Question Details

Merideth Wil…, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

Is Home Depot more expensive than General Contractors?

Asked by Merideth Wilkins, Atlanta, GA Wed May 27, 2009

I'm looking at having many repairs done on a home and wondered if Home Depot contractor pricing is competitive, higher, or lower than your average general contractor?

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I wanted to remodel my kitchen and bathroom. Kitchen is 14 by 8. I wanted to skim coated and repaint it put in new ceramic tiles on the floor, install 3 new outlets, quartz counter top (including new faucet and sink) with cabinets, waterline for my refrigerator. I wanted to see how much it was going to be with home depot. Just the cabinets with quartz counter top it was going to be about 7200, then the floor they wanted 4000 (only on materials it was going to be 450), electrical and plumbing since i wanted to install a dishwasher and range hood with three new outlets was going to be about 17000 according to the estimate and I also needed to purchase the dishwasher and range hood. So I was looking at almost 28000 this didn't include the skim coat and painting and the appliances. I was, so just to install the plumbing (which was hook up the sink to current plumbing) and 3 outlets and patch it up i will have to pay 17000. I was told they have to make sure is up to code and I had plaster walls. The Bathroom 8 by 6 i wanted to put new floor and wall tiles, cabinet and vanity, toilet, and bathtub with tub screen. That was going to cost me about 24000. So in total I was looking at 52000 just to do both. I went to Angie's list and requested for two general contractor to come over to get an estimate for the plumbing and electrical work. I made sure to check them out with my local government agency and better business bureau. I'm going to buy the materials since it was going to be about 2500- 3200. I went to have someone make and install the counter top with cabinets similar to those sold by home depot I got a total price of 4800 not including taxes and installation which came out to be about 5400. After telling the GC what I wanted with him installing everything I purchase and including the skim coat and painting and new lighting for bathroom and kitchen I was given a quote for 4200. So in total I will be paying less than 13000. Home depot makes money from everything, their contractors must purchase materials and appliances from them only, they get a cut from everything. The cabinets and counter top will be ready in 1 week with home depot i was looking at 3 weeks. I'm guessing since they probably take about 30-40% on total price for themselves the manufacturer makes the customer wait longer. They probably take even more from the electrical and plumbing work. I asked my GC how much to put an outlet and patch it up and paint it. I was told 125 it looks like home depot wanted 1250 for each one. If i would have gone with home depot they would have made 39000 for doing nothing since they hire subcontractors to do the work. The total value of the job would have been 13000 and home depot would have made more than that since the contractor would have bought the materials from them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 17, 2015
if you need any plumbing assistance freely contact Everlast Plumbing. For our details touch on http://www.everlastplumbing.com.au/index.php
Flag Thu Feb 18, 2016
Merideth,
First and formost educate yourself on what quality is. Do you know the difference between a dove tail cabinet and one that is not? My partner was in the kitchen bath redesign industry before he became disabled--so while dove tails brings up images of nice white feathers to me, to him it really means something else. while we use home depot for stuff in current resident which is a rental, we will most likely be using general contractor and the local Mom-n-Pop store in the house we purchase. Quality cost money. And a good relationship with a local merchant is more often than not, priceless.
Tim
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
I wanted to hire them to re shingle my roof. The salesman came in & quoted $9,650 for the job.
I requested a list of materials/brands & list of warranty & if labor was included in warranty.
He said only if the item was not properly installed. Then after he gave a "fixed" price he said if you sign now, I can give you a deal. I asked what is the deal? He said I need you to sign on before we discuss it...... At that point I was done....

I called around & checked for area roofers. I found a local family owned company that was started 17 years ago. They arrived at my home with all insurance papers & certifications & list of who will be on the job. The owner himself is on every job roofing with the crew. He supplied a list of product brands & detailed warranty with the labor coverage. Cost: $5400.00 with all included
The shingle used by this company is an architectural 30 yr shingle.

Home Depot was a 25 yr basic shingle.

No thankd Home Depot
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 2, 2016
i have 39 windows in my house needing replaced. Local Chino, CA vendor with Milguard (using Cardinal 366 glass panes) quoted me $22,000 everything inclusive. Home Depot quoted me Anderson ( using same Cardinal 366 glass panes at same thickness) quoted me $62,958. Here is the difference I was told by HD: HD has a double guarantee. Their double guarranty was the same offered by Milguard. Then...I went with my local Chino vendor and saved a ton.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 25, 2016
It is best to do a comparison between home depot and a licensed contractor. Depending on what you are looking for there are contractors who have the ability to give you the proper advice based on your project. We suggest speaking with home depot and checking contractors around your area. I know http://treeium.com have free consultations and are a great help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2015
I had them put in a new heating and ac unit installed and for the unit that was put installed I could have saved $2000.00 if i would of used an outside contractor and I would a better unit that match. The unit installed by Home depot was mixed units and I can not get the full 10 year warranty. I really got scr...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 22, 2015
yes they are get the materials but use private contractor. They are over price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 22, 2015
Generally they are higher. Having been a painting contractor prior to real estate, I have always found the box stores not as competitive as I could be with the general public.

If you can have the time to hire the sub-contractors, that is always the best way to go if at all possible.
Item by Item. The Banks however want one general contractor that is financially strong enough to stand behind all of the subcontractors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2015
It depends on the situation and the contractor. A good way to gauge that is through reading reviews and getting some quotes. That is the method I'd suggest trying before you make a decision. Reviews are usually a good gauge of quality. Good luck on the remodel/repairs. http://www.familyandfriendsbuilders.com/Remodeling___Renovat…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2015
They are 35-50% higher then everybody else! That is a fact.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 4, 2015
The best way I have found to save money is through Supplywiser.com I have a rep over there that can find anything i need. I got to stay with the same vendors i already use and save between 5%/50% on all my items.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2014
I would much prefer to do my business with a general contractor. They will be invested in your personally and offer you expertise along with the equipment. I'm going to be building my first home soon and I'll be finding a general contractor. I'm excited to finally start the process of building a home and finding the right general contractor to do it. http://www.lehmanconstructionservices.com/services
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
Having been with a company that had a streamline bidding process for Home Depot and having had clients use them in the past, I can honestly say they're not the cheapest nor are they the most expensive. The example below by one of the posters seems a bit exaggerated but then again, it may be 100% true and that bid may have been way out of line. That being said, the important thing to understand is that Home Depot does _not_ contract themselves, you won't be getting a bid from a GC that says Home Depot on the top, it'll say "ABC contracting" (unless they recently changed this), they're just an affiliated contractor who covers a large area that Home Depot has vetted and will work with (they're attaching their name to the HD brand so they went through a high level of scrutiny from HD, corporate). While it's true that some of those contractors charge more than others, some also charge less. From my many conversations with HD employees who had a say in these dealings, they don't control or influence the prices these contractors charge, they're simply trying to connect who they feel are quality contractors with HD customers who want to purchase materials there because at the end of the day, HD's business model isn't to be a General Contractor, they're selling products so you can do it yourself or your contractor can do it for you and of course connecting you with vendors who'll provide other services you may need relating to your home.

All that being said, I'm not an advocate for or against HD, I'm simply trying to put the facts in the proper perspective since everyone has an opinion, opinions are... (insert joke here), few people actually know how this works internally.

As always, do your due diligence when you enter into any business arrangement. If you're ok paying a little bit of a premium for some assurance you have a quality contractor, choose your contractor accordingly (this applies to HD or any referral somone gives you). If you have a tight budget and you absolutely must get some work done, you may be inclined to pay bottom dollar only but just remember, the offer with the lowest bid isn't always the right choice; do your research and make your choice accordingly.
Web Reference: http://RobWeber.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2014
Hi Merideth.

Personally, and in my most professional opinion, I would never have HD do a job on my home. They are acting as a GC, their prices are high, they are going to hire someone else and sub-contract the work anyhow. Why not use a local, trustworthy, independent GC or join Angie's List and look for one?

I have a good buddy that worked for them for a couple of months several years ago selling roofing in FL. Their prices were 2-3x independent roofers for the same tile roof. Insane.


Forget Home Depot.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
Yes... Always obtain 3 quotes from 3 different contractors when doing home remodeling projects.

When looking around Newburyport, MA and Southern, NH. Contact Joe Webster 857.829.1107 and view website: Merrimachomeinteriors.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
Gene, with all due respect, I disagree with your statement about Home Depot. Based on my experience, I would not buy anything from Home Depot except basic building materials. I would certainly not custom order anything from them.
Here is the problem, you order from one person, the next day they are gone. If you have a question, the new person may not know the answer.
By working with Home Depot contractor you are paying more for something Gene calls insurance. This may be true. Have you ever needed to call your medical insurance company and dispute a charge? This is the kind of insurance you get.
Go with a local, reputable company. Ask your neighbors and friends for names. Check license and insurance, or call local chapter of NARI - National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

I fully agree with Tim, a good relationship with a good local contractor is more often than not, priceless.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
Home Depot is usually cheaper but it is best to shop around. Also, the quality of most general contractors is better than the quality offered by Home Depot because Home Depot does not stock much top-of-the-line brands and items. Contractors generally purchase their supplies and equipment from other outlets with higher quality material. If you want cheap I would go with Home Depot. If quality is most important to you I would at least get a couple of estimates from contractors not affiliated with HD.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 29, 2009
My advice to you Merideth would be to shop around. "Big box" stores can be more expensive as they usually contract out the work, meaning that the contractor you could contact directly ( and therefore get a better price ) could be the one that Home Depot would use and, of course, add in their fee. Here's another tip for you, contact your Realtor about the repairs. Not only are they a good resource for advise on the repairs you are planning, but they may have a list of reputable local contractors that they can recommend to you. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 28, 2009
Of course due to the quality of the work they might be. But Merideth keep in mind the cheapest doesn't always equate to best deal. Get a quote from an independent contractor and home depot to see.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.


Will Addo
Renovation specialist
Wells Fargo Home Morgtgage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
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