Friday, November 4, 2011

Buying Local series: Lumber yard/Building centre

Buying local series: Lumber Yard
When building a new home it is always best to buy from the local businesses in the area or community that you are constructing the home. No matter if it’s your summer home or a second home buying locally always makes more sense. This time I’m writing about the reason you should be buying your lumber and building supplies locally, I’m talking about the local Lumber yard/building centre.
Lumber Yard/building centre:
The material that you buy to actually build your house can be purchased from a wide variety of places. It doesn’t matter what company you buy the material from, you should be buying as much as possible from the local building centre. This might sound like an obvious thing to do when building a new home, but there are a lot of general contractors and home owners that buy their material from where they currently reside instead of buying from where they are building. This happens for many reasons; one of the main ones is that the general contractor will shop the “build package” to several different places to get the best price to get the job. You might think that this is good for you as the home owner because it sounds like a cheaper way to go. In the long run it can actually cost you money, more money than if you just would have got the material locally.
A couple things that can raise the cost are as follows;
·         Most lumber yards will charge delivery if the building they are supplying is out of there area. Even if they claim free delivery that only applies when they are shipping you a full load of material (a full tractor trailer load).
·         Construction has become a 12 month of the year industry, with custom homes taking a year or more to build, this means that you are building through all four seasons. Lumber suppliers will be reluctant to ship you loads of material when the weather conditions are less than ideal. This means delays in the build process waiting for the material to be delivered.
·         Being forced to have full loads delivered, material sits outside in the elements and will warp or absorb large amounts of moisture. Also the longer material is onsite the more chance it has of being stolen or damaged from heavy equipment.
·         Most build sites are not very large, so it can be very difficult to store large quantities of material onsite. Material onsite then will have to be moved several times to allow the build process to continue, this adds cost in labour for the homeowner.
·         When you price a “build package” you get a better rate from lumber yards/building centers, so you get a set discount rate on everything you buy for that build. But if the supplier is too far away to deliver a small amount of material that you require to keep the project moving, you will have to buy it from the local dealer and will have to pay more because you will not get the bulk discount that you would if they were getting the whole house build.
·         Certain areas require special material because of ground conditions, weather conditions or building codes. A local lumber yard/building center will know these things when they price the job and price it with the appropriate material. The supplier that is not from the area will not know these conditions and you will have to pay more when you request a different product then what was specked.
These are just some of the things that can cost homeowners money when using a lumber yard/building centre that isn’t from the area.
A couple of simple things that local building centres are able to do that can save you time and money are as follows:
·         Drop off small orders while making other deliveries. Orders as small as a box of framing nails that are only worth $60.00. If they didn’t do it you would have to pay someone to get in a vehicle and drive to the supplier and drive back. This costs the homeowner more money and time in the end.
·         They are able to take back or pick up any unused material and give you credit for it. Suppliers from other areas will not do this.
·         They will waive all delivery fees.
·         A lot of lumber yards that are local will send extra hands in the delivery truck to help speed up the unloading process if it has to be done by hand.
·         They know the local conditions and can send the appropriate delivery vehicle. If the location is very tight or muddy, then they might send a 3 wheeled hitchhiker to deliver the material instead of a large boom truck.
·         They have contacts for you if you require a trade or a special service.
Most lumber yards/building centres are affiliated with a national organization that they do all of their purchasing from, so if you think that you can only get a speciality item from a building centre in your area you would be wrong. They all order from the same manufacture and can order in the same things for pretty much the same price.
If you have any warranty issues with anything you bought from them, you should be able to take it back because they know you personally as a client.
So remember when building that new house, please try to buy locally, it’s not just good for you, it’s also good for the local economy.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village builders Inc.

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