If you’re shopping for kitchen cabinets, there are a few places that come to mind. One of them, of course, is the DIYers go-to: Home Depot. As popular as Home Depot cabinets are, though, we don’t really hear much about them. (It’s usually just IKEA, IKEA, IKEA!) So I decided to look into them and help you do your homework.
I went straight to the source, with a bunch of questions for Dana Hudson, who works in Kitchens Merchandising with Home Depot, but to be sure I was getting real-world, real-people experiences, I also talked with two people who said “let’s do this!” and bought their kitchen cabinets at HD. Greg Reyner in Detroit is the owner of Cafe Muse, and Josh Meredith in Louisville, Kentucky, is the creative director at Original Makers Club.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting kitchen cabinets at Home Depot.
1. You can literally just buy them, ready to go, off the shelf.
Being “ignorant about the cabinet world” and in need of cabinets that would fit with their modern lake house, Josh says, “We were looking for something that fit our style but we could effectively and efficiently install ourselves.”
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Here’s what he liked: Home Depot had more options in-stock, more contemporary options with cleaner lines, and, best of all for him, they were completely finished (as opposed to unfinished, paint or stain your own, cabinets at other big-box stores). “So you just went in and picked out the ones you wanted, poof!,” Josh says. “The prices were also very affordable for the convenience of being able to just go in and pick them up without ordering or waiting. The Home Depot I went to had a ton of options and a ton of stock, so no matter your measurements you would be able to walk in, find the arrangement you would need, and walk out with cabinets.”
Greg had similar praise. “l liked the fact that they were nicer, higher-end, off the shelf.” The cabinets were actually nicer than he expected, he boasts, coming from a big-box store. He also liked the flexibility of being to add on pieces later, and the infrastructure of there always being plenty of Home Depots around, unlike, say, only one IKEA in a region.
2. Or online.
In-stock, you’ll find “the fastest and most budget-friendly options,” Dana says, “and [those] can either be purchased in stores for immediate pick-up or on homedepot.com.” Stores should have three or four color choices, with nine online, she adds. The website also has an extended array of sizes. Those ship next-day to the store for free, or your home for a charge. Stock options are offered in three-inch increments (as in, if you need a size in between, you have to go up or down to the nearest three inches).
3. You can also get them custom made.
Semi-custom/custom cabinetry, which are made to fit your exact space down to the quarter-inch measurement, gets you the widest array of style, size, and feature options, says Dana. For these you’ll go through a Home Depot Kitchen Designer. Home Depot handles the measurements and then builds a custom design and 3D rendering. For custom, plan on four to six weeks for delivery to your home after you’ve ordered.
4. It’s easy to estimate how much it’ll cost before you even start shopping.
Dana says their prices are guaranteed to be the best in the industry. In-stock cabinets average about $60 to $100 per linear foot. Custom-built will run, on average, from $110 to $160 per linear foot on up. Financing is available through the Home Depot credit card or through their Project Loan.
4. There are a few things you need to know before you go to shop.
Before you even go to the store, you’ll need to know a few things, Dana says. That would be you budget, goals (in terms of style and function), and timeline.
How do you know how much to budget? According to Dana: “Industry guidelines suggest that homeowners invest five to 15 percent of their home’s value in a kitchen remodel, with roughly one-third of that allocated to cabinetry, one-third to countertops and appliances, and one-third to installation.” It’s worth noting that plumbing, electrical, or structural changes can have a major impact on cost, she points out.
And one more thing: At least have your rough measurements, which will help the Kitchen Designers help you make the right choices. “Once you are ready to get started with firm plans,” Dana explains, “our professionals can help you take a precise in-home measurement; we strongly suggest using those services for semi-custom/custom cabinetry because fit mistakes can be costly and time consuming.”
5. It’s totally possible to install them yourself.
Josh went the DIY route. “In one day I went to Home Depot in Louisville, picked out all my cabinets, purchased them, drove them to [the lake house], installed them (just me, one person), and drove home by dinner.” Color me impressed! Greg went the age-old route of getting a buddy to help with the installation in exchange for beer.
6. But Home Depot can also suggest a pro to help you.
Now, they both purchased in-stock options. When it comes to semi-custom/custom cabinetry, “generally speaking contractors install [them] because of the bulky nature of the product and its exacting fit requirements,” Dana says. Don’t already have a contractor? They’ve got you covered with a “nationwide network of licensed, background-checked installation partners,” she points out. If you’re going it on your own, Homedepot.com has how-to videos, she added.
7. You should give them a quick inspection at the store.
While overall Josh had a great experience, he had a word of warning. Four out of his six cabinets had damage. Luckily, he opened them at the store to check them over before making a 90-minute drive with them. It wasn’t Home Depot’s fault, he says, “but most likely the shipper or manufacturer’s poor packing.” The good news was the store had plenty of stock so he just swapped them out, only losing 30 minutes in the process. Not a big deal, he says, but definitely check out every box if you’re buying in-store, because it wasn’t possible to tell until the boxes were open.
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