Building Supplies - Sourcing the right supplies
How do I buy building supplies?
Sourcing the right building supplies is key to the success of your home improvement project. If the supplies are too expensive, you could go seriously over budget. However, cheap and substandard materials will cost you more money in the long run, and may even pose a risk to your safety. So how should you go about buying building supplies?
The key to getting the best deals on building supplies is to look at the whole picture when making comparisons. One supplier or store might be able to throw in free nails, but it costs you more than the nails and the bricks from a rival. Or you might get a great deal on all the materials, only to find that the cost of shipping makes it uneconomical or the supplier is out of stock and you'll have to wait six weeks for delivery. Break down each deal into its component parts - not forgetting the cost of transport - before you make a decision.
However, remember that cost isn't everything, and you should use a reputable dealer who supplies quality materials. Word of mouth is invaluable here - ask friends who have taken on their own building projects, and find out where they bought their building supplies. Were they happy with the deal they got? Was everything delivered on time?
When you order building supplies, you should discuss the following points with the suppliers:
- Your building plans - are the supplies suitable for the purpose?
- Guarantees - what guarantees does the company offer if things go wrong? You will need to get these promises in writing.
- The full price breakdown
You need to think carefully about the qualities you can't put a price on, such as trustworthiness. It's worth paying more money for peace of mind. This is where local suppliers and stores have the advantage. It's obvious that you usually save on transport costs with local suppliers, but the real advantage is that suppliers in your area are more likely to understand local conditions, whether that means the weather or the state of the soil. A well-established local supplier will also be able to tell you about how such materials have performed in the area nearby. For example, you will be able to see for yourself how well different kinds of bricks have weathered. It will also be easier for you to sort out any problems face to face if the suppliers are based nearby. These factors are a good reason for using local suppliers, even if the prices they charge are slightly higher than those of their more distant competitors.