drive over to the VA and grab an ID. Easy, right?

Here’s the deal, nothing is ever easy with the VA. Efficient? Maybe, but never easy. There’s no way to make an appointment for an ID, you have to just walk in. I knew my day could potentially be derailed by my VA visit, but I didn’t know just how ridiculous it could be.

I stopped by the information desk and inquired about where I needed to go to apply for an ID, luckily it was within 10 yards of the information desk, so no big deal. I glanced at the waiting area and only saw three people sitting there. Relieved, I was handed an electronic number puck like you get at a restaurant. I thought to myself, “man, how efficient!” Maybe things were changing for the better at the VA. I quickly realized the puck had a label maker number on it and it was non-functioning. Regardless, I took a seat and hoped it would be a quick process.

Much to my dismay, out of the four available windows to help people at, there was only one with a VA employee sitting behind it. I hoped that with just three people in front of me, it wouldn’t take too long. I spied another employee with a clipboard speaking with two of the three people ahead of me and realized they were together. Great! Only two people were ahead of me now.

The woman with the clipboard moved over to the other gentleman sitting down waiting and I overheard her ask him for the number on the electronic puck. She copied it down on her clipboard with the reason for his visit and instead of moving over to take down my info, she went up to the window to speak with the lone employee behind it.

After 20 minutes of conversation between these two women and no one having been called up yet, I started to get impatient. The clipboard employee worked her way back over to the group of us, which had now grown to another three people that had come in after me. She stopped at one of these people and ran through her questions again with them. I assumed the order she was writing everyone down in had something to do with the order people would be called up in and I got even more impatient. I stood up and walked over to her to make sure my info made it onto the clipboard.

It took another 10 minutes for the woman behind the window to call up the first person in line and there’s no telling how long he’d already been there. After a grand total of 50 minutes since my arrival, I was finally called up.

I presented the paperwork to apply for my ID and I was asked if I was in the system. Yes, I said. I’ve been to a couple of appointments over the past few years, but it’s been awhile. After a quick scan of her computer monitor, she said that I wasn’t in the system. I let her know that there must be some mistake. I’d been out for around 10 years and know that I’m registered with the VA. I’ve had appointments and get regular mail from the VA.

“Well, that’s not the same as being in our system,” the employee told me. “We’ll have to get you added to our system here before you’ll be able to get an ID. Please fill out this form and we can get you entered.” I didn’t mention it before, but I’d done my due diligence and brought the two forms of ID required to apply for a VA ID and luckily, this is what she asked for next to add me into the system. However, she told me she also needed a copy of my DD-214 before she could finish entering me into the system.

So let me get this straight, I told her. Your local VA system you’re accessing there can’t tell you there’s a Veteran attached to the social security number I just provided you? No, she said. That’s why we need a copy of your DD-214. Deflated, I said that I’d have to bring that back in. She promptly handed me back all my paperwork and said, no problem, just bring this all back in with your DD-214 and we’ll get you added in then.

  • Lesson 1: You’re not eligible for care at your local VA until you’re in their system.
  • Lesson 2: You need a copy of your DD-214 for your local VA, even if you’re already registered with the VA.

I left the VA, drove home, grabbed a copy of my DD-214, drove back, grabbed another non-functioning electronic number, took a seat and waited to be called up again. Now 3 hours into the process, including drive time, I visited the lone open window again. “Hi,” I said. “I was just here a bit ago and here’s my application to get added to the system, along with my DD-214 and two forms of ID.” “Sure,” she said. “Let me get all this entered for you.” I breathed a sigh of relief and was glad to finally be getting somewhere.

“Ok, I’ve got you added in,” she said. “When would you like to schedule your appointments?” Wait. Appointments? I just need an ID. I knew I wanted to inquire about healthcare at the VA, but one thing at a time, I came here for an ID. After fielding that question to the woman behind the window, she let me know that my entry into the system would take at least a week and that until that was complete, I wouldn’t be able to apply for an ID.

Great, considering this new information I went ahead and said that I’d like to go ahead and book the appointment she’d mentioned as long as I’d have to come back a third time. She quickly reminded me that it was two appointments. The first was blood work that would have to be done at least a week in advance of the next appointment, which was an initial visit with a primary care provider.

I went ahead and booked these two appointments and figured that I’d just finish my ID application after my blood work on that first appointment date. Multiple trips and hours later, I still didn’t have my VA ID. Cheer up buttercup, you’re almost in the system!

  • Lesson 1: You’re not eligible for care at your local VA until you’re in their system.
  • Lesson 2: You need a copy of your DD-214 for your local VA, even if you’re already registered with the VA.
  • Lesson 3: Once your info is added to your local VA system, it takes a week for it to actually be in the system.
  • Lesson 4: Two appointments are required to make your addition to your local VA official. Blood work and a Primary Care Provider appointment.

A week later, I started to receive local VA paperwork in the mail concerning my upcoming appointments. A third appointment had now been added that I never scheduled. This was a patient information class that would apparently introduce me to my local VA. This was of course scheduled at an inconvenient time and would need to be changed. I looked through my paperwork and found a phone number for my local VA to call to change this date. After about 45 minutes of getting transferred and lost in phone queue hell, I abandoned my quest.

A day before my scheduled first appointment, which I never scheduled, I received an automated call from the VA reminding me of my appointment. Much to my dismay, this message didn’t include a way to cancel or reschedule, just the addition of needing to be responsible and cancel if needed, so that another Veteran could use that appointment slot. Needless to say I missed this appointment and despite trying to call back yet again, I wasn’t able to figure out how to reschedule.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

When my first actual scheduled appointment approached, I read over the instruction on my reminder, which said, “you have been scheduled for pre-appointment testing. If you are scheduled for fasting labs, nothing to eat or drink for at least 8 hours prior to these tests.” No one said anything about fasting labs, so do I fast? The day before my appointment I received a nice call from a VA employee reminding me of said appointment. I have to say, it was nice to actually receive a call from a human being, instead of the automated message. I asked the man on the phone if I was required to fast before my blood work and he apologized, saying that he’s just told who to remind about what appointment and didn’t have any details for me.

I decided to fast anyway, just in case. Considering how everything else had gone up until now, I didn’t need to get to my blood work appointment and find out it couldn’t be done because I hadn’t fasted. When I finally arrived for my appointment, I passed the area where I’d be going after this to finish my VA ID application and noticed that there was more than one person working behind the windows today. Awesome.

Upon entering the area to get my blood work done, I approached the desk and showed the VA employee my appointment paperwork. He then asked if I had a VA ID, which he’d need to check me in. “No,” I said. “I don’t have one yet.” “You really need to get that taken care of,” he said as he handed me a slip of paper to write my name and social security number on. I’m still baffled that after all these years and rampant identity theft, the military (and subsequently the VA) still uses social security numbers. My paper was clipped to a plastic number and I was told to have a seat. I wondered where that piece of paper would wind up and hoped it would be a shredder.

Nestled amongst a sea of Veterans that had to number at least 50, I sighed at the long wait I knew was ahead of me. Surprisingly, the wait was only 10 minutes, which impressed the hell out of me. I walked back to the nurse who was drawing blood and asked if I had needed to fast for this. She said “yes, fasting is always required before blood work.” I mentioned that that was never clear to me, but I’d done it anyway. After an acknowledgement that I’d chosen wisely, she pierced my skin to start the blood flow.

After the harvesting, my arm bandaged with way too much coban for one man and I was handed a urine test jar. “Ok, just head down the hall to the bathroom and bring this back to me when you’re done.” This was news to me, I certainly didn’t ever get the notice that I should be ready to take a leak when I got here. This was apparently by design to be a surprise drug test too, I gathered. I purposely hadn’t drank any liquids since going to sleep the evening before to comply with the fasting instructions and hoped I could perform under pressure.

She attached that slip of paper I’d reluctantly written my social security number on to the test jar and asked, “do you have a VA ID?” After she saw the look on my face and my head shaking, she said, “you should really get that done, it will make things much easier around here.”

I was presented with two unisex bathroom doors to choose from and checked the handle on the one I approached to see if it was unlocked. I entered to find a fellow Veteran give me a scowl as he grumbled that he was in there. Geez, I thought to myself, lock the door man. The other bathroom was unoccupied and and I closed the door and reached for the lock, I found that there wasn’t one. Great, not only do I have to hope I can pee in a cup, but I have to do it with the possibility of someone barging in on me like I’d just done to the other guy.

Luckily, for some crazy reason, I had no issues filling the cup. After practicing good hygiene, I brought my cup back to the nurse and was told I was good to go. As I passed the lobby on my way out, I realized why I’d been seen so quickly, despite the crowd of Veterans that had clearly been there before me. I noticed many of them with cups in their hands, obviously sitting there waiting on that magic urge to pee. Phew, that could have been me.

Feeling great for being able to control my bladder, I strode back over to ID desk and silently cheered on the inside when I saw no one waiting. I approached the window and let the gentleman behind it know that I’d like to get an ID made. He stopped me mid-sentence and said that I’d have to go get a number from the information desk. I did the “glance back” body language motion letting him know that it seemed a bit ridiculous, considering I was the only one there. He non-verbally let me know that he didn’t care and I walked over to grab a number staring at the top of my eyelids.

Non-functioning electronic number in hand, I reapproached the window and handed it off. “What can I help you with?” I’d like to get an ID made, I said. “Here’s my paperwork and my two forms of ID.” One was my driver’s license and the other was my voter’s registration card, which according to the worksheet listing forms of ID to bring, was as an acceptable form of secondary ID.

After looking over my paperwork and getting help with how to enter the correct number from my voter registration card into the system, the man helping me said. “That’s it, let’s just take your photo and you should get your ID card in the mail within two weeks.” This was it, I thought. I was done. When the flash went off on the camera, I distinctly remember trying to smile, but what came out was clearly an expression that tells the story of my experience.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

As I write this, I’ve just returned from my second scheduled appointment with the primary care physician and of course, it was a real doozy. First, let’s recap again.

  • Lesson 1: You’re not eligible for care at your local VA until you’re in their system.
  • Lesson 2: You need a copy of your DD-214 for your local VA, even if you’re already registered with the VA.
  • Lesson 3: Once your info is added to your local VA system, it takes a week for it to actually be in the system.
  • Lesson 4: Two appointments are required to make your addition to your local VA official. Blood work and a Primary Care Provider appointment.
  • Lesson 5: Always assume you need to fast before your blood work, even if it’s not clear.
  • Lesson 6: Despite not being able to drink any liquids for 8 hours before your blood work, you’ll still need to be able to pee in a cup.
  • Lesson 7: Don’t forget your two forms of ID when you go back to get your VA ID made.
  • Lesson 8: Smile for the camera.

My local VA has extremely efficient appointment check-in machines staged throughout the center, which I can now use, thanks to my shiny new VA ID that arrived in record time. Seriously, I was impressed. It took less than a week to get it.

After a quick check-in, confirming my details and walking over to the clinic where I’d be seen, I was already being called back. How about that! I met with a nurse first who took my vitals (blood pressure, temperature and also oxygen saturation using a pulse oximeter.)

A few questions later, many which I assumed tested for depression, PTSD and some other things, I was ushered over to my primary care physician. He was awesome and we had a lot in common to talk about. We went over my blood work and talked about my overall health, etc. In all it equated to a check-up in my mind and went extremely well.

I inquired with him about what I needed to do to set up future appointments and he said that he’d go ahead and schedule something for me in about 9 months, but the typical procedure was to make an appointment with the nurse of your primary care provider. So my question was of course, can I get the number to your nurse so I have it? “Oh,” he said. “I probably won’t be your primary care provider, but I could be, that’s assigned to you within about two weeks.” That makes complete sense, right. Rather than actually meet with who would be my primary care provider, the VA randomly assigns these appointments to whoever they can. Apparently there’s also no way to request a specific PCP, at least at my local VA. Bummer, I liked this guy.

The doctor also mentioned that if I should ever go to the hospital, I need to tell them immediately that I’m a Veteran and the center I’m “in the system” at. The hospital will then stabilize me if it’s life threatening and contact the VA to transfer me. He said that the local VA hospitals are often so full that they’ll authorize care where you’re at, but if you don’t mention the VA, you’re liable for your bills once they start working on you. Makes me want to hang a VA dog tag around my neck, just in case I can’t talk when I’m brought in. Seriously.

Back to that appointment in 9 months. I asked if that was necessary, considering I’m in good health. I didn’t feel like it was right to eat up an appointment slot, just because. I remembered the phone message telling me not to waste an appointment and to remember the others potentially waiting for my spot.

The doctor said that if you’re not seen every two years at your local VA, they’ll delete you from the system and you’d have to go through everything I’d just gone through with blood work and a PCP appointment all over again.

Wait, so the VA, who is known to be so busy that Veterans have to wait months to get seen, is telling me that I need to make sure I come in every two years, just to make sure I retain my status as a patient? That seems a little counterintuitive and extremely inefficient.

My appointment was fairly uneventful after that point, but I was still in disbelief about the whole two-year thing.

  • Lesson 1: You’re not eligible for care at your local VA until you’re in their system.
  • Lesson 2: You need a copy of your DD-214 for your local VA, even if you’re already registered with the VA.
  • Lesson 3: Once your info is added to your local VA system, it takes a week for it to actually be in the system.
  • Lesson 4: Two appointments are required to make your addition to your local VA official. Blood work and a Primary Care Provider appointment.
  • Lesson 5: Always assume you need to fast before your blood work, even if it’s not clear.
  • Lesson 6: Despite not being able to drink any liquids for 8 hours before your blood work, you’ll still need to be able to pee in a cup.
  • Lesson 7: Don’t forget your two forms of ID when you go back to get your VA ID made.
  • Lesson 8: Smile for the camera.
  • Lesson 9: You may think your initial primary care provider appointment is with your primary care provider, but it’s not. They’ll pick that for you later.
  • Lesson 10: Always tell a hospital you might wind up at that you’re a Veteran and which center you’re “in the system” at. If you don’t, you’ll be footing the bill.
  • Lesson 11: You have to get seen at your local VA center once every two years to maintain your status there, or risk going through the whole process all over again.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

I’d like to preface this section with one thing, the VA is indeed efficient in many areas. They’ll efficiently tell you to come back with your DD-214 and efficiently remind you that you need to get your ID made, but efficiency and speed are inversely proportionate at the VA. They also need help with their communication when it comes to written instructions, but I digress.

You may think that because of my documented experiences with the VA that I’m bitter or just a dick. I may be both, but I believe it or not I really like the VA. I love all they do for Veterans and no one is perfect, especially me. There’s things they need to work on, but overall I respect those that work for the VA and very much appreciate what I perceive to be a different level of care from the doctors there.

What I mean is that in the private sector, doctors seem to be bought off by drug companies and care more for their bottom line than for the care of their patients. Now these are only my opinions, as they’ve been in many areas of this article, but my experience with VA doctors has always been that they don’t operate like civilian doctors. They don’t appear to push the latest and greatest medication from the highest bidder, or measure their success at how quickly they can jump from one patient to the next.

I could be wrong, but that’s my perception from seeing what I have of VA doctors and those that work for the VA system. It’s an epidemic these days that medication seems to be the answer to everything. Drug companies have invaded every form of media available, telling you why you should remember their name and request their product if you exhibit the signs and symptoms. Nevermind those pesky side effects like anal leakage.

It’s damn near self medicating. People hear all about a new drug and think, “yeah, I need that.” I personally can’t stand those commercials and think they do more harm than good.

Overall, I’m thrilled that I’m in “the system” and now know that I’ll need to keep up what could be useless appointments every two years to retain my status. At least my VA ID is good until 2026 and provided I stay in the system, I won’t have to mess with the process again until I’m 47 and it’s time to renew it. I can’t wait to learn all about how to do that.

I’ll add one more lesson learned, just to bring the list to 12. I’m sure many of you out there have VA stories, both positive and negative. If you have the time, leave them in the comments. Hopefully they’ll help others, like I hope my story has.

  • Lesson 1: You’re not eligible for care at your local VA until you’re in their system.
  • Lesson 2: You need a copy of your DD-214 for your local VA, even if you’re already registered with the VA.
  • Lesson 3: Once your info is added to your local VA system, it takes a week for it to actually be in the system.
  • Lesson 4: Two appointments are required to make your addition to your local VA official. Blood work and a Primary Care Provider appointment.
  • Lesson 5: Always assume you need to fast before your blood work, even if it’s not clear.
  • Lesson 6: Despite not being able to drink any liquids for 8 hours before your blood work, you’ll still need to be able to pee in a cup.
  • Lesson 7: Don’t forget your two forms of ID when you go back to get your VA ID made.
  • Lesson 8: Smile for the camera.
  • Lesson 9: You may think your initial primary care provider appointment is with your primary care provider, but it’s not. They’ll pick that for you later.
  • Lesson 10: Always tell a hospital you might wind up at that you’re a Veteran and which center you’re “in the system” at. If you don’t, you’ll be footing the bill.
  • Lesson 11: You have to get seen at your local VA center once every two years to maintain your status there, or risk going through the whole process all over again.
  • Lesson 12: Efficiency and speed are inversely proportionate at the VA.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

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5 Surprising Ways to Save Money at Home Depot

When it comes to DIY, you head to the behemoth home-improvement retailer for anything and everything you could possibly need. But all those tools and paint and chic coffee tables (yep, Home Depot sells furniture, too) can really start to add up. Here, five things to keep in mind if you want to save.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Check to See If You Can Rent (Versus Buy) the Tools

That pressure washer you need to deep clean the deck at the end of the summer? Instead of buying one, consider renting for a fraction of the cost thanks to Home Depot’s tool-rental program (by the hour, day or week). You’ll find everything from lawn mowers to generators, all available to rent so you don’t have to shell out big bucks for a onetime use. Just visit the rental section, plug in your zip code and the amount of time you’ll need to use the tool to see your options. (FYI, it's $41 to rent a pressure washer for the day versus $260 to buy.)

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Sign Up for Home Depot Text Message Alerts

All you have to do is plug in your mobile number to instantly receive a coupon for $5 off your next purchase of $50 or more. You’ll also receive up to ten texts a month including more special promotions and offers to help you save. And don’t worry, opting out is as easy as replying with the word “STOP.9rdquo; (If only the same tactic worked on your mother-in-law.)

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Subscribe to the “Special Buy of the Day” Email List

Here’s how it works: You input your email address. That’s it. Once a day, you get an email about a hot ticket Home Depot item (everything from hardwood flooring to state-of-the-art grills) that’s on sale for one day only. If the item isn’t relevant to anything you’re trying to DIY, no problem—hit delete. But if it is something already on your shopping list for an upcoming project, you just saved yourself major bucks.

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Never Forget to Peep the Rebate Center

Say you’re planning to buy a programmable thermostat. Before you walk in the door (or pop online) to shop, it’s worth checking out Home Depot’s online rebate center to see any discounts that might apply. Simply plug in the brand, product and your zip code to search for cash-back offers. (For example, some states offer $75 off that programmable thermostat since it helps you be more energy efficient.)

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Or Do Your Research on Its Offer to Price Match

All hail stores with price matching. In this department, Home Depot kicks things up a notch: If you can find an item from a competitor (think: Lowe’s) for less and it’s available to ship to your location, Home Depot will not only match the price; it'll take an additional 10 percent off. (Some restrictions apply.)

Home Depot Jobs – Come And Get ‘Em!

There are so many companies out there that offer great opportunities, even now during a tough economy. If you are in work limbo right about now and are searching for stable employment, then you should really look into Home Depot jobs . If you are selected to work for this top-notch company, you will never regret it. In fact, you may never want to leave!

Home Depot jobs offer folks the chance to become part of a winning team. Not only will you have the chance to help tons of people with their home needs, but in the process you will learn a lot about home modifications as well. I have one friend that didn’t even know how to install a ceiling fan, who just recently built a tree house for his sons. He learned everything from working at home depot.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Home Depot Jobs

You can get a job with them if you don’t fill out a Home Depot job application . When you do, be sure to sell yourself. Talk yourself up and don’t leave anything open to interpretation. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will right? When you do complete the Home Depot application, put yourself in the position of the person reading it. Are you leaving questions about you unanswered? Are you painting a complete picture of yourself? Are you including all your qualities? Make sure you review it before turning it in to make sure there are no grammatical errors.

I am a firm believer that if you want something bad enough and work hard at it, you will eventually get it. Getting Home Depot jobs is no different. Find out who is hiring and go for it. The worse thing that can happen is that they are not hiring at this moment, but eventually they will. There are many jobs hiring, but I put these at the top of my list!

5 Truths I Learned From The Home Depot

You know what I wish the Home Depot would offer?

Just throwing it out there. Hopefully the PR folks would get a hold of this post and be inspired by this genius idea.

Imagine being a newbie DIYer and they offered “The Home Depot Demystified” tours where everything you need to know about shopping there, along with DIY tips and tricks, would be served up with a 30-minute tour, followed by Happy Hour.

(Okay, no alcohol. Maybe donuts. Yeah….donuts. And coffee).

Because there’s a learning curve to shopping these home improvement stores, don’t you think??

Although I’m not a DIY newbie anymore, I remember those moments of walking in scratching my head, especially when I needed to buy wood, molding, and trim.

So I thought I would share with you a few of those “AHA” moments for those of you that didn’t know these things about shopping home improvement stores, in general.

5 Truths I Learned From The Home Depot

Truth #1: We Can STOP Guessing Which Nuts and Bolts to Buy!

Have you ever needed just ooooonnneee more nut or bolt because you lost one?

It’s happened to me too many times to count! I’ve aimlessly wandered the Screws and Bolts aisle, trying to figure out what size matches, while I had no idea this little thread checker was hanging right on the wall!

You probably walked by it as many times as I have!

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

All you do is bring your nut or bolt from home and check to see which one it threads into properly.

Once you get a match, then you know what size nut or bolt to buy!

No more running back to the store because you bought the wrong size, or wasting money buying 2-3 packs “just in case” one size doesn’t fit!

I found that Amazon sells nut and bolt checkers and thread checkers, so if you own a workshop, getting something like this to hang on your wall would save a lot of hassle in selecting the right size screws and bolts!

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

Truth #2: Wood Isn’t Reeeeeally 4 Inches Wide….

There’s that moment that every DIYer learns the truth:

That a 1″ x 4″ board is not reeeeeally 1 inch thick and 4 inches wide.

Oh no, my friend.

It’s actually only 0.75″ thick and 3.5″ wide!

I did a little Googling for the reason, and found that they list the nominal size, but after the wood gets surfaced and planed to smooth it out, they end up with the following dimensions (aka: the real sizes of wood).

Yep, go on and PIN this chart now, folks. You’ll need it for future reference! I guarantee it.

Sooo…..why does size of wood matter, again….?

Oh, trust me–ahem–it matters to know this!

Especially if you ever have wanted to build something where you’ll need to buy wood and it needs to be a certain dimension.

You may be thinking that 4-inch width is perfect!

……until you get it home and realize it’s really only 3.5″ wide!

Makes a big difference in building and DIY!

Here’s what happened when I realized my own mistake about wood sizing.

Remember when I took my kids’ bookcase that I had found on the side the road and made built-in storage on top of the bookcase?

Well, it turned out super cute.

But I had planned to buy a 1″ x 12″ board, thinking that the 12-inch width would peeeeerfectly fit the 12-inch width on top, right?

I ended up with a piece of wood too short because the 12-inch wide wood was really 11.25″ wide (or maybe it was 11.5″–I can’t remember exactly).

I ended up having to make some adjustments (which worked out better in the end), but still… The frustration of not knowing about wood sizing was quite the learning experience!

Now that you know this, you’ll be all the wiser when headed to the Home Depot!

Truth #3: Dude, Building Furniture Is Expensive!!

I don’t care what anyone tells you–building furniture is not the cheapest route!

The truth is that building furniture is expensive.

Now….when you compare it to buying something brand new from the store–yes, it’s cheaper.

But when you compare it to going to a thrift store and buying a solid wood, high-quality piece of furniture and refinishing it (see my thrift store furniture makeovers), it’s waaaaaayyy more expensive building from scratch!

Most of my furniture pieces I buy from the thrift store cost an average of $20.

But furniture like this bench with storage that I built for my family room, I think it cost about $70 – $80 to make, if not more.

The sheet of oak plywood was $50 alone (. ).

Plus, when you’re making furniture (or even crafts), you have to buy things like iron-on wood veneer edging to finish off the raw edges of the wood. That’s about $10 average.

And don’t forget feet or legs, or any other accessories. Those are not cheap.

You’re looking at over $100 just to make a custom bench or other piece of furniture!

For that price, I can buy probably 3 good pieces of furniture from the thrift store.

Of course, it depends on how fancy you want to get, but generally, building furniture will be more costly than refinishing thrifted furniture!

Doesn’t mean I won’t build more furniture in the future, because I love the creative aspect of building furniture from scatch!

But just like sewing your own clothes (and you know how expensive fabric can be!)–you build furniture because you love it, not because it saves tons of money, right?

It’s good to know this going into it, though.

Truth #4: It’s OKAY to Take Back Stuff for Store Credit!

No, I’m not talking about returning stuff that’s opened and you’ve already used (that would be lame).

I’m talking about the extra pack of rollers you bought that you didn’t use 6 months ago when you painted your kitchen…

…or the two cans of spray paint for a project you never got around to starting.

I bet if you look, you probably have a pile of stuff you bought that you never used from the Home Depot.

Gather it all up and take it back .

They’ve got an awesome return policy. If you used a credit or bank card, they can look up your purchase to make returns easy without a receipt.

If you paid cash and don’t have a receipt, they’ll give you store credit.

And you’d be surprised what I found in my house: a whole bag of stuff I hadn’t used! (That sheet of metal was $20 alone!!).

When I took everything back, you can see here that I got over $170 refunded!

And because of that refund, I was able to afford the crown molding I needed for my cozy family room makeover!

I don’t know if other home improvement stores have that kind of easy return policy, but I love how easy it is to return stuff here!

So don’t be afraid to take things back and buy the stuff you need now!

Truth #5: Even a Newbie Can Find Molding and Trim!

My eyes used to glaze over any time I got anywhere near the lumber department!

I was so confused about choosing molding and trim. I just had no idea!

As many times as I had walked through the Home Depot, I hadn’t noticed this handy dandy little molding display in the lumber section.

Have you ever noticed it?

People that know what they’re doing probably don’t even notice it. They just come and get what they need, and roll out.

But especially for newbies without much experience in picking molding and trim, it would be so confusing trying to figure out what to buy and where to even find it!

How old do you need to be to work at home depot

I was surprised to see that not only were the moldings and trims grouped by CEILING….and DOOR & WINDOW….. (so you buy the right type) but they had the little stickers to tell you which wood bin to find it, and had a little cross-cut of the decorative shape!

Yep….right where they said it would be– BIN B9!

Those labels really made it easy to find the right product.

And not only that, but they even tell you on the label: Use 6D Finish Nail x 2″ (inches)

That’s actually huge to know, especially if you’re a newbie and have never put up trim or molding before.

Takes the guessing game out of DIY!

And I can’t help but point out that this isn’t a sponsored post. I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile because I was finding out these little tidbits of information during my many trips to buy wood and supplies, and I often thought, “Hmmm….I wonder if my readers know this??”

Once I learn it, I must share it!

Hopefully, we’ll be that much wiser next time we’re on the hunt for supplies.

And you never know…maybe one day the Home Depot will offer “Get-to-Know-Your-Store” tours.

But I’m not holding my breath on the Happy Hour afterward….

So have you learned some helpful DIY tips and tricks that you want to share when shopping for materials? Leave your comment below! Let’s chat about it!

So I’m not sure how old this post is but as a DIY’er I appreciate your tips! I worked for HD for just about 3 years and let me tell you as a department supervisor I learned SOOOO MUCH! Measure out all of the pieces of wood you need for a project and they will cut them for you for FREE! You can even order online call the store and tell them over the phone and by the time you get there its done and waiting for you to load up! HD is a customer 1st company for sure! Can’t find what you need ask! Someone will show you where it is in the store or find it online and order it for you! They have free classes almost every single Saturday and Sunday (find the schedule online for your store). Sometimes they have womens only clinics where you get to make things like a storage coffee table…..FOR FREE AND IT’S YOURS! I left HD because my work life balance SUCKED while I was there but I am thankful for all of the tips and tricks I learned!

Hey, Samantha! Oh wow, I had no idea that you could call up and get your pieces cut for you and have them ready to be picked UP! That’s an awesome tip! I may have to go back and add that tip in, it’s so good. I spent so much time in HD, that it would be nice to have these things already picked out and ready for me.

I knew about the classes, but I never get to go to them because I’ve got my kids during the weekend while hubby works. But you can best believe I’d be in the front, with a pencil and paper in hand, soaking in all the info.

Thanks for that great info!!

I have another important rule when buying trim from Home Depot. Measure all your trim pieces you need for floor, windows etc. in the separate lengths you need then add at least 3′ to each end then take list to Depot and buy all your pieces out of the cut your own sizes. Example if your window needs two pieces 24″ and two 36″ then with 3″ added for each end that would add another 24″ for miters on the corners. Most cut what you need trim pieces are 14′ or 16″ long so you cut one piece 12′ long. If your have a 1″ piece left over you can take it back for a refund. If you buy the remade lengths commonly 8″ long and have any left over, you cannot take it back. Hope this is clear enough for you.

Linda Louise Weeks says

Hi, Serena; I love my visits to the Home Depot too, just for the education! Did you know that if you have a closet with bi-fold doors and they need a part to make them work, there is a whole section in the Home Depot with all the bi-fold door hardware you could need? I don’t need any right now, but was I impressed with that! The paint department is really handy too, they seem to really know their stuff! All the adhesives are there, as well as paints, and that is very convenient!

I was fortunate enough that I am a member of their “Seeds” program, which allows me to choose from a long list of items for free, just for my unbiased review! Been over a year now, and my whole house is built from free Home Depot merch! woo – hoo!! ..and no, I don’t know how they chose me, but I’m quite happy about it!

Hey, Linda! Just now seeing this comment–I must have missed it. Yeah, that program is pretty awesome! We talked about that via email. I didn’t know, however, that there is a whole section on bi-folding doors. There was one thing I needed that The Home Depot didn’t have and that was something related to the blinds that I had found at The ReStore and they didn’t have a part I needed. I couldn’t believe they wouldn’t have EVERYTHING. lol

Marsha Decker says

I just bought a townhome and started doing a lot of DIY remodeling. I thought HD should have greeters at the door to assign to ladies (like me) that have a list of ideas and just need someone with know how to direct them. Even if the person took you to the different department individuals to help with the level of familiarity. I had a GREAT HD lighting guy show me LED flush mount light fixtures that you never have to replace a bulb… they’re supposed to last 28 years or so and I’m single and in my 50’s and shouldn’t be climbing ladders with no one around.. so perfect for me! My son (thank goodness for him working at HD in his younger days) directed me to the cordless mini-blinds because I have a little arthritis in my hand joints…so much easier to raise and lower than the heavy blinds with cords…Just tips that could be given by ‘our HD greeter”…

Hi, Marsha! Congrats on your townhome! I agree with you–there should be greeters for people that don’t know where to go. My Home Depot occasionally has greeters, which is always helpful! Saves a lot of time! Glad you were able to find what you were looking for. Bulbs you never have to change–love that idea!! LOL

One of the best things I ever did: one day I just went to Lowe’s (I know this is about HD, but I am more of Lowe’s gal) and walked around. I had no plans to buy anything, but just walked around. I walked up and down every aisle. I wanted to get a really good idea of what was there. And here is what I learned: if I have a problem or something I want to do or fix then there is a very high chance that someone else has thought of it and if I just walk around Lowe’s (or HD) long enough, I will find it.

Also, about HD: they are more about helping people do the things. Lowe’s has a better selection, I think, but HD is more about helping people do something, giving them help and instructions (e.g. steps laid out for a project, or tool rental). So while I think Lowe’s has a better selection, HD is a better store for the home DIYer.

Hey, Delores! That’s a great idea–just browse around until you find the solution (or inspiration!). There are so many awesome things in both Home Depot and Lowes. Sometimes you just have to make time to wonder around and see what strikes you! That happened to me one day. I was at HD and saw some pretty floor tile (the really small ones that are on that webbed backing). I thought it would look AMAZING (although probably heavy) as a bracelet! While I didn’t actually MAKE it, I DID decide that one day I would try to turn those pretty tiles into jewelry! One day….. Thanks for commenting.

Sandra Riley says

Home Depot is the best! With all the DIY I do, I have a constant flow of extra items purchased and returned with no issues – great customer service and lots of knowledgeable people to help with project questions.

Yep, I totally agree with you, Sandra! I’ve always had good experiences at The Home Depot!

Patricia B says

Hey Serena, Okay, my dad, brother and neighbor were/are woodworkers, so I’ve known for a while that wood size is not actual size….lol I always carry a tape measure, Stanley has some great small sizes that fit great in a purse. I take that tape with me everywhere. It’s also great to have when at the thrift store, especially if you’re looking for a certain size something, ’cause it looks like the right size, isn’t always accurate….lol By the way, I’m a hardware store junkie, I love looking through their aisles, in particular, old family run hardware stores, you never know what treasure is waiting around the corner…..

Ahhh….then you’re ahead of the game, Patricia! And yes, the tape measure in the purse (or car!) is key. There’s a hardware store in this area (can’t remember the name) and I totally agree. There’s something awesome about those smaller places. Maybe because things are more cozy and close together so you can really SEE stuff, you know?

Oh, I think the name of the place is Stroeder’s…?

Two things my taught me at an early age. Never leave the house without a clean handkerchief and a tape measure.

Serena, you are the bomb! I didn’t know any of this, yet there it is for the sharing. This is a brilliant post, and has me thinking.

I know you’re super busy, but why not contact Home Depot, share this post, and suggest exactly what you’ve said here: give tours. They could offer a ten percent off coupon for first time DIYers’ and give *you* credit and promotion for your idea, or free product for life for sharing such a great idea.

My two cents worth…:-)

I should contact them, shouldn’t it?? There was actually a guy that I met in the paint department at another local Home Depot and he sort of gave ME a tour of the paint section!! He’d be the perfect person to contact and see about making something like this happen! Hmmm…I’ll have to let you know how this goes, Alys. We may be on to something here!!

Thanks for sharing! We’re house hunting and know we’re doing to be doing a lot of DIYing when we get a place… so some of these are actually really helpful.

Glad you found it helpful, Haley! Since you’re house hunting, this may be helpful for you. Not sure if you’d already seen it or not?

Help. I am not good at choosing colors. New house in Florida, Sun room has one black and one rust colored leather chairs. Black glass t.v. stand. Plain walls what color for an old table between chairs. Any ideas of Annie’s paint. I have both waxes.

Hey, Donna! Is there a color that you tend to gravitate towards? That black and tan are pretty neutral. I think a nice turquoise would look good! I love Provence by Annie Sloan!

Thank you for sharing!

You’re welcome, Therese!

Kristina Servin says

This was very helpful, especially the screw thing and wood sizes.

Glad it was helpful, Kristina!!

Lou Ann Newell says

Great post!! I love the idea of tours of the home stores! This would help some of us out a lot!! I like the things that they have around to help you decide what you need. Nothing as frustrating as getting something and it does not fit and you have to go back to the store and try again!! I have noticed the molding trims. I did not notice that they were so detailed!! I am going to have to look at them again!! Thanks again for all of your wonderful insight!!

I didn’t realize they were so detailed, either, Lou Ann! Once you know that little display is there, it really makes it easy to figure out what you need and where to find it! And you’re right, it’s so frustrating when you buy the wrong thing! I still have some things around the house I never returned because it was the wrong thing and I just sort of forgot about it. I try to round all these things up and take them back all at once, but some things I forget!

YEP! I used to work on The Home Depot’s MET – which is Merchandise Execution Team. You learn a lot and the other thing that’s kind of cool is, when shopping on their website and you find a product that you want to buy in-store, it will tell you what aisle and bay it’s on, i.e., the photo above that says on the bottom left of the price tag, 18-003. 18 is the aisle, 003 is the “bay”, which are the sections. Makes it easier when you walk into the store and know exactly where you are going. Even numbers (002) will be on the left side, from the front of the store and odd (003) on the opposite side. The online site will also tell you how many are in stock, which will save you a trip. Just a little bit of info that might also help other DIYer’s!

Ahhhh….Deb, great point!! Case in point–the other day I was there and noticed those handy little paint can covers. But they were all out of stock (i.e. empty box!) and I didn’t see any in the paint aisle. I went online and saw that they have 68 in stock at that location! Now I know when I go back to the store they really DO have them available! They probably just need to pull them out! Thanks for those tips! Any other cool things to share? That sounds fun being a part of their MET!

Mad Margaret says

Thank you BIG TIME. I didn’t know any of this. Love, Love , Love the screw board. And Lowe’s and Home Depot should do tours. I’d go.

You’re welcome, Margaret! I do have an email address for a local store manager. I think I am going to contact him!

Thank you for this fantastic post!! I often walk through that store with a Deer in the headlights look. Sometimes I have gotten so confused I leave with everything but what I originally went there for.

LOL, Janet! Hilarious!!

I have kind of forgone Home Depot for Menard’s here in the Chicago area. Having grown up maaaany years ago following my dad around hardware stores, any trip there tends to be lengthy as I wander to see what’s new or strikes a chord. Home Depot and Sears take back mixed paint and resell it at lower prices. Menards takes it back but sends it back to the manufacturer. Menards has lots of sales and the day after Thanksgiving gets a little crowded.

Didn’t know about the screw sizer, that’s freakin’ awesome. I would like a tour of power tools, that would be helpful. Thanks for sharing.

Lengthy, YES!! I can’t go into Home Depot for just ONE thing. I get lost in there for about an hour, thinking up projects. LOL. And a power tools tour would be cool! Walk you through the aisles and show you the different kind of bits and when to use which kind, etc. etc. Hmmmmm…….I really think we’re on to something here!!

Barbara Warner says

I did enjoy this, Serena. I didn’t know about the display of moldings in the store nor the screw “sizer.” That is really handy for someone who doesn’t build everyday. Love that you can return stuff you didn’t use. Good deal!

Awww…glad I could provide some value to you, Barbara! I’ll be sure to share with you any other tips I learn!!

Serena, The idea of a store tour is great. Would love it if some of the ladies that work at Home Depot would take other newbie DIY ladies around and answer some of the questions we might not ask otherwise.

I agree, Joan! This might just be something I might organize locally! I met this awesome guy at another Home Depot in my area and he did something similar a few weeks ago and “schooled” me in the paint aisle. It was so informative. I might just see if I could set something up for a few of us to stop over at his store and get some info from him!

This is a terrific batch of information for people who are not in the know about such things. The only one I knew about was the lumber sizing. Thanks so much. I am going to send this info to my daughter.

You’re welcome, Doris! Just a bit of info I’ve collecting along the way! Thanks for sharing with your daughter! Hope she find some value in it!

So so true Serena! Great advice as I’ve “been there done that” on many of your tips. I LOVE Home Depot, so much more than their other big competitor (a different L word). Most employees know their store well or will find someone to direct you if they don’t. I wish I had known some of these tips when I started DIYing a little over 20 years ago. I too learned by trial and error (and asking lots of questions). Thanks for sharing this information for those new to the experience. Great tips for beginners.

Hey, Pam!! It’s funny how much we know now that we don’t even realize! I had been collecting these tips in my head and couldn’t wait to pose about them. Hopefully it will help the newbies! And wow….20 years of DIY! You must be a wealth of info! Any tips you can to share??

Well I’m always learning that’s for sure. I truly LOVE power tools and am pretty much self taught. When my son was born with special needs I quit working. If I wanted something done I had to find a way to do it myself and to do it inexpensively. I was lucky enough to learn a lot when HGTV was just starting out and they actually taught you how to do things (in detail). I asked a lot of questions at home centers, small hardware stores and on home improvement forums, I still do. Now, with YouTube and tutorials everywhere on the web it’s a great way for people to learn. Its important to learn to use power tools safely and properly also. You don’t ever want to be thrown across your garage from the kickback of a board on a table saw (trust me). Also, my husband always knows what to get me for birthdays, Mother’s Day or Christmas (power tools baby…a girl can never have enough LOL). Really love reading your blog Serena. I love your passion and drive and to share it with others. Thanks for sharing your talents!

One more tip for Home Depot. If you can’t find the proper tool to say “tap some threads in a stripped out piece of antique hardware” – stop in at tool rental and ask them. They did mine for me for free and gave me some great advice to boot. Don’t forget about Tool Rental at Home Depot!! They’re there to help too.

PS I love your idea about store tours! I think you should propose that idea to corporate.They do free classes, why not tours and tips!

Oooh, that’s a great tip, Pam. And thanks for sharing some info about your love of tools. It’s so rewarding to make something and not have that fear, you know?

Linda Louise Weeks says

Another great posting, Serena! Love the way your mind works! I would also like to get the grand tour of the Home Depot, as every time I visit, I see yet another item that I had no idea they even made! D’ja know there is a whole section just for bi-fold door hardware? If your bi-fold door is missing a dinky, you can scrape up a brand new one for just a wee bit of $!! That’s the kind of thing I love to discover. Paint? You betcha! Paint of all sizes, descriptions, colors, types, you name it. Home Depot is one of my favorite places to go!

Especially since I don’t do high-heels anymore. Or sexy clothes. Or any of those things. he he.

OMG, this is so funny, Linda. EXACTLY. High-heels are replaced with power tools, and sexy clothes are replaced with work clothes! DIY clothes! Doesn’t it feel great??

I had no idea there was a bi-fold door hardware section just for that! I’m going to soon find out, because our 4 year old just ripped the bi-fold door off the hinge to the closet in the hall. LOL!

I found my head nodding yes the more I read your post! How fun, and yes how true. I now know my way around our Home Depot very well, but that wasn’t always the case! Tours would be great and I’d love the happy hour after too!

Hmmm….maybe if I can figure out all the intricacies of Home Depot, maybe I’ll offer my own tours! We’re always looking for products, right? HA! And this one would be awesome!

Lots of great tips Serena.

I LOVE The Home Depot! Just talking about it makes me want to go shopping right now… In fact, I have some plants I need to return. lol

Same here, Gail! It’s where I love to go on a Friday night! Not many people…browse around…no rush to get home….Ahhhhhh……

Constance Colvin says

Great post! I learned the hard (confusing) way, too!

Glad you like it, Constance! The good news is that eventually we figure things out, right?

Home Depot is our go to store for several reasons. If we need just the basics it is great and the customer service reps really know what they are talking about. BUT up here in Canada they have this thing called a web site ( not sure if you have ever heard of on of them) LOL. they have thousands of items on that web site that are not carried in store. I found lighting on the site and not even reading the site properly we went off to look at these things in the store and they weren’t there. That was a bit of a shock. Also find wainscot cap that we wanted and it is not in stock in any store within a 100km radius. finding it very frustrating.

Yes, Kathy!! I ran into that frustration myself. I wanted to buy cedar to make an outdoor bench for my patio, and to my dismay,! It was something only available online, which didn’t make sense. I guess that can’t carry EVERYTHING, you know? But like your situation, it would be nice to get to just go buy what you need when you need it!

I agree with the tour idea. I recently moved to a different state and had to learn my new Home Depot all over again. Returns are great since we were doing home remodeling and had to keep returning a bunch of stuff since we over buy. They just need more people working who actually know the store.

I always look for the old guys!! I wonder if anyone else does, too? Somehow I feel that they know their stuff more than the young bucks working there! Total ageism on my part. LOL