SAN ANTONIO - So you have decided what room you want to remodel and what remodeling company will perform the work for you, now its time to choose the materials for the job. You could go the route of checking local plumbing and electrical supply houses or shop online.
The advantages and disadvantages of purchasing your remodeling fixtures online are not too different than buying anything online. The number one advantage of purchasing online typically is price. With the low overhead cost of a website, often they are able to offer plumbing and electrical fixtures for 20% – 30% off list price. The savings off list price can be destroyed rather quickly by any shipping and handling costs. Often you will find these sites offering free shipping on purchases over a certain dollar amount. Due to the amount of fixtures typically needed in a remodel, that dollar amount isn’t hard to meet.
Another advantage of purchasing online is of course convenience. Often local plumbing and electrical fixture stores have inconvenient hours of operation and are seldom open on the weekends. When purchasing online, you can view thousands of options and at any time of the day or night. You will also save money and time by not having to drive from showroom to showroom looking for a particular style or finish.
Buying online sounds pretty great with all the pricing and convenience advantages however, there are many reasons why one should consider buying locally. One huge disadvantage to purchasing online is that you will not be able to see the product in person. Typically the photos of fixtures online are limited and you never quite know how something will look until you have it in front of you. This is where buying from a local supply house makes all the difference. Often these local stores not only have the fixtures on display but in some cases actually have working versions of the fixture. Obviously being able to see how a shower head or body sprayers deliver water is a tremendous advantage to the consumer. You want to know that a fixture has the absolute perfect finish and functions the way you want it to.
Finally the biggest disadvantage of purchasing online is returns and warranty services. Even if you scored free shipping when purchasing the fixtures, you can bet that you will have to spend the money to ship any products back to the online retailer. Another thing to keep in mind is that fixtures are usually the last item to be installed when remodeling a bathroom or kitchen. Often the plumber or electrician will not open the fixture to examine it until it is ready to be installed. If for whatever reason there is an issue with the fixture, you will have to face some potential serious down time while you wait for a online retailer to swap it out for you. If you had purchased it locally, you would more than likely be able to get it swapped out the same day.
In the end it comes down to cost savings versus peace of mind. For clients that have gone through online purchasing issues before, they know that peace of mind is invaluable. Hopefully you didn’t choose your remodeling company based on price alone, so your remodeling fixture selections shouldn’t be any different. Spend a little extra to avoid surprises and disappointments when you reach the end of your remodeling project and I promise you will be pleased with the results for years to come.
About the author
Justin Bravo is the Vice President of Lone Star Remodeling And Renovations. Lone Star is a design-build remodeling firm serving the San Antonio area. Justin is a EPA Lead Certified Renovator, a member of NARI, and a licensed home improvement contractor with the City of San Antonio.