Should You Source Your Own Materials in a Construction Project?


Frequently when a developer contacts us for a large construction project, he suggests that he can tap his own resources for materials and supplies in order to save money. It’s an understandable reflex: Large construction projects are expensive, and who doesn’t want to save money? Perhaps you’ve known this supplier a long time; perhaps it’s a relative you want to help out. However, if you’re a developer working with a construction company, this approach can backfire in a number of ways, adding unnecessary stress and confusion to your project. Here are a few reasons why sourcing your own materials might not be the best idea.

Confuses the Chain of Responsibility

When you take it on yourself to arrange for your own materials, you effectively insert another person into the communication chain—namely, yourself. This raises a whole set of questions, including:

·         Who signs for the delivery? (Your construction team is more likely to be

          on site than you are)

·         Who is responsible for coordinating delivery?

·         Who carries the materials from the footpath to the space?

·         Who becomes responsible for missing or damaged items?

·         Who is responsible for resolving conflicts with the suppliers?

·         Who is responsible for payment?

·         What legal or liability issues might arise from this?

As you can see, adding yourself into the production chain can create far more problems than it solves. At the very least, the resulting delays will likely eat up any money you might have saved.

Confuses Quality Control

Perhaps you’ve established a relationship with your suppliers and you trust them. That’s great. Unfortunately, your construction company doesn’t have that relationship, or that trust. Here at Wellbuilt, for example, we maintain extremely high minimum standards for the materials we use, and the suppliers we work with have consistently met or exceeded those standards. When we accept materials from a supplier we don’t know—even if the developer vouches for them—our quality control becomes compromised. If we find ourselves working with substandard materials, who is responsible? If the materials are unusable, the project may suffer additional delays and expenses to reorder and redeliver. So much for saving money.



You Might Not Have the Better Deal After All

When you work with a reputable construction company, especially on a large or high-end project, consider the fact that this company has chosen its own suppliers based on a lengthy history of mutual benefit, as well as quality. Many such relationships result in significant bulk discounts—savings that are passed on to you. Chances are your construction team can secure at least as good a deal, if not a better one—and any additional amount you do pay for those supplies will easily be made up in reliable quality and expedited timetables.

In our experience, when developers attempt to source their own materials in a construction project, the resulting confusion and potential issues usually negate any time or money the developer intended to save. By trusting the construction company to source its own materials, you’ll be far more likely to finish on schedule and on budget, with a finished project you can be proud of.

The key, of course, is to hire a construction company you can trust with these decisions. At Wellbuilt, we’ve spent years building a solid reputation for streamlined, high quality results. To learn more, give us a call at 1.917.475.1207