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So, let's talk about The Home Depot

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive March 2007: So, let's talk about The Home Depot
By Breann on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 07:41 pm:

I was just reading through Karen's thread and saw all of the Home Depot comments.
We don't have one here in town. Our nearest one is about a 2 hour drive.
We are (were? lol) considering using them for a lot of our stuff such as interior doors, possibly granite slabs, bathroom stuff.
I would love to hear experiences that you've had with the home depot. As far as the doors and fixtures and stuff, that will just be a matter of ordering what we want and having it shipped to us. Does that stuff commonly get messed up too?
For the granite, we are considering purchasing it from them, as well as having them install it. Completely a bad idea?
The CEO statement sounds promising. But, of course it would.
I don't want to get tied up in something that is a disaster.
What about Lowe's? Would that be a better route? Anyone have experience with them and their installation teams?

By Debbie on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 09:55 pm:

We ordered a screen door from them, and had them install it. We didn't have any problems. In our last house, we ordered carpet for our basement, and had them install it. We had no problems with that either. In fact the woman that helped us was wonderful.

I go there often because there is one down the street from us. I have always found them very helpful, and I have never had problems.

I believe that any store is only as good as the people that work there. So, where I have had good experiences. I can see where others can go to a different store, or deal with different people, and have a bad experience.

By Jjb on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:48 pm:

We've used them in two states for a few things. Their products are fine. You just have to be careful with installation. The installers are sub contractors who are not always reliable. We had a great experience installing Corian counter tops- there was only one certified installer in the area so regardless of where you buy the product you get the same installation. We saved 40% using HD. I've heard bad stories about carpet installation. We had a door installed and the guy never showed up and didn't call. They ended up getting someone else to do the work the next day and they didn't do a great job (but it wasn't terrible by any means). The installation was more expensive than if we used a handy man but it was easy. In all, their products are fine, just be careful with the installation. If installers are good in your area you are probably fine.

By Hol on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 11:13 pm:

I don't like them. I have never used them for anything but to pick up a faucet or something. They are everywhere in this tiny state. However, they hire the dumbest people. I don't know where all these "friendly folks" are that they advertise on TV. IF you can find someone to wait on you, they don't know anything.

My DD and her DH, and our friends, Jim and Cathy bought carpeting from them and had it installed. They have both had problems with wrinkles and stretching.

I much prefer the smaller Ace Hardware stores. They are more personable, and with my bad knees, I don't have to walk for acres to get something. I LOVE Menards but we don't have them around here.

By Unschoolmom on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 06:30 am:

I prefer smaller stores or chains too. I've found the smaller stores have more experienced staff, better selection (HomeDepot has a lot of a few things but the small stores have a little bit of everything) and often better prices.

But I wouldn't use a stores services to install anything. Generally they subcontract and you have no idea or say on who that subcontracter is. I'd probably go research local trademen who specialized in countertops or whatever else you need. Probably more expensive in the short term but I've seen too many jobs done by hardware store 'people' (even by my local smaller one) to have much confidence in them.

By Karen~admin on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 09:45 am:

Well, let me just say that in 2000, we bought 2 new exterior doors from Home Depot and used their installers to install them. The guys were friendly and did a good job. However, the charge was equal to the price of the exterior doors, so, let's say we paid double the price; had we found a handy man type person, it would have been cheaper.

We used Lowes for our cabinets and countertops in 2006. Absolutely no problems with the products. The installers were a different story - particularly the cabinet people. We are STILL waiting for them to come back and take care of one cabinet door that had to be reordered just because it had a spot in the wood that DH decided he couldn't live with. We've called Lowes AND the cabinet person directly numerous times. Lowes readily admits that these people *aren't real good about returning calls*. Why they use them, I have no clue. But that's a direct reflection on the installer, IMO.

This fiasco with Home Depot is our first job of this magnitude. As far as ordering and having stuff shipped to you? You are at the mercy of:
*the Home Depot employee who actually places the order in the computer
*the knowledge and experience the Home Depot employee actually has
*the company the product is ordered from, AND their service record
*the delivery service Home Depot uses - once special orders are received, they automatically go to a Home Depot warehousing area, and a contracted delivery company them picks them up from there and delivers them to you.
*the Pro-desk, when you have problems with your order and need to return it and re-order
*the ability of the Home Depot employees to keep accurate records/work together within the organization, etc., AND follow up on the stuff in the first place!

Your problems could REALLY start in step one, where the Home Depot employee initiates your order. If this person is not knowledgeable about the product, the product options (finish, hardware that goes with, etc.), the particular vendor the order will be placed with; that will be your first problem. That's the first problem we had - the dim wit who handled our special order doors told us we had a choide of hardware color, i.e. brass tone or silver tone hinges, etc. Since all of our door handles, other hardware is brushed nickel, we obviously told him silver tone. Well the doors that FINALLY came last week have brass tone. And guess what? That's the only way they come. Only we were told we had a choice. We had to spend the money to buy silver tone hardware for each and every door on Saturday. The guy also wasn't sure which vendor sold solid core doors vs. hollow core doors. BIG problem, in our case.

Once your order is screwed up, the blame game begins. Next the dept. manager gets involved. Problem here is, he is not as experienced in the computer system as the other employees. HUGE issue, since you have to go back and research the entire thing from jump.

Also, it appears that there's a 3rd person involved in the ordering, I believe someone at the Pro desk. Ours has been so messed up from the wrong things being ordered, then you have to arrange for them to pick them up, you have to get a credit, you have to reorder and start the whole process over from order to delivery, and if everyone involved in the process who works at Home Depot is not familiar with what's going on and talking to each other, then you are s****ed. That's where we've had more issues - the girl who was supposed to actually place the re-order for the CORRECT doors, CANCELLED the order! So now we are looking at a few more weeks.

Millwork orders - the very first time we sat down with the dim wit to place orders, we walked around the store with him and our contractor. Picked out the base, quarter round, window stool, and casing we wanted. Checked and double checked the SKU numbers, etc. Verified them with the employee. Wrote them down. Contractor measured, we went back in and ordered specific quantities/lengths of these specific products. What was pulled and actually delivered was *interesting*, to say to least.

So, bottom line, ordering the stuff and having it delivered isn't as simple as it may seem.

I've learned to a) double or triple your original estimate of material and labor costs, and b) be prepared for mistakes made by those who are supposed to handle those things.

By Breann on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:23 am:

Ugh! Karen! That all sounds so frustrating. It sounds like if things go wrong, it would be cheaper in the long run to go with someone local. Thanks for sharing all of that. That is really a lot to think about.

We do have an Ace Hardware store here in town. It's just that they are the ONLY Hardware store, so everything is so expensive with them, and their isn't much of a selection. Only one brand of cabinets, actually.

Debbie, I think you are 100% correct in saying that a store is only as good as the people that work there.

We were actually in The Home Depot over the weekend. We took in our plans to get an estimate on cabinets and countertops. The guy didn't have a problem figuring out an estimate on the granite, but he didn't even try to figure the cabinets. He kept saying things like "we're about the same price as anywhere else". We wanted a more direct thought than that, kwim? What is "about"? Is that meaning price differences in the hundreds? thousands? That was a little frustrating. We figured we had just been hooked up with a bad salesperson. Then I come here and read all of the home depot complaints and I started to panic.

I wonder if they would tell me who the subcontractor would be that would install the granite. We are in a small area, so maybe we would be like Jen, and the contractor would be the same regardless of where we bought the product.

So many things to consider. Thanks for all of your responses.

By Yjja123 on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:04 am:

I have nightmare stories with Lowes. We purchased ALL of our appliances fro them 2 years ago. Every mistake they could make--they did. No Lowes for us anymore!
I have ordered doors and windows from Home Depot with no problem. I also worked in that department before so I can tell you that there are thousands of options. It can make the ordering process confusing.
As far as cabinets at Home Depot---They NEVER end up the same price as the display model. That is likely why they didn't give you any answers. Plus they need to measure first.
We got our granite directly from a granite company. We paid a few dollars more but the work was done on time. Check the better business bureau to investigate contractors first. We did that prior to even selecting our granite.

By Karen~admin on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:32 am:

The thing with the cabinets is, there are a lot of variables. You can get several different grades of the same cabinet. There are several different types of drawer boxes you can have, including the top of the line drawers that are impossible to slam shut - you push them closed and at a certain point, they just slow themselves and glide smoothly shut. We got those.

Also, as far as shelving, corner cabinets, etc. there are many options there too.

And finally, the price of the cabinet is directly related to all of the above AND your EXACT measurements, so it really *is* impossible to get a firm quote on cabinets.

Product-wise, I have found Home Depot has a bigger selection than Lowes. However, at least in *my* area, their personnel are certainly not knowledgeable, OR helpful, in most cases.

And if you choose to have their contractors do your installations, you'd have to personally check the people out I suppose.

My DH was *supposed* to be in charge of a lot of this cr@p, but he really dropped the ball. And our entire situation is compounded by the fact that the entire greater New Orleans area is rebuilding following Katrina, so honest, competent contractors are few and far between; plus stock is low on EVERYthing around here right now, and prices on labor and materials have skyrocketed.

Breann, if you purchase interior doors that are in stock, you shouldn't have much of a problem. We wanted solid core 6 panel doors, and they don't carry those in stock in the stores. They carry hollow doors, so ours had to be special ordered. And you also need to make sure you know if you need right hand or left hand doors!!!! VERY important.

As Yvonne did, if I were to do it over again, I'd check other places, particularly for granite or other materials for counter tops. Ditto flooring or cabinets - there are liquidators who sell these things and you might be able to find really good quality stuff for a decent price. The key will be to get someone who can install it all properly.

By Jjb on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:42 am:

If you go to a kitchen store you can see more counter top options and also ask about who does the installation and how many companies in the area do it. You can also ask Home Depot. HD was probably the most honest about it- but you have to be careful with their knowledge/ or lack of. I found the kitchen designers at HD to be much better than the other employees- but not nearly as good as the speciality stores. I was amazed at the price difference. The speed of them putting it in and measuring was completely dependent on the solid surface installers- all HD did was order it from them and take our payment. We mostly delt directly with the installers. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do. We are plan to upgrade the counter tops in our new home one of these days.

By Yjja123 on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:06 pm:

The one reason to choose a place like Home Depot, as an installer, is it gives you a middle man. You go through them-they go through the contractors. For some people, that relieves some of the pressures of choosing an installer. Things still can go wrong but if they do you know the company is not a fly by night company. It will *eventually* be resolved. Honestly, I do not know anyone who hired installers that it went completely smooth. It is the nature of the beast.

By Breann on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 03:25 pm:

Karen! Those are the kind of drawers we are getting. The ones that stop and shut themselves. Very neat feature. Do you like them now that they are installed?

I took a trip over to Ace Hardware today to see their cabinets, and to get a bid from them. Their cabinets looked and felt fine to me. We aren't trying to go real high end. But, we do want something sturdy that will last and that has a good reputation. The lady there is going to work up a bid for us. They also do granite. But, they hire a contractor out of a bigger city to come in and do it for them.
We'll see what their bid comes in at.
We also got a bid, last week, from a custom cabinet maker business in town. He makes the most beautiful cabinets and they are guaranteed for life. He also has a granite contractor out of the city, but he quoted us $91 sq/ft for granite. That is compared to the HD's granite price of $51 sq/ft. Both are for the lower end granite selections. So, for the $91 sq/ft price, we could get HD's most expensive granite, with the most expensive edge detail, and still have money left over. The price different is significant.
I'm anxious to see what Ace Hardware bids for the granite.
There are so many decisions that go into things like this. I never realized that every little detail is courtesy of the home owner. Every nook and cranny is there because the home owner said so. Such a long and stressful process.

By Yjja123 on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 03:54 pm:

Don't skip the edging. It makes a HUGE difference!

By Karen~admin on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 04:38 pm:

Breann, I LOVE the drawers. And ditto Yvonne about the counter top edging. We got the bullnose edging and I love that too.

One thing though, about drawers like that, they don't open as *easily* as other drawers. We ended up putting drawer pulls on the drawers, because I have arthritis and it was easier to open the drawers with the pulls on them. They look nice too!

By Cocoabutter on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 06:18 pm:

We have never had any problems at HD, but there's always a first time...

By Tripletmom on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 07:51 pm:

My best friend and dh had major problems with the installation of their carpet (a huge mess)They refused to pay for it and told them to come and take it out if they wanted it.They left nails up and their dog got injured.My MIL picked out screen doors and the hardware was missing-a 3 week wait.

By Hol on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:02 pm:

I would much rather use a local tradesperson who has local references. They are usually around later if you have a problem, and need positive "word of mouth" advertising to stay in business. Not to mention, when you sub-contract through a "big box" store, you don't know WHO you are letting into your home.

I recently went to Home Depot looking at dishwashers. The woman there didn't know anything. She tried to tell me that they didn't carry the model I was interested in. I told her to check their website (I had seen it there). She did, and said, "Oh..I guess we do". (Duh).

I called my local, small, family owned appliance store that has been in business since 1920 (and STILL deliver for free). I asked them if they had that model. The salesman said, "We don't have it on the floor, but we can get anything you want". Now THAT'S good service!

By Reds9298 on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:48 pm:

OMG, Ace Hardware here is 3x the price of Lowes and HD. I go in there if I'm in a serious hardware emergency and can't drive in to one of the other 2.
No advice, DH has done 95% of everything we've had installed. Friends who are building homes around here use their builder's suggestions for local contractors. Good luck!!

By Dawnk777 on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:15 pm:

I love my locally-owned appliance-tv-furniture store! They deliver for free, install, extend the manufacturer's warranty, haul the old stuff away, and if we need service, they are right there and while "Mr. Personality" (Bob) doesn't ever say very much, everything he's ever fixed for us, has stayed fixed! (Mr. Personality is what we call him, because he's a man of few words!) We just can't get this kind of service anywhere else. Sears is about the same distance away, as Bitter-Neumann, but they charge for delivery!

By Hol on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:23 pm:

You are so right, Dawn, on all counts. And the Sears here charges $55.00 for delivery!! It is non-refundable, too, if you have to return the item. If you need service, Sears charges you an arm and a leg just to drive in the driveway.

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