What? I know random right. But when it comes to building a home, price checking is a much needed task. At times it can be tedious, mind numbing and time consuming, but it can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on what your are purchasing.
Here is a for instance. We put our frame pack out to the local hardware store to get us a price. They told us they are competitive with the other bigger chains and would take care of us. We got there quote and it seemed to fairly good at first glance. We then took it and put it out to a couple of other hardware stores. Surprise, Surprise!! They came back 30-40% less than the original prices we had received from the first yard. This was a bit frustrating to say the least. We found out from a friend who is a local contractor that certain things are better priced and purchased from the different lumber companies. We found this to be true. We even were able to call around to a few Companies for I-Beams and save $2,400 right off that cost and that included delivery.
So I guess my advice is to find a couple local contractors and get there advice. They have been through this type of thing and know the ins and outs. They can be a huge help in avoiding mistakes.
Specifications- Another tip is know your plan specifications. Questions such as what lumber is specified for framing (hem fir or Douglas fir), what size of nails are required (What is a 12d nail), what is the nail pattern, etc.? In talking to another contractor, he had used the wrong lumber and it caused a huge problem with framing when the inspector came to check his work. Delays, money and headache that could be avoided.
Delivery- Wondering what you should and shouldn’t worry about counting? Well, the answer is count everything, twice. No matter how well intentioned the loader is, the fact is mistakes will happen regularly. So count and check everything. I am making the habit of also taking pictures of everything so that I have a visual record of what was sent. This happened with our first framing pack for the basement. We were shorted 56- 2″x4″x12′ studs, 10 rolls of sill seal, tape, screws. This was a quick +$450 that could have been lost. By contacting the yard they fixed the issue and we have that money to use elsewhere.