CONCORD — When buying products and materials for a home remodeling project, most homeowners assume they should go to their local home improvement stores. In reality, when it comes to remodeling, home improvement stores are more like convenience stores. Since they have a lot of everything, you’re getting the convenience of one-stop shopping. However, convenience doesn’t equal quality, and this is certainly the case with products sold at home improvement stores.

If you’re looking for quality, it’s better to do your shopping at specialty stores—outlets that specialize in specific kinds of fixtures, appliances and materials. For example, a plumbing supply store provides toilets, sink/shower fixtures, water heaters and other plumbing products. Since specialty stores focus on specific product types, they offer a wider variety of options than home improvement stores. They’re also more concerned about quality, so they only sell products that are designed to last.

Another advantage of going to a specialty store is the high level of service you’re likely to receive. Whereas salespeople at home improvement stores often have a superficial level of product knowledge, sales reps at specialty stores are literally experts in the products they’re selling. By getting educated advice on your purchase, you can be sure you’re getting a quality product that fits your needs.

It’s important to note that shopping at specialty stores requires a greater time commitment, as you’ll need to visit multiple locations as opposed to one. You’ll also likely spend a bit more money. However, considering the superior product quality and insightful service you’ll receive, it’ll be well worth the additional time and expense. Best of all, it’ll give you greater confidence in the long-term integrity of your remodeling project.