I got a deck estimate around the beginning of July. 4500$ was the estimate for a 10x15 deck with a small 3x5 landing with stairs near a door. I checked around, and there were many in the 2000-3000 range for install without materials cost added in but they were booked until September. I called lowes back and asked them if they could start immediately and come down a bit. They agreed they could start ASAP and do it for 4300 including materials and that I would be better protected because they were a large company blah blah blah
I was wary since I had trouble with getting a timely install of carpet done a month earlier by them, but I needed the deck done by August. The current deck was dangerous and we'd just bought the house and we want folks to be able to come to a house warming with out being in danger. So after promises that they were a different department and not connected to the carpet sales people, I paid $4300 cash (so they couldnt sell the finance to GE) and was promised a deck to be done in 4 days, starting the following Monday. (it was Thursday night when I paid)
Monday comes, no one shows up. I get a call late by the install sales person saying one of the install guys (there are only 2) had a baby that night and called in. Great, no problem, understandable. They show up Tuesday... tear down the deck and put concrete in, but they dont use the cardboard pilar tubes to be sure they make straight pillars. They just dig holes with an auger they RENTED AT HOME DEPOT and pour it straight into the ground and shape it at the top with some 2x4s nailed into a square shape. They secure the side supports to the house for the main deck (but not the landing) and then leave.
They dont come back for 24 hours, to let the concrete dry (couldnt they work on building the stairs or cutting deck planking and rails to size or something?) which is ok I guess. They come back and they attach the landing securely to the house because I complained at them about it. they also remove the temporary supports and attach permanent ones on all the corners on the newly dried concrete. This is done reasonably well, just slowly. They attach the underdeck cross beams and leave. Most of them are not nailed into the brackets, just sitting there. They worked maybe 4-5 hours.
Friday they come and attach the deck planking and build the stairs and landing. They split the stair stringer at every step because they didnt drill pilot holes for the screws. They seem to have learned from this mistake on the deck top though (though didnt replace the stringer, just left it split and installed) So they drilled pilot holes for the screws on the decking and installed it. They left about HALF of the pilot holes empty however and left for the day. AGAIN. this was the day they were supposed to be FINISHED. Which was already a day late. They had been there about 3 hours. They take the "Installation in progress by Lowes" sign out of the front yard and do not show up Saturday or Sunday.
Sunday Lowes calls to ask me how I enjoy my new deck!!! I told them I have no freaking idea because I dont have one yet. They get quiet and say, oh, they didnt tell us they weren't done, and they hang up on me!!! I call back the next Monday to be told they couldnt deal with the heat (it was 95-96 out, it had been hotter previously) so they had to leave. They were coming back that day to "finish" I also tole them they put the crown of the wood in the WRONG DIRECTION on the deck. its suppoed to curve down so water doesnt pool on the deck and so any warping pushes the screws INTO the deck not pulling up on them. So they basically wasted most of their day Friday doing *** WRONG anyway.
Needless to say, more problems, as Lowes didnt have hand rail materials I needed (they were supposed to have already delivered all materials needed) and that the installers had to drive to a store a town away to get new ones so they wouldnt be there. etc etc. And they've been awful since they were informed they werent doing their job right.
Point of the matter being PAY A LOCAL BUSINESS for your deck. Lowes has no idea who does what for them, nor do they provide the "managing" of the people they send to your house like they claim to do. Its week 2 and my deck still isnt done. Again, a promise of it will be completed at 2pm today. We'll see...