Lowe's Wants You To Be Your Own General Contractor At Home

Eric’s dad bought his kitchen renovation from a local Lowe’s store. What he didn’t know is that to wander in and buy services like this from a big-box home improvement store, you personally are in charge of the comings and goings of the different contractors, and must know enough about construction to make them come in the right order. Funny, I thought that was the entire point of going to a big-box store and hiring them to install everything for you.

Eric writes:

My father has recently purchased a new kitchen from Lowes in my area. While the purchasing has gone without issue, the installation of this kitchen has been a nightmare. First, the kitchen countertop contractor had come to visit the house, mistaken that the kitchen cabinets had been installed already. He said after the work had been done on the cabinets and electrical wiring, he could then measure the cabinets then send the measurements in and have the countertop custom cut (a three week process according to him), then he would install the cabinets about 1-2 weeks after this had been done.

Then, the contractor to do all of the cabinet and electrical work had installed the lower cabinets without issue, until he ran into problem with the electrical setup at our house. He had said he was not skilled enough to perform the necessary electrical work at our home (it had aluminum wiring, from which I heard was pretty common for homes older than 30 years). He called in an electrical consultant.

The electrician consultant arrived the next day and talked to my father about what they were looking for in electrical work. The electrician did not show up for the date he specified. My father called Lowes to find out what was taking so long, and after they contacted Lowes, the electrician called back 20 minutes later. The electrician to perform the work had come in a day after he was scheduled, but had to halt his work due to the upper cabinets not being installed yet.

At this point, it had been two weeks into the project. My father had attempted several times to contact the contractor for the cabinets, but only when he called Lowes did they contact the contractor in a fashion he would respond. The contractor then said he could finish the cabinets last week, but last week he did not show up.

My parents called Lowes once again, and only then did he call my father back. He then said he could install the upper cabinets by the end of the week, and the cabinet would be installed next week.

I have doubts they w!ill actually finish the project in this time frame, but I have to ask, is it really up to my father to arrange the necessary group of contractors to come in on time to complete this work on time and with organizational skills above that of a monkey? It seems to me that this should have been handled by Lowes.

A lot of contractors and even former Lowe’s installers read Consumerist, so we defer to the wisdom of the hive mind: is this what a consumer can expect when buying services like this from a big-box home improvement store? If Eric’s dad is in charge of managing the entire project himself, why not just hire his own random flaky contractors out of the phone book?