Building Materials, how many quotes?

8 Replies

When seeking materials for your remodel or flip, how many different companies do you pull quotes from before you feel you are ready to make a decision?

4 sounds like a good number to me personally (if possible), though I have heard of people seeking a dozen quotes when doing large builds or developments. I suppose you really can't go wrong getting as many quotes as possible.

At minimum you should get 3 quotes to compare everything. 

Originally posted by @Barbra Thebenyane :

When seeking materials for your remodel or flip, how many different companies do you pull quotes from before you feel you are ready to make a decision?

 You have to expect most supply houses will be within a few dollars of each other in various categories on various items  - somewhere it balances out - its all expensive : ) 

You have to weigh much more than price, time, availability, delivery 

Menards lowes. Home Depot 

Have a big box store(Lowe's, Home Depot, etc) quote it through there contractor desk. Take that quote to two smaller/local suppliers and tell them to beat it. Take the lowest of those two back to the other local supplier and see if he can beat it. If he does, call it a day and give them the job. Probably at the bottle they can do at that point. My local supplier will take a loss on some stuff they can't compete with the big boxes on to keep the sale. They would rather have a smaller margin on a $20k job than loose the whole sale to a big box they already fight every sale for

@Barbra Thebenyane how large of a project and what "building materials". Are we talking about 2x4s, sheetrock and compound, or are we talking about an entire house, cabinets, vanities, plumbing fixtures etc...

Personally if just straight building materials (lumber, framing, nails, etc) I would probably find 2 or 3 local supply yards (you can try HD or Lowes, but a supply yard will probably be as good price wise with better material) and get quotes.

If you are ordering an entire house worth of products, you most likely will do better buying different pieces/parts from different places. You can get pricing for all of it, however you might be paying a premium for one stop shopping.

Once you have your take off of materials, it becomes easy enough to send that to different places and get pricing. Make sure to compare apples to apples, tax incl. delivery, etc... Once you find a solid company and have done a few jobs, it may make more sense to stick with them (even if paying a little more) as you build a relationship. It will save some time on future deals.

It's not the "number" of quotes you get it's the quality of your understanding of the quotes themselves. If you have a good level of knowledge and get a competitive quote it might be all you need, however if you don't know what you're looking at and get a 100 it won't do you much good.

With that said, the only way you're going to learn is researching.... and part of that is getting quotes. If you're serious about this, make your own quote first. Do the market research yourself, look for coupons, look for price match etc, get what you'd find as the "best price". Then take a look at the savings, if it's a bigger job look at the overall dollar amount you saved. If you do this in excel it's probably easiest..... this will be the base for your future bids.

Now, the new bids, take them and enter them into the same excel sheet. Enter them line by line and review them. The ones that are just way to high and don't make sense discard them... the ones that are nearly identical keep them. Now here's where the fun starts... go line by line and figure out the difference. Then hold negotiations to make sure people on the same page (quality/price/delivery time) then ask them to adjust (price match etc) and ask them to resubmit a final offer.

Lastly, to get really hardcore evaluate payment terms. 12 mo no interest might be worth the additional cost vs somewhere that's do net 30. Maybe you have the cash and ask for discount if you pay promptly, maybe you try to combine that back w/ credit card. Or... you buy gift cards from places that have bonus (think credit card bonus at grocery store, then buy gift cards to use). 

Great tip on having the big box stores compete with the local suppliers. I’m just getting started on a big rehab right now and will be giving this a try.

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