Buying Building Materials Online: What to Expect

Dec 05, 2011 No Comments by

You shop for everything else online, so why not buy your home renovation materials that way, too?  There are many good reasons to follow the e-track, but also some hurdles to satisfaction you might encounter along the way.

Basically, if you have some idea of what you’re looking for, buying materials online is easy and fast. With just a few mouse clicks, you have hundreds of products at your fingertips and a vast array of suppliers to choose from. You’ll find everything from stock materials to custom-designed products, and you can compare looks and prices hassle-free to see which suppler offers the best home renovation solution.

A Google search can lead you to helpful supplier reviews, which can narrow down your choices further, and give you the best insight into who is reliable and who is not, as well as who offers a quality product that they stand behind and who does not.

Now for the things you may not have considered.

Often, buying online is attractive because it seems less costly than buying in person. However, have you considered the cost of installation? What about shipping and delivery charges, particularly if the item is coming from the other side of the country? Does the supplier offer shipping discounts, or do you have to pay full price?

You also have to think about the possibility of the product you ordered being damaged during the shipping process, which can cost you time and money, particularly if it has to be returned to the supplier. (And by the way, do you have to pay for return shipping?)

Another issue is your contractor. Many home improvement professionals would rather deal with local suppliers that they have confidence in with regard to price and quality. They may want you to shop online and get a price, but then bring that price to their supplier to see if they can do better. The contractor may also want you to see the materials in person (and you yourself may prefer this option). Then, the contractor will make the purchase from the supplier he has sent you to.

So, there are pros and cons for purchasing online and off. Ultimately, the way you choose to buy your building materials should depend on what you feel most comfortable doing.


Home Improvement, Home Services, Installation

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