Beware Pitfalls When Ordering Construction Materials 

by Sandy Griffis, Executive Director, Yavapai County Contractors Association

The “rash” of phone calls continues from homeowners who have purchased materials/products primarily online and are calling for referrals for contractors to perform installation of these materials and/or products. 

The majority of the calls pertain to plumbing fixtures, faucets, shower heads, tile, water heaters and now HVAC units, which can be purchased online. 

I get it — many homeowners want to purchase materials for remodeling jobs and/or an upgrade on their own because they want to avoid any possible contractor markup. Many homeowners are convinced buying something via the “net” or shopping at a “big box” store will save money.

However, there are potential pitfalls when homeowners buy their own products from mismatched, broken or missing parts to finding installers willing to work with materials they didn’t coordinate themselves for the project. 

There have been situations in which the homeowner failed to order necessary special parts required for proper installation. There have been situations when the homeowner had ordered incorrect parts that did not fit the current application and modifications had to be made.

You could end up paying more than twice for the labor — the first install, for the removal of the first install, then for the second install.

The plumber and/or the applicable contractor may have to make additional trips to the supply house to work with parts that were incompatible from the onset and/or make modifications to the area where the homeowner supplied material was going.

All contractors warrant the product they supply. If there is an issue with a contractor-supplied item, the homeowner has the benefit in working directly with the contractor who had the responsibility to rectify the problem with
the manufacture.  

Homeowners have responsibilities when they furnish their own materials. Again, if there are any problems with the materials they purchased, they’ll be responsible for not only replacing those materials, but also any surrounding or attached parts that might have been damaged or destroyed. 

In closing and stepping off my soapbox: Homeowners please know that while buying
the parts or materials could possibly save
you a little money, in the long run those parts
or materials could cost you double the
amount or more.

And, wouldn’t you rather buy local to support our economy?