Home Depot rip off?

Three years ago when we lived in FL we had new counter tops installed in our kitchen. We got everything from Home Depot. New sink, faucet, garbage disposal and counter tops.

A guy came out and measured to make the template for the counter (in this case Silestone). Three weeks later when the product was in, they scheduled the install. The installers ripped out and disposed of the old counter top, sink, etc and installed the new one in its place.

Now we live in NY and have decided to replace the 40 year old countertops in our home. Same basic deal, we’re keeping the cabinets and just getting new counter tops, sink, faucet etc. We go to HD nearby because we were well satisfied with their work last time and the price was good.

So the girl works up the quote and says that in order to make the template for the new counter (in this case Corian) they have to remove the existing counter tops and sink which will cost $675 (if we use their contractor) then we won’t have counter tops or sink for 3 weeks while we wait for the product to be built then the installers will come and install the new counter, sink, faucet. If we don’t want to be without a kitchen counter and sink for 3 weeks then we can have the contractor replace the counter top and sink temporarily for an additional $660.

When I pointed out that we’d had the same work done on our condo in FL and they didn’t have to rip out the counter top and sink to make the template her only reasoning was that things were done differently here in NY. That’s it, in FL you can make a template by just measuring, travel a bit north and apparently you have to rip out the existing counter tops to make a template.

I wish I would have questioned her further because now that I’ve had time to mull it over I think it’s utterly ridiculous and I want a better reason to spend an extra $675 (or $1335 if we have them rip it out and then put it back in).

I don’t get it. I think I’m going to have to call her back and ask her about that because it does seem utterly ridiculous.

I have encountered several new home construction projects where everything is new and accessible and yet the counter tops don’t fit when delivered.

I have no idea what the problem is in general. On one house, the drywaller bullnosed some corners and the extra thickness (>1/4 inch each bullnose) messed up the install so the stove would not fit.

Other houses I have seen the discrepancy is large (6 inches or more) and no one ever fesses up what went wrong.

No idea why HD wants to be so poopy. Could the old counter top just be set back in place with out a total reinstall? Seems like a tippy work surface would be tolerable during a remodel where you don’t want to move out . . .

Talk to another contractor.

It’s really not all that difficult to take out a countertop and sink, if they won’t come around on price. You could cut it into sections and then do a temporary reinstall after they take their measurements. Personally, any carpenter who can’t get the measurements with the old counter in place is not to be trusted.

to answer your question, yes, the $660 was to just set the old counter top and sink back in place until the new goods arrive. they wouldn’t be completely reinstalling it.

What I don’t get is why, two years ago, they just came out and measured without touching the existing stuff, and now they say they can’t make a template unless they tear out the existing.

So, tear it out, measure, put it back = $1335? That is just plain crazy.

Oh, my HD sales person didn’t answer her line and there’s no voice mail.

When I remodeled my kitchen, the only thing I did not do myself was to install the solid surface countertop. Once I had the cabinets installed, I had the counter people (from Home Depot, in fact) come out and take the measurements.

It did take three weeks for the counter to arrive. In the meantime, I made a temporary plywood countertop, which worked fine. The day before they returned with the finished product, though, I had to remove my temporary counter as well as the sink. Once the new one was installed, I re-installed the sink.

You can save yourself all the extra fees if you do what you can yourself.
mmm

Sounds fishy to me. I’ve never heard of tearing out an existing countertop in order to “make a template”.

I’d talk to another sales rep, go to a different home improvement store, or, if your heart is set on using Home Depot, go to one in another town.

FWIW We redid our kitchen with HD in CT and we had to wait, sans countertops and sink after they made the template.

It didn’t take three weeks- just a little under two. We were never offered the option to pay for a temp replacement. Our old counters were so bad that they fell apart on removal, so I don’t think it would have worked even if we had!

Yes, we have that option too, let them take out the existing (for $675) and then just live with no counters or sink for 3 weeks.

I just don’t get why they have to do it that way here in NY but back in FL no.

No we don’t have our hearts set on Home Depot and yes we are going to get other quotes.

We’re not handy and don’t really feel comfortable doing the work ourselves, but we do have a handyman that we use and we will get a quote from him but for the life of me I can’t figure out why they have to take out the existing to make the template.

They don’t. As **Chefguy **said, any decent carpenter/installer can do it with the countertops in place. I’ve remodeled several kitchens and never has anyone had to remove the old tops.

The fee for the temporary install is ridiculous. That is maybe a one hour job if they fuck up and have to start over. Twice.

If they didn’t trust their measurements, they could always make a template from paper couldn’t they?

Sounds to me like CYA for the store. They either don’t trust their guys to measure correctly, or they do it this way to cut down on complaints of the new stuff not fitting right.

Granted I have just one data point, but HD did my mother’s solid countertops, and the contractors they had did a terrible job! Seams didn’t match up evenly - I’m talking 1/4" difference in height! There were gaps along the walls that were too wide for caulk, and they damaged one of the surfaces.

When I finally get around to having my laminate counters replaced, I’m definitely not going HD or Lowe’s. I’ll find a contractor who specializes in kitchens. If I wanted it done badly, I could do it myself…

Again, one data point, but HD depot a really good job on our kitchen. Counters were really nice and they sent back a box of cabinetry because it didn’t meet their standards upon inspection (some scratches- these were for pieces that go under the cabinets). Not everything was perfect about the installation- one part I’m not thrilled about- but overall we were very happy.

I should add that we slightly changed the footprint of our counters, so we needed all the new base cabinets in place to know the final shape of the new counter tops, so my situation may not be completely analogous.

Sometimes they have to remove it because of the backsplash that is on regular kitchen countertop. I don’t think Corian has a backsplash. Older homes don’t usually have straight walls and it can be difficult to fill that gap. They sometimes cut the Corian to follow the lines of the wall. I think they may use a system like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41EL1J-c1GU

then feed the data to a waterjet or CNC and the countertop fits perfect.

I think that’s a total rip-off. Most older (laminate) tops are just attached with screws. The most time consuming thing would be to unhook/hookup the sink.

Have you called any local top shops? HD just has local contractors that have made an agreement to go on HD jobs at HD pricing.

My son was working for HD several years back. Customer from hell. Not a bad customer but one where if it could go wrong it did. Missed measured was the start. Then the contractor used what was delievered even though it waas wrong. It landed in his lap after many trips to HD by customer. He could not understand what went wrong. He got permission to go out to the customers home to inspect what was wrong. By the time he was done it cost the store more than the sale to make the corrections. And they store had a new contractor. Do not let sloppy work go. Become the squeeky wheel.

Having spent many years working with cabinet makers (who also make counter tops) I’ve learned that there is no benefit in going through Home Depot for cabinets or tops. Reputable cabinet shops offer better “custom” cabinets/tops and stand behind their work. And the price really isn’t that different.

If it’s not too late, call a few cabinet shops and get an estimate (which should be free) and ask them if they will have to remove the top (very doubtful) to accurately measure the run.

If it’s only held on with screws then disconnect the top yourself.

Unless HD is $1300+ less expensive than other places for a countertop, there is no way I’d agree to this. It sounds like either 1) they’ve had trouble before with countertops that didn’t fit, and they ended up eating the costs, or 2) HD has some really lazy contracters, or 3) HD is trying to win business by seeming to undercut others, while slapping you with additional charges.

I don’t know which one it is, but I wouldn’t agree to any of them.