By Terence Loose, Contributor
In 1978, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were fired from Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers -- and that might have been the best thing to ever happen to them. Fourteen months later they opened the first two Home Depots, the start of an international success.
Today, Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement retailer with more than 2,200 locations. But while the store might offer some of the best deals on home improvement products, some of its products are less than stellar. Click through to learn about the best and worst Home Depot deals.
The 10 Best Deals at Home Depot
From grills to ceiling fans, Home Depot is home to some of the best deals for home improvement items. Here are 10 Home Depot deals you don't want to miss.
1. Char-Broil Gas Grills
Home Depot is a great place to channel your grill master, with their Char-Broil gas grills getting high marks, according to Coupon Sherpa savings expert Kendal Perez. One model in particular, the $400 Char-Broil Gourmet TRU-Infrared, came in second only to a Weber in a Consumer Reports rating. "Just make sure to read reviews and research what features make for a quality grill before you buy," said Perez.
2. Tool and Truck Rentals
If you're a DIY fanatic, you'll love Home Depot's dependable and affordable tool and truck rentals. "It's a perk greatly appreciated by DIYers who don't want to purchase a tile saw for their bathroom floor renovation," said Perez.
For example, a small tile saw costs around $50 to $60 per day depending on the size you need. "You can also rent a truck for $19 for the first 75 minutes of use, a great deal if you need to transport heavy items from the store to your local project site," she said.
3. Weekly Workshops
Renting a tile saw is one thing. Knowing how to wield it is another. For that, Home Depot offers free classes from repairing drywall to installing kitchen faucets and laying tile. "These complimentary classes are great for homeowners looking for in-person instruction from professionals, as well as an opportunity to ask questions," said Perez.
4. Behr Paint
"Whether you're repainting a bathroom or updating your outdoor siding, Behr paint is among the top-rated paint brands and is only available at Home Depot," said Kerry Sherin of Offers.com. "According to Consumer Reports, Behr Premium Plus Ultra is top-rated among satin/eggshell and flat/matte interior finishes, for $32 to $34 per gallon."
5. Patio Furniture
Home Depot offers a fantastic selection of outdoor living gear and patio furniture, said Sherin. "If you're looking for the best time to buy, purchase in fall months like October and November. Typically you will see prices fall for these popular summer items during cooler months," she said.
Related: 12 Best Money Experts of 2015
6. Lighting and Ceiling Fan Fixtures
Lighting, a cool breeze and stylish fixtures can make a room, but they can often bust a budget. But not if you shop smart at Home Depot, said Lindsay Sakraida of DealNews.com. "Home Depot almost always has a clearance sale going on that includes lighting and ceiling fan fixtures, which means that shoppers can frequently get such items at discounts of 50 percent to 80 percent off," she said.
7. LED Light Bulbs
New light fixtures demand new light bulbs, and while LEDs can be pricey, Sakraida said that Home Depot regularly sells individual and multipacks at competitive prices. "We've seen sales that slash up to 70 percent off select styles, and we've also seen the store offer 20 percent off coupons as well. The benefit to getting a deal on LED bulbs is your smart shopping will translate into energy savings too," she said.
If Home Depot doesn't come to mind when you think of vacuums, it should, said Sakraida. "The store frequently offers the best price on certain models, although, as always, you should do a price check before making a purchase. It's not unusual to see sales that knock up to 40 percent off both cleaners and general floor care items," she said.
Landscaping often gets the short stick in the budget war when it comes to home renovations, but Home Depot can really help, said savings expert Jeanette Pavini of Coupons.com. "Wait for Home Depot's Spring Black Friday, typically in April. Past years have seen veggie plants and eight-packs of annuals at five for $10. Join Home Depot's Garden Club to get exclusive coupons like an additional $5 off your $50 purchase," she said.
10. Military Discount
Don't forget: Home Depot offers discounts for military personnel. "Home Depot used to limit the military discount to holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but in recent years the discount was changed to be valid year round," said Regina Conway, consumer expert for SlickDeals.net. "Military members and their families can get a 10 percent discount year round by showing a valid military ID."
The 10 Worst Deals at Home Depot
Despite Home Depot coupons and discounts, the store shouldn't be your top choice for certain items. Grilling accessories and home decor are among the worst deals at Home Depot, for example. Click through to see what topped our list.
1. Grilling Accessories
While you can score a great grill at Home Depot, Coupon Sherpa's Perez said to leave the grilling accessories where they lie. "Grilling accessories are often a better buy at Walmart, Target or online at Amazon," said Perez.
She said price is the main factor. "So if you find an identical product for less, Home Depot will match online prices. However, they will not offer an extra 10 percent off like they do with local competitor's prices," she said.
2. Wall Art and Home Decor
Home Depot doesn't specialize in home decor and its selection and pricing reflect that, said Perez. "You can find better inventory at World Market and Bed Bath & Beyond, both of which offer storewide coupons for extra savings," she said. Her favorite places to buy art include T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Ross. "These discount retailers offer large pieces of art for less than $50, which is a steal," she said.
3. Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning up after a home improvement project is vital, but don't let it add too much to the price of your upgrade. "Home Depot offers a selection of cleaning products, but it's not nearly as extensive as what you can find from such big-box stores as Target and Walmart. The pricing isn't competitive either, so skip this purchase," said Perez.
4. Off-Sale Charcoal
If you choose to go old school on your barbecue and embrace the smoky, raw charcoal taste, pick your times to buy charcoal at Home Depot, said Coupons.com's Pavini. "Wait for a holiday weekend and you can get charcoal for around 50 percent off. For example, shop on Memorial Day weekend and stock up on enough charcoal to get through grilling season." You can also use a Home Depot coupon code to slash the price of a bag.
5. Kitchen Accessories
Things like frying pans, silverware and knives at a giant warehouse that also sells everything from lumber and toilets to plants and fertilizer might not be your best move. "You will find limited supply and higher prices on kitchen accessories like pots, pans and cutlery," said Sherin.
6. Brinkmann Grills
While the right Char-Broil Gas Grill might be a steal at Home Depot, some Brinkmann grills are no deal, said Sherin. "My husband and I gifted Brinkmann-brand grills to both our parents because we got a great deal at $200 each. Both grills basically rotted out from the inside after two to three years," she said. Consumer Reports gave low ratings to the Brinkmann Elite 810-3660-SB and Brinkmann Medalion 810-4580-SB.
7. HDX Paper Towels
If you thought a specialty paper towel from a home improvement store would be tough, think again, said Sherin. "When it comes to dirty jobs, strength and absorbency are key, and unfortunately HDX-brand paper towels from Home Depot are not a good buy. Instead, stick with a brand that is known for quality, like Bounty's DuraTowel," she said.
8. Select Humidifiers
Consumers often correlate higher price with higher quality, but that's not typically a good idea, said Sherin. Such is the case for humidifiers at Home Depot.
"One of Home Depot's Essick-brand console humidifiers (Essick EP9R 500) received the worst score from Consumer Reports and actually cost $50 more than the top-rated console humidifier from the retailer, the Essick MA1201. Again, it pays to read reviews before you buy," said Sherin.
9. Home Legend Flooring
You might be tempted to opt for store-brand solutions for your next home renovation, like the Home Legend series offered by Home Depot. But Sherin said that might be a costly mistake. "It's important to research user reviews on these products. A recent evaluation by Consumer Reports did not give this line favorable results, so consider spending your flooring money elsewhere for the best value," she said.
10. Glidden Paint
While Behr paint is an excellent value from Home Depot, the lesser-priced Glidden brand isn't worth your dollars, said Sherin. "Painting is a big job and the last thing you want to do is re-paint because you can't remove a stain or notice inconsistencies in coverage. Glidden just isn't as high quality as Behr, and you'll save money in the long run by purchasing the latter," she said.
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