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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

I'm new here and my brother is starting a contracting company, right now he works for my uncle. Anyway right at the moment we are remodeling the house. My question is, is there a good site that sells supplies like drywall, two by fours, plywood, insulation and all that stuff cheaper then Lanco's lumber, 84 Lumber, Home Depot , or Valu? I searched on google and here but all I found was some kind of site that has locations in Alaska but I live in New York. There is an auction around here every saturday where you can get a window for $30 one day and $500 on another. Thanks for the help in advance.
 

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Welcome to the construction game. When your new, a lot of people will be looking at you, so don't try to win too much out the door. Used and odd ball stuff is find for your own place and that of close relatives, but you got to build a reputation.
Then you got legal stuff to worry about. Here's a fer instance: One could not give me a heater, gas or electric without all the 'legal mumbo jumbo' such as UL listed tags, then even if for a second, something wasn't kosher, I'm outta there. If something goes wrong, I want a local respected seller and a national - or accepted- manuf'r to be in the defendant's docket with me. These companies hire battalions of lawyers and specialized investigators.
Once you get a record for using second hand or swap meet stuff, you'll never shake it and your prices will never reflect your skills.
So if your happy being a 'handiman' and/or fighting for every buck, go with "swap meet stuff".
Otherwise provide service which spoils your customers and charge accordingly.
Wishing you all the best. Stick with these forums, there's an education here.
 

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I guess until Wal-mart starts selling lumber look to HD to be your low cost leader.

The thing I find is:

You either get access to lots of unique products at higher prices (typical supply house specializing in a trade) or less selection of just a few products at lower prices (Home Depot), and never the two ever seem to meet.

Buy the white toilet at Home Depot for $200.00 or special order at Home Depot the same toilet in black for $600.00
 

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Hello Ivan and welcome to the site! Like shopdust said stick around this places it tops!! :Thumbs:

Here's my tip on supplies, pick a full service lumber yard that's conveniently located to your working area, has free delivery, & find the most knowledgeable person there & make him your go-to guy for material & then stick with him. I've been at this for about 5 yrs. now and this is what is working for me. I still do some price shopping, but I specify the materials and terms and for a total project, no one has ever beat my regular supplier for the exact material list.

Set-up a company 30 day account with them and pay the bill on time, usually the 10th or the month. This will establish you well with the owners, be they local or corporate as a good customer, does a volume of business & pays on time. Within a yr or two you should see where you're getting better pricing and you'll get better than average service this way.

Another tip, if you don't already have one, set up a business checking acct, & shop for this! My bank gives me instant access to all deposits, automatic OD protection, free Visa ck card with cashback on all purchases, all at no charge!;) The instant access means if you deposit a check from an out of town or state client, those funds are available within a day instead of a week. over-draft protections does cost me $29 an item, but all items are paid! Nothing worse for a business's rep than bouncing checks :( And if you use that Visa ck card for all your material purchases & gas & whatever, you'll see a tidy little sum come back at the end of the yr, and who's gonna argue with free money? :cheesygri

Good luck with you new venture!
 

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When you pay peanuts you get monkeys. My usually suppliers aren't the cheapest in the area. Why is that you may ask? Service.

Oh sure, I'm human and I've tried the low priced suppliers. What did I get? Later deliveries. Wrong materials, forgotten items in my orders. In short I got headaches.

We as contractors get upset and frustrated when we lose to low ball compitition and we as contractors brag the extra money goes to personal attention and top notch customer service etc... The same goes for suppliers. You usually get what you pay for.
 

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Ivanp said:
is there a good site that sells supplies like drywall, two by fours, plywood, insulation and all that stuff cheaper then Lanco's lumber, 84 Lumber, Home Depot , or Valu? I searched on google and here but all I found was some kind of site that has locations in Alaska but I live in New York.
You should sit down with pencil and paper and look at how much advantage you might gain by a marginal reduction in the cost of your typical materials. I dare say it won't be much.

If it's a competitive advantage on price you seek, lowering your operating costs and increasing your productivity is a far better means to gain such an edge. Buying 2 x 4's for $.10 a piece less than that charged by HD or paying $.75 less on a roll of insulation won't get you far.

The same holds true if you simply seek to increase your profitability. However in this instance there's another effective strategy you can try - raise your prices. Many, including myself, have been shocked to find out that they could charge significantly more for a job than they thought they could. Good luck :Thumbs:
 

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My local lumberyard sells better quality than HD or Lowe's so that I get a better yield. Say that I buy 50 2X4's from HD. In a few days dry time, I have to cut up or return 20% of them because they have turned into propeller blanks. Where is my savings?
Every item at the box stores hinges on the dollar, you have to someplace else to get quality. Quality will make your business.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
Every item at the box stores hinges on the dollar, you have to someplace else to get quality. Quality will make your business.
Unless ofcoarse his business is being the low bidder, like the big boxes business is being the low bidder... then the customer gets what they pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
THanks guys. HD might be a good coice sometimes but the one where I live always has plywood that is all wavy and everything. THe 2X4's have too many knots and the sides arent streight. Lanco's Lumber seems best for now because sometimes you can get pretty good deals like 70 2X4's for $100.

THanks for the helpit really helps ;)
 

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One thing to keep in mind, the other day I bought some plywood for a roof job. We replaced about 15 sheets total. First I went to menards, then I went to home depot. Menards was about a buck a sheet more, but the crap that home depot was selling was grade #1 or less IMO.
 
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