Home Depot Wants $100 to Measure Kitchen

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My friend is in the market for a kitchen remodel. He says Home Depot wants $100.00 to just come out and measure. I've never heard of this before. Is this common?
ScottO.
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Do they apply the money to your order? I can see why they wouldn't want to come do your measuring then have you order your cabinets from somewhere else.
nancy
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yeah sad too many windowshoppers.
you can take your measurements to lowes and their kitchen designer will come up with a nice plan
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why charge $100 for an estimate,when you can charge $300 for the plan.
free estimates are what gets potential customers to call you in the first place.
I say give the window shoppers the free estimate without a plan and if they want a plan, charge them $300 for it and it is NOT deducted from the contract price. at least this way you are being paid for your time and you didn't waste more than 20 min. on a plan that a window shopper is expecting for free.
I usually give free estimates at the time of looking at the job, then I inform them about the "design fee" to get a plan.
works like a charm it usually weeds out the garden so to speak.
wrote: | > My friend is in the market for a kitchen remodel. He says Home Depot wants | > $100.00 to just come out and measure. I've never heard of this before. Is | > this common? | > | > ScottO. | | yeah sad too many windowshoppers. | | you can take your measurements to lowes and their kitchen designer | will come up with a nice plan |
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Interesting how things work differently at different places. If you gave me an estimate and then mentioned the design fee (especially since the fee is not credited toward the project if we accept) I would have tossed you out the door as trying to rip me off. Especially since I am sure the actual bid doesn't always match up with estimate after you get exactly everything down on paper.
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wrote: | | > I usually give free estimates at the time of looking at the job, | > then I inform them about the "design fee" to get a plan. | Interesting how things work differently at different places. If you | gave me an estimate and then mentioned the design fee (especially since | the fee is not credited toward the project if we accept) I would have | tossed you out the door as trying to rip me off.
ripping you off..........how? you got your free estimate (which you expected) I never said you would get a free kitchen design. designs take experience, knowledge and time. my time is worth the money you would spend.
Especially since I am | sure the actual bid doesn't always match up with estimate after you get | exactly everything down on paper.
my estimates are written in stone on paper or verbally
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Doesn't your free estimate take experience, knowledge, and time? At least if it is going to be anywhere near accurate?
--
--Tim Smith

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I got to where I could walk into a kitchen and give an estimate that would be within $500 of the final cost. I would try to avoid spending the 3 hours drawing up a plan, needlessly, like you said to "weed" the garden. Told a lady, my estimate, once, and she went into a long tirade about how she hadn't spent that much to buy the house 40 years before and there was no way she would spend that much to remodel just the kitchen. So, I started to pick up my things and leave and she says, "Well, since you're here draw up the plans so I can see what you're ideas are". Yea, sure, so she could take them somewhere else to get a lower bid? Not likely.
Tom G
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 15:27:39 -0700, ScottO wrote:

Does HD subcontract out for stuff like this? Seams reasonable enough for what the remodel job might cost.
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Just did this. The money is refunded/applied to your order.
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Which is pretty standard. I started charging for estimates a long time ago. Same deal. You sign up, you get a refund. Cuts down on the tire kickers. It also lets people know that you value your time, and you expect them to do the same.
R
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As a consumer, I first thought this was unfair.
However, I now see that it is fair to the contractor. It cost him money to make the estimate or measure.
wrote:

Which is pretty standard. I started charging for estimates a long time ago. Same deal. You sign up, you get a refund. Cuts down on the tire kickers. It also lets people know that you value your time, and you expect them to do the same.
R
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wrote:

So then a person with a remodel job would have to pay $300-500 up front to get 3 - 5 bids and then only $100 would be credited back. Seems like quite a racket. Why even be the low bid. You could make a living just going out on estimates - just give an outrageous bid. I will never pay for a quote. It's highway robbery.
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Madx wrote:

A bid is for a job, with all the specifications & plans laid out already. Basically....... a bid sheet
It's absurd to think a real company would perform lay-outs, design, specifications, and such, just to satisfy your curiosity.
With that logic, why would anyone want to be an architect, and work for free?
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Wouldn't it be more like burglary since we're talking about houses? ;)
You've heard the old saying, there is no such thing as a free lunch, right? Well, it's true. You may not think you're being charged for that "free" estimate, but you are. The contractor just buries it in his price somewhere. I prefer to be more upfront about it.
It requires effort to prepare an estimate. There's the site visit, discussing the customers wants and needs, working up the estimate itself, then sitting down with the customer to review the estimate and point out where there are areas where money could be saved, or areas where more money will be required to do it right. In short - educating the customer.
Where do you think that time comes from? I have no more hours in my week than you do. I can't just ignore hours anymore than your boss will ignore hours if you decide to skip work. From your comment, it's obvious that you're not the boss or I wouldn't need to explain this stuff to you. An estimate and presentation might take three hours or more. What do you feel would be a reasonable amount of money to charge for that time?
Since you brought up the 3-5 bids, where does that come from? Do you think that somehow gives you a better project or saves you money? It doesn't work that way. Most people that get more than a couple or three bids are simply price shopping. They think that all contractors are interchangeable and will pick the lowest bid. My work is far above the norm and so are my prices. You and I would never get past the initial phone call. I screen potential customers at least as carefully as the owner screens me. If someone is price shopping, there are other contractors who are eager to race each other to the bottom of the barrel. I'm not. I've never been the low bid, and if I was informed I was, besides being shocked, I'd assume I'd missed something and go racing to double-check my estimate.
When you hear about a remodeling project where there were horrendous cost overruns, it's usually due to an owner price shopping, taking the lowest bid and hoping for the best, or because an owner doesn't understand the correlation between what they'd like done and what has to be done. Both scenarios are recipes for disaster.
R
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While I appreciate your comments, to suggest that consumers shouldn't shop around is ludicrous. Also, to suggest that the person who bids more must be the better provider is just as bad. As a person soliciting for work, you are a salesman. To suggest that all sales people should get paid to show their wares is unbelievable. I suppose when you go car shopping, you just go and buy from the first dealer you stop at. Of course not! You shop around to find the best price AND service. I'm not saying I don't believe that your time is valuable it's just the nature of the beast and you decided to go into this line of work so you must deal with the occasional window shopper. By far the best recommendation is word of mouth and no complaints filed against you at the BBB. I have no reason to believe that you don't do quality work but I'm sure the scammer ready to rip me off would say his work is top notch too. Using your logic, if he's more expensive, it must be true!
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 22:58:51 -0400, "Scott"

I don't think he said that. IN fact he didn't say how to find a good contractor.
In this case, it seems to me that no one would have to pay 300 to 500 for 3 to 5 estimates.
I've never done this, but are these 100 dollar estimates in writing, with a drawing, showing what size cabinets are used?
So you pay for one, and you get one, and then you take the drawing to the other guys, and get an estimate from them for the same size, type, etc, cabinets. They don't have to come to your house, they don't have to measure. How much, if anything, do they charge for that?
Admittedly if you hire one of the ones who have never been to the house, I think they will all insist on measuring themselves, after the contract is signed**. How much would they imbed in the contract for doing so? Whatever, you'll be paying no more than 100 dollars extra for the first guy to come out.
**Although maybe not if the customer a release that he measured and he's accurate, and will pay extra expenses. Surely if I'm just replacing the cabinets I have with identically sized cabinets, I can measure the size myself. Rico, would you trust me to do that, if I signed a release too?

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Exactly what I have been thinking. The original question concerned paying Home Depot to send someone to your house to measure. I don't even know if they tell you how much the job will be. Sounds like they are measuring and doing a CAD layout for you. What's to stop you from taking that to some other supplier of cabinets? Nothing.
I think that the bidding to do the job should be separated from the purchase of the cabinets in this discussion. No where has anyone said that Home Depot is going to do the job, just measuring to order the cabinets.

Exactly.
I brought in my kitchen measurements to the store (Channel Lumber). The guy put the specifics into the computer and laid things out as I asked. After we hammered out a few changes, he ordered the cabinets. I don't think they would have been responsible if I messed up, and believe me, it was an adventure due to a couple of unforseen things.
nancy
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wrote

My husband just reminded me we had to pay home depot $100 to measure for laminate flooring we were going to do. They sent out some one with a tape measure and a scratch pad (no cad drawing) The resulting number of square feet was off by 150. I remeasured and a future contractor measured to confirm. The number of square feet was just recorded in the order department. We did not receive a materials list or anything professional. As for the kitchen design we took our own measurements in and they were used to give us a free cabinet layout.
That's the basis of why I would not pay $100 for someone to measure or write up a proposal. It's part of the cost of doing business as a contractor in hopes of getting the job.
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I thought the normal thing was to write numbers down and then do the CAD drawing whereever the computer was. A floor is two dimensional, and ought to able to be represented on paper.

OTOH, this guy couldn't. :)
I suppose if the work were done by HD you would have/ might have gotten the extra 150 feet for free. What *do* they do then.
My caution that they might run out of the color still seems possible but less likely with laminate tile, because they can ship from all over the country.

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