Building Materials for Houses

Hi Carl,

I plan to act as my own General Contractor, but I'm concerned that I won't save as much money as I should because suppliers won't give me the builder (or wholesale) prices on materials.

What steps can I take to obtain the best prices on take-offs, and once suppliers provide estimates, what is the best way to confirm that I obtained their best (i.e., builder) price rather than their retail price?

Thank you, C.M.

Hi C.M.,

In my book “Be Your Own House Contractor” on page 66 under “Buying at Builders’ Cost”, I state, “Ask and ye shall receive”.

And on my page on "Cost Estimating - Explained", I state, "Building supply companies, home centers, carpet stores, appliance dealers, etc., all know what to do. They will give you the best price they can, as they are sure you are (I hope you are) shopping elsewhere.

If they don't give you good prices, you'll know as you enter their bids on your spreadsheet, and the bottom line grows too large."

Be sure and read Building Materials for Houses.

Thanks for writing,

Carl Heldmann,