Should you buy your own materials?

As a homeowner, you may be thinking you'll save money by purchasing your own fixtures and fittings during your renovation projects.

But here's the truth:

  1. Your contractor may be able to pass their trade discounts along to you. And given the recurring business they bring suppliers, these discounts can be substantial, even when split.
  2. Your contractor may still charge you for offloading any deliveries, protecting the materials and storing them. You really want them to do this for you because if you store materials incorrectly (i.e. at the wrong temperature by placing them in a garage) you can damage them.
  3. You may become responsible for handling returns which can be time consuming and cause delays costing you more than you have planned for.
  4. Your contractor may lose coordination responsibility of your project. This means they may no longer be responsible for delivering your project to the agreed upon schedule if a material item you've ordered doesn't arrive on time. 

Check your contract with your contractor and be sure to talk to them about how they handle material purchases. It's often better to let them do the shopping.