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Things to Buy & Avoid at Home Depot



Home Depot relies heavily on its extensive product range to appeal to customers who prefer to get everything they need in one place. However, while some of its products may be priced higher than those at stores like Walmart or Target, others may be of inferior quality.
In fact, some low-quality items are likely to deteriorate within a year, which can be disappointing, especially when investing in essential items such as flooring or a bathroom vanity. To optimize your Home Depot shopping experience, we’ve curated a list of recommended purchases as well as items that you should steer clear of.

Avoid – Flooring

While it may be enticing to use Home Depot’s flooring services, it could prove to be a significant disservice to yourself. This is because Home Depot usually outsources the installation of your flooring to a third-party contractor, who may not do a satisfactory job. Whether you opt for tile or hardwood flooring, it might be preferable to undertake the installation yourself or hire a professional flooring company. Several customers have shared negative feedback, stating that their flooring installations were executed poorly, resulting in damage to their homes.

Buy – Mirrors

Although many Home Depot products have received criticism, their mirrors are noteworthy for their quality. They offer some excellent minimalist mirrors that can complement either your bathroom or hallway decor. Furthermore, during sales events such as Black Friday, you can frequently purchase these mirrors at a reasonable discount. At times, mirrors may be placed on clearance to make room for new stock. The added advantage of shopping at Home Depot is the vast array of mirror styles they offer, including medicine cabinets.

Avoid – Basic Hardware

If you need a new gasket or washer for your faucet, it may be better to go to your local hardware store instead of Home Depot. Home Depot offers over 100 replacement options, which can make it challenging to choose the right one, leading to wasted time and money. On the other hand, local hardware stores are often staffed with competent employees who can provide valuable advice. Additionally, some individuals have reported concerns with Home Depot’s employee hiring practices.

Buy – “Oops Paint”

To save money when purchasing paint for a project or room, you can check out Home Depot’s “Oops” paint section. These are custom paint colors that were mixed for other customers, but they were not satisfied with the result, usually because the shade was a little off or they didn’t like the dried color. However, some of these colors may be great and sold at a discounted price, sometimes up to 50% off. Given the high cost of paint, any savings can be beneficial.

Avoid – Batteries

When shopping for batteries, it’s best to avoid purchasing them at Home Depot’s checkout lane due to their inflated prices. Home improvement stores often charge as much as $1 per battery, while bulk stores offer them for as low as $0.40 cents each. Even Walmart and Target typically provide better options than Home Depot for common, everyday items. It’s always advisable to compare prices and shop around to find the most cost-effective deals in the long run.

Buy – Tool Packages

Home Depot offers excellent discounts on tool combo kits, but it’s advisable to watch out for sales to get the best deals. Throughout the year, Home Depot sends out various deals for drills, brand-name lithium batteries, and yard equipment from major brands like Ryobi and Milwaukee. Some of the best times to purchase these kits are during Spring Black Friday (around April), Father’s Day, Back to School, or Black Friday. With the discounts offered during these sales, customers can avoid paying full price for a tool, even when it comes with a dozen other items.

Avoid – Bathroom Vanities

The bathroom vanities at Home Depot may look good, but they are made of low-quality particleboard and laminate coverings that do not hold up well, especially with moisture and regular use. It is better to check out a local millwork place and get a custom product that will last your lifetime.

Buy – Tiles

Home Depot offers products of decent quality that are suitable for most home users, including tiles that come in a variety of styles and can be purchased at a good discount if the prices are tracked for a few months. However, it is recommended to skip the installation crew and opt for a DIY approach since some tile installers may not have the customer’s best interest in mind.

Avoid – Countertops

Although Home Depot offers convenience, you can save money by checking around your local area, especially for items like countertops. Home Depot offers slabs and half-custom countertops that they get from a wholesale slab yard. This means that you are essentially paying for the product to be stored at Home Depot, which increases the risk of damage and the overall cost.

Buy – Toilets

Home Depot toilets are highly efficient and durable, capable of flushing a bucket of golf balls without backing up or chipping. Moreover, many of Home Depot’s products, including toilets, are made in America. Homeowners can easily install the toilets themselves with the equipment available at the store.

Avoid – Grilling Accessories

It’s not recommended to buy grilling accessories at Home Depot, as similar items can be found at a cheaper price on other platforms such as Amazon, Walmart, or Target during summer. While it may be tempting to buy from Home Depot, it’s better to avoid it and instead check other stores for better deals.

Buy – Grills

Home Depot offers grills and smokers all year round, including during the winter season. This is different from other retailers that only stock grills during the summer months. Home Depot’s prices are also reasonable. Additionally, the store has special sales events like Black Friday and Spring Black Friday in April, where both low-end and high-end outdoor cooking equipment are offered at discounted prices.

Avoid – Small Appliances

Small appliances are best purchased at Costco or Sam’s Club due to their competitive prices. These retailers have a wide selection of products ranging from microwaves to knock-off KitchenAid stand mixers. In comparison, small appliances at Home Depot can be priced up to $60-$80. This also applies to food processors, which may be marked as “clearance” without an actual sale. When shopping for small appliances, it is recommended to compare prices at different retailers.

Buy – Patio Furniture

When it comes to purchasing patio furniture from Home Depot, timing is key. During winter, the store typically removes its patio equipment. However, if you’re looking to buy furniture for the upcoming spring or summer, you can still find decent deals online. The best time for aggressive sales is at the end of the season, when Home Depot is trying to clear out all bulky furniture to make room for new holiday decor. Additionally, Black Friday is a great time to check for patio furniture deals, but these are exclusively online.

Avoid – Home Decor

While Home Depot’s products may not be of the lowest quality, they often come with a hefty price tag. Take curtains, for example. Although Home Depot has a good selection of styles, they can cost around $30, while IKEA may offer the same or similar designs for as low as $10. This $20 difference in price can add up for various items at Home Depot, from vases and fake plants to sheets. The only exception would be if you manage to find these items on clearance. However, even then, it’s worth checking around to ensure that a similar product isn’t available at a much lower price elsewhere.

Buy – Lights

We’re not discussing regular light bulbs here, as those are usually cheaper at stores like Walmart and Target. Instead, we’re referring to specialty lights, such as LED bulbs, string lights, or kitchen lighting. You can find all of these items at lower prices than any other store, with dozens of options to choose from. Home Depot also carries unusual sizes that you may not find at other stores, such as very large or very small lights. Our favorite deals are on Christmas lights, which are often deeply discounted and unavailable at regular stores. Check out your local Home Depot for great deals on lights.

Avoid – Major Appliances

If you value good service, it’s best to avoid purchasing major appliances at Home Depot. Although the products themselves may be decent, the delivery and installation services are often unsatisfactory. Many customers report that their appliances arrive damaged, while installers may try to skip out on basic services like removing old appliances. Additionally, some customers find that the appliance they purchased doesn’t have the desired feature because the sales staff may not have enough knowledge about the products they are selling. It may be worth considering local stores for appliance purchases instead.

Buy – Garage Storage

If you’re planning to transform your garage into a workshop, Home Depot has you covered with an array of options, whether it’s for carpentry, auto repair, or even storage for your lawn equipment. Investing in heavy-duty racks and toolboxes is a wise move as they are durable and last a long time. But you can also check out full lines like Gladiator, which provide everything you need in one package. Home Depot has made great strides in improving its garage organization offerings, and we applaud them for that.

Avoid – Cleaning Products

To save money at Home Depot, it’s best to avoid the cleaning aisle. Although the cleaning products are of good quality, they are typically 5% to 10% more expensive than Walmart’s prices. For instance, a Scrubbing Bubbles product at Home Depot costs $3.69, while it is only $2.84 at Walmart and Target. Choosing generic cleaning products is another way to save money. Many cleaning solutions are not expensive to make, and companies are banking on customers’ willingness to pay for the brand name.

Buy – Hanging Materials

If you’re in search of more than just basic picture-hanging supplies, Home Depot is the place to go. Although Walmart offers some options, home improvement stores have comprehensive kits that enable you to hang everything from canvas to picture frames. The kits are designed to reduce damage to your walls, and some come with metal wires and weights to ensure that your pictures are level. Additionally, Home Depot has a wider variety of Command strips than other stores, making it the perfect place to shop for all your picture-hanging needs.

Avoid – Doors

Home Depot has gained a reputation among carpenters for offering subpar products and unreliable measurements. Even if you measure your door multiple times, there’s a good chance that a door you purchase from Home Depot won’t fit properly because it was not cut correctly. This is especially true for custom doors, which often lead to delays and return issues. Instead, it’s recommended to seek out a local shop with qualified experts who can stand by their product and ensure it meets your needs.

Buy – Gardening Products

When it comes to gardening supplies, Home Depot is a great option that offers frequent sales for basic items such as mulch, soil, and garden beds, especially in the beginning of spring. Compared to the regular prices, you can get bags of soil at half the price at these times. One great advantage of shopping at Home Depot for gardening gloves is that they have a large variety of sizes available, unlike many other retailers, and the gloves are designed to protect your hands well.

Avoid – Windows

When it comes to windows, it’s best to avoid Home Depot as they often have issues with quality and inaccurate measurements, which can lead to installation problems and potential damage to your home. It’s best to seek out a local window supplier who employs qualified experts that have in-depth knowledge of their products. They can provide guidance and address any concerns you may have, ensuring that you end up with the perfect fit for your home. It’s worth investing in quality windows as they are not easily replaceable, and opting for a local supplier will give you added peace of mind.

Buy – Sinks

Not all sinks are created equal. If you’re in the market for a sink, it’s best to steer clear of knock-off brands, which can result in water damage. Instead, consider shopping at Home Depot. They carry a wide selection of top brands like Kohler and Toto, which are known for their quality. Plus, Home Depot carries many American brands, which can offer added peace of mind. It’s worth noting, however, that sink and vanity combinations can be problematic, so it’s best to avoid them.

Avoid – Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets at Home Depot are known for being cheap, but the quality often leaves much to be desired. Many of the cabinets are made from MDF, which can easily get scratched and damaged within a year or two. If this happens, you may find that the product is no longer sold, making it difficult and costly to replace the fronts of your cabinets. In addition, Home Depot’s cabinets often go out of style quickly, so investing in high-quality cabinets from a local shop can save you money in the long run. You can also refinish wooden cabinets if you ever want to update their look.

Buy – Christmas Trees

Whether you prefer real or artificial, Home Depot and other home improvement stores offer an impressive selection of Christmas trees. While real trees can range from $50 to $80, they are still a better deal compared to pop-up tree sellers who charge over $100 for an imperfect small tree. Home Depot has also made strides in artificial trees, with many features not available at Walmart or Target. These include twinkling lights, color changing, timers, and more. When selecting an artificial tree, look for the one with the most branch tips, and Home Depot offers trees with up to 6000 tips.

Avoid – Common Plants

If you’re looking for a pothos or fern, it might be best to avoid the common varieties at Home Depot because they are often overpriced. You could end up paying up to $6 for a small pothos, while many plant enthusiasts are giving away cuttings for free! Alternatively, you could buy a full six-inch pot for just a few bucks. Some plant groups may even be willing to give away larger trees like fiddle leaf figs for free if you ask. If that doesn’t work out, consider checking out your local plant stores.

Buy – Clearance Plants

Clearance plants? Absolutely! The thing about Home Depot and other home improvement stores is that their employees may not be well-versed in plant care. They’re simply given locations to place the plants and told when to water them, but often, the plants end up overwatered or dehydrated. However, this can work in your favor because you can revive the plants by letting them dry out or watering them appropriately, and they may rebound better than ever. Some plants may even cost as little as a dollar once they start to look unappealing. You might also be able to negotiate a discount on plants that aren’t in good health.

Avoid – Kitchen Items

To be frank, the kitchen items sold at Home Depot are far from satisfactory. Pots and pans often wear out within a year, and on top of that, the prices are exorbitant. This is due to the fact that most people don’t typically buy these items at Home Depot. If your local store does carry storage containers, consider yourself fortunate, as most do not have much beyond large plastic bins. While they do offer smaller acrylic containers for organization, their utensil holders are out of style and twice the price of those you could find at retailers like Kohl’s, Macy’s, Walmart, or Target. All in all, it’s best to avoid purchasing kitchen items from Home Depot.

Buy – Clearance Holiday Items

Have you ever explored Home Depot’s post-holiday sale section? If not, you’re missing out! Some of the best discounts at Home Depot can be found when Christmas items go out of season. Immediately after the holiday, you can get up to 30% off on holiday items. But if you can wait, the deals get even better. Just two weeks after Christmas, you can snag lights and other decorations for a whopping 70% discount. For indoor decor, you might want to check out Michaels, but Home Depot is the place to go for outdoor items and lighting. The tricky part is keeping track of what you already have at home, so you don’t end up buying duplicates.

Avoid – Rugs

There are several reasons why buying rugs at Home Depot may not be the best idea. Firstly, the quality of the rugs may not be up to par. While Home Depot may offer rugs at a lower price, these rugs may be made with lower quality materials that will wear and tear quickly. Additionally, Home Depot may have a limited selection of rugs, making it difficult to find the perfect match for your space. You may end up settling for a rug that doesn’t quite fit the look and feel of your room, just because it’s the best option available at the store.

Buy – Truck & Tool Rentals

Home Depot offers tool rental services and also rents out trucks. Home Depot’s Tool Rental program offers a wide range of tools, from small hand tools to large equipment, for rent on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The rental process is fairly easy, and customers can reserve tools online or in-store. Home Depot also offers truck rentals, which can be a great option for customers who need to transport large items or materials. Customers can rent a truck for as little as 75 minutes, and the rates are affordable

Avoid – Plumbing

Since plumbing can be a complex and technical field, it’s important to have expert guidance when purchasing materials for a project.
Additionally, Home Depot may not carry the specialized or high-quality plumbing materials needed for more complicated projects or professional-grade installations. In some cases, purchasing low-quality materials or parts can lead to leaks, water damage, and other issues down the line, which can end up costing more in the long run. Home Depot’s prices on plumbing materials may not always be competitive with other retailers, particularly if you’re looking for high-end or specialized products.

Buy – Lumber

Home Depot can be a good place to buy lumber, as they offer a wide variety of wood types and sizes for various projects. They also have a convenient online ordering system and offer delivery and in-store pickup options. However, whether it is the best place to buy lumber may depend on your location, project requirements, and personal preferences

Avoid – Door Locks/Handles

Home Depot’s selection may not be as extensive as a specialty hardware store, so you may not find exactly what you’re looking for. And, while Home Depot does offer some higher-end brands, their selection of luxury or high-security locks and handles may be limited. Another potential issue is that the quality of the locks and handles at Home Depot can vary. While some of the products are high-quality, others may be made with cheaper materials or have lower security ratings.

Buy – Vinyl

In general, Home Depot does offer a wide selection of vinyl flooring and wallpaper options at a range of price points, which can be convenient for those looking to complete a home renovation or update on a budget. However, if you are looking for the highest quality and most long-lasting vinyl flooring or wallpaper, you may want to consider specialty stores or higher-end home improvement retailers.

Avoid – Vacuum Cleaners

While Home Depot carries a selection of vacuum cleaners, their selection may not be as extensive as that of a dedicated appliance store or online retailer. This could limit your ability to find the best vacuum cleaner for your specific needs. Home Depot may offer competitive pricing on some vacuum cleaners, their prices may not always be the lowest available. Comparison shopping at other retailers, including online stores, may help you find a better deal.

Buy – Digital Thermostats

Home Depot carries a variety of digital thermostats for sale both in-store and online. They offer a wide range of options to fit different budgets and needs, from basic models to advanced smart thermostats with Wi-Fi connectivity and voice control features. They also carry thermostats from popular brands like Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee.

Avoid – Indoor Furniture

While Home Depot may offer some indoor furniture options, their focus is primarily on home improvement and building supplies, so they may not have the same level of expertise and variety as a dedicated furniture retailer. Additionally, the prices for indoor furniture at Home Depot may not be competitive with other furniture stores. Since furniture is not their main product line, they may not be able to offer the same discounts or competitive pricing as other retailers. It’s also possible that the quality of the furniture may not be up to par.

Buy – Faucets

Home Depot offers a wide variety of faucet brands, styles, and prices to fit your needs and budget. Some popular faucet brands available at Home Depot include Delta, Kohler, Moen, Glacier Bay, and Pfister. It’s important to choose a faucet that fits your style, budget, and specific needs, such as the number of handles and the type of finish.

Avoid – Automotive Products

Home Depot stores do not typically offer a comprehensive selection of automotive items like an auto parts store or a specialized mechanic shop. However, some Home Depot stores do carry some basic automotive items like motor oil, car cleaning supplies, and car emergency kits. For one, their selection of automotive items is limited compared to an auto parts store, meaning you may not be able to find the exact item you need. Additionally, the staff at Home Depot may not have the expertise in automotive repair that an auto parts store or mechanic shop would have.

Buy – Sheds

Home Depot sells a variety of sheds in various sizes and styles, ranging from small storage sheds to larger structures suitable for use as a workshop or living space. You can browse their selection online or visit a local Home Depot store to see the sheds in person and speak with a sales associate. They also offer delivery and installation services for their sheds.

Avoid – Simple Storage

While Home Depot offers a variety of storage options, the quality and durability of their products may not be up to par. Many of their storage products are made from cheaper materials, which can easily break or wear down over time. Additionally, their selection may not be as varied as other specialty storage retailers. Finally, their prices may not be as competitive as other stores that focus primarily on storage solutions.

Buy – Safety Equipment

Home Depot sells a variety of safety equipment such as safety glasses, gloves, respirators, hard hats, and more. They offer products from a range of well-known brands such as 3M, Dewalt, and Milwaukee. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, you can find a variety of safety equipment to suit your needs at Home Depot. It’s important to make sure you select the right equipment for the job and that it meets the necessary safety standards.

Avoid – Ladders

While Home Depot does have a good selection of ladders and competitive prices, whether it is the best place to buy a ladder would depend on a few factors such as personal preferences, budget, and availability of other retailers in your area. It is always a good idea to shop around and compare prices, features, and quality before making a purchase. Other retailers that offer ladders include Lowe’s, Amazon, Walmart, and specialty stores.

Buy – Blinds

Home Depot sells a wide variety of blinds for windows, including vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, roller shades, cellular shades, and more. They offer many different sizes and styles to fit various types of windows, as well as different colors and materials to match different decor styles. Home Depot also offers installation services for blinds, which can be convenient for those who may not feel comfortable installing them on their own.

Avoid – Luggage

Home Depot is primarily a home improvement store and does not have a wide selection of luggage. While they may offer a few options, it’s unlikely that Home Depot would be the best place to purchase luggage. Instead, it would be more beneficial to check out a store that specializes in luggage or travel goods, as they will likely have a larger selection and more knowledgeable staff to assist with any questions or concerns.

Buy – Weedkiller

Home Depot sells weed killer for lawns and gardens, including both organic and chemical options. They offer a wide variety of products from well-known brands, such as Roundup, Ortho, and Spectracide, as well as their own store brand. Home Depot also provides guidance on how to choose the right weed killer for specific types of weeds and how to apply them safely and effectively.

Avoid – Sculptures

Home Depot offers a variety of garden and indoor décor, including sculptures, but the selection and quality can vary depending on location. It is possible to find some nice pieces, but it’s not necessarily the best place to buy sculptures as they may not have a wide range of options or higher-end pieces. It may be better to explore specialty stores or online retailers that focus on sculptures and artwork for a better selection and higher quality options.

Buy – Bathroom Accessories

Home Depot offers a variety of bathroom accessories such as towel bars, toilet paper holders, soap dispensers, shower curtains, bath mats, and more. They carry a range of styles and brands to suit different tastes and budgets, from basic and functional to more decorative and luxurious options. Whether you’re looking to update your bathroom’s functionality or style, Home Depot has a range of products to choose from.

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