Thursday, September 23, 2010

Building Suppliers and Construction

This article is dealing with new home construction building supplies
. I would like to start this post with stating these are my preferences and opinions, I will try as we move along to give you the reasoning behind them and why I think it is better for you the homeowner or contractor to use your local lumber yards

There a lot of building suppliers out there falling all over themselves to provide you with the materials to either build your new home or remodel job, but for service and knowledge you simply can not beat your local lumber yard. I know Lowe’s, and Home Depot give you great prices and carry a much wider variety of products to choose from, well that’s good, but can their sales people tell your framer what your rough door opening or rough window opening should be, what about the proper way to install the windows. For example just exactly how do you wrap a window to keep moisture out, this is just an example but I know from experience that each window manufacturer has different specs as to how they think their windows should be installed, the same thing with doors. These local building suppliers also will sale roofing products, cabinets, interior trim and be knowledgeable in all aspects.

My point being that I prefer these local suppliers because they have the knowledge and the experience of working with all the different trades involved in building a new home, they also have a more one to one relationship with the manufacturers, especially important when you have a problem, i.e. windows came in the wrong size and your framer is going to charge you more to rework rough opening, or you want those windows replaced all together. The new exterior door you ordered and came in the wrong size or wrong swing, the sales people from your local building supplier are going to be in a better position to solve your problems, these people are professionals and they will usually go the extra mile for you, they will come out to your job site with the factory engineers and or sales person to try and solve your issues quickly and most of the time in your favor.

It has been in my experience that the sales people form the local building supplies
are more in tune with the nature of building a new home, they meet with the new home owner/contractors and trades on site to go over potential problems before they happen and to do take offs of materials needed and delivered on site when needed by each particular trade. This is a major consideration if you’re materials are not on site when needed, your trades may leave and go to another jobsite where the materials are being delivered in a timely manner, with your trades time is money, if they have to sit around waiting for materials and they have employees being paid to sit there, they will go somewhere that they can make money period. This will cost you more money in the long run because it will take longer to build your new home therefore costing you more in interest charges. They will also make arrangements to pick up any unused material afterwards and issue you a credit, the material must be in a resalable condition, and there is usually no delivery or return charge, although you may have to pay a percentage for a restocking fee.    

These same suppliers will usually have access to some engineering resources and these are especially helpful on new home construction and or remodeling projects in the framing aspect where floor loads, wind shear, and total span calculations are needed. This is another added benefit when it comes to the use of engineered lumber products as they will be able to supply the home owner with the correct product for each application.

Your local building suppliers are also a great resource for finding potential sub-contractors for each trade; the sales people will already have knowledge of who is working in your area and also the quality of their work, so if they give you any names they are usually qualified to do that particular trade. I also don’t recommend the national building suppliers, these guys are more interested in the production type builders and I have found that the service for the custom home builders or contractors just don’t get the service that the local guys can give you. I myself being in the construction industry and being a sub-contractor I also did not like the fact that I had to compete with a building supplier, that was using subs as a tool to sale their products in a package deal, then making me discount my price to them and all the while they were telling the contractor or home owner they would manage their job site and in all actuality not have a clue as to how to perform or specific knowledge for any individual trade.

The local building supplier will usually assign each customer a sales person for the entire process of building your new home and this will help you the home owner with all your selections, so please use their knowledge and let them help you make your new construction project be as pleasant as possible.

A good article on EZA about choosing your lumber:

1 comment:

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