Home Depot Screw Up/ Need advice from Experienced Rehabbers!!! Piper and the Rest! - Posted by RC

Posted by eric on May 10, 2000 at 08:44:11:

Well, if you’ve done it before, I wouldn’t sweat it too hard. But I would never do it myself, or recommend it to a novice - mostly because it places the burden of proof on you, instead of the vendor. Let me know how it works out!

Home Depot Screw Up/ Need advice from Experienced Rehabbers!!! Piper and the Rest! - Posted by RC

Posted by RC on May 08, 2000 at 19:43:44:

I’ve got a little bit of a dilemna her. I’m in the middle of my first major rehab. By major rehab I mean gut the house and do it all over. Well I started by ordering new windows on February 10th. Three weeks later I get my window order and half are the right “style” and the other half aren’t. So I take the half that are right and tell them to get the others in the right style. Sooo, I take those home and remove my old windows and sure enough they are too small to the tune of about 5 inches too short. Of course, it was the measurer that Home Depot sent out that made the screw up. Well I have to use these windows as my old windows are already pulled. So I have to build up the old window jams 5 inches and yes fix the siding outside and the drywall inside. Now, 4 weeks go by and still the windows that weren’t right aren’t here. Sure enough I get a call from “HD” saying they couldn’t make a window a certain way and they wanted to know if they could make it another way and would that be alright with them… Sooo, I am ticked so I get the manager involved again and he comes out to my house to see the original screw up and takes the measurements of the other windows “just in case”. Well they are wrong as well and he has to re-order these windows for the third time. NOW, three weeks go by and I get my windows that the manager measured and sure enough the are two inches two high and nothing can be done on my part as they are to be installed in brick. So now three months later my windows are yet to be here and yes it has put me effectively 8- 10 weeks behind in my project. The manager calls me with " great news." He’s going to give me $800 for my troubles. WHAT!!! I tell him there was $800 dollars of extras just in the windows that their measurer screwed up on and I had to fix. Not to mention that I still don’t have the rest of my windows and my project has been on hold because of it. Anyways I call BS! on the manager and call his superior who was not happy and I’m meeting with him tomorrow. My question IS, what is a realistic # for me to legitimately expect these guys to reimburse me for? I’m quite certain I won’t be able to get reimbursed for 8-10 weeks of holding costs but I certainly expect more than what is being offered. Please let me know what you think is fair.

Thanks ahead of time,


Re: Home Depot Screw Up/ Need advice from Experienced Rehabbers!!! Piper and the Rest! - Posted by J Longest -OH

Posted by J Longest -OH on May 09, 2000 at 12:53:42:

As an experience rehabber, remodeler, lic. contractor, I give you this advise. I dont work with HD,(too far away for me, I use Lowes) Two main points to reiterate 1. They will work with you, I have had window wuppliers eat whole shipments because someone reversed W&H. Be pleasant as you can and work with them on this on 2. always try to get their outside sale person to do the measuring and write up(you can double check it later) Good luck

Re: WARNING!!! - Posted by eric

Posted by eric on May 09, 2000 at 10:47:15:

I notice that one of the posts below recommends you do the measuring yourself. I STRONGLY disagree with this. Whenever you are getting anything “custom” that has to be measured, always have the vendor do the measurement, whether it’s windows, cabinets, countertops, or whatever. Then, WHEN, not if, but WHEN, it turns out to be the wrong size, they have no one to blame but themselves. If you did the measurement, you will be left holding the bag without recourse. You did the right thing in having them measure it - now follow up until they make it right, since it is clearly their screw up. Threaten to return all of the windows, right or not, unless they get it fixed, TODAY. If they say they can’t do it today, calmly explain that’s not your problem, and make them jump. I also like the idea of telling them about calling the local news station. If it gets really bad, you may also want to threaten legal action for damages.

Re: Home Depot Screw Up - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on May 09, 2000 at 09:13:23:

You got some great advice below…I don’t have much too add.

I’d probably handle it by outlining what this screw-up has cost me…and then asking the Manager how much is Home Depot going to take care of. Then shut up.

My experience with Home Depot is that they will bend over backwards for their customers. My wife picked up a fiberglass tub/shower combination one time…which Home Depot employees loaded in the truck. Later it blew out of the truck while she was driving down the freeway…shattering into a thousand pieces. They replaced it with no argument. My wife’s statement to them was “You loaded it and secured it…I need a new one”. They didn’t balk at all (although they have signs up saying they’re not responsible).


Re: Home Depot Screw Up/ Need advice from Experienced Rehabbers!!! Piper and the Rest! - Posted by Eric C

Posted by Eric C on May 09, 2000 at 01:19:03:

Hi -

I like all the advice you received here and I have to say that I really agree with most of the posts.

One more point though, in my area, Home Depot now offers the installation (and financing) of those new windows.

I would cover the windows up for now (as someone else suggested)and get some additional bids.

At the very least, I would make Home Depot pay for the windows and to install the windows – even if I have to purchase them from someone else. Fair is fair.

You don’t say if you’re using a bank for your financing or not, but I’ve had great luck in the past getting my bank to lean on people (and companies) for me.

They (the bank)get to play the heavy on behalf of a good customer (me) and they love it.

Home Depot is a good company. If you remain calm and focused, you should be able to negotiate something reasonable that you can be happy with.

Home Depot is also getting ready to roll out the nation wide installation and financing (through Househould Bank) of many of their products. They neither want nor can afford a bad reputation at this point.

Good luck,

Eric C

PS - Sears went through this same thing several years ago when they began selling home improvements (and the installation of same). In fact, I’ve found many of my best subs through the Sears network. After all, Sears found (like Home Depot will) that call-backs are expensive. Better to do it right, than pay to do it over.

I’ve got bad news … its going to get worse … MUCH WORSE !! - Posted by JohnG

Posted by JohnG on May 08, 2000 at 23:53:11:

I have got some bad news for you.I know this is your first rehab - I could have told you that because you expected things to go right. Not excellent. Not perfect. Not anything - except how it was supposed to.
Is that too much to ask ?

Apparently, it is.

But how do you handle it if this is how it works in the real world ?

If you have a problem, spend your energy on trying to solve the problem. I know you’re frustrated. But to spend so much time and energy focused on how much you are going to get from a clerk or a clerks boss is not going to help you solve the main problem - and that is how to get this property on the market and sold asap.

Listen, the hardest part of this business is not finding deals, and getting buyers who you can finance and looking after all that “stuff” - the hardest part is putting up with the day to day frustrations and screw-ups that happen and they will. Every deal will have its share of them and if you get one that is “easy” - just lookout - the next one is going to make your hair go white overnite.

I asked a very successful investor a few years ago a question. I said "what is the secret behind building a great real estate empire?"
I expected some secret kernal of wisdom and I was stopped in my tracks when he said “I learned to put up with peoples BS”.
Thats tenants; contractors; bankers; brokers; realtors and, not to forget, our buyers and sellars.

Yes, my friends, welcome to the real world of making a fortune in business. Unless you come up with the latest dot.com or you can play a sport that will pay you a million a month, its time to realize that in order to make it in this business its going to take a giant sized ability to put up with the daily screwups and carry on inspite of them.

In fact, begin to look for the inevitable screw-up; embrace it; look it squarely in the eye and then just step over it as you focus on completing the “deal” and moving on to your next deal.

Re: Home Depot Screw Up/ Need advice from Experienced Rehabbers!!! Piper and the Rest! - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on May 08, 2000 at 23:36:35:

In most cases, but not all the most that a corporation will go into for a situation such as yours is the total cost of all the windows. They may give them all to you for free. It will be an extremely rare instance when they give you the windows and also come out of pocket to make up for their mistakes.
Make him offer you something first, don’t and if you feel it is fair take it, don’t try to get more. If what he offers is not fair then come back with everything that it has cost you to date and see what he says.

Good Luck


Re: Home Depot Screw Up/ Need advice from Experienced Rehabbers!!! Piper and the Rest! - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on May 08, 2000 at 23:14:51:

First of all… Learn to measure the windows yourself. It’s really very easy. As far as to what you can get from the store??? Geez, I couldn’t even guess ! It is obviously their screw up from the start. I would raise some serious H@ll, that’s for sure. Most of the guys know me where I shop. That’s an advantage of doing all the shopping myself instead of sending my guys.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.

Laure :wink:

Re: Home Depot Screw Up/ Need advice from Experienced Rehabbers!!! Piper and the Rest! - Posted by Brian Mac

Posted by Brian Mac on May 08, 2000 at 21:56:07:


I know you don’t want to slow the process, but put the brakes on and stop work on the windows. Use plywood as a temporary fix to close up the wholes. Direct your work to other areas of the house.

At the very least, I’d want cost on the windows I’ve used. Then I’d do some serious window shopping. Get bids from everyone. Installed and uninstalled. Only then would I consider going back to clowns like that. If they want the rest of your business, including everything else you’ll be buying, make them earn it. Make them squirm for it. Home Depot or not, that’s pathetic performance. If it were bad enough I might not hesitate mentioning I was thinking of calling the local news station about this mess or writing a letter to the home office in GA (I think). Good Luck.

Brian Mac

Re: WARNING!!! - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on May 09, 2000 at 19:44:05:

I guess I’ve just been lucky, or very good. I haven’t screwed up yet. But there is always a first time. I am due. Windows to be delivered in two weeks. I’m swallowing hard now ! LOL

Laure ;-0

Re: Home Depot Screw Up - Posted by Tom

Posted by Tom on May 09, 2000 at 18:39:02:

Ditto to JPiper. My father builds alot of wood crafts, hutches and the likes. Just this week he built a very large entertainment center. THis was built out of 3/4" birch which is about $45 a sheet. HE had 4 sheets in it. He built it, stained it. It looked horrible. The stain did not take to the wood like it was suppose to. He spoke with the manager and the manager replaced all 4 sheets of birch and also the stain. He did this without even examining the defect (dad offered to take the manager to his shop and look at it, but the manager said that he trusted my dad and replaced it all, sight unseen). Not sayig that you are going to be as lucky, but in my experiece, Home Depot as been a gold mine to me over the years.

Re: Home Depot Screw Up - Posted by Gino_AZ

Posted by Gino_AZ on May 09, 2000 at 15:30:02:

Hey Jim,

They did’nt want to mess with your wife because they did’nt want to get into it with a hot blooded Italian lady. They knew better =;)