Typically, when you remodel your home, the contractor or contractors you hire will be the ones to order any building materials needed for the job. But this can sometimes be problematic. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports survey of general contractors, the second biggest cause for delays and cost overruns on remodeling projects was building materials arriving broken or different from what was ordered. To avoid this happening to you, you can order the materials yourself to make sure they arrive ahead of schedule just in case there are any problems with the order that might delay the remodel.
Not only does this reduce the odds of the project being delayed and going over budget, it can also help you stretch your budget since many contractors will lower their fees for homeowners who manage this aspect of the remodel themselves. Purchasing your own materials way in advance can also give you the ability to be a little more patient in waiting for the right deals to come along.
But purchasing your own materials isn’t without its risks. After all, contractors know a lot more about it than you do and you may end up with inferior materials or the wrong materials if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are six tips to help you if you decide you want to purchase your own renovation materials.
Find out what your style is
Spend a few hours online looking at different types of materials to figure out what your style is. Many websites allow you to add photos to a digital ideabook that will help you determine what your preferred design style is. Once you’ve identified your style, then you can start looking for specific building materials showrooms that carry those kinds of products.
Make an appointment
Though you could just show up, it’s better to make an appointment first so you can be guaranteed to have a designer on hand and ready to help you select your materials. It will save you time and make the process go a lot smoother.
Don’t try and rush it
Most showrooms are going to have hundreds, if not thousands of different products to look at and consider so allow yourself plenty of time at each showroom you plan to visit. Force yourself to be patient since you have to live with the decisions you ultimately make. Try to enjoy the process even when it’s slow going.
Come prepared with your floor plans and ideabook
The showroom designer who is assisting you will have an easier time directing you to the products that you’ll be interested in if you bring your ideabook, whether digital or hardcopy, and your floor plans. This will let your designer know the specifications he/she is working with and also your style.
Know when to splurge and when to save
Only you know your vision for the finished remodel so you have to prioritize your wish list beforehand. When you start seeing the actual costs for the things you want, you’ll be prepared to make decisions about which things to splurge on and which things to cut back on.
Consider secondhand materials
Finally, keep in mind that secondhand doesn’t always mean second-rate. Materials salvaged from high-end homes or leftover materials from completed projects can be of high quality at a much better price so be willing to check out the secondhand market, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
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