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Do any of you know how to get a contract with Home Depot or Lowes and how much work is available.Such as new or replacement siding , decks , etc.

Nick, AKA Dos Clavos
 

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I wonce was out bidded by HD on a removal and install of interior doors. Do want to work for cheap or just keep a door open. Personally I would boycott them.

Will AKA that bastard framer
 

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Nick, My experience with those folks was dismal. Go in there and do a lot of homework before getting involved. Crunch your numbers very hard.
Get back with your experiences and we'll trade notes.
 

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Search this forum about home depot and you will find me speaking alot of good information.

Call the home depot installation hot line. I think it's 1800-Depot-79 I could be wrong. Ask how to be an installer. They will put you in contact with your regional installations manager.

Home depot will require criminal and drug tests for you and all your employees. They will keep you very busy, and they will pay you very little. Everyone in the office is a moron and knowns nothing about the products they sell. Expect lots of headaches. By the Way I was a sales employee of Home Depot's installed services for about 3 weeks and I got fed up real quick! 76% of new sales reps don't last a full year. Most leave in the first quarter.

Home Depot currently has two totally seperate divisions for their installed services. Roofing Siding & Windows are part of THD At Home Services, Inc. which is a wholely owned company of Home Depot's. THD At Home Services was formerly two companies, IP USA and RMA (short for Remodel America) which were subcontractors that operated for Home depot. They both got so big Home Depot bought them and merged them. These are NOT the guys you see sitting at the desks selling carpets or floors or even DIY windows. The guys who sell tile and carpet and cabinets and DIY windows are part of At Home Services, which is simply a division of each home depot store. Kinda confusing at first.

The difference between TDH At Home Services Inc, and At Home Services is simple. THD At Home Services uses trained salesmen to high pressure high price sales and are 100% commissioned. The other guys who sit in the stores behind the desks are hourly with bonuses. I have found most of them can care less if they sell anything.

Oh then there is the Great Indoors, which is owned by Home Depot and only sells interior decorations. I heard they are losing money... Anyways they do interior remodeling too. I met a few guys who transfered over from the Great Indoors to the THD At Home Services. Those guys actually had a brain on their shoulders.

I was one of the first contractors in my area for Lowes, when they opened the first lowes in my area. I worked for them for about 2 weeks. They are all absolute morons! Their system is soooo screwed up. Customer requests estimate. They send out sub to measure, so it's the subs responsibility if he measures wrong. Then the customer has to go back to the store to buy the windows. You can't answer any of the customer's questions, though they have lots; and think you are there to answer the questions and sell them windows. It's a screwy situation.
 

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It's a screwy situation for sure. I had the HD millwork in my town and the other store an hour south of here last fall/winter. There is a mimddle company involved between contractor and HD, the one I had to work with was terrible and I droppped both accounts because of the big headaches I was getting.

This fall I was in pricing windows for personal customer and got to talking with the HD install manager (she remembered me from prior) and she asked if I would be willing to take Millwork back over as they werwe having troubles with the contractor they were using, I found out they had a new middle man so I drove out and talked with them face to face and we worked out some issues I had with the previous middle man.

So far everything has been clicking really good. They have a set price of what you get paid, but when your measuring the job I look for extra little things and add themn to my estimate. Now that I have this paper work thing figured out, I can make about $100 more installing an entry door for HD than I can selling it on my own!! Payments take 2 weeks from the time you fax it in, but I've always gotten paid. It's a great way to get paid to advertise!! That's the only reason i even bother with this, I've gotten a few jobs from previouos HD customers, I mean what better way to get your name out there, you work for HD getting paid (not much but still) and the homeowner gets to see your work first hand, my trucks on are the job site and I have even started sticking my sign in the front yard on bigger installs since I am the sub on the job I get to do that:)

Now that I'm back in the saddle, they've asked if I wanted to take over the millwork in the Rodchester,MN store which does twice the volume of my store and the store 1hr south put together. Plus they asked if I wanted that store 1hr south back, currently only doing my towns store. I passed on the MN. storee too far away to be prcatical, but will be picking up the CR store and working out the details on trip charges before I drive my truck 1hr 1 way to do an install.

Talk to the stores Installation Manager and they can give you the scoop on how the thing works and who to get in contact with since it will actually be an outside company subbing you out and not HD directly-they want to keep their hands clean.
 

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I have one more thing to add you live in Washington you don't need a HD to get work. Because of the LP scandal the insuracne rate are almost rediculous to be a sider but not alot of competition.There should be a tract builder with enough work to satisfy your business and your wallet.
 

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Home Depot sucks. Just another example of corporate america knocking out the little guy like walmart did. I refuse to even walk into one of their stores. Why would I as a contractor want to buy my material from my competition. They want their cake and eat it too but I refuse to help them as with many other contractors that have the same view as I do. Furthermore they are big contributors to the republican party which in itself is reason enough for me to boycott home depot.
 

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GunnCon said:
they are big contributors to the republican party which in itself is reason enough for me to boycott home depot.
Gunn - there's something on TV right now you oughta' watch. Turn on any network channel. :cheesygri :cheesygri
 

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Without getting into a big political debate which I could care less about since all we can really do is vote, I'll just say for us smaller contractors that are not doing multi million dollar contracts the HD is just another avenue for us to try to make a few bucks. Instead of going against the current and fighting a losing battle, the fact remains they have stepped into the home repair market, like wal-Mart consumers see a big corporate name and feel "safe" working with them. I can tell you the price they pay is usually higher than what "we the private contractors" would normally bid a job for so if the customer is going to go with HD WE cannot control that fact so why fight it. I do agree with the whole "fleecing of america" mentality you have, but I cant ignore the fact there is market out there I'd rather be a part of than being proud and fighting it. They provide work, they pay me, I get paid to render my services to customers that would not otherwise probably call me ouot of the blue, BUT I can guaruntee you after I'm done with an install, they will remember me and know what other services I can provide. This in itself IMO is a great marketing tool, like said-"getting paid to advertise"

When we advertise through different markets weather it be radio spots, tv spots, newspaper ads, flyers, mailers, etc...we're making a financial commitment with NO guaruntee it'll pay for itself, we only hope to hit the advertising just right so it pays off. So the HD avenue for my company IMO is a marketing ploy that I get paid for instead of me writing a check out. The number of customers I reach is smaller, BUT my work and ethics will speak for itself since homeowners must be home at time of install I get a good duration of face time and they get to know me first hand and they will hopefully tell their freinds about me when the subject comes up of home improvements. On the bigger installs I've never once left without the homeowner asking for a few business cards.

By being too proud and flat out refusing to do this or that, the only one it's really hurting is you since your limiting your potential. If your already big enough to generate your own big budget projects (which most of us hope to do someday) your doing great. But beileve me, when it comes to pricing HD cannot touch us as contractors selling jobs privately for often better materials at a lower price, and it's not like they're building houses, garages, room additions, total room remodels, HD is just trying to cash in on little snip-it's of the project. I've gotten a few jobs because our HD could'nt deliver a complete multi stepped renovation (they just offered one step), and MOST homeowners would rather go through 1 person to handle all the details instead of farming out 10 different aspects of a job to 10 different people-that's our job as contrators.

We all have our opinons and I respect yours, but it's tough to fight something that is not going to go away like a fly by night contractor, so I say embrasse it if you can....it's only money :Thumbs: :cheesygri
 

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IHI, the way that HD works here is that they have a private company that hires and schedules their contractors. HD folks do the measures and draw up the materials list and deliver to the site.
This all adds up to major problems. The contractor doing the work is paid about 1/3 of what HD charges for labor. The HD salespeople consistantly F up everything. If you get the proper quantity it's the wrong color and vice versa. Delivery....hehehaha, I have watched teams sit for half a day waiting for them.
Let's not even go into the ream of paperwork that they require. To me, that's $1K right there.
Here, most of HD's installers are Bob's (Glass) soup kitchen guys.
 

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If i had to do that, and that's how it played out, I too would walk away again!! Time is money. I guess I'm lucky here, I personally go out on all the measures, I personally make all the material lists as well as what will be needed labor wise for the install-I get paid to do this also.

When the job is sold, the middle company contacts me to let me know it's ready and ASKS when I can fit it into MY schedule-big plus working with this new company-mutual repect, they dont push and I dont pull, nice relationship thus far and HD is happier than ever. When the day comes for the install, I call in the PO at 7am when HD starts taking calls, they set the wheels in motion and have their guys pull everything for that job and have it on a pallet ro cart sitting at the front contractor door waiting for me to get there and I check everything off my list to be sure I have everything I need. There have been times when the stuff was'nt pulled when i got there and I get paid to sit around and wait for that also :Thumbs:

I've seen first hand how bad the HD employee's can f...up a job order, especially if what's ordered is different than what was bought-then it turns into a nightmare. But I know how to cover my azz so I'm always as right as rain if a problem does arise.

I've gone back on numerious jobs their previous contractor screwed the pooch on and made them right and got the customer happy in the process. But they still have a bow window that other guy installed of June '04 that's STILL waiting on a head/seat/jambs. They sent out birch when it was supposed to be oak. I got the oak head and seat boards and new oak jambs-this was MY first time on that job site. Installed head/seat board, went to install jambs-5.5" too short.Got back into town, told HD what happened-said 2 weeks before new longer jambs would arrive. 4 weeks later jambs come in, I opened the box before I left the store and showed them they were not the correct jambs-Anderson sent jamb extensions for a DH build out. They (HD)thought they were right, so I drove out to the job, showed the homie the new jambs and explained they were the wrong ones; I even set on in place so he could see how wrong they were. I get paid to go down and do nothing-just make the trip:) I have a few other stories as well, but so long as I'm getting paid and not getting the short end, I'll deal with it for now.
 

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From what I have seen here, subs are getting the sh****ty end of the stick.
I was on a job Monday, HD delivered late with laminate flooring. No transitions, 2 different types and colors of shoe mould. The installer had just moved here from NY, he went ballistic and walked off of the job. Lots of flooring though, at least a third more than required.
 

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of course their laminate bids are a third more than required. the measurer is going to be damn sure he/she is not short on the job, and HD is going to make sure too.
your lucky if you ever see the few extra boxes when the job is done too.
 

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Here all the material is the customers property since they must pre-pay for EVERYTHING material/labor. We are told to notify the customer of the extra material and it is the customer reponsibilty to take back whatever is not needed since it is their material, not the installers or HD's. So it's a fine line between estimating enough material to cover your azz so the extra needed wont come out of your pocket, and not getting so much material the home owner would need a semi to take back what was not needed.

Before anybody shows upto to a job site everything is paid in full-this way HD is covered for the material and labor install aspect. That is why it's the customers material. It works great since I know there will not be a problem getting paid since it's all paid for. A little different for us persoanlly bidding jobs since I have learned over the years what type of projects usally run into needing a few extra of this or that so I'l just buy a little extra here or there so I have it on site and not be making numerious trips back and forth to the lumber yard-it saves me time in the big picture and then I'll take back what's not needed since it's coming out of my end of the bid. But if extra material ends up being needed and goes above and beyond the price of the base contract I have it written that I will remiburshed for time/material.
 

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IHI said:
Without getting into a big political debate which I could care less about since all we can really do is vote, I'll just say for us smaller contractors that are not doing multi million dollar contracts the HD is just another avenue for us to try to make a few bucks. Instead of going against the current and fighting a losing battle, the fact remains they have stepped into the home repair market, like wal-Mart consumers see a big corporate name and feel "safe" working with them. I can tell you the price they pay is usually higher than what "we the private contractors" would normally bid a job for so if the customer is going to go with HD WE cannot control that fact so why fight it. I do agree with the whole "fleecing of america" mentality you have, but I cant ignore the fact there is market out there I'd rather be a part of than being proud and fighting it. They provide work, they pay me, I get paid to render my services to customers that would not otherwise probably call me ouot of the blue, BUT I can guaruntee you after I'm done with an install, they will remember me and know what other services I can provide. This in itself IMO is a great marketing tool, like said-"getting paid to advertise"

When we advertise through different markets weather it be radio spots, tv spots, newspaper ads, flyers, mailers, etc...we're making a financial commitment with NO guaruntee it'll pay for itself, we only hope to hit the advertising just right so it pays off. So the HD avenue for my company IMO is a marketing ploy that I get paid for instead of me writing a check out. The number of customers I reach is smaller, BUT my work and ethics will speak for itself since homeowners must be home at time of install I get a good duration of face time and they get to know me first hand and they will hopefully tell their freinds about me when the subject comes up of home improvements. On the bigger installs I've never once left without the homeowner asking for a few business cards.

By being too proud and flat out refusing to do this or that, the only one it's really hurting is you since your limiting your potential. If your already big enough to generate your own big budget projects (which most of us hope to do someday) your doing great. But beileve me, when it comes to pricing HD cannot touch us as contractors selling jobs privately for often better materials at a lower price, and it's not like they're building houses, garages, room additions, total room remodels, HD is just trying to cash in on little snip-it's of the project. I've gotten a few jobs because our HD could'nt deliver a complete multi stepped renovation (they just offered one step), and MOST homeowners would rather go through 1 person to handle all the details instead of farming out 10 different aspects of a job to 10 different people-that's our job as contrators.

We all have our opinons and I respect yours, but it's tough to fight something that is not going to go away like a fly by night contractor, so I say embrasse it if you can....it's only money :Thumbs: :cheesygri
I never posted to get into a political debate. I posted with my feelings as a contractor vs a mega corporation mentality. If you think for one second that all you can do is vote you need to open your eyes and look around you at what is going on in the world. The world is a lot larger than as you put it million dollar contracts. I am not a large contractor that has million dollar contracts I am a small and struggling contractor like most. But when you say INSTEAD OF GOING AGAINST THE CURRENT AND FIGHTING A LOSING BATTLE it reminds me of many things like for instance Rosa Park. Do you think that’s what she thought? Go with the flow, We can’t change things? This is not a Fleecing of America mentality this is standing up for what you believe in. And I believe in fighting for what is right and not going with the flow. You have a right to believe in what you believe in and I have a right as and American and a contractor to say and believe in what I think is right. This is not a losing battle this is a battle I will not give up like you have.
 

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I'm just a middle guy playing both sides for my personal income is all. You can believe all you want, but neither you, me or anybody else is going to try to butt heads with a muti billion dollar company that spends more on marketing to generate their own income a year than what most of us small struggling contractors make is half a lifetime :cheesygri

Cant believe I sound like I'm sticking up for them, but it's late and I'm bored...we'll play around a little ;) There is a big difference between Rosa Park and what she did, as opposed to HD. She was tired of being mistreated and discriminated against so she took a stand for her rights as a human being.

HD is a business just as yours, mine, and everybody else on this board and throughout the world. Their goal is to make money period same as us. They have alot larger resource to make this happen than say you or I, but ultimately they are doing the same things as us, marketing and selling. It's just that simple.

Corporate america is corporate america and unless something illiegal puts an end to them, they are far too large for even a state full of people to take a stand at. Look at Wal-Mart, everybody says how much they hate wal mart and their new business practices running everybody else out of business, but guess what, these same people griping are still shopping at wal mart since you cant beat their prices. It'd be hard to be so proud to routinely lose money or spend more than you have to on a consistent basis just to prove a point or be proud....which might be the reason your a struggling contractor ;) :cheesygri

Do what you gotta do to put money in the bank, even if it means doing something you dont agree with. This is life and there's alot of things millions dont agree with but do it anyways because it puts food on the table and pays the bills. I understand your principal, but just dont think it's practical in this case. Maybe one say when I conquer the world and money is no object, I too will forgo some of these things because "I can", but right now I've got bills to pay and a family to raise so I'll do what's necessary to keep the roof over our heads and food on the table.
 

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IHI said:
I'm just a middle guy playing both sides for my personal income is all. You can believe all you want, but neither you, me or anybody else is going to try to butt heads with a muti billion dollar company that spends more on marketing to generate their own income a year than what most of us small struggling contractors make is half a lifetime :cheesygri

Cant believe I sound like I'm sticking up for them, but it's late and I'm bored...we'll play around a little ;) There is a big difference between Rosa Park and what she did, as opposed to HD. She was tired of being mistreated and discriminated against so she took a stand for her rights as a human being.

HD is a business just as yours, mine, and everybody else on this board and throughout the world. Their goal is to make money period same as us. They have alot larger resource to make this happen than say you or I, but ultimately they are doing the same things as us, marketing and selling. It's just that simple.

Corporate america is corporate america and unless something illiegal puts an end to them, they are far too large for even a state full of people to take a stand at. Look at Wal-Mart, everybody says how much they hate wal mart and their new business practices running everybody else out of business, but guess what, these same people griping are still shopping at wal mart since you cant beat their prices. It'd be hard to be so proud to routinely lose money or spend more than you have to on a consistent basis just to prove a point or be proud....which might be the reason your a struggling contractor ;) :cheesygri

Do what you gotta do to put money in the bank, even if it means doing something you dont agree with. This is life and there's alot of things millions dont agree with but do it anyways because it puts food on the table and pays the bills. I understand your principal, but just dont think it's practical in this case. Maybe one say when I conquer the world and money is no object, I too will forgo some of these things because "I can", but right now I've got bills to pay and a family to raise so I'll do what's necessary to keep the roof over our heads and food on the table.
I will and can butt heads with your multi million dollar company as you so state. I will never bow down to a corporate giant when it comes to feeding my family.
I do not care how much your beloved home depot makes a year I care about my bottom line.
As long as subs like you go along with their chain of thought makes no difference to me.
I know that most homeowners like to have a relationship with a contractor than have one with a corporate giant like you like to back. Like it or not that is a fact. Yes Rosa Parks took a stand for what she believed, as do I.
Yes I am proud to be and INDEPENDENT Contractor and where do you get off saying I lose money or spend more than I have on a consistent basis.
How do you know how I run my business? You seem to be a sub with a lot so say and no facts to back it up.
So stick to your home depot sub contracting I could care less what you do to put food on your table, as you should care less what I do as a REAL contractor.
 

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GunnCon said:
I am a small and struggling contractor like most.

Whoo, easy there partner, you said it not me:) I'm not argueing with you, calling you out, or trying to belittle you. Just a friendly debate and opinon exchange is all, crack open a cold one....sounds like you need a break :confused:

I'm not "backing" HD. I am an independant contractor, for crying out loud you dont think i know "most" customers want a personal relationship with their contractor?!! That's the whole concept of us doing what we're doing in the private sector, giving customers great service and great products. UNFORTUNETLY there are many consumers brainwashed by family, freinds that have been hosed by contractors not by our standards and are weiry of hiring out for fear those horror stories will happen to them. So they seem a "big corporate american name" and get suduced into feeling warm and fuzzy by there mass advertising campaigns. These folks have a percieved notion life will be easier going with the big name, so you, me, whomever will never get a call from them period. Nobody can argue that fact!! I could not make a living working for HD, there's just no way. If you reread some of my posts, I use it as a way to MEET NEW CUSTOMERS on HD bill. I personally provide services that HD does not in our area so that leaves everything wide open for future calls.

Am I going to tell a customer "I'm not buying anything from the HD for your project because "I'm a PROUD INDEPENDANT CONTRACTOR and dont support corporate america!!" I know for a fact you've had customers tell you "we saw this at -insert name here_____(Menards, HD, Lowes) and want it" So what do YOU call it when you purchase any material from these players, I say your supporting corporate america since they have the goods and your buying them. Again I ask, if you could do something to make money, get your name out there to customer that OBVIOUSLY did'nt call you in the first place, why is that a bad thing?

We've all taken different avenues that have gotten us to where we're at, by now most of us are too set in our ways to change. But anybody that cannot adapt or take advantage of a situation that presents itself to further their growth is goofy. I'm not saying contracting through HD is "the" avenue to take, it's just another road that leads to the deposit box :Thumbs:

Now crack open another frosty, I'm not making this a personal attack on you by any means, just documented opinions.
 
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