12 Things You Should Never Buy From Home Depot

The home improvement store is packed with items that can help you, but some are best left off your list.

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Updated July 18, 2024
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You might have a list of home improvement projects to tackle and plans to visit Home Depot for materials.

But some materials may be better left on the shelf than put in your cart so you avoid wasting money on products that may not be the best bang for your buck.

Before you head out to get what you need for your project, check out this list of items that should probably stay at Home Depot instead of coming home with you.

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Home appliances

Nomad_Soul/Adobe washing machines in store

Home Depot has a wide range of home appliances, from refrigerators and dishwashers to, yes, ranges.

But if you’re unsure about a home appliance, you’ll want to skip Home Depot. The retailer only gives you 48 hours to return it for damages or defects, so you must give it a thorough check and return it quickly, or you could be stuck with it.

Windows

Serhii/Adobe seller in window shop

Windows are something you’ll want to get right when designing a new home or upgrading your existing ones.

It may be better to buy windows from a specialty store that can make sure they’re handled properly rather than getting them from Home Depot, where you might not find the expertise you need.

Wall decor

structuresxx/Adobe home center warehouse

You may be surprised to find that Home Depot has wall decor to help spruce up your home, office, or any other blank wall space.

But there are plenty of other places where you can get wall decor at a variety of price points with more design options. Try Wayfair, Home Goods, or specialty stores where you can find more original designs at prices that could be better than what you’ll find at Home Depot.

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Basic hardware

fotobieshutterb/Adobe  hardware store with empty shopping cart

It never fails that you need a little washer or a small nut and bolt to complete a project, but you don’t have it on and need to go to a store to buy it.

It may be better to go to a local hardware store that could have the perfect piece instead of Home Depot, where you’ll likely have to buy a box instead of the single piece you need. You’ll end up paying less, supporting a local business, and getting the extra expertise of the shop owner compared to a Home Depot employee who may not know a lock washer from a rubber gasket.

Plants

anoushkatoronto/Adobe flowers and plants in pots

Home Depot has a large selection of plants, especially flowers and landscaping plants in the spring and summer.

Check with a local nursery first, though. You may be able to find healthier plants or better options there than heading to Home Depot. Plus, you can support your local economy by shopping at an independent retailer.

Kitchen cabinets

romankrykh/Adobe  upper kitchen cabinet

A kitchen remodel can be a major undertaking that costs a huge chunk of money, but if new cabinets are on your list, you may want to skip Home Depot.

The retailer may not have many modern style choices compared to specialty stores, and the pre-made options might not fit into your particular space.

Cleaning products

Roman Tiraspolsky/Adobe household pet cleaning supplies

You may be surprised to find cleaning products at Home Depot, but the store has a good variety of products for all the different surfaces in your home.

It’s a good idea to compare prices before you go, however, as you may be able to get a better deal somewhere else, especially in stores where you’re enrolled in loyalty programs to earn extra rewards.

Grilling accessories

miro/Adobe nexgrill grills

Summer means plenty of grilling, and you’ll want to make sure you have all the tools you need for a great barbecue.

But you should probably check out a kitchen store to get the best deals on high-quality items like spatulas, forks, grilling thermometers, and more instead of getting them at Home Depot.

Batteries

ColleenMichaels/Adobe batteries for sale

Flashlights, remote controls, video game controllers, and other battery-powered items can use up many batteries. They’re a must-have for every home.

See if you can buy bulk batteries at places like Costco and Amazon, where they may cost less, before picking them up at Home Depot. You may be surprised by the difference in cost per battery.

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Countertops

Angelov/Adobe repairs kitchen surface

Countertops are an important purchase when remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, but you’ll want to go somewhere other than Home Depot to check out your options.

Local stone providers may have more choices, and you might even be able to choose which particular slab you’d like for your project. Plus, dealing with experienced stone cutters and installers may save you some headaches down the road.

Paint

ColleenMichaels/Adobe spray paint aisle

Some brand-name paint may be more expensive than other options, but you’ll want to skip the cheap choices at Home Depot and may want to consider a specialty paint store instead.

Cheaper paint can also be thinner paint, so you could end up spending more money to add more coats to your wall to make it look good.

Lighting fixtures

Tada Images/Adobe lighting department aisle

Home Depot may not have the perfect fixture you need to light up a particular room or convey a certain style.

So head to a lighting store if you’re looking for a specific type of lighting or specific fixture that you want to really stand out in a room and make the room bright and light.

Bottom line

MichaelVi/Adobe home depot sign

Home Depot can be a good place to shop for home improvement projects, but be thoughtful about which products you pick up while you’re there.

You should also think about what’s in your wallet when you pick up what you need. Home improvement materials can get costly so make sure you have the best rewards credit cards to earn extra perks and points on your purchases.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.