Owner Builders Blog
Are owner builders entitled to builders or trade discounts?
I get asked this a lot by many of my owner builder course students.
When I respond, I always think of a famous quote;
“you get what you negotiate, not what you deserve!”
I guess that goes for owner builders as well. Simple truth is, that with the advent of the mega hardware stores Like Bunnings, the volume they sell and the deals they can source through their buyer dictate the price point that the are able to offer any of their products.
So, does that mean that owner builders should just accept what they are offered at full retail?
No, you always need to ask. I have many a good friend who has been very successful in a variety of areas and the one common theme is that they always buy well.
Then, how can owner builders make get the best price out of their suppliers and contractors.
It takes work and organisation. To get a great deal out of your hardware supplier, the most successful approach is to do exactly what a savvy professional builder or contractor would do. Have the suppliers compete for your business and have them quote on a job lot.
Show them you are serious, go to the suppliers trade department with a well compiled and organised set of tender documents. Specify exactly what it is you want to purchase, provide, quantities, product and model numbers, profiles and colours. Let them know you are seeking offers from other suppliers, make them work for your business.
Making the supplier want to be your provider of goods, is the best way to get a good deal, but make certain you know exactly what it is you want before you present the tender documents to them. Understand that each supplier may have different products they will offer, so be sure you understand your own mind. What is negotiable what is not and what represents a suitable alternative.
Remember that this does not just work with suppliers, you need to do the same work with the selection of trade contractors for your owner builder project.
Always seek three quotes and make certain the tender documents include specifications and work instructions that give you the best opportunity to receive quotations that can be compared like for like and that they are based on exactly what you have specified and that they meet your expectations.
Sounds easy? Well, it’s not. Like all areas of owner building, the best way to ensure success is to be disciplined and organised.
Good luck with your owner builder project.
Rick Heaton is a Building and Construction Industry professional with formal tertiary qualifications in management and training.