Local Framing Store or Big Box Retail Framing Store?

In the world of framing, Big Box Retailers offer custom frame options that at times are at a lower price point but the savings may not pay off.  We’ve seen several instances over time where we have had to correct or repair the work done.

Just the other day a customer brought in a finished frame that had been built by one of our Big Box competitors for repairs. The frame had fallen off the wall shortly after hanging because one of the corners had come apart so the frame allowed it to come crashing down. The customer was told she had to purchase a metal frame for some odd reason and the staffer hadn’t tightened the corner properly or installed enough backing or springs to keep everything together.  We routinely see sub-standard framing from the cheap big stores and we are typically surprised anyone would trust their art with these stores.

Consider the difference in training levels: A local framer, such as Framer’s Alley, have Master Framers who have received over 200 hours of training and continuing education over the past seven years.  We’ve learned about the latest conservation and preservation techniques to save your art from the ravages of time.  Expensive or inexpensive, we treat everything properly so it will last a lifetime time on your wall.  In contrast, the often poorly trained staff at the Big Box Stores are over worked employees who also stock shelves, sweep floors and switch to other departments when necessary, since they aren’t full-time framers and the Big Box Stores often need to cut corners to hit Wall Street revenue expectations.

What items or art should you consider custom framing by a professional local framing store?

Even a cheap poster deserves professional framing. Recently, a customer brought in an old U2 poster that was faded and bubbling from poor mounting and framing to see if we could make it better.  It was a “lost cause”, so now his favorite college memory isn’t worth looking at anymore.  If he had spent an additional 40 or 50 dollars twenty years ago he would be able to hand it down to his grandchildren. 

Some great examples of interesting custom frame jobs that we’ve recently completed. All beautiful and preserved for generations to appreciate!


Please keep in mind, when framing, you get what you pay for, and it may be worth the extra small investment to keep/maintain your artwork.

Call us at 847.698.9798, or stop by our store in Chicago’s Park Ridge, IL today for a free estimate on preserving your favorite memory with a beautiful custom framing job.



This entry was posted in Custom Picture Framing, framing-blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>