Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
They don't. Everybody else makes more money than you do. The last time that I checked (years ago), they were charging $2.70 a sq. ft. for laminate flooring and paying $1.10.

Look in the flooring archives, I believe that the thread is there.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
A customer on a job I'm doing right now said it best.

They hired someobody from HD to do something for them. They showed up and the first thing they did was ***** about the sales person who sold the customer at the store, 2nd thing they did was a half assed job, the customer said, "We won't be making that mistake again, that's why we called you, Home depot pays those guys so little that they can't afford to spend the time it takes to do the job right."

Music to my ears, brought a tear to my eye, I wondered if the customer would let me video tape him so I could just replay it whenever Home Depot comes into the conversation.
 

·
Flooring Guru
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
Everybody else makes more money than you do.
Except the salesperson. :)

Honestly if you lose a client to a big box store, you would hope they aren't your type of clients anyhow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Here, here! I was doing a kitchen job when a HD installer showed up to do the dining room flooring. Amid a shower of expletives describing how virtually everyone and their parents had screwed up, he left.

Their problem seems to be that there is no one in charge of a project. One guy measures, another compiles the supplies down to the inch and another delivers to the site. None of these people are related other than they work for HD.
 

·
...jammin
Joined
·
5,234 Posts
hauoli63 said:
Do any of you guys or gals do installations for either of the big box stores
No
Nor do any of my buds in the biz
I heard a flooring guy I know "switched over to doing HD installs", and I have not seen him since

I would be interested in hearing a response from someone who does, or has
All of my experiences with them is as described in the previous posts, installer- or customer-wise
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
I did know a guy who installed windows for HD.

He said the pay was so low it took him several months to get proficient enough to start makin' even a little bit.

That's about the point that they called him back in for a 'meeting' and told him something to the effect they needed him to take a 20% pay cut and that he was getting faster so it shouldn't bother him anyway.

WHAT??

Needless to say, - - he walked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
'Round here the big box work room paid about the same as the local mom and pop stores two years ago. At least that's what I got from them. I always felt that the average crew wasn't horrible, just not real interested in not getting call backs, and entirely too focused on getting the install to last the one year required. This doesn't apply to the times when they had their free pad sales. Things got so busy when that happened that your grandma could get 100 yards a day out of 'em, even if it was her and her bridge partner doing all the labor. Once the roll left the warehouse, it was installed as far as the work room was concerned. To the point that you damn well better not bring it back, even if you got to the job and found the place on fire! :cheesygri

My biggest beef with the work room guy is that he felt that he was doing you some kind of favor by giving you work, and you'd better not schedule work of your own on the side. To me a transaction between a contractor and sub is a mutual thing, both sides benefit and nobody 'owes' anyone anything after the work is done and paid for.

I'm trying to make the leap between being a sub who does some of his own work on the side to strictly dealing with my own customers. I'm just doing it with baby steps instead of some big transition. The big box didn't like that idea and penalized me. The little stores couldn't care less, as long as I don't poach their customers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
it depends on when and where you were or are installing for HD. When I was living in charlotte there was a roofing guy in Raleigh who had an excellent relationship with THDAHS. They gave every large roof to him and he told me he pocketed close to $300k a year from HD work. I also had my favorite installer in Charlotte who did all of my rich neighborhood and large projects for windows and they paid him very well. He was making about 20% of the total project cost and was a 1 man crew so he didnt have to share it with anyone.

Here in the Philadelphia area there is a 1 man crew who does every project for home depot consisting of 10 windows or more in delaware county. (unless there are 2 booked in 1 day). Hes been with HD for over 5 years now and makes well over 6 figures every year.

Keep in mind that when windows siding and roofing are installed by HD it is a totally different division of the company doing it. Any other install is 100% farmed out to another installing company.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Teetorbilt said:
Their problem seems to be that there is no one in charge of a project. One guy measures, another compiles the supplies down to the inch and another delivers to the site. None of these people are related other than they work for HD.
I think the root of the problem is they don't charge enough, simple as that. There simply isn't enough profit in a job to pay enough to the salesman, the installer and the fabricator in order to attract the quality required.

I love to read trade mags for other industries in construction. There was a really good article in a stone fabrication mag about a company that fabricates all the silestone for the Home Depots in the Buffalo area. They were a mom and pop of about 20 years in business, they did everything from laminate to granite. They started with 1 HD, now they service 33 and they dropped all their fabricating except Silestone fabrication. Now they have 20 employees up from 6 and 4 installation crews running all the time.

There is money to be made with the big boxes, but it is not in doing the actual installations yourself. Getting an operation big enough to service a big area and hire out the work could make you some good money it seems.
 

·
DGR,IABD
Joined
·
9,683 Posts
A while back when Lowes got into the installation business, I got at least three phone calls from them wanting me to "get on the list". I declined, because it was for pennies. For instance, their labor to me to install a ceiling fan was 45 bucks. I don't cross the street for 45 bucks. In fact, just to change a lightswitch, the bill will be 67 or 68 dollars.
 

·
Pro Painter
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
I know one thing.....If they think I would put their crap paint on the walls for any amount of money they are sick in the head!!!!!! I'm not even interested in going that route. I'm positive if they're buying paint for $10/gallon at home depot that my company is not the one they're looking for to do the paint work . If they're willing to settle for bottom of the barrell materials, then they're not the type of customer I'm looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Here one of the big box companies pays their installers $110 to install a dishwasher ... which includes picking it up at the store and hauling away the old one ... not enough money to make it worth it, IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
I do millwork installs for HD. Started out a few years back and I had 2 stores, 1 in town and the other 1 hr south of me. Between the 2 at that time there was'nt alot of business and the middle company was the main cause since they would jack up prices soo much tht customers would freak out-eventually I walkes since there was too much BS. Last fall I was walking through HD and install expediter asks if I'd be interested in doing installs again since they're having problems with their current guy botching up jobs, and that a new middle company had taken over. Always looking for new ways to reach new customers I contacted middle company and set up meeting to discuss problems I had with first middle company and made it clear they would have no problems with call backs, but as soon as I got hint of being walked on, I'm out.

No, pay is not great, they have a flat rate system for storm door installs, patio door installs, entry door installs, etc...right down the list. But with millwork installs, they have a spot for custom labor and every job get custom labor in one form or another. As of now I can actually get more money installing windows/doors for the big box than I can on my own....read I am not a salesman and dont hve the skills needed to be to get the big pay day....just like our regular jobs we sell there's jobs you really make out on and others you just make decent money. There is not enough money coming from them at this point to pay any bills per say, but so far they've added an extra $22,230 to my pocket which is'nt too bad for no more than we've done, not to mention many customers have paid close attenetion to our shirts/trucks and called us back for bigger jobs.

I could go on and on with stories, but right now I'm content. I do all the measuring, submit an estimate with material list and then they find windows that either fit or are close, I get that list faaxed back and get to change my esitmate accordingly for more/less labor/material. HD and I could both make more money getting rid of the middle company paper passes, but when I brought that up it was made clear corporate was sticking with the middle company for liablity issues. I dropped the 1 store south of me as fuel prices began to rise and I wa'nt interested in hiring a crew I knew nothing about that I could'nt supervise that I was responsible for. Was also offered a store up north that did twice the volume of both stores I did service comobined, but that one is 4 hrs north of here, mine for the taking anytime i want...but fuel prices and headaches are dictating no interest at the moment. If I had the financial backing I could realistically see this as a way to expand business into other regions, but right now that's just not happening and with the way things are going I suspect the overall remodeling/renovating scene will be slowing down in the near future so I dont wanna be spread too thin when it does happen. Given another 10-15 years I think the remodeling business will be booming should economy recover from Bush's fock up's, there will be soo many people upside down on their new homes they will be stuck in them for awhile and want to upgrade since they won't be able to sell at a profit
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
OK HERE YOU GUYS GO. I bought some carpet for my den at lowes about 9 months ago. I had them install it. I thought they did a excellent job. Feel free to call me a trader. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Nope, don't and won't. Sometimes I have my customers purchase Bruce prefinished 3/4" x 2 1/4" flooring from them and then I install it charging my regular square foot price. But I will never contract under them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Okay, guys, I posted this because I just start working at Lowe's as an Installed Sales Coordinator ... and was floored at how little they pay the contractors to do this work. My husband and I own a plumbing company and we would NEVER do work at the amount they are paying their installers ... I can't believe that the companies who do these installations can survive, much less make a profit off of doing installations for the big box stores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
747 said:
OK HERE YOU GUYS GO. I bought some carpet for my den at lowes about 9 months ago. I had them install it. I thought they did a excellent job. Feel free to call me a trader. LOL
Whatever you paid for the installation, they only paid the installer about half of that to do the work!
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top