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Don’t Settle for Second Best: How to Choose the Right Construction Products


It can be tempting to settle for products that are good enough when it comes to construction, particularly if you’re working on a budget. However, it’s important to choose the best possible materials and products that fit your specific needs, as they could have a significant impact on the longevity of your home, building or structure. Whether you’re trying to save money or looking for the highest quality materials in the marketplace, follow these tips to help ensure you make the right decisions when choosing the best products for your construction project.

Know your needs
The best way to find new construction products is by knowing what you’re looking for. Are you looking for something that will help your company manage its projects more efficiently? You might be interested in software that will help you track subcontractors, materials and expenses. Or are you looking for a product that will help increase job site safety? Your needs play a big role in choosing which products will be best for your business. The wrong product can actually lead to more problems than it solves.

Know your options
For a construction project, you don’t want second-best materials or products. That can mean paying a little extra for premium options, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you buy inferior products, they might not fit as well or last as long. With any construction project – from building a small addition to remodeling your bathroom – make sure you select high-quality materials and products that work well with one another. For example, if your contractor wants to use one brand of kitchen faucet and another brand of toilet seats in your bathroom renovation, there could be issues with those two brands working together properly. They should be compatible; otherwise, rework could mean bigger headaches down the road during use.

Decide on one supplier and stick with them
If you’re building a new home or have a renovation project that requires specialty products, it’s tempting to shop around for all of your construction supplies. After all, builders and contractors often recommend buying different brands for different materials to get what you need and nothing you don’t. But when you’re on a tight schedule with a budget in mind, your best bet is usually to pick one trusted supplier whose product line has what you need and stick with them from start to finish. Doing so will allow you to comparison shop among different brands on design items like cabinets or countertops—which tend not be as price sensitive. Having fewer suppliers also means less coordination across multiple vendors and less chance for mistakes along the way.

Check new suppliers regularly
When you buy from a new supplier, it’s easy to compare prices and services between them and your existing suppliers. The problem is that you’ll tend to make assumptions about their quality based on price alone. By checking in regularly with potential new suppliers—to see how they do when under stress or working under tight deadlines, for example—you can get an idea of whether they are good partners for a construction project, or whether their customer service matches up with your expectations.

Get advice from professionals. Builders/Architects/Engineers/Contractors
What materials do you recommend for a given project? Why? What projects have you been involved in where sub-par materials failed miserably? Can you give any examples of products that are used inappropriately and shouldn’t be used, but are specified anyway. What’s your opinion on steel studs vs wood studs in framing walls or ceilings? Which is preferable, and why? What kinds of finishes do you recommend for exposed concrete flooring? Concrete countertops? Exterior siding/stucco/brick work/decking/etc. Why does your preferred method matter for a construction project? List at least 3 pros and 3 cons for each type of material used in an example construction project.

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