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Kitchen remodel through Home Depot or Lowes ??

ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
edited March 2013 in Parent Cafe
Have any of you done a kitchen remodel through either Home Depot or Lowes? If so, how'd it go regarding cost, quality of workmanship, quality of product, timeliness, cost overruns that were their fault, and overall satisfaction, and would you do it again in hindsight?
Post edited by ucsd_ucla_dad on

Replies to: Kitchen remodel through Home Depot or Lowes ??

  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,303 Senior Member
    I'd ask your neighbors for recommendations for local contractors. I bet that a lot of good folks have time on their hands and would work for less money than the "big boys."

    Home Depot contractors did install our countertop; they also inserted the cooktop on a visibly cooked angle....they were successful in convincing Husband that it was the wall that was crooked and not their installation, but when I complained, they did fix it.

    They also installed our carpeting. Downstairs installation: A+. Upstairs installation two weeks later, same subcontractor, different crew: D. Came back a few times to try to make it right; I finally got sick of having them around and now live with the terrible installation.
  • NovelistoNovelisto Registered User Posts: 2,955 Senior Member
    I wouldn't go with either of them...what they do is hire a contractor, charge you what the contractor charges plus their own fees. Not to mention their selection of fittings is nowhere near what you can find on your own.

    Sign up with Angie's List on line for quality contractors in your area (they charge a little for registration but could save you a lot!) then ask for lots of recommendations and follow them up. You'd be amazed how many people are reassured by getting a list of recommendations and then never call anyone on that list. Or as missypie suggests, ask around your neighborhood. We found a really good ext. painting company by doing that.

    Anyway, don't be seduced by HD and Lowe's low prices without doing a lot more research. Their prices may sound good but you may be limited in what you can choose for that price and I don't feel they hire the highest quality workers. It's a big job...it should be done right. We did ours piece-meal (one contractor for the countertops, another for the plumbing and gas, etc.) and it came out fine. The extra costs were my fault for upgrading a bit here and there!
  • papengenapapengena Registered User Posts: 354 Junior Member
    As the wife of a builder, I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with Novelisto. The quality of things at Lowe's is a bit above Home Depot..but when it comes to major renovations...what you are getting from those stores..for example, a "Kohler" fixture, won't be the same quality as one from a Plumbing supplier, necessarily. They may look the same, but since they're mass produced at a lower price point for the large stores, they are flimsier (not all cases, but some important ones). For some things it doesn't matter if you go a bit "low" end, but for everyday, heavy use items, you are better off getting a good quality....I don't mean it has to be high end..but, you can get good deals from kitchen specialists, etc.

    And on another point....the building industry is pretty dead right now. You can negotiate with any of these suppliers/contractors for deals that could be very comprable to HD or Lowes. Do alot of research..but its a great time for home repairs/reno's for sure. Tons of guys are not working, cause people aren't out there in droves buying these days. Many of them can't get unemployment because they are self employed...so, they'll do jobs for less then they would have a couple of years ago. Just make sure to deal with licensed contractors ONLY...they are insured, which is to your benefit.
  • 07DAD07DAD Registered User Posts: 5,169 Senior Member
    As a young attorney one of the first cases I handled involved a homeowner who went that route. I would not suggest it.

    Check references, including a visit to a completed job.

    Know your local lien laws. Consider a contract with a hold back of a sufficient amount to try to insure satisfactory (and timely) completion.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    Thanks. So far you're confirming what I've already heard but figured some cc-ers would have had some first-hand experience with them and wanted some confirmation. I've never used a contractor from HD or Lowes (I know they really are third-party contractors) before but was wondering what the experiences were.

    I received a quote from a contractor who did next door and did a very good job but that was long enough ago due to my procrastination to be before the building industry slump that I'll probably get him as well as a few others out to bid again. I'm not trying to low-ball it and don't want low-quality components or work but of course don't want to pay more than needed.
  • scualumscualum Registered User Posts: 2,865 Senior Member
    You may also want to consider time and materials as opposed to a fixed bid. In the long run, you will probably come out ahead.
  • toblintoblin Registered User Posts: 1,862 Senior Member
    Non custom cabinets are a smart way to go but I'd deal directly with the manufacturer and stay in the "high end". Also, I'd first find a good contractor to both advise on design, selection and to do the install. Someone doing all three is very important. I've done 3 kitchens this way. Small comprises in the design , but not in the quality, gave wonderful results and saved me many thousands of dollars.
  • papengenapapengena Registered User Posts: 354 Junior Member
    07dad just made me think of my nieces current remodel project which was all good to go, until the contractor went to get all of the permits...they used my husbands architect (yikes) who did the plans, etc..but never checked the local building laws.....there is a set-back issue now, which means the plans he drew are useless..the plans weren't according to code!! So, they have to go to the town to try to a variance or else they have to add a garage, which wasn't ever in the original kitchen plan!!

    It is super important to make sure the people you hire know what they are doing. Check references........alot of people say that, but not everyone actually calls those references. My husband is furious with his architect, because he referred him...but, he isn't doing the job (whew). Anyway, I'm sure they will have to get new plans drawn up..the first set was $2000...so this really is something you need to go in with your eyes open. Don't assume ur contractor will be "on the ball".

    Going for new bids, is fine these days. Its to your benefit that things are the way they are, since you don't want to move, but want to remodel. Nothing wrong with getting the best price possible for a good job. But I would always be suspicious of the lowest bid..there is a reason for that....."the cheap comes out expensive":)
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    Home Depot, Lowes, and any such organizations are not consistent on the quality of their work. Even when you are checking references, you are likely not to be getting the same crew of previous workers. The quality of what you get is directly dependent on the workers involved.
  • Mom2MMom2M Registered User Posts: 2,083 Senior Member
    I wouldn't do anything with Home Depot---too many friends and relatives have had problems. We did order cabinets at Lowes, but Dh did the install and some customization--he loves to do wood work and is very good at it (it just takes forever, which is why he won't do any more major projects in the house--and I get to decide what is major). A friend recently had a rebid on a long proposed kitchen remodel and was surprized at how much difference there was in price.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    Okay, you've all convinced me to not consider HD or Lowes. I'll go with the licensed contractor route, get bids, check references, etc.

    HD and Lowes already get plenty of money from me anyway with all my other DIY projects.
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 5,915 Senior Member
    If you had a blindfold removed inside either store, could you tell which one you were in? To me they are indistinguishable.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    ^^ HD == Orange, Lowes == Blue
    Otherwise - pretty similar but sometimes one has items or brands the other doesn't hence going to both.
  • NovelistoNovelisto Registered User Posts: 2,955 Senior Member
    I find the people in HD to be more knowledgable...they seem to know where everything is and how to use what you find. Lowe's seems to hire anybody off the street. Lowe's does have more 'decor' items than HD but you are pretty much on your own (except the paint guys; they seem to have a clue or two.)
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135
    The kitchen forum on gardenweb is the kitchen equivalent of College Confidential. Lots of great information and inspiration there.

    Kitchen Forum - GardenWeb
This discussion has been closed.