A question that we frequently receive from homeowners considering a remodel of their home is whether we can use owner-supplied materials such as lumber and fixtures that they have purchased themselves, or whether we can purchase through a supplier that they know. You may be wondering the same thing. Perhaps you picked up a faucet on sale or you have a friend who can get you a discount on drywall, and you’d like your chosen design-build contractor to incorporate these materials into your project.

While this seems like a win-win for everyone, it can cause more problems than it solves and result in higher costs for you as the homeowner.

Using homeowner-supplied materials creates a conflict of interest

When clients purchase materials, they become a part of our supply chain. We would be relying on the client and/or unknown vendors for timely and efficient delivery of the correct materials.

Small, unintentional ordering mistakes (incorrect sizing, quantities, material type, etc.) can result in costly delays or challenges affecting our ability to deliver quality results. When your design-build contractor is responsible for orders and delivery, they can ensure that the timeline and quality of work will be upheld.

Inexpensive materials often lead to higher labor costs

Most people don’t realize that in home remodeling, there is often a trade-off between material and labor costs. Lower-cost items often require greater effort to install or are constructed with lower-grade components, which create a greater risk of product failure, and therefore a greater risk of callbacks for warranty claims. Lead times for replacement items can cause your project to fall behind schedule and the contractor must expend additional labor to remedy the situation.

At Advance Design and Remodel, we prefer to avoid these sorts of scheduling disruptions and cost overruns by purchasing through familiar, approved and responsive vendors with whom we have trusted relationships. Ensuring that we are using high-quality fixtures and materials from approved vendors is more economical in the long run.

Materials markup helps offset your total project cost

In the interest of full transparency, as design-build contractors, we typically earn a markup on the materials we are installing. This markup covers a portion of our overhead expenses, such as time spent on order processing, delivery and handling, researching all the various materials options and learning complex installation requirements. We also incur the risk of any damages during installation. If we did not charge a markup, we would need to increase our labor prices to cover the lost revenue.

We get excellent prices for the best quality materials due to volume and vendor loyalty

In most instances, the relationships we’ve built with trade partners allow us to receive discounted pricing on materials, fixtures and other construction-related products. In many cases, even after our markup, we are still able to pass along better pricing to our clients than they would be able to get on their own.

Loyalty to our vendors generates prompt and reliable service

Loyalty to approved vendors is crucial. With their support throughout the design and construction process, we can deliver high levels of client satisfaction.

At Advance Design and Remodel, we consider our approved vendors to be trade partners. Most of our vendors are local businesses with professional showrooms and knowledgeable staff. We rely upon their expertise for selection of materials and they provide valuable assistance when dealing with challenging installation requirements.

Perhaps most importantly, we count on our trade partners for their professional service and support in the event that there is ever a problem with an order. Loyalty to them ensures that they are accommodating and responsive to our clients’ needs.

Other problems that often arise from using unfamiliar sources and non-vetted materials:

  • Excessive order lead times.
  • Difficult delivery policies, use of slow third-party shipping services or difficulties coordinating and scheduling deliveries.
  • Special inspection or handling requirements when taking delivery of products or materials.
  • Damaged, incorrect or missing items.
  • Out-of-stock items that have to be back-ordered.
  • Inflexible and restrictive return policies.
  • Lack of responsiveness, poor vendor service.
  • Warranty exclusions, lack of warranty or unwillingness to honor warranties.

All of these issues lead to delays and extra labor and materials costs. Most of these problems are avoidable when contractors work exclusively with known, reliable suppliers.

Why we source all project materials through our approved vendors

While every design-build contractor will have their own individual business practices, we require that all project materials are sourced through our approved vendors. We believe so strongly in this that it’s included in our contract. With this policy in place, it allows us to source materials with a focus on value – the best combination of quality, price and service. Ultimately, this helps ensure that we maintain a reputation for high levels of client satisfaction.

Interested in discussing your upcoming renovation project? Contact Advance Design and Remodel to request a consultation.