Nothing brings a kitchen to life better than updated cabinets! Outdated and ugly cabinets can make a kitchen feel cluttered, dirty, and altogether unpleasant.
When you’re looking to give your kitchen a fresh look, beginning the project can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for deciding where to go for your kitchen cabinet needs.
Both Home Depot and Lowe’s offer a wide range of kitchen cabinet brands in many different price ranges and styles. When deciding between the two, consider your budget, timeline, and which brands of cabinets are most appealing to you. You can also take advantage of free consultations to help make your decision.
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One of my favorite parts about shopping for kitchen cabinets at Home Depot is how easy it is to get the process started with their online tools. They have a free estimation tool on their website that helps you get a price estimate as well as product suggestions.
Home Depot also offers in-house help with every step of the process from designing to installation. You can start with a free consultation meeting with a designer either in person or online.
As far as cabinets go, there are many styles and color options available, as with any large store like Home Depot.
For pricing at Lowe’s, you can go bare-bones for a budget option somewhere in the $3,000 – $8,000 range. They also have plenty of add-ons and higher-quality cabinets that could send your predicted total up around $40,000 – $50,000.
In my opinion, most of the cabinets from Home Depot tend to be overpriced, especially the “budget” options. While these low-priced cabinets may look good after installation, they are not built to last. The cheap materials break down and show damage pretty quickly, costing you even more money down the line
Of course, if you have more wiggle room in your budget, Home Depot’s higher-quality cabinets are a safe bet. But if you’re shooting for a low price here, you will get very low quality. In this case, I would recommend shopping around at other retailers. It’s easy to find much higher quality cabinets at the same price point.
Timeline & Process
Home Depot promises 1-10 day shipping and installation if you are going with in-stock cabinets. While the speed of this option is nice, the cabinets available in their stock are quite limited and pretty basic.
For custom-ordered cabinets, Home Depot projects 4 weeks for delivery and another 2-8 days after that for installation. In my experience, this timeline is optimistic, to say the least. Of course, it depends on many factors, but usually with Home Depot, it’s a good idea to factor in some likely delays.
I found that Home Depot’s designers are very pleasant to work with, so the initial planning phase went very smoothly. The designers were super knowledgeable and made sure to help us get careful measurements before making any orders.
Organization leading up to the actual installation, however, was a bit chaotic. Although with the promise of in-house installation you hope to avoid scheduling struggles, with Home Depot it was often difficult to finalize appointments with contractors, and response times were slow.
Lowe’s is quite similar to Home Depot in many ways and their kitchen cabinet options are as well, with a few key differences.
While you’re not likely to feel short on options at either of these big box stores, Lowe’s does boast a wider variety of brands. They offer 5 brands with customizable cabinet options and many more brands for buy-as-is on their website.
Similar to Home Depot, Lowe’s also offers consultations although the process looks a bit different. They have an online form that you should fill out first with some details for your projects.
After this, you can meet for an in-person or virtual consultation and will be offered a design and quote if you’re interested. Their team can also take care of measurements, design finalization, and installation.
In terms of pricing, Lowe’s is very similar to Home Depot. Again, depending on the quality and scope of your project, the pricing could vary quite a lot. On the low end, you could get it done at Lowe’s for about $5,000. If your project is more involved and high-end, you could find options at Lowe’s that would cost you up to around $50,000.
One thing to consider is the additional price of the installation. Lowe’s isn’t usually upfront about the installation price until after you’ve placed your order and in my opinion, their installation ended up being overpriced.
The convenience of having it all organized under one roof can be the major selling point for going with their in-house installation and contractors. However, if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind making a few extra calls, most outside contractors could do just as good of a job for much less than what Lowe’s will charge.
Timeline & Process
Lowe’s timeline for custom-designed cabinets is a bit longer of a wait than Home Depot’s estimate. You can expect anywhere between 1-3 months for the entire process according to Lowe’s.
Although this is not as quick as Home Depot’s 4-5 week estimate, it is still not terribly long for such a project. I noticed that the biggest cause for a delayed or slowed process with Lowe’s was lacking communication between customer service and the installation team.
Because Lowe’s hires local contractors for these jobs, the experience with delays and poor communication depends a lot on your location. I would recommend checking reviews of your nearest Lowe’s to see how effectively their specific network functions.
How to Decide Where to Buy
To decide which store could be better for you, I would recommend you consider different resources.
The free consultation resources from both can be a huge help when deciding. As long as you have the time, it’s always good to cover your bases and speak with designers from both stores to get quotes and see which one is a better fit.
Also looking at the brands directly can help you get some clarity on your decision. Do some research into the specific cabinet brands offered by each store to get a feel for the styles and quality offered.
Lowe’s and Home Depot both offer plenty of quality options and services for kitchen cabinet replacements and renovations. After determining your style and price preferences, in-person consultations and online research can help you decide where to shop.