My wife and I just buy a house in San Diego, and we are first time home
owner, so we know little about home improvement, such as flooring --
hardwood floor and ceramic tile. Can anybody recommend some good
BTW: Can we save money by buying materials and hiring professionals both
On Sep 5, 3:01 pm, jecky <jeckyjil[at]gmail[dot]com> wrote:
If you use reputable, established specialty contractors, they can get
as good or better prices on materials as you.
They have built business relationships, have found suppliers they
like, have bought from them before and will buy from them again. An
owner doesn't have that leverage.
The contractor knows what materials he needs and should have a good
idea of the quantities needed. Both decisions are based on experience.
You mentioned HD, saving money, and good work. Can't have all three. Pick
one; do you want good work, done soon, or low price? My Dad used to have a
sign in his office
Choose any two
Why, when so many people here diss HD and Lowe's, do I see trucks with
"xyz builders" or "pqr electrical contractors" or "abc plumbing" in
their parking lots a large percentage of the times I go there?
One time I was in the electrical dept. at Lowe's and saw a guy with what
looked like a long shopping list. Not having found what I wanted at
Lowe's, I went to one of the local "real electrical suppliers," where I
saw the same guy up a ladder replacing one of their security lights.
Some "brand name" items are the same no matter where you buy them and HD may
be a few pennies cheaper. When it comes to more specialty items or high
quality goods, you won't see those contractors at the big box stores. If
they want good personal service they won't be their either.
On Sat, 06 Sep 2008 14:23:24 -0400, "Percival P. Cassidy"
You'll see my trucks there, too.
We'll buy five thousand square feet of drywall from a drywall
supplier, and if we run short, we'll pick up 32 or 74 square feet from
the closest HD. Same with two by fours. Or screws or any number of
I've heard nothing but horror stories about things they supply and
insstall.... but... you go ahead. All those trucks must mean they're
Lots of good craftsmen BUY stuff there. But the guys they hire to do
installations are the question.
Let me ask it this way ........ If Bob Farquar is a really good carpet guy,
why isn't he out installing carpet and making the full amount from custom
customers rather than hiring out to do a whole house for $100 from HD?
Hint: it's because he's no good, is an illegal, or has a drinking problem.
On Fri, 05 Sep 2008 14:01:00 -0500, jecky <jeckyjil[at]gmail[dot]com>
Talk to your neighbours. Depending on what work you need, talk to
nearby lumber yards or plumbing houses or electrical suppliers and so
Avoid the big box stores. They tend to sell low and mid grade
products for medium and high prices. Particular avoid ordering
through them or hiring contractors through them . Home Depot in
particular has a poor reputation for service and quality.
I'm a contractor and i will not work for a homeowner who wants to
supply materials. Not because I lose a mark up, but because too
often, the materials or products are wrong or damaged or delivered
weeks after they were needed. It's just too messy. I supply it,
the problem is mine. You supply it, the problem is yours.
For example, we make over your bathroom using materials you supply..
Turns out the tub has a minute, barely noticeable crack that leaks.
You supplied it.
Who is responsible for the tub? For taking it out and putting it in?
For tearing out the necessary tile .. or replacing the entire
surround if we can't get a good match on the dye lot?
Not worth the potential hassle.
Depends on the job and the local HD contractor. I'd get several estimates,
with some from a more regular contractor. Some simple things, it may not be
worth looking further. Say it's just a ceiling fan or 2, wouldnt really
bother to look further.
"jecky" <jeckyjil[at]gmail[dot]com> wrote in message
The best thing I can say is ask PEOPLE. People you know who have had work
done in the past. Stop by some houses that are being built and introduce
yourself to the owner. Most times they are willing to help a clueless
newbie. If you see any renovation or rebuilding in your neighborhood, stop
in and introduce yourself.
If you ask contractors, they are all the greatest. The person you want to
talk to is the one who has hired people in the past.
Then go from there.
You obviously don't know a lot, or you wouldn't ask about Home Depot. Yes,
you can save money by buying your own supplies and getting labor only bids,
but in lots of cases, the goods a craftsman would buy will be better and
only a little more expensive than what you would pick. Let's say
carpenters. The studs and most lumber they have at HD is, for lack of a
better term, crap. A good carpenter will go to a yard, and get good lumber.
That way, you get a better job. You can either pay more from a yard through
a carpenter, or have to buy more at HD to compensate for all the knotty
warped twisted lumber you throw away. It comes out the same.
Good craftsmen are out there doing good work and projects and making money.
The derelicts and fugitives are hanging around HD looking for work.
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