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As with almost every other product on the market there are money saving tips on buying building materials. This is because they are subject to the same price fluctuations depending on demand and the time of the season. In some cases the differences in price can determine whether you have a 400 square-foot standard deck or an 800-foot, multi-tiered model. Before getting the impulse to buy building materials it is best to figure out exactly what you want.
A home building project should be carefully planned or else buckets of money will go missing from the budget. And if the money runs out there will be stark reminders of unfulfilled dreams: unfinished stairways; decks without rails and bare, stud walls without drywall. The easiest way to avoid dashed expectations is to get your budget together and stick with the plan. This will also help you in the purchase of building materials because it sets a ceiling on what the homeowner can spend.
If your project is big enough get estimates from at least three contractors to find the median price for the project. In many cases the estimator can break down the price into labor and materials. This will make it easy for a do-it-yourselfer to figure out the price of materials. In some cases it is better for the homeowner to get a contractor to do the whole project or, in others, buy the materials and get the contractor to supply the labor. In the latter method the homeowner has the work completed and cleaned up while still having building materials to either take back to the supplier or use for other jobs.
2. Seasonal Sales
Saving money is best achieved when there is no definite time frame for the project to be completed. For example, many people think of decks the moment the nice weather comes around. Contractors and building suppliers know this and their prices reflect this change in the season. In many instances the prices for decking supplies goes down at the end of summer along with the patio furniture and garden supplies. This is to clear the storage and showrooms for snow blowers and holiday ornamentation like Halloween and Christmas displays. Watching the flyers at this time of the year will yield great results especially of the homeowner has done the planning and knows the bottom line on prices.
On the flip side of this argument the building supply store may purposely overstock seasonal materials tin order to get people in the stores. For example, the supplier may have pressure-treated deck wood on sale but deck screws, joist hangers and other accessories may be at full retail price. In this way the store makes up for a 'loss leader.'
3. Discount Stores
There are many stores that sell products that have been purchased from construction sites, fire sales or manufacturers' discounts. In most large construction sites there are items like tile, carpet, hardwood flooring, windows and other items that are left over and these stores buy them up. Some products like drywall may have superficial damage on the corners or other knicks that a professional drywaller can easily cover over. For this inconvenience the price may be 30% of what the product costs on the shelves of chain stores.
Another product that discount stores sell is 'factory seconds.' These are materials that never passed inspection to be considered top quality. For example, a piece of pressure-treated wood may have an edge with bark or have saw marks. Although unsightly, they are still strong and can be used underneath the deck or stairs
4. Used Material Stores
Construction companies now have to adhere to new laws that prevent the wanton dumping of excess materials into landfills. Up until recently, perfectly-good building supplies were dumped into garbage containers because it was more cost-effective for the company to dump them rather than pay the labor to sort and resell the items. However, with the new laws in effect many good building materials are donated to resellers who raise money for groups like Habitat for Humanity. In this situation everyone wins because in many areas construction companies receive a tax break for their efforts. The homeowner can get everything from appliances to 2 x 4's at these places. These stores also sell pieces from demolished homes like antique crown moldings and fireplace mantels
5. Want Ads
There are many deals to be had just looking in the newspaper classified ads or online. Many homeowners and construction companies are finding that the internet is a great place to get rid of excess materials that are taking up storage space. On the flip side, a homeowner can advertise what he or she wants and there is a good chance that someone has the desired product.
For more information on getting a handyman to help you out with your household projects consult our Contractor Directory, or simply go online and post your project. A professional will contact you.