If you had told me a few weeks ago that I’d be writing a post today about how much a Home Depot kitchen remodel costs, I never would have believed you.
Why? Because before we discovered a major issue with one of our kitchen cabinets that resulted in my husband and I spontaneously removing it from the wall one Saturday morning, a full kitchen renovation was definitely on the 10-year plan for us.
When we moved into our 1980s colonial a couple years ago, we knew we’d eventually want to renovate the kitchen. The cabinets are old, but at the time we believed the issues were just cosmetic. And then we discovered a sagging cabinet that was pulling away from the wall.
I’m not gonna lie: Part of me was ecstatic because there was a glimmer of hope that I’d get to ditch my 1980s oak cabinets much sooner than we’d planned. (Not real excited about, you know, paying for the remodel, but the universe seemed to be sending us a message so……)
Take a look at the cabinet that started this “well, maybe it’s time for a kitchen reno” conversation (if you follow me on Instagram, you probably already heard the saga on IG Stories):
Anyway, our little cabinet snafu has resulted in us doing lots of research online and scheduling in-store appointments at both Home Depot and IKEA (so far) to discuss the kitchen remodeling process. We’re evaluating several options before we start any #demoday proceedings — if we even decide to go the renovation route, that is — and these are the first two appointments we’ve attended.
So I’m going to write a few posts for you detailing our experiences, along with my personal perspective on the pros and cons of pursuing a kitchen remodel with each company based on the information I gathered at those appointments.
What’s the process for a Home Depot Kitchen remodel?
First things first: What’s the process for even starting to think about a kitchen remodel with Home Depot?
The first step in the kitchen remodeling process with Home Depot is to book an appointment with one of their in-store kitchen designers. You can do this in store, online, or over the phone. Don’t think you’ll just waltz into Home Depot on Saturday afternoon and be able to talk with someone — the consultations are done by appointment only, and there are very few consultants per store (at least that’s the case here in Northern Virginia).
Based on booking our appointment, the designer you’re matched with isn’t based on your specific design needs because those aren’t discussed at the time of booking — the only information you share is what you’re hoping to buy from Home Depot (e.g. cabinets, counter tops, appliances, etc). The designer you work with really comes down to who’s available on the day and time you want to come in. I’ve read elsewhere that you can request a specific designer at a Home Depot store if you know who you want to work with, but my assumption is that most people come into this process cold and don’t have a specific designer in mind (unless they’ve already worked with Home Depot on a previous kitchen or bath remodel).
A day or two before the appointment, we received an email reminder noting our appointment time and other items we should bring with us to the appointment. It also included questions we were supposed to consider ahead of time — basic stuff like “How old is your home?” and “What do you want to see in your new kitchen?”
What happens during the Home Depot kitchen remodeling in-store design consultation?
During our 45-minute appointment, our designer walked us through the Home Depot kitchen remodeling process from start to finish. This handout she gave us gives a concise overview of all the steps:
During our meeting with the in-store designer, we first shared photos of our kitchen and measurements of our current cabinets and counter tops, and talked about all our kitchen hopes and dreams (well, maybe not all of them, but definitely the “please make this space better than the 1980s disaster it is now”). We told the designer that we wanted to work exactly within the existing layout to avoid having to repair or replace flooring, or making other modifications that would wind up causing the project to be more expensive. We also informed her we’d be keeping our fridge (we upgraded it last year) and our in-wall ovens (because what a pain in the butt that would be to take it all out). We also were willing to skip backsplash tile for now in order to keep costs down.
We then talked more about our budget. Because we weren’t planning on remodeling our kitchen quite this soon, we specifically told her we needed to stay around the $30K mark. She told us that might be tough but wasn’t completely impossible.
According to one of the many handouts she gave us, homeowners tend to spend about 10% of their home’s current value on a kitchen renovation. Personally, I hate benchmarks like that because they don’t take into consideration the age and condition of the home, the geographic location and what buyers in a certain area expect, or whether the homeowner is planning major structural changes. Based on this arbitrary “benchmark,” we were “supposed” to spend more than double what we were planning on a new kitchen. Not happening.
Once the budget talk was out of the way, our designer then showed us one line of cabinets that she thought were good quality but also pretty budget friendly. The downside: They were only available in standard-ish colors — like white, gray, and various wood tones. I had been toying with the idea of having light blue lower cabinets, but it looked like that wasn’t going happen if we chose this particular cabinet line.
She then asked us to browse the counter tops on display. I already knew I wanted quartz, so I chose a color based on those on display and she jotted it down. Then we talked about the appliances we’d need to replace — in our case, we need a new microwave, dishwasher, sink, faucet and cook top.
After we quickly chose cabinets, counter tops and a couple appliances on display, she created a cost estimate for us based on our selections, which also factored in the demo of our current kitchen (including removing a soffitt) and the installation of all the new stuff.
Here’s what the estimated breakdown looked like:
The total price of $30,570 included the following:
- American Woodmark cabinets
- Quartz counter top
- New microwave
- New cook top
- New dishwasher
- New sink (apparently Home Depot sometimes runs a promo where they’ll give you a free sink with the purchase of a new counter top, so this was technically scoped at $0)
- Estimated labor costs for the demo and removal of our old items, and the installation of all the new materials
Next up: The in-home measurement process
After we reviewed the estimated costs, we set up a time for an in-home measurement.
The process goes exactly how it sounds: someone comes to your house and measures your space to give the designer more accurate numbers so that she can create a layout and rendering of your new kitchen. Home Depot usually charges $99 for this, but they were offering a discount at the time of our appointment, so we paid $49.
The measurement process was pretty painless. We scheduled an appointment for the following week, and the person arrived on time and spent about 15 minutes measuring lots of aspects of our kitchen. Easy peasy.
What happens during the second Home Depot kitchen remodeling in-store design consultation?
We returned to Home Depot about a week later for our second in-store design consultation. During this meeting, the same designer we met with the first time pulled up the measurements that were taken, and pulled up a CAD program on her computer (in plain English, that means a computer-based program where she could “draw” out our new kitchen to show us a rendering of what it would look like) and started creating a suggested layout for our kitchen.
Now, we had originally talked about keeping the new layout exactly the same as our current one….but the more we chatted about that idea, the more it seemed like a decision we’d be bummed about in the long run. Our designer suggested that we go look in the flooring aisle (good thinking!) to find a hardwood that matched our current flooring — so that if/when we changed the location of cabinets or ditched our very annoying peninsula, we’d be able to install flooring where it didn’t previously exist and have the end result be pretty seamless.
Anyway, we decided we’d rather go with a kitchen island versus our current peninsula layout. And here’s where we landed:
At that point, she updated our price estimate based on the exact configuration she had mapped out for us. Not gonna lie, I was impressed — it was within a few hundred dollars of her original estimate. (She could TOTALLY win the grand prize on The Price is Right.)
Our second consultation ended, and the next step was to schedule a second in-home measurement appointment so that someone could come back out to our home and ensure that the design that our designer created would indeed fit within our space.
We haven’t booked the second measurement appointment yet since we’re still evaluating options and deciding whether this is really the right time to move forward with a full kitchen renovation.
But here are some initial thoughts on Home Depot kitchen remodels based on what I’ve learned so far.
Pros and cons of a Home Depot kitchen remodel
We’ve now been to two in-store appointments to discuss plans for our new kitchen. Based on our experience so far, here are my thoughts on the pros and cons of choosing Home Depot for your kitchen remodel.
PROS OF A HOME DEPOT KITCHEN REMODEL
- You benefit from the scale of Home Depot — meaning because they carry a limited selection of cabinets, counter tops, and other fixtures, they can (usually) offer you a good price on everything you need for a new kitchen. Sure, there’s plenty to choose from, but you are still limited to whatever is sold through Home Depot.
- You can take advantage of sales at certain times of the year to save money on cabinets, counter tops, and/or appliances.
- If something goes wrong during the design or renovation process, the work is backed by a big brand.
CONS OF A HOME DEPOT KITCHEN REMODEL
- The kitchen designer never sets foot in your home.
- You need to be (relatively) confident in your own design choices. While our designer suggested some cabinet and counter top combinations she thought we might like, she made it clear that she was an architect — not an interior designer — by trade. So if you’re looking for more hands-on interior design help in terms of mixing and matching cabinetry and finishes and everything in between, this might not be the best route for you.
- You are required to purchase all materials for your renovation through Home Depot. For most people this might not be an issue, but if you have your heart set on something Home Depot doesn’t carry, that might pose an issue for you.
- While the actual kitchen installation work is backed by a big brand, it is done by an independent contractor and you don’t get to choose which one to work with. This is the biggest wild card for me, I think — because even if you love your designer and the materials you’re purchasing, there’s really no guarantee that you’re getting the very best contractor to do the actual work in your home. Yes, we’d all like to think a reputable brand like Home Depot only works with top-notch contractors, but again…there’s no guarantee of that and you don’t have the freedom to research, vet, and choose the contractor you like best.
What do you think? Have you worked with Home Depot on any room remodels, or have you considered it? What was your experience like?
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