If you’re renovating your home with the help of a good builder, then they’ll have a list of trusted suppliers who will likely offer them a good deal on materials.
But if you’re doing home renovations yourself or want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal on materials, here’s what you need to know.
Where should I shop for building materials?
There are many places to buy building materials. From specialist manufacturers to local or national outlets which cover a range of products.
Whether you’re buying bricks, cement, wood, paint, plaster or tools, these are 25 of the best-known stores to buy building materials from:
Best-known building suppliers A-Z
How do I choose between building materials suppliers?
Buying building materials is high stakes. If you need something and it isn’t delivered on time, or it’s poor quality, it can delay progress and may cost you money.
Logistics are everything in construction and renovation. So it’s a good idea to check the reputation of any company that you’re planning to buy materials from.
Ask for recommendations on Facebook and other community sites.
Whether you’re buying local or ordering from a major manufacturer, go online and find out what other customers’ experiences have been like before going ahead.
Remember, reviews can be manipulated so make sure you can read between the lines.
If a business doesn’t respond to negative reviews to explain any lapse in service, that can be a red flag. If there are several positive reviews that sound very similar, try and work out if they’re real.
Better still, talk to anyone you know who has done similar work and find out about their experiences. Your friends and neighbours are an invaluable source of recommendations.
Where can I find reviews of building material suppliers?
There are plenty of places to read reviews of building materials suppliers so you can find a reliable source for your home renovation.
Google reviews are a good first pass as most businesses have a profile which appears in the search engine. Google also invites customers to provide a star rating and feedback.
Trustpilot is an independent site designed to gather impartial reviews of businesses from consumers. It’s worth running a search in Trustpilot before you buy and reading reviews.
Reviews.co.uk is another independent site which gathers and collates customer reviews of businesses and products. Again, check if the place you’re hoping to buy from has a profile.
Many businesses will carry customer quotes and testimonials on their websites. But be warned these are not impartial and can be curated. So make sure you read other sites too.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are good places to gather customer experiences. Run a search of the business name into Twitter and see what people are saying about it.
7 steps to protect yourself when buying building supplies
Do significant research
Check out online reviews
Go and visit a store
Read up on the returns policy
Find out about delivery costs and time frames
Buy goods on a credit card
Opt for delivery
Buying goods on a credit card means you’re protected under the Trade and Descriptions Act if something goes wrong.
If there’s a dispute over quality and the place you’re buying from isn’t taking responsibility, your credit card company will step in and in some cases reimburse you.
Similarly, if you order products online you have greater protections as a consumer because you’re covered by distance selling regulations. This makes it easier to return faulty goods.