Do the biggest home renovation stores have the best prices?

Sooner or later you will have to renovate your home.  This can be a daunting task at the best of times.  Not only are you choosing the materials and colors you wish to use, but you are also comparing prices too. From small stores, to medium stores, to large stores, to the renovation super stores.  Does bigger necessarily mean better prices?  

Things you may want to know….

People are quick to assume the larger the renovation store, the better the prices are.  Not so fast…you will have to take your time and do your homework on this one.  If the store has that item in stock on a regular basis then you may be able to get a better price.  If the store has to special order the item in for you, then you may end up paying more than if you bought it somewhere else.

Take kitchen cabinets for example.  You may see a few types on display, but then a sales person offers you a catalog of many more styles, colors and choices.  What you choose may have to be special ordered in and this may end up costing you more than if you shopped at a smaller store that specialized in kitchen cabinets. The same goes for blinds, carpeting, tile, etc.  


Bigger does not necessarily mean better prices when it comes to home renovations.  Even if you have to special order something in, it still pays to shop around. 



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    May 11, 2008 @ 19:16:25

    I should add that even if the store has a “guaranteed to meet or beat anyone’s price” policy, usually this policy doesn’t apply to special orders.

    When I was renovating years ago and needed blinds for odd sized windows; the super sized renovation store was charging $700.00 more than any other quote I had. When I showed them my cheaper quotes for the exact same product, I was met with indifference, it might not be the same exact same product, it’s a special order, etc.

    I also had the same experience when I had to order in some tiles that a wholesaler had in stock. I phoned several retailers to get quotes and the tiniest tile store actually gave me the best price.

  2. Larry Yatkowsky
    May 11, 2008 @ 21:18:28

    This vs that!

    Home DesPot vs Lee Valley (on Marine Drive)

    kitchen cabinet pulls, Style a simple stainless steel bar.

    Home DeSpot $13.55 – $24

    Lee Valley $3.44 – $9

    and the people at Lee valley are much more helpful. Did I mention that they have tools the make you drool. Now to find the time.
    I’m speculating but I think Lee Valley is Canadian owned. Pleasant change if true.

  3. pat bell
    May 11, 2008 @ 22:37:54

    Coco. Great insightful info you provide on your site.

    I also enjoyed the Interest Rate post. I knew the info., but what you wrote just reaffirmed I wasn’t off in some understanding of how it all works.

  4. coconews
    May 12, 2008 @ 07:32:42


    Thanks, I’m glad you like it. I want to have a blog that has more global information, a blog that would be helpful to people no matter where they may live. Plus, the threads here never become old news, if you just discovered the blog for the first time yesterday.

    And…when people comment on their experiences with price differences on renovations, this helps others understand the various situations that they can run in to when they renovate.

  5. Annon
    May 12, 2008 @ 15:51:27

    I bought tiles from places other than Home Depot or Rona. I do not understand how HD or Rona survive as their items are just expensive.

  6. alexcanuck
    May 12, 2008 @ 16:01:26

    I do not understand how HD or Rona survive as their items are just expensive
    Advertising! Most people are suckers for it. Sheeple is the term. Buy out competitors, overwhelm them with ad campaigns, every trick in the book. Really helps with these instant malls thrown up, when all you have is chains to compare between. I avoid chains of all types like the plague, but most people just can’t be bothered.

  7. alexcanuck
    May 12, 2008 @ 16:37:25

    Not Vanc. RE but of GREAT interest to any investor. A new column has started at RGEMonitor, featuring guest writers on various topics. I think it will be must-read stuff.
    I think you need to (free) register to get more than a teaser.

    Nothing of interest there if every penny you don’t have is tied up in a Vancouver condo, and you just KNOW that external factors will NEVER impact “The Best Place on Earth”! Others may wish to check it out.
    I’m posting at a few other spots as well. I think this is very, very good bookmark site.

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