Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Own Materials When Renovating

It’s very appealing to think, well, I’m going to go online and I’m going to buy all this stuff. And I’ll save myself a fortune.

And how hard can it be right?

I’ve just got to buy a fridge and a freezer and an additional washer and some plumbing stuff, it’s going to be dead easy.

It’s really not easy, and it’s not easy for a number of reasons.

First off, price, the price you’re getting and the price we’re getting is generally pretty similar because the Internet has leveled that playing field.

However, the relationships that your contractor will have with their vendors is going to be very strong. And that means if something is wrong, damaged needs to be returned, or you just change your mind and don’t want to use it.

The return policies are much stronger when you have that relationship with the vendor.

The second thing is the value that we add or the value that your contractor adds to the process is infinite.

If you take plumbing for example, if you’ve got three bathrooms, a powder room, and Kitchen, the volume of plumbing products that are going to go into that are beyond comprehension almost. A shower body is going to be made up of two or three different components and of that shower body if any one of them don’t show up in time, the wall can’t be built.

The Wonder board or the cement board that goes on to it can’t be put on.

It can’t be waterproof, the tile can’t be installed, the trips can’t be installed, the tub can’t be installed that entire room basically grinds to a halt until this one $400 component, which in the scheme of things is negligible, shows up and to save $40 or $50 on that component to jam up the project for the entire construction team causes an enormous amount of frustration.

Also, when the contractor orders products for your renovation, they can schedule when those products arrive on site. So they know that the shower bodies and all the rough which is the stuff that goes behind the walls were all the roughs must be on site within the first two weeks of the project starting as soon as demolition is over the wall start being laid out and all the roughs are going to be start being put into the walls.

And that’s the same for electrical, all the stuff that goes behind the wall for electrical. Buying a light fixture, you need 50 of these light fixtures.

It should be pretty straightforward.

But does that light fixture work with your switching system?

Is it dimmable with your switching system?

Has the bulb you’ve bought?

Does that work with that particular fixture?

Does it have the right ballast?

Does it have the right driver does it have the right trim are the trims going to be consistent with fill in the blank?

On top of that all of this arrives curbside in Manhattan.

So you’ve got two pallets of tile which weigh 6000 pounds and you’ve got to get them to the 53rd floor and they’re going to arrive sometime between 8am and 2pm. While they don’t arrive at 3:30pm, three guys or four guys have to go down there unpack it so it will fit into the elevator because the weight restriction for the elevator might be 2200 pounds, and you can’t get that much stuff in it.

It’s then taken up to the apartment, it’s broken down further and inspected that it’s the same tile lot, you haven’t got two lots which might have a slightly different color is anything damaged or broken because it needs to be returned immediately.

You can’t have it sitting on site for four months and then call up and expect them to take it back.

So the scheduling of the deliveries, the cost of the deliveries, having guys to bring all this stuff up and check it and if it is wrong, package it up, get the return order, get it picked up, ship it back, order a replacement, bring that onto the site.

All of that is included in the markup your contractor will put on in the general conditions of your project.

Ordering your own stuff for your project is a terrible idea. And it invariably leads to a tremendous amount of friction because stuff doesn’t arrive at the right time. It doesn’t arrive correctly, and then the contractor is expected to deal with it. And it takes an enormous amount of time. And generally clients don’t have the time it takes to make it work properly.

Hopefully that was helpful.

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