Your average construction company doesn’t bring their truck to Home Depot on Saturday morning to complete their projects. Retail stores don’t offer the selection most need, nor the volume.
Construction companies have a huge range of needs. Most need a large amount of supplies, ranging from nails to wires, wood, and metal. High quality products are often necessary for the builder’s reputation and client satisfaction. It’s also possible for some construction companies to purchase supplies used, at auction, or from local builder’s markets.
This article explores several companies and resources where construction companies can find the materials they need to do the job.
The Big Companies
Plenty of large companies define the construction industry. Here are a few well-known companies your construction company can purchase from.
USG is headquartered in Chicago and is a leading supplier of drywall, joint compound, gypsum and many other main construction materials for walls, ceilings, floors,
Leading steel manufacturer from Luxembourg City. ArcelorMittal sells more than 90 million tons of steel per year. Materials include long and flat rolled steel, tubular products and high strength steel for building purposes.
Based in Germany, Knauf offers plasterboard, drywall, and cement boards. Knauf also offers many insulation materials varying from glass wool to stone wool.
Based in Switzerland, LafargeHolcim is a leader in the supply of cement, ready-mix concrete, and Aggregates.
The above results all offer name brand items in hardware stores as well as direct shipping in larger amounts with direct representatives and credit options.
The Big Box Stores
Many retail stores aren’t just for weekend do-it-yourself workers. They offer professional services too, with significant resources dedicated to handling contractors and smaller construction companies.
Home Depot offers delivery of construction supplies, as well as a Pro Customer Service and complete rental options. Their Pro Xtra program also offers rental perks and volume discounts for large orders.
Ace is a well-known brand with smaller retail stores in many locations. The Ace website allows for the creation of a business account with rebates and the potential for business credit accounts.
Lowes is a national chain similar to Home Depot. Lowes offers dedicated Pro Team members, delivery to the jobsite, free shipping, and Pro Checkout. Their website also offers a pro dashboard which allows administrators to approve purchases online and track purchases.
Menards allows for the creation of custom supply lists, multiple shipping options including pickup, and commercial credit accounts.
Sometimes commercial stories buy too much of a product or other construction companies sell their products back to local places at a much lower price. Your area may have a building materials outlet, which is normally run as an online auction with complete descriptions of listings. Delivery methods vary but often involve picking up materials yourself with a truck and trailer. These methods can save a large amount of money and be completely worth the small amount of effort and trip.
Check places like Google for local listings regarding companies that purchase overstock supplies and resell them. KBID, for example, serves the upper Midwest and sources its materials from business liquidations and estates. Simply asking Google for a specific or general material construction need should include several places that offer overstock resale supplies.
Some clients are willing to cut costs by using used construction materials. Used construction materials can include just about anything so long as some inspection takes place to ensure the integrity of the item.
Small items like doorknobs, doors, and fencing materials are more commonly purchased because they are often replaced in mass and usually work well for their purposes when repurposed. Some clients might like the rustic look of used materials too.
Used materials can be found in a huge variety of places.
Small used materials and tech items can readily be found on eBay. Looking for tools? Definitely check eBay for used options and get a great deal. You can also find large collections of hardware items.
Both Facebook and Craigslist offer local marketplaces that can be good places to find some items, again including tools and hardware. More often than not, they require cash and pick up, but the price can be worthwhile.
Used materials can also be considered eco-friendly since materials like wood and metal can survive generations of use without issue and do not require the consumption of additional resources.
Government auctions are similar to the overstock auctions mentioned but can be new or used. Local and federal governments often buy too much material for a project and auction off overstock items to get dollars back. Sites include govplanet.com.
One of the main downsides to buying used is the inability to determine how much you can buy. Larger retail stores with new materials can find more materials. Used quantities are usually limited.
How to Know How Much to Buy
In an effort to save some time and money, it’s critical to know how much to buy. Bridgit Solutions offers an excellent guide to resource management (https://www.bridgitsolutions.com/construction-resource-allocation-guide) that entails using software like theirs to fully understand what you need and helping you determine a procedure to properly track your construction materials to delays because not enough materials were purchased.
You have many options for sourcing construction materials, depending in part on your client’s needs. Buying from a large, international construction company is an option often coming with credit and delivery. Retail stores offer similar service but are often more local. Finally, the used market can help find a better local or national price on the tool or some quantity of a material you need.
Software can also be used to easily determine how much you actually need to avoid buying too much of a product and wasting money or buying too little and delaying a project.