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.
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.
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.
When looking around Newburyport, MA and Southern, NH. Contact Joe Webster 857.829.1107 and view website: Merrimachomeinteriors.com
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.
Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Wells Fargo Home Morgtgage