Big box stores offer the convenience of one-stop shopping. Even in the age of Online Retail and other online subscription-based shopping services, it’s hard not to find yourself in massive brick-and-mortar building shopping for everything from food to clothes to electronics and more, all under one roof. Just as traditional consumer goods are available at massive warehouses equipped with shopping carts and cash registers, the home-improvement sector has similar options. In recent years these giants, national chains have expanded their offerings from hardware, lumber, and tools to include services like installation, repairs, and remodeling. While it may seem convenient to have your kitchen or bathroom remodeled by professionals that work at the same place you buy nails, paint, shelves, and mulch; the bargain you expect could be much more than you bargained for. Here are a few reasons to consider a local residential sub-contractor over a big box option.
While both choices offer an all-in-one experience, which can be ideal over arranging individual contractors and vendors for each element of your remodel, you’ll find that big box stores can be limited in terms of selection. So, if your dream kitchen or bathroom calls for rare, exotic, or expertly curated materials, you may be out of luck and left to choose from what’s on the shelf. This is an advantage that a specialized local residential contractor has. You can visit their showroom and they can leverage the direct relationships they have with suppliers to select precisely what you want.
The level of expertise is another critical distinction between kitchen and bath design specialists and big box store employees. You know you are hiring highly educated, trained, and experienced designers and builders. You will have a team of experts at your disposal to make recommendations and create solutions, ensure you get exactly what you need and what you want. While a big box store associate may have the experience or been through training of some sort, it will be hard to challenge the skill and resources of licensed interior designers and contractors. Most do not have the “in the field” experience like a local contractor where the skills trade has been expertise for many years.
It is also difficult for big box stores to replicate the amount of time and attention to detail of an independent local residential contractor. The size and scope of their operation make it impossible for them to spend the same amount of time answering questions, returning phone calls, making recommendations, and negotiating any unforeseen challenges along the way. Remodeling any part of your home is a significant decision and investment, and it deserves the highest amount of personal attention possible.
When it comes to weekend chores and honey-do lists, big box stores provide a convenient and economical service. However, when it comes to remodeling your home and the decisions and investments that are involved, trusting an experienced, professional, dedicated local residential design and remodeling contractor offers everything you need to deliver the results you want.
For more information about Destin Glass design options, please call us at (850) 837-8329 or visit our main page here…
Destin Glass has been servicing Destin, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Miramar Beach, Santana Rosa Beach, and the entire Emerald Coast since 1979. We are always working around the clock to give you the highest quality glass experience with the best customer service.
Check out real concerns and situations from our loyal customers to get an idea of hiring a Big Box Store with 3rd Party Contractors compared to hiring a local contractor experienced specifically to your project needs.
Guest_95216505: I am planning to do bathroom remodeling to convert an old bath tub/shower combo to a walk-in shower. And also change the vanities. I got an estimate from a Big Box Hardware Store, who contracts with a 3rd party contractor. I read some bad reviews of the 3rd party contractor. But every contractor will get some bad reviews here and there. So I want to know is it a good idea to go with retails stores like one of the Big Box chains when comes to remodeling projects?
“You want to deal with a professional person that is selling you a bath that was not working as a cashier a few months ago.”
Answered by Destin Glass: Do you go to the grocery store and ask for someone to cook your steak? Of course not. So why would you go to a building supply store and ask for someone to remodel your bathroom? Rarely will you see a legitimate contractor take jobs from a retailer Why? Because they don’t pay much. Speed is the most important thing to them, along with getting it done cheap so they can maximize profit. About 10 years ago I worked on a few contracted structures (sheds, garages, etc.) for one of the Big Box chain stores. They contracted to another company who then contracted people to build them. At that time they paid a flat $250 for the contractor to pick up the supplies, build the structure on site, paint it, and use their own tools. By the time the cost of a helper, fuel, tools, etc. was factored in there was nothing left for the contractor. Anyway, the point I’m making is that the guy who will eventually show up to do the work will be so far down the line that everyone else has already taken the profits (Big Box Store, 3rd Party Contractor, possibly someone else, and finally the guy working) that he probably isn’t going to care what kind of job he does for you, quality or not. He likely won’t have much experience due to a high turnover rate and any experience he does have will probably be limited to his teachings at that job. He probably can’t answer any building code questions or identify other hazards once things are taken apart and he certainly won’t do anything he doesn’t have to while it is apart.
Another problem I’ve heard of repeatedly is that if (when) there is a problem there is always someone else you need to speak to. You might have to talk to 4 or 5 different people before you can even get to someone that can address the problem. Now multiply that due to having (at least) two separate companies involved. “You need to call the 3rd Party Contractor.” “No, you need to call the Big Box Store.” COMPLETE RUNAROUND.
You hire a general contractor for a reason. We learn, understand, and keep up on building codes. We are the one point of contact for all questions and issues on a project. There is no manager in some other store, state, etc. to call. You contract a GC and deal directly with that GC or a site supervisor in some cases. There isn’t a huge chain of command to get through to reach the main decision-maker for the business. In a bathroom remodel you need someone who can do the plumbing, repair and/or move any electrical, install tile/flooring, Glass Shower Door Enclosure, drywall and paint, trim carpentry, and someone to coordinate all of that. Sometimes you can find a qualified contractor to do all of those things and sometimes he will sub-contract out certain components (especially due to licensing laws) but you will always have that one definitive person to go-to for any questions or issues. A salesman in a store doesn’t visit your home throughout the project to check on the status. Even if he did, he likely wouldn’t know what he is looking at. The same goes for a retail manager.
Hire someone who specializes in taking care of your home and specific project. Hire based on reputation (Online Reviews, Word of Mouth, Years in the trade, etc.) & knowledge/experience. Try to hire a subcontractor with a Brick and Mortar office/facility.
You are right that not every customer can be happy so an occasional bad review can be found on just about any business. Read the reviews, not the grades (they are always biased). Look to see if the contractor attempted to rectify the problem, not ignore it. Lastly, unless you want cheap, sloppy work and a whole heap of other troubles, don’t hire based on a low price.
Answered by Destin Glass: I am not sure of what area you are from so I am not sure what your options are local. I would look to possibly finding a plumbing supply outfit that has a showroom or two. One I use in my area will beat most prices the big box stores have if you compare apples with apples. The big two have lines that are made just for them that even companies that sell the same brand can not get and the same goes for plumbing fixtures. Many supply houses will recommend a few contractors they trust. You will be able to meet the different contractors first hand before you commit.
With the big box stores, they sub out the work as you said and though it helps that your point of purchase “should” help with any problems you are paying for that. They mark up the install price quite a bit. I just quoted a Shower Enclosure install for a customer through an interior designer and was so far under the Big Box Store, the price was way less than the Big Box’s and she was able to make even more of a mark upon them than she did with me. Keep in mind, most of the pricing you receive from the Big Bix Store is for material only (Labor cost is usually always left out) – The same goes when buying material from an online retailer. Most people see how inexpensive a shower door is online, but do not take into factor that it does not include “custom / out of square (plumb) dimensions and cost of labor. Be very careful when ordering material from online retailers!
Before you commit to a purchase with them stop into a couple of local glass shops. If you want one-stop shopping a Big Box Store may be best for some, but they will steer you to what they make the most profit on. You will get a more unbiased opinion on your choices of plumbing fixtures, glass shower doors, and finishes. I hate to admit it but I do use these stores, but only for things like sheetrock, spackle, caulk, tools, and some lumber. It is faster sometimes than the lumber yard. You want to deal with a professional person that is selling you a bath that was not working as a cashier a few months ago. Your home is probably the biggest investment most people have.
Answered by Destin Glass: I would not recommend any Big Box Store for a large project such as a Bathroom Remodel. You need to hire a specialist, someone who does more than install doors or toilets.
Hire a REAL Contractor with a proven Track record and great local reputation. The Contractor will hire them “Go to” Glass Company with their established relationship over the years. The Contractor has built a rapport with their glass company sub-contractor. He can get answers faster than anyone else.
General and Remodeling Contractors who need the work and are prepared to give YOU a Quality Job. The project you get from the big box stores is normally filled and fraught with problems, and NO ONE is seemingly in charge, you’ll get passed around like a Hot Potato
When trying to resolve problems. HIRE A Real Contractor, especially one where YOU can deal and TALK to the Company Owner or Manager who will be involved in doing your actual project, not a big box representative who is but one of several who makes decisions before you must deal with a manager who must then consult with his Store or District Manager.
Be Smart, Hire a REAL Contractor!
Guest_9521721058: We tried to get a remodel of kitchen and baths from HD and were very very disappointed in the service. We sat with the people who called themselves ‘interior designers’ for a few hours. The ideas were very novice and I had a bad feeling after 30 minutes. They never followed up with calls for the kitchen. Someone came to look at the bathroom and the guy told us that HD could not do what we wanted!! Well what do they do? The offer ‘bathroom remodel’ but only do certain types of remodel? Strange.
Answered by Destin Glass: I would agree with the others and go with a contractor who rebuilds or remodels homes. When you think about it, if one works with the Big Box Store, both Big Box Store and their contractors have to make out on the deal so they jack up the prices of products AND labor. Forgot to mention…when they gave an estimate for the kitchen, everything was ‘coded’ instead of detailed words of products. When asked why we received the answer’ this is how the program works. Good Luck to you.
Destin Glass will give you a FREE Estimate explaining exactly the scope of work in detail you are hiring us to do for you. We also have marketing brochures, websites, social media, etc. where we can show you perfect examples of exactly your scope of work.
Guest_9521738062: My recent experience with a Big Box Store was very disappointing. I worked with a so-called “designer” for a bathroom remodeling job. This young woman really showed very little interest in helping me make decisions. After that, the contractor hired by the Big Box Store came in and handled the installation of a corner stall shower unit, vanity and top, toilet, flooring, painting, towel rack installation, etc.
A 6-1/2 x 6-1/2 bathroom took almost 18 working days for the contractor to complete. First person sent was fired after four days to due poor work performance. The second two people had to re-do most of what the first person did. Overall, my satisfaction is about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. I had to have them come back twice for sloppy work that needed fixing – spackling, grouting, caulking, painting, hanging of towel racks, floor, etc. They caused a leak in a ceiling downstairs and also had to have them come back because something under the vanity leaked after installation. Clean up most days was poor at best. Took pictures of them leaving a huge filthy shop vac on a bedroom chair overnight. Ruined my new chair!
My biggest disappointment is the lack of guidance in helping me to decide which stall shower unit was best. The one that is installed is not sturdy and I am sure will not hold up long. I chose a Koehler (Sterling) but am very unhappy with it. It is cheap material and the shower door shakes when pulled open. In addition, the handle is loose and one of the top rollers makes a screeching noise. Unfortunately, I could not sample this when purchased since this particular stall shower was stacked on top of others in the store and could not be reached. I relied on the “designer” and bath manager for guidance which was clearly a mistake. They had zero knowledge about anything.
I was told by a neighbor to contact Destin Glass and I am very thankful that I did. The quality and craftsmanship was night and day. Their professionalism and knowledge and confidence finally helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.
My own fault as I should have done more research. I thought however, I was paying for knowledge with their PSI program. Not so.
The Big Box management was sympathetic and assisted with some complaints throughout this project. But I am overall very unhappy with my decision to go with the Big Box Store. It is sometimes difficult to find a good contractor who stands behind their work. It is also very difficult to arrange and manage everything while living in a different state. Destin Glass made the process very simple and I just trusted them with my project.
So I thought dealing with the Big Box Store would be better. Will never do it again and would advise others against it as well. When my survey is available to fill out, I won’t be kind to the contractor. My experience pushed me to go another route with carpeting and vinyl plank flooring installation which is my next project. No more Big Box Stores!!
Guest_95226701: Do not go to a Big Box Store. We are in the process of a kitchen and bath remodel. The work is sub par. Show up when they want. Trashed the inside and outside of the house. Did not pull permits. They do not have any order to their work. Started dry wall. Put up a few cabinets. Tiled the floor. Put up the rest of the cabinets which look horrible, drywall still not done. Stove does not fit. Appliances delivered and were not hooked up properly. Just slapped close to where they go. I can’t get ahold of anyone. When u do they push u off to the next person. Nothing ever gets done. I could go on forever but I’m tired of talking about it. This has been going on since October. I should have read reviews. May end up in court.
Guest_95216602: A Big Box Store “designer” just left my house today after 3 hours of showing me hideous fake acrylic shower liners made to look like tile which it didn’t, and fake vinyl tile for the flooring. He was actually a high pressured salesman I’m assuming on commission telling me how these products are far superior to tile and how his Big Box Store is far superior than a GC and how a GC would pick up the day laborers and if they got hurt I would be sued and if the contractor went out of business I would be screwed. They don’t even use real tile, it is probably much like what their 3rd Party GC place uses.
I had mold on my drywall from the leaky shower and he said oh you can just bleach that. I have another rotting wall area from the leak and he said oh we can just repair that. Even I know that these areas need to be completely removed and replaced! Not bleached or patched over. He also wanted to put acrylic liner directly over the existing nasty shower floor and never even addressed the leaks. The most outrageous part was the amount of money they wanted just to do an incomplete job. The small shower alone he quoted at 8000. To add the floor and install a new vanity that I would have to purchase separately and the toilet purchased separately, and the shower door purchased separately, he quoted over 14,000. Their 3rd Party Contractor could not even install the shower door because they said they have never installed a shower door like the one I purchased. I ended up calling Destin Glass and they came out on time and was very knowledgeable and professional. They did however state that they do not install other companies glass shower doors because the shower doors at the Big Box Store are stock sizes, Destin Glass measures to under 1/16″ to make sure the glass fits properly and works correctly. I ended up purchasing a shower door (rolling type) from Destin Glass and it was a simple and professional process. They had everything installed within 7 days and cleaned up after themselves. I did not get a chance to meet the install men, but could tell by the quality of the work and material that they knew what they were doing.
The Big Box Store never addressed my concerns about the shower door, fan or the lighting or fixtures like faucets or towel racks or even paint. In fact, they would not accept a refund for the shower door. Money wasted! The Big Box salesman said I could paint everything myself, that I’m obviously handy because I knocked out the shower walls. I don’t have time and I don’t want to paint the bathroom. he also told me that these products would add value to my home but if I did something differently it would not. He pressured me to sign and even said he would come back after lunch. He obviously only cared about getting me to sign and spend the money even when I said that was way too expensive and I had a second bathroom to do and other projects. After he left for lunch I called the 800 number and told them no thank you and please call him and let him know not to come back. They said they would call him but he showed up about 20 minutes later, so I had to be firm and told him thank you but no thank you I needed to get estimates from a contractor. At that point he basically admitted that I would get a cheaper estimate from the scary contractors that do shady business. After already working with the designer in the upscale tile showroom and talking with the knowledgeable staff at the plumbing showroom, this was miles and miles inferior to what I had in mind, it was actually very unbelievable. My contractor referrals came from the tile store and the plumbing showroom. They all told me to call Destin Glass.
This came about because I contacted the Big Box Store directly as they have a kitchen and bath designer area and I wanted to make an appointment to talk with the designer in the store regarding vanities, cabinets, lighting etc. as I already had my tile designs picked out. If tile is such an inferior product why do they even sell it in their stores? Idiots. Sadly I’m sure they prey on seniors and others that have not worked with contractors and don’t know how to say no to their high pressure tactics.
I’m glad I had this experience and I would warn everyone to stay away and to take the advice from the posters above, talk with reputable “local” contractors, go to the tile and plumbing showrooms, research shower glass, talk with staff about your wants and needs, get contractor references from those places if needed, and talk to real designers that work locally.
Answered by Destin Glass: The Big Box Stores have a vested interest in working with flaky contractors and not standing behind their work. They claim to have a national reputation to protect. Not true. It’s all about saving them a dollar.
Guest_95307607: Contacted a Big Box Store regarding their 3rd Party Contractor in my master bathroom. Received a call back & the women stated a time that rep would visit my home to discuss the project. She mentioned that my wife and I must be present on that particular day to sit with salesperson. When I heard that, i recalled a very similar incident with Sears when I was in the market for replace windows. I responded to her by saying, why must my wife be present unless salesman is going to be high pressure & realizes most husband will say “Let me discuss with wife & get back to you”. She insisted that this is not the case but just a preference on their part. I politely explained I have no interest in high pressure sales people sitting in my kitchen & refusing to leave w/o a signed contract. Sorry Big Box Store, not my way of doing biz. I’ll pass!!
I contacted Destin Glass and the professionalism of the company blew us away. They recommended a fantastic Contractor to rebuild our shower pan and tile work. He did a great job. We went and met with the sales rep for Destin Glass and it was a very pleasurable meeting. No High Pressure sales tactics, he showed us examples of the glass door we were interested in purchasing, they even installed beautiful mirrors over our vanity. The entire process took around 10 days and we cannot be happier with Destin Glass.
Guest_96377601: Working with a Big Box Store on a PSI project now… Even though the people at the Big Box Store mean well, the 3rd Party contractors they have sent over have had their share of problems. The Big Box Store staff doesn’t seem to have any control over them whatsoever. The reason we chose this route was to avoid having contractor issues and to have the “Big Box Store” guarantee. So far we are 16 weeks into a project we were told would take 5 weeks, and we are not half way done. The markup we paid to have the Big Box Store take the stress away from us was a total waste of money. I would not do it again. After waiting all of that time (Missed weekly rentals) once they had the shower tiled and ready for the shower door to be installed, we contacted the 3rd party contractor and they forgot to order the glass for the shower door! Now we have to wait another 6-8 weeks for the glass. We canceled the glass order and was able to find Destin Glass on the search engine. Thankfully we did just that! They had everything from initial measurement to end of installation finished within 1 week. Very high quality glass door and everything from the beginning to the end was top notch.
Guest_96401117: We went to a Big Box Store for two bathroom remodels. One changed the floorplan, while the other was just an update on floor tile, vanity and countertop. They promised a 6 week turnaround for both bathrooms to be completed, promised weekly visits to check on progress and promised that they were “only a phone call away.” The demolition of the master bath took place on October 24th. It is now the 10th of December, and we do not have either bathroom completed. The 3rd Party general contractor they use covers the Destin, Fl area. I have spoken with several other local residents that are running into the same issues that we have. NO ONE from the Big Box Store comes to check on the jobs, WE have to call and ask “what’s the next step” instead of someone keeping us updated of the itinerary, and the 3rd Part general contractor is NEVER available and NEVER returns calls. The 3rd Party General Contractor tells us that their tilers are double-booked, so they send a carpenter (who says he knows how to tile) to work on the job, but the floor tiles were all uneven and he pounded roofing tiles into our walls to hold the wall tiles on (leaving holes in the grout lines). This might not have been an issue EXCEPT that the grout has fallen out and now we have holes in our concrete board where water can get in behind the tiles. You sign a contract with the Big Box Store stating you CANNOT take them to court. Your ONLY option is to go to Mediation. We are making one last attempt to involve the store manager and then that’s where we are headed. I would warn ANYONE to think long and hard about hiring a Big Box Store in our area for a remodel of ANY kind. The Big Box Store is only as good as their 3rd Party General Contractor and their GC doesn’t really seem to care about the Big Box Store – Only MONEY!
We had Lowes remodel both our bathrooms. Toilets, cultured marble shower surround , large mirrors, large kohler medicine cabinets. The salesman suggested a type of shower door for our surround. Big Mistake! The glass which was poorly installed by their 3rd Party Contractor looked terrible. They did a very sloppy job on the caulking the door and the fixed glass panel did not line up evenly and the top hinge of the wall was pulling culture marble off the wall! After numerous times of contacting the Big Box Store and 3rd Party contractor, we did some research and found Destin Glass on the internet. They came out on time for the appointment and explained to us that a swing door with hinges should never be installed in culture marble because the weight of the door can rip the culture marble slab off the wall (exactly what had happened)
Why in the world did the Big Box salesman and the 3rd Part Contractor not tell us this? Very unprofessional! The entire staff at Destin Glass was professional and very knowledgeable. They recommended that we have a sliding door with a header installed because the weight of the glass pulls from the header and not from the wall with cultured marble. We are so happy we contacted this company. The glass is a much better and beautiful quality than the Big Box Store’s and they even gave us little discount because they knew that we were ripped off by the other parties involved. They are a great family business with a very positive reputation around town. I would suggest just calling them for your glass and not have to deal with the headaches of another company that is clueless. By the way, they had everything completed in 10 days (during a few holidays during that time frames. Very impressed with their operation and staff.
Dn’t do it! My elderly parents contracted Lowes in destin, fl. multiple coordination and quality issue, the worst part is Loews is non-responsive most of the time. it’s been 6 months and the project is still not complete. very frustrating.