Hiring contractors from Hope Depot or Lowes vs independent contractors

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Posted by: from Mississauga
7/2/2012 at 10:59:22 AM


I am trying to remodel my kitchen and Bathroom- not finding a suitable contractors.

Can any one tell me if it would be too exoansive to get install service from home depot and such stores.

This is the first time i am doing home remodeling- thanks.

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:02:18 PM


What is your definition of "suitable contractor"?

There are hundreds of qualified contractors out there. By qualified, I mean contractors with experience, references, insurances and licenses.

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:22:05 PM

Good Morning:

Finding a suitable contractor should not be a problem. Obviously, I hope that you are dealing with reputable kitchen and bath suppliers, so they should know who to get for the project. Unfortunately, if you are dealing with the box stores ONLY, then you will have their referrals only.

There are many independents who are comparable in price, but in some cases have offer products of better quality. They are also more knowledgable in the range of products that they can supply, for they are not limited to just what head office buyers purchase for resale. They will have their own installers that they recommend. When they have recommended an installer, you can ask for work references from customers that these contractors have worked for.

The box stores account for a small percentage of contract referrals.

You have had one response from one contractor in the vicinity. Give him a call. I am sure, that being a participant in this site, that if he cannot help, he will most certainly be able to give you some qualified guidance.

Being from Vancouver Island, I am a bit too far to offer anything but advice.

I am one of the "Little Guys" that don't work for the boxes.

Best of luck.


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Asif in Mississauga
Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:28:49 PM

Thanks Chuck- for your reply.

I was looking to purchase the material from Hope Depot and such and give it to a contractor to undertake the the entire job-however this is the first time i am doing a home reno and on a tight budget but at the same time want to be safe- as if anything goes working after the reno i iwll have not much fund left to redo.

Also the two quote from contractors i received varies to a great length- so i am all confused what would be a realistic price to do this job.

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:50:54 PM

If you can't find a contactor to do the work, then you can hire home depot, and they will do it and mark up

the price by 40%.

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 12:55:54 PM

I would be carefull of the home-depot installers, I've had to re-do two kitchens those guys totally screwed up. Home-Depot gives all their installs to one super contractor(LOL) who in turn sub-contracts it out to another contractor.

But to your question of a suitable contractor, how many contractors have you ask to come and give you a quote ? do they have insurance & lic.



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Trevor from Arbutus Contracting in Mission
Date/Time7/2/2012 at 1:16:02 PM

I have no experience with home depot installers, but I do have a customer that contacted me about finishing some of the mouldings and panels on her home depot kitchen. While I was there I found out what it cost. It was over double what I would get cabinets for from my cabinet supplier, and the home depot cabinets were not any better quality.

My advise is, get the quote from home depot, but take your drawings and get a few other quotes as well.

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 1:29:28 PM

Good afternoon,

To help you with your question, Home depot or lowes will be time consumingWitch it's a long process. If you can find a contractor who Will do both at the same time, it would be more cost effective.

We wish you a great day .


Casa Bella construction

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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 4:12:54 PM

Hi Asif:

If you go to our website, you will see three examples of kitchens that we have done. All of these were done by a small firm located not too far from us. They are entirely handbuilt and therefore do not have any wasted space. By that I mean that if I require a 40 inch cabinet, that is what I get. All cabinets from shops come in 6 inch increments unless specifically built, so you wind up with lots of filler.

Our cabinets come in many finishes, but we prefer the natural wood finish. Two of the kitchens are in alder, while the larger kitchen is in 1/4 sawn oak.

For your information, we pay about the same for these as you would from a box store, but far better quality. Our kitchens for the most part have drawers on the lowers, and have blume slides with soft closers. As you can see, all have under valance lighting and the varied option of different heights and crown mouldings.

We have looked at production cabinets and checked the fit and finish. Some are grained with "tape" to resemble wood: most are just particle board: some have plastic coverings on the doors (moulded), and for the most part you get what you pay for. Spend the money for quality cabinets. That is one thing that you don't get at the box stores. They only focus on volume, and it will show after a few years use.

Things to think about.


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Date/Time7/2/2012 at 4:51:50 PM

Hello Asif,

this is just my personal opinion as a customer and also Drywall taping / Painting contractor. I buy lots of supplies from home depot because at the end of the day they do have great prices, way cheaper than smaller companies, stores, and with good quality. But, when it comes to installation keep in mind that they do not have a bunch of crews waiting around for a project to fall on their head, they always use subcontractors, which is ok, the problem is that you will definitely pay about 30% more since they have to make money as well as the contractor. Also if you decide to go with a smaller company I easier for you to talk to them, whenever you have somethin in mind.

Small companies like my self well we try to keep things as friendly as possible,like if we knew each other for years, home depot will be straight business, if you need to install an extra light, they will charge you extra, just for 5 minutes of their time, smaller companies are more flexible.

I guess by best advice is to look very closely at whoever goes give you a quote, look at how they dress, if they look clean or not, thy way they talk, do they seem professional, how was the quote given,do they have a decent web site, business card,registered business, flyers, etc.. I mean you have to look for things that makes them.stand from the rest, and then you compared prices,but never go for the cheapest one.

Good luck

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Rachid from Domilya Group in Oakville
Date/Time7/2/2012 at 11:16:40 PM

Hi Asif,

I am sorry you can't find a proper contractor, but I am sure that you have not yet found the right one!

If you hire strickly from HOME DEPOT or LOWES be prepared to pay 40% more.



647 300 1242

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:23:57 AM

Hi Asif,

it is always easy to go against the big box stores. The big box stores give there installations to a big company which hires there own sub contractors, as mentioned before. That means that all installers are pre screened for you. They must provide insurance and Workers compensation in order to work. This cost is sometimes skipped by smaller contractors in order to safe money which could cost you more money in the end.

As for quality, you can get a good contractor with, or without the box stores. Being a installer for "the big ones" doesn't mean that you are good in what you do.

Price, there will be an upmark for the services that you get from the box stores but it doesn't mean that they are way more expensive.

I would suggest to get quotes from both, box stores and independent installers and see who you are more comfortable with. Trust your gut feeling.

And last but not least, check the warranty on your installation, some of the independant ones don't have any policies.

By the way, I'm not a installer for the big box stores and I'm not trying to promote them.

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William from All Things Wood in Langley
Date/Time7/4/2012 at 11:42:46 AM

Contractors are hard to find these days due to availability of lots of work and an aging trades market.

This site can be good. You can research here without someone sales pitching you.

HD contractors are expensive and not necessarily any better than anyone outside of that service and they are probably just as busy.

Not having entered the reno market yet, you roll the dice after you research your choices and hope for the best really. Talk to family freinds business associates.

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Alexandru from A&R Renovations Inc. in Woodbridge
Date/Time7/9/2012 at 3:47:08 PM

Hy there, my name is Alex and i have been working as installer with Home Depot , if you want a reliable and skill contractor there are a lot of them out there same as HD, The only difference is, in case you need Home Depot to pay for the project and the percent that you will be charge extra.

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Date/Time7/9/2012 at 9:47:25 PM


I would suggest that you do a proper check on the contractor that you are thinking of hiring either through any of the outlet locations or your local home builders association. They should have be licensed and have a business address.

There are a few websites that you could check.

I would recommend that you call your local Home Builders Association (BILD in Toronto) or the Ontario Home Builders Association for a list of renovators, contractors or builders in your area or are members of the Association that will and can remodel your Kitchen or Bathroom.

Lou Frustaglio

Dreambuilders (2004) Ltd.

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Date/Time8/11/2012 at 10:28:43 AM

Hi Asif,

There are several replies that clearly suggest you to do some reaserch before you take your decision.

By going through Big Boxes you will pay more in over heads like 40% for the service of the name, they sub let to other contractors only.

The process is too lengthy as one day they remove cabinets, othet day the plumber may show up and then one day the electrical guy will come and so on and so forth,On the other hand if you hire private contractor they work side by side, most of them are insured and bonded so not to worry.

Only thing is you do some reaserch and get the right guy - check references, check the work they have done, check their insurance papers etc. Compare apples to apples.

There are a lot of contractors on Handy Canadian site that you can look at and see if some one suits your needs, budget and time.

Even buying from Big boxes are only for those who are with limited resources and ideas.In big boxes they have limited sizes of boxes that supplier offers so the designers cant do much, if you shop else where may be in the same or better price you can get a better designed, custom cabinets and counter tops at much reasonable price.

Good luck and let me know if i could be of more help.

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Syed Painting & Handyman Services in Brampton
Date/Time8/21/2012 at 1:20:36 PM

Homedept and lowes contractor are not special than other independent contractors. But they just charge you a lot more because they want to pay you for their brand name.

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Jeff from Ottawa Refacing in Ottawa
Date/Time2/2/2013 at 7:44:51 PM

We offer kitchen refacing through our own business as well as through the Rona's in Ottawa. Though there are exceptions, generally the prices should be fairly competitive. We generally discount the Rona jobs so after their mark up, it is very close to our own pricing.

We can discount the jobs because of the volume of work we receive; profit margins are less per job, but over all profits are higher because they can supply constant work even in slow seasons. Through personal experiance, both Rona and Home depot ask for a 19% cut, not 40%.

Also, through the big box stores, a customer can finance which can also save a customer a big percentage over financing through a bank.

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Melvin in Durham
Date/Time5/27/2013 at 4:21:49 PM

Notice that Lowes does not charge taxes on installations. What gives?? I am looking to install new flooring throughout the downstairs and i'm wondering should I base my decesion soley on saving on taxes.

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Dean in Calgary
Date/Time6/29/2017 at 6:53:31 PM

It doesn't matter who do they work for, many plumbers are cowboys and many are good. Sometimes a cheaper guy knows more than the rip-off guys. Not just getting more than three quotes but ask them questions and you know if they had training for that particular job or learned it from YouTube. A contractor from Homedepot ( Dolphin contractor) in Vancouver came over to give me a quote to level flat my basement floor, he was asking $60,000 for the job. He said, the exterior drain pipes are the problem (without video check) and once fix that will fix the floor, and he wanted to excavate to pull up the old drain pipes and then level the floor from inside. LOL, I wasn't born yesterday. I called a mason contractor guy from Craiglist, he charged $2000, he made the floor flat with self leveling compound and it was as good as you can expect.

My other furnace and vent cleaning contractor from Homedepot came over, he blew white dirt all over the room. I said, it should be sucked into his vacuum cleaner, He argued that for 17 years experience, he had never seen it before. When I looked into the problem with him, I found out he only hooked the vacuum tube half way( lazy short cut) and it didn't have enough suction. I told him to put magnetic plates that came in his bag to cover other vent to create more pressure. Problem sold. 17 years experienced contractor????

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