Got My Turbo-Charged Cranky Pants On

I need to re-do a small porch deck. First, I need a post to replace the rotten one I pulled out.
Lowes is an OK store for a big box but their web site is a freaking train wreck. It asks if it can use your location (I have that set to always ask) but it doesn’t do anything with it. You still have to set which store using a zip code.

Three copies of the same item and one other.

Three copies of the same item and one other.


Make sure there are plenty before I brave the virus-laden hordes.

Make sure there are plenty before I brave the virus-laden hordes.


There were not 47. There were two sad, bowed pieces. This is supposed to be tied to the inventory, that’s why it matters which store you’re looking at. I can understand it might be stale if things are off the shelf and on the way to the register but the store wasn’t crowded. They’re letting in 35 people at a time (kudos for that) and there were not 45 4″x4″x10′ posts in transit. There weren’t any I could see. I didn’t get all pee-pee hearted over this one time. Their item count is never even close. Calling doesn’t help. If “customer service” picks up, they just do the same lookup I did and parrot the web site to you over the phone.

Back to the web site…

I was also pricing some deck material.

Stay in school kids. You will need math.

Stay in school kids. You will need math.


To be fair, I’ve seen the same “buy more, pay more” pricing on Amazon too but…
They were told about the problem six months ago and haven't done anything about it.

They were told about the problem six months ago and haven’t done anything about it.


This next part is only sort of a Lowes problem.
"Clamshell" color. In person it's more the color of asphalt and really uneven. Lowes just used the Trex graphics.

“Clam Shell” color. In person it’s more the color of asphalt and really uneven. Lowes just used the Trex graphics.


From Trex's web site. It looks solid but it's not.

From Trex’s web site. It looks solid but it’s not.


This is the zoom function on the Lowes web site. This is a different board – the non-notched version – but the zooms are the same. It just blows up the Trex JPEG nice and fuzzy.
Pretty sure these are renderings and not actual pictures of the product.

Pretty sure these are renderings and not actual pictures of the product.


I left my phone in the car so I didn’t get pictures but the gray is a super-thin plastic coating on top. Underneath, it looks like the sawdust in the laminate floor we put in the house. That stuff warps like crazy with a teaspoon of cat vomit. Does this really survive outdoors? The warranty is for 25 years (I haven’t read the fine print) so maybe it does last. It’s butt-ugly IRL though, so I’ll keep looking.

Glutton for punishment that I am, I also need a 1/8 inch diameter masonry bit.

It's in quotes but I don't think they have 1871 different 1/8 inch masonry bits.

It’s in quotes but I don’t think they have 1871 different 1/8 inch masonry bits.


Raw search results give bit diameter as a filter. No useful options, but the function is there.
The "3-in" is a giant auger bit for digging holes in the dirt.

The “3-in” is a giant auger bit for digging holes in the dirt.


If you go down the categories so you don’t get things like 3 inch auger bits, you get far fewer results than 1871. Maybe it’s nit picking, but “1/8 inch masonry drill bit” is not the same as “1/8” or “inch” or “masonry” or “drill” or “bit”.
1871 <> 322.

1871 <> 322.


When selecting a tool to make a hole, what are the two questions you have to ask? 1) What are you making a hole in? and 2) How big a hole? You can drill down (no pun intended) to “Masonry Drill Bits” to answer the first question but when you use the categories, the bit diameter filter isn’t there.
No bit diameter filter. For drill bits. Really? The code is already written for cryin' out loud.

No bit diameter filter. For drill bits. Really? The code is already written for cryin’ out loud.


The search bar is always global. It does not search within the selected category so you have to scroll and scroll within the category. The images don’t help except to weed out “not even close” and the descriptions are short and vague so you have to guess, click, scroll down to the specs, expand the specs menu, read what the diameter is, hit the back button, wait for the page to reload, and repeat until you’ve pissed away more time than it would’ve taken to just drive to the store and see for yourself.

I ended up buying nothing. Got out of the house and took a drive to the store so I got that going for me.