700 REED ROAD, BROOMALL, PENNSYLVANIA -- Home Depot Kitchen Remodel: Beware – hidden costs and delays and be prepared to be your own general contractor. My daughter decided that her 70s, 8'X10' kitchen with cabinets that would not close and drawers that would not open needed to be redone. Although the project extended into the adjacent powder room and dining room and left to DYI relatives, the kitchen was to be handled by professionals with the aim of minimizing the time she would be without a the convenience of a kitchen. She turned to Home Depot (HD) for help. A project scheduled to be completed in 4-5 weeks took 9 with hidden costs and delays.
When dealing with the “big box store” remodeling services (heavily advertised and promoted in the stores), one might assume that aside from making final design selections, the store will coordinate the work, effectively acting as a general contractor. Not so! The kitchen remodeling services at HD or Lowe's start with a consultation with a designer in the kitchen department. They can, and do, help clients through the design process including selection of cabinets and counter top. And while suggestions may be given regarding appliances and flooring, the shopper is left with meeting the “experts” in those departments and making final selections.
This is fine, but one learns that the only communication/coordination that occurs between these departments is via the orders placed. Project coordinators at the stores to whom the projects are assigned do nothing but schedule the subcontractors assigned to do the work. National and/or regional contracts are with a firm that handles demolition and installation of cabinets (they also sub out any electrical work) and with a flooring installation firm.
All this might work if someone was truly acting as the general contractor and if HD were to communicate effectively with the client. After several weeks, my daughter asked for my help. Here is what I learned. Changes:
Beware, changes may cause delays and will cost. HD requires all changes to go through them – they tack on a percentage. Kitchen Design: Pro - after many hours of discussion and looking at alternatives, HD came up with a design that was pleasing. The associate was very cooperative and it appeared that the project was off to a good start.
Con - the associate failed to communicate the complete process. For example, a granite countertop was selected from the standard small block samples at the store. And while the “advantage” of selecting a HD “sealed” stone was explained, no one explained that the actual color and detail of the stone varies and that you must select the actual stone slab. Nor was the template process explained or the fact that the client may want to meet with the supplier to review template layout. In fact the local supplier was not identified until an inquiry was made. A scramble just before the scheduling of the template date prevented a delay.
Appliances: Pro - the associate was helpful and a good deal was made on the dishwasher. Con - no one told my daughter that when you take delivery and don't have the appliances installed, any delayed installation handled by HD will be at an added cost. Note, as the floor was being replaced, the stove was not to be installed (albeit needed to be in place for counter fit) and, of course, the refrigerator cannot be in place when the floor is installed. The cabinet installer took care of the microwave, dishwasher, and initial install of stove. We took care of the refrigerator installation.
Cabinet demo & installation: Pro - this work was handled by Housecrafters. They sent a representative who took final measurements and reviewed details of the installation (a definitive contract). The assigned installer was a knowledgeable professional and handled the work efficiently (fast). Overall quality was good. Con - communication could have been better off site. New cabinets were installed over damaged walls leaving a more difficult finishing job.
(Note: I did some of the patching and all of the painting and would have preferred the walls to have been repaired and painted before the cabinets were installed leaving only touch-up to do.) The design and location of the base cabinets required the relocation/installation of a floor vent. Further, complications with the flooring resulted in a shifting of schedules resulting in delays that accumulated in over two weeks of lost time.
Electrical: Pro - Housecrafters provides electrical work through sub-contractors. The firm on this job was timely and did quality work. Con - as with any total rehab job, you run into issues, often with electrical installation. A change in location of a light switch required HD approval (and added cost). Existing receptacles had to be moved – no flexibility by the electrician – added delay.
Flooring: Pro - the subcontractor was USIG. The crew was excellent. The required demolition was difficult and the crew did a good job cleaning up the mess. They obviously had a lot of experience as installation (tile) was done efficiently and without error. They spent a total of three long days on the project. Con - this was the worst part of the project and the most poorly handled by HD. They never looked at the job and as such, wrote the contract as removal of existing old floating wood floor with replacement (backer board, glue and tile). The outfit that measures the floor is yet another sub-contractor. Due to a change, this contractor was sent out a second time.
I asked about the depth of the floor and interference with the outside door (a main entrance to the house). They know nothing. When the issue was raised to HD, they insisted that the job could be done as written. When asked what they were going to do with door when it would not close due to the height of the new floor, they responded “We don't do doors. That is left to the client.” Further discussions with HD “coordinator” as to why no one inspected the flooring job yielded a response that this was not normally done and that if we wanted it inspected before the installers arrived, there would be a charge. An additional follow up resulted in the conclusion that the USIG would make the determination of what should be done. Two minutes on the job and the USIG supervisor agreed that the old floor had to be removed. Before they could proceed, they had to contact the HD “coordinator”. Surprise, that work would require a change and the add-on fee was not insignificant.
Oh, by the way, the original contract called for applying quarter-round. Of course once it was declared that the floor had to be removed, the baseboard had to go as well. When asked about replacement, HD noted that this was up to the client. They would ask the installers to do – but of course there would be an added charge! I elected to install the baseboard and following additional confusion/miscommunication over the trim, obtained and painted shoe molding which the flooring crew installed.
As a side note, the powder room adjacent to the kitchen was also redone. The flooring installer was to remove and replace the old toilet. This was done except that a new toilet was to be installed. This was technically a contract issue but was done (at least to the point that it was discovered that the feed line would have to be re-plumbed). There are other small annoyances that are involved with a job of this scope (even though this was a very small kitchen). In sum, a word of caution: do not assume that HD or Lowe's fills the role of a general contractor.
If you do not have the time or knowledge, find a relative or friend who does or price your job through a full service remodeling firm (my experience is that you may still be talking to subcontractors). Don't think that just because you have a remodeling contract with HD or Lowe's that they will coordinate details between departments or that all costs (including potential changes) have been discussed, let alone disclosed. Finally, realize that a full remodel involves sacrifice and inconvenience. So do allow for contingencies, including a slip in schedule, and, as noted by other reviewers, potential follow-up hassle with the stores if mistakes are made.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- On September 22, 2007 we made an appointment with one of the stores' kitchen and bath designers. After four grueling hours of working with the designer, we came up with a new full kitchen design and ordered the materials. We gave the store rough measurements but paid the extra $100.00 for a Home Depot "expert" to come out and verify measurements. We received the new cabinets on October 4, 2007. We had arranged for the cabinets and kitchen appliances to be installed by a contractor. We found out that six of the cabinets had been ordered incorrectly based on the original floor plan, not the floor plan where the "professional" came out to measure.
We also chose a style of cabinets that we liked but only because we were told by the designer that the "clear" glass in them could be changed. We received the cabinets with clear glass. At first Home Depot was not going to do anything. They said we signed the order documents so it was our fault. When I asked why the glass in the cabinets were "clear," I was told that it was an oversight by the designer and it would be an additional $700.00 for the glass to be changed.
We would have never selected that cabinet design if we knew the glass would not be changed or it would be an additional $700.00 to do it. I explained that I had signed whatever the designer had put in front of me after four hours and that I was not a designer, a contractor, or a cabinet maker. That's why we used their "design professionals." After fighting for it, the store agreed to order the correct cabinets but it would take additional time so we had to put our contractor on hold.
On November 19, 2007 the new cabinets finally arrived, thus our Thanksgiving was ruined. In the meantime, our appliances were also arrived and we had to return the fridge because it had an electrical short. Our kitchen finally got installed December 14, 2007 but not completely because the designer forgot to order some finishing pieces which we are still waiting on to be delivered. I will have to say they did add these at no extra charge but still the glass issue is unresolved and Home Depot says that they will pay for half of the glass to be replaced if I take the doors to someone they suggest.
I talked with my contractor and he says they are still ripping me off because he could get the glass much cheaper. Now for the granite that we paid Home Depot to install... They did not install a sub top under the granite so there is nothing but the granite to secure the dishwasher to. The company that Home Depot uses changed the thickness of the granite so they say that's why there was no sub top put down. My contractor does not want to accept responsibility in order to drill holes in the granite nor does the granite company or Home Depot want to do anything, so there is still no resolve.
So here it is January 7, 2008 and I still have a kitchen that is not finished. I went as far as to write a letter to the President and CEO of Home Depot to let him know about the problems and how unhappy I was as a customer but have never received any response in return. At first I didn't want any compensation for the being so inconvenienced. I just wanted my kitchen to be what I ordered and complete but now four months later, I believe I should see some type of compensation. In short, my advice if you're planning a remodel... Go to Lowe's!
SCOTTSDALE, CALIFORNIA -- A couple years ago I had Home Depot do a kitchen remodel. Reface the cabinets and new countertops. I feel that they totally abused me. I was going through a depression at the time and they made everything worse. When the guy did the cabinets, he moved my 1954 gas range - I had the house about 8 years with no problem with the range. After he moved it, the oven no longer worked. They had some guy from the store come out and check the pilot out and couldn't light it so that was it. They had their call me and tell me that I couldn't prove it worked before so too bad. DO YOU BELIEVE IT!!!!
So I have gone ever since without an oven. Just this past week or so I brought a new range and I am waiting for a guy to install it. But that's not all, the countertops were done by someone else badly. They measured wrong by the sink and the side next to the refrigerator is short. It doesn't go all the way to the edge but about a 1/4" short. It has a piece vertical on that side to keep water from splashing from the sink down the side of the fridge so it's hard to take a picture and I can't move the fridge (tight fit) to get a better picture. But physically, you can see it and see the globs of glue too. On top of that, 1/4" of cabinet that isn't covered.
Home Depot would not even send someone out to look at. The guys that came and looked at the oven saw it and at the time told me in person that it was badly done, BUT according to Home Depot, they said it was all fine. I will never use them again and I am trying to make sure I tell everyone I can about their bad customer service and taking advantage of a single woman at the time. Thanks.
CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA -- We have been customers of Home Depot our entire lives. We actually had our entire bed and breakfast built from a Home Depot Pro Book and shipped out of Miami to the shores of a little island called Roatan a few years ago. So, upon returning to the USA, there was little doubt where we would go for house remodeling. In the space of a few weeks, we had signed tile, counter tops, cabinet, carpet, and hurricane shutter contracts. What a HUGE mistake! Never sign a contract with Home Depot!
This contract is ALL about getting to the customer! And it will NOT end with a price you are seeing, nor the time period you're being told, nor with any close to customer service when it all falls to pieces and you're sitting at the house over and over and OVER again for the entire day waiting for an installer to show up - who never does - and never calls.
But I digress, and I could write a book on the many problems we've had with all these jobs - this is just ONE OF THEM! And, get ready for this, YOU HAVE NO RECOURSE without destroying your credit record! If you really screwed up and put it on a Home Depot credit card, forget it! You can bet there's no "disputing the charge," not that there would be anyway after 2 MONTHS! Unfortunately, though you CAN throw someone in jail for this "bait and switch" routine in most states, in Florida they can do this IF your sign a 5-PAGE set of papers for hurricane shutter installation without reading ALL the fine print.
This contract also allows installers to treat you ANY way they choose - to not show up for multiple appointments and leave you and the government building inspectors sitting for an appointment for as long as two days in a row without calling. They can turn a promised 2-week installation time frame into 2-month installation - STILL without the first thing done. AND YOU CAN DO NOTHING TO GET OUT OF THIS!
So you'll know, if you get fed up with all of this, you cancel or try to get rid of this headache, you'll lose your 10% deposit - again with no recourse - if not that, they'll bill you more than the 10%. If you think this is harsh, or just sour grapes or just some crazy southern gal talking, call Home Depot's home installation department for Cape Coral Florida 239-242-8093 and pretend to be ** or **. Ask for info on the hurricane installation job # ** we've had pending for two months. Ask how many appointments to do this one job alone have ended in a no-show without a call to cancel. Ask what the original price to cover all windows was on the contract and what it is now.
I dare you Home Depot to prove me wrong! Even worse, my guess is if you do it this time, next month the results will still be the same. They tell me you company policy includes. Such lofty words are just words when not backed by actions that speak MUCH louder to customers.
HARRISBURG AREA, PENNSYLVANIA -- We went to Home Depot for our bathroom remodel to avoid problems, thinking a large store would do a good job or at least take care of any problems, but as soon as they got our money, they handed us over to an inept contracting company who sent a real jerk to do the job. What should have taken 10 days turned into over 2 months without a bathroom! The guy complained every single day about the job and how he wasn't getting paid enough from his company. I heard over and over again about his problems and how no one wanted this job and he got stuck with it.
Home Depot sent the wrong tile (half wrong half right) and this guy wouldn't bring it back to the store to get the right stuff since he wasn't getting paid for his time. Then the counter top was cut wrong so that extended the time by another week. My husband had to show him how to do the wiring since this guy kept blowing fuses and blaming our wiring when he was actually doing it wrong! He wouldn't install the tile we picked out saying it was too tall, he just didn't want to be bothered cutting it to fit. He even insulted us calling our bathroom a cubby hole and we shouldn't bother tiling it.
There is one floor tile right in the center of the floor that is different than the rest, the installer didn't notice. I did, but it was already in. We've been fighting Home Depot and the contractors about this for a while now since they won't guarantee that the floor won't get ruined by replacing the tile. The idiot who put it in told us not to mess with it since they took a short cut on the floor and installed the new tile over the old tile rather than digging up the old floor. (which was in the estimate).
They claim that we underpaid for the bathroom since they underestimated the time it would take to do it so they don't owe us anything. Whatever happened to good customer service? Home Depot doesn't care about repeat customers, we spent over 15k on that bathroom and would have used them for our kitchen if this didn't happen! After we finally resolve the floor tile problem, I'm calling the Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau on Home Depot and the contracting company!
NEW YORK -- I'm planning to remodel my kitchen, two contractor estimate the job for about $17-22 thousand. I was considering Home Depot, but after reading the reviews on this site, I don't think so. I shop at Gun Hill Road, Bronx location and my experience with service for smaller job was the worst punishment one can inflict on themselves. I thought with a bigger project and spending more money would be different. Apparently their incompetence, inexperienced, and poor quality in overall service has no boundaries or limitation.
OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- I had Home Depot do my kitchen remodel because I did not want to deal with the contractors myself. I thought Home Depot would make them toe the line. That was a foolish assumption, since Home Depot virtually ignored all aspects of the project management. I had to coordinate their work myself. I foolishly paid in advance since I trusted Home Depot. However, when they were getting later and later in doing the work (months), they refused to cancel the contract and at one time, even said they could not find any contract with me in their records.
When the work was finally done (about three months after the promised time), it was of inferior quality and I had to constantly monitor the work because Home Depot had not told them exactly what I had paid for. I had to do much of the work myself, such as appliance and hardware installation. The whole process was scandalous, an outright rip-off.
ELK GROVE, CALIFORNIA -- Our kitchen remodel seemed to come to a big halt, and I was ready to write a scathing review, but decided to give ** a shot. What a difference! Everything restarted quickly...although we didn't meet our deadline. We have now met with the store manager at his request. MESSAGE IS, IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS, CALL THE STORE MANAGER.
VALDOSTA, GEORGIA -- We have been remodeling our whole house. We special ordered a granite kitchen counter top, they sent the wrong one. Took a month to get it right. Also special ordered sink counter tops for both bathrooms. They measured wrong and they didn't have holes drilled in right spot. Had to redo. Still waiting on them. Special ordered faucets for Whirlpool tub that we also bought from them. Faucet does NOT fit! They now say I have to order a different tub that is $1,000 more. Don't they measure, before they order to make sure it will fit?!!!
The lady that ordered faucet said, "But that is the one you wanted..." trying to blame me! I don't work there but if I did, I would tell the customer if it would fit before I made them pay for all this special ordering. We also ordered a front full glass leaded double exterior door. When we got it, there was a big dent in it. That was 3 weeks ago. Still waiting..... They have put us 3 months behind! And we are paying all our workers to wait around on Home Depot!!!! We were supposed to be done November 20th. HELP PLEASE! I think we need compensated in some way...
HOBBS, NEW MEXICO -- We are in the middle of remodeling some of the rooms in our home which means buying certain supplies from Home Depot. Although we are a small town, we do have a couple of other supply store. However the Home Depot in Hobbs, NM has a wider choice of merchandise, which is terrific, but you CANNOT get help unless you hunt down someone and then you are treated like you are imposing on them.
We are having a building boom here and I realize getting worker has posed somewhat of a problem but if need be, PAY the workers more or import people, I don't really care. Hobbs just needs HELP in this store. We could go to Lubbock, TX but that is a 2-hour drive!!! So PLEASE help, a training class comes to mind. Thanks.