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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Tim Honeycutt’s answer
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.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
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:
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:
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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