Expo Design Center: A $45,000 Expensive Error

I want to add a kitchen to my finished basement. A place for guests or renters to cook and entertain a guest.

On the advice of others I went to the Home Depot Expo Design Center Saturday morning. Oh what an error that was!

First off, all the massive bathrooms when you first walk in made me realize just how small my house is. But the real affront happened at the kitchen design center.

There a very arrogant salesman demanded I start my kitchen design with cabinet selections, ignoring my desire to start at what appliances would fit in my small space.

When I balked at his minimum kitchen design price, $45,000!, as ridiculous crazy talk, he became downright nasty. Apparently, unless you are trust fund wealthy, you are not welcome at Expo Design Center, Montgomery Mall.

Which leaves me with a problem: where do I go to design a little basement kitchen on a small budget?

12 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    I had my bathroom done by Select Kitchen & Bath. Russ Troxel is who I talked to. They’re based in NoVA, but I think they’ll do work in DC.

  2. Chris L (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

    My girlfriend had a bad experience with Expo in Bethesda. She purchased a washer and dryer contingent upon them doing free delivery and install, which she got in writing. Upon delivery of the washer and dryer, the employees told her that they didn’t know how to hook the things up, and that she would need to hire someone else for the install. 2 weeks and a dozen or so phone calls later, Expo finally conceded and sent out technicians to do the install properly.

    I know these guys are supposed to have designer stuff, but everything I hear about their customer service is bad, bad, bad. Do yourself a favor and go somewhere else.

  3. Pennstatevr6 (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

    You could always try IKEA. Both VA and MD locations should have a kitchen design center with staff that will help you get an estimate.

  4. Chip Py (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

    Have you considered a Green kitchen??

    I would check out Amicus Green building in Kensington. Im not sure about appliances but I know they have evironmentally friendly cabinates, countertops,paint and flooring.

    They will be at the Green Festival this weekend at the DC Convention Center and if you get in touch with me I’ll set you and the missus up with a pair of Free Tickets.

    Chip Py

  5. Jenn L (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

    What’s the scoop on the Green Festival, Chip? Do you know if there will be anything on solar roofing, specifically our flat roofs here in DC? I would be very interested.

  6. Wayan (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

    I would love to cover my entire roof and west-facing back wall with solar water heaters/PV cells to redirect the thermal gain my house experiences all summer long.

  7. Max (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

    Wayan, you obviously didn’t read about my experience at Expo. They quoted me $19K for labor only to remodel a bathroom in my house. AYFKM?


  8. Chip Py (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 5:27 pm


    There will be over 450 Green Businesses on display as well as many lectures and demonstrations. Sunday at 3:30 in the Green Home Series will be “Planning a Self Sufficient Solar Home” and on Saturday at 5:30 “Living with Solar 101”

    There are over 150 speakers. Amy Goodman from Democracy Now speaks on Saturday. Ralph Nader on Sunday.

    Your ticket is good for both days.

    Read more here http://www.greenfestivals.org


  9. Wayan (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 5:41 pm


    I read your experience, but I wasn’t going there to buy the kitchen or hire them to install it, but to design a basic kitchen. I thought they could do that based on thier website copy:

    You’ll start by sharing your clippings, photos, swatches and showroom preferences with your EXPO Designer. The project team will assess your home, and your Designer will help you choose products, colors, textures, shapes and accessories.

  10. Ray Colbert (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 7:27 pm

    Home Depot is under the same company as Home Expo. They have decent cabinetry (Kraftmaid) and they aren’t nearly as expensive as their higher end cousin! Just a thought.

  11. David (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 7:49 pm

    I purchased three appliances from the Cherry Hill Road Home Depot in January, the installers brought the new ones in, disconnected the old ones and loaded them, all very quick and professional. Shame Home Expo is such a wash.

    Granted, if I was to do a kitchen, I’d talk to my Grandfather who’s been doing them for most of his adult life (well, he’s 86, and started shortly after the end of World War II)… If you’re willing to travel to northeast PA, he’d probably be more than willing to help you design something… plus, the leaves will be nice this time of year.

  12. Mary De Luca (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

    Kitchen & Bath Factory in Arlington is another good source.

    A friend of mine used home Expo- they delivered cabinets that didn’t fit THREE times. The friend fought and fought and finally got his cabinets for free. I do believe that Home Expo uses all subcontractors for the install work. So why not just go to a subcontractor directly?

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