Buying Supplies Online - Finish Carpentry - Contractor Talk

Buying Supplies Online

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #1
Member
 
memetic's Avatar
 
Trade: Architect/General Contractor
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 77
Rewards Points: 115

Buying Supplies Online


I don't want to get into a philosophical debate about buying online, but feel free to argue away if you wish. I just want to know if anyone is happy buying lumber, trim, molding, etc. online. I have been checking out some sites throughout the day and I am not so sure lumber yards can work like Amazon. Most of the prices I have seen so far are much more than local lumber yards and the quality is no better. Then, you still have to pay for shipping. Is it even worth it? Anyway, has anyone found an Amazon for lumber yard products, or anything half-way decent?

Thanks
memetic is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 02-01-2010, 07:49 PM   #2
Pro
 
SC sawdaddy's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,949
Rewards Points: 1,018

Re: Buying Supplies Online


No way I'd buy trim or finish lumber on line. I pick through it at the lumber yards.
Not that I'm anal about it but I figure I'm going to pick out better quality (straightest, fewest knots, tight grains,etc.) than Bubba and Pedro. I have let Lowe's send out some framing packages from a take off list and it was pretty obvious that they didn't cull much.

Advertisement

SC sawdaddy is offline  
Old 02-01-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
Member
 
memetic's Avatar
 
Trade: Architect/General Contractor
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 77
Rewards Points: 115

Re: Buying Supplies Online


That was going to be my next question -- quality (control).

What do you think of the Lowe's and Home Depot prices and quality vs other local lumber yards. I realize prices may vary by location, but overall, generally speaking.

Thanks

edit: The main thing I'm getting at here, is that I am looking for an easier way to browse and price shop without having to travel. I can open a Garden State catalog and pick out all kinds of stuff, but I want to be able to price shop without traveling so much. Another problem is you can't call Lowe's and call out stuff from GS and get equivalent prices. Also, none of the lumberyards OR Lowe's/Home Depot etc. have easy, accurate, reliable, or in some case Any, prices online. I absolutely hate looking for products and pricing for Home Depot or Lowe's - it is pretty much useless.

Last edited by memetic; 02-01-2010 at 09:25 PM.
memetic is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-01-2010, 09:42 PM   #4
Pro
 
SC sawdaddy's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,949
Rewards Points: 1,018

Re: Buying Supplies Online


Price wise, if they don't have them beat off the shelf, they will beat a competitor's price + 10%. Thats not always a deciding factor to me though. I'd rather deal with my local supplier. He'll look out for me and not just after my money.

Quality goes to the local yard also. The big box stores will load up the first boards they come to off the stack.
You can exchange them or get your money back if you figured in the cull factor but that eats up time which = money.
SC sawdaddy is offline  
Old 02-01-2010, 09:57 PM   #5
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,757
Rewards Points: 2,348

Re: Buying Supplies Online


I buy some hardware (nuts & bolts mostly) and some of the spec'd simpson etc connectors in bulk. I would not trust buying any type of lumber/trim on line.
griz is offline  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:02 PM   #6
Member
 
memetic's Avatar
 
Trade: Architect/General Contractor
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 77
Rewards Points: 115

Re: Buying Supplies Online


Overall, I've had really good results with two local lumber yards in terms of prices, shipping, and customer service. The problem is, they are a pain when it comes to pricing jobs that require pickier selection, like trim, molding, random special situations, other finishes. One place is much more expensive than the other, and one is cheaper than Lowe's and Home Depot. But, another few items are way cheaper at Lowe's. Only one supplier has one of the items sometimes. Some suppliers have no way to view their selection online!... etc.. All of this adds up.
memetic is offline  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
Member
 
memetic's Avatar
 
Trade: Architect/General Contractor
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 77
Rewards Points: 115

Re: Buying Supplies Online


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
I buy some hardware (nuts & bolts mostly) and some of the spec'd simpson etc connectors in bulk. I would not trust buying any type of lumber/trim on line.
And that is what I love about the local lumber yards. I can hand select everything. I just wish I could browse their inventories and prices online.
memetic is offline  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
Pro
 
SC sawdaddy's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,949
Rewards Points: 1,018

Re: Buying Supplies Online


The problem i keep running into that sends me to the blue or orange store is that with building on such a slow down, most local lumber yards don't keep much in stock. If you need it within the next couple of days you are just screwed.
SC sawdaddy is offline  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:15 PM   #9
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,757
Rewards Points: 2,348

Re: Buying Supplies Online


Quote:
Originally Posted by memetic View Post
And that is what I love about the local lumber yards. I can hand select everything. I just wish I could browse their inventories and prices online.
Don't know your location but on small jobs I have a pretty good idea of current material prices and pretty much know what my local suppliers have. When I order small quantities they know I will not accept any junk. On the flip side they don't stock much junk. On larger jobs or pricing material by the unit or case I submit a list to my supplier and he can price it out basically knowing he is just a drop shipper. Substantial savings this way.
griz is offline  
Old 02-02-2010, 05:50 AM   #10
Pro
 
Rustbucket's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodel/Deck
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Jackson, MS
Posts: 1,861
Rewards Points: 1,748

Re: Buying Supplies Online


I always try to treat my suppliers and my subs like I want to be treated. My lumber yard takes care of me. We have built a good relationship. They are not always the cheapest. But, they have better service and materials. I sure don't want my customers to base their decisions on price.
Rustbucket is offline  
Old 02-02-2010, 05:02 PM   #11
Pro
 
BuildersII's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 323
Rewards Points: 250

Re: Buying Supplies Online


I pay more at 84 lumber than at HD or Lowes, but I get much better service.

For example, today I went out for some composite decking brochures for a sales call I've got on Friday as it's been a while since we've done a deck.

HD didn't have samples that could leave the store, their brochures were crappy tear away sheets and pricing all had to be "quoted." And of course, no discount.

The guy at "KC Decking Supply" had plenty of brochures, but didn't have samples that could leave the store, no discount and I couldn't get a pricing list. So basically, I had to bring the customer into the store an hour away from her home (are you kidding me?) so she could see what her options were.

I go to 84 lumber, thinking they won't have a good selection, but why not? The guy at 84 loads me up with brochures and a physical sample of every color and every type they offer (boxed it up and everything.) Not only that, but he gives me a complete list of their pricing for each type with contractor's discount.

Guess where I'm buying my material from?

In short, you have to figure out who's going to take care of you by trying different places out. Eventually you find someone who treats you right.
BuildersII is offline  
Old 02-02-2010, 11:55 PM   #12
Member
 
wannaBelkhuntin's Avatar
 
Trade: Trim Carpenter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Collins NY
Posts: 70
Rewards Points: 93

Re: Buying Supplies Online


I did a house 2 years ago that the customer provided everything. She bought everything online. ALL of it was Chinese crap, the only things that were decent [and I hate to admit it] were the kitchen cabinets. They were shipped flat so I had to assemble, but they were all plywood no particle board. But there was a lot of stuff that was just crap. Sure you can send it back but you eat the shipping. I got to the point that every time something was crap I just told her that it wasn't bad considering a 12 year old Chinese kid with 3 fingers made it. I purchase a lot of my tools online so I know the possible savings but how can you ship 16' trim or 2X material without taking a beating on shipping. All Lows and HD are anymore is Chinese outlet stores, now that I mention it most stores are now.
wannaBelkhuntin is offline  
Old 02-03-2010, 03:26 PM   #13
New Guy
 
mrick's Avatar
 
Trade: drywall
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Buying Supplies Online


Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaBelkhuntin View Post
I purchase a lot of my tools online so I know the possible savings but how can you ship 16' trim or 2X material without taking a beating on shipping. All Lows and HD are anymore is Chinese outlet stores, now that I mention it most stores are now.
Agree. I use online for tools.

Mrick

Advertisement

mrick is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
online hardwood sanding supplies cinder11 Flooring 2 04-30-2008 08:38 PM
Buying mail lists online? lusori Marketing & Sales 0 02-28-2007 10:43 PM
Buying a rig online RCPainting Painting & Finish Work 15 09-05-2006 10:48 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?