All is not as it seems with Lowe’s and Home Depot installation services
Big Box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot can be a great resource for DIY-ers to find and purchase materials for their remodeling projects. Even we contractors shop there. But where Big Box stores have failed is their push to also be the remodeling contractor. Let’s discuss why:
Not Really the Contractor
Big Box stores don’t usually employ carpenters and construction laborers. Most of the time, when you hire Lowe’s or Home Depot, for your remodeling project, they are sub-contracting the job out to a smaller contractor.
The truth is, working through a Big Box store is not a great deal for contractors. Their service providers often get the short end of the stick, and there’s no way to be profitable working as an independent contractor for a Big Box store. And we need to be profitable in order to stay in business.
You, as the homeowner, don’t get a say in which independent contractor/service provider is assigned your project. You probably won’t ever even learn their company name. So you could be getting assigned a less-than-stellar contractor with terrible reviews, and you would have no idea until your project starts to go poorly.
What’s Included in the Project
Big Box remodeling is not full service. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible. If you hire Lowe’s or Home Depot to replace your flooring, guess what: they don’t include the basemold as part of your project.
A good, full-service contractor knows that the best way to replace flooring is to take off the existing basemold during demo, and either re-install after the floor is finished, or replace it with new basemold.
If you hire Lowe’s or Home Depot to install your new countertops, they may or may not offer demolition of existing countertops in your project, and they definitely won’t check your cabinet box’s integrity to ensure they can even withstand the countertop replacement.
Basically, Big Box “remodeling/installation services” should be called DIY+. Sure, they’ll do some of the work, but they don’t finish the project.
Quality of Work
It would take more than two hands to count the number of times we’ve been called after a client has tried to work with a Big Box store like Lowe’s or Home Depot for their remodeling project, only for the project to go horribly wrong. (Don’t believe us? Just Google “big box store remodeling reviews”. The good ones are few and far between.)
Or, alternatively, they promise the same quality product (cabinets for example) for a fraction of the cost. The reality is, cabinets Lowe’s and Home Depot install are pre-manufactured (which isn’t always a bad thing), and may be made by the same manufacturers professional contractors trust, but these Big Box stores are offering a budget-line, inferior quality cabinet.
The service is bad, the work is not always great quality, and the products are inferior. Which leaves you, the homeowner, having to redo that remodeling project sooner rather than later, and costing yourself more in the long run.
The best way to avoid the hidden cost of Big Box “remodeling” is to hire a full-service design-built contractor from the beginning. Do we cost more? Yes. We’re not going to pretend differently. But is our slightly higher cost worth every penny? Our clients say “Yes!”