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Fixtures and Fittings-A Word of Warning

Fixtures and Fittings-A Word of Warning

In our Ask the Builder group on Facebook, we were asked about the cost savings involved with providing your own fixtures and fittings. This lead to a post about builders margins and the potential savings through sourcing these items yourself. Today I thought I should explain some of the pitfalls of providing your own fixtures and fittings.


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The first pitfall comes from our own client experience. A client who was on a very strict budget, sourced her own shower heads and tap fittings via an ebay shop. When they arrived, not only were they of a lessor quality, they were also nearly impossible to fit. The costs of labor on this job, blow right out of proportion simply due to the quality of the fixtures chosen. Unbelievably the client ended up paying so much for labor and extra parts to have these items fitted, it outweighed the planned savings the owner so desperately needed. We have had similar stories with Ikea kitchens and laundries. Lesson one; cheaper can often equate to dearer. Check the specifications with your builder prior to ordering the item to save a nasty surprise.

The second pitfall, came from our electrician, and not something he does himself, but rather an experience relayed to him via another “professional”. This other “electrician” was looking for a way to reduce his costs so he could compete with the big guys. He ordered in some products from overseas, the problem with these products as they were not up to Australian standard, and caused the “electrician” more bother and cost more money than doing things the right way. Lesson two; cheaper can mean not to standard, check for the Australian standard sticker, swing tag on all electrical items before purchasing. Again, if in doubt, consult your electrician or builder.

The third pitfall involves warranty claims. When choosing your new fixtures and fittings, be sure to check the warranty involved. It is possible that paying a little more to get the better warranty, is a far better investment in the long run. You want to look for products that have an Australian based warranty claim service. The cost of shipping an item overseas to have it looked at, could be astronomical, and would void any savings initially made. Lessons three; be sure you are comfortable with the warranty conditions prior to purchasing, these need to be of industry standard.

The fourth pitfall, is quality. The quality of your new item should be comparable to market leading products. Less expensive should not mean lesser quality. When comparing pricing be sure you are comparing like for like products. The carpet pile should be the same if not more for example, or the blinds made from the same fabric. The steel the tapware is manufactured from, should be of the same grade as the market leading products. Lesson four; do your research and be sure you are buying the same or very similar quality as the market leaders.

The fifth pitfall is time. On two fronts time is of the most important, time is money, and not having your fixtures or fittings in place at the right time, will hold the builder up and increase your build time and cost more money. It takes a lot of work and time to obtain the fixtures and fittings for your home. Be prepared to spend many hours shopping, and researching before making your purchase. This amount of time should not be compromised, to avoid compromising the products sourced. Getting the fixtures and fittings to the builder at the right time is extremely important. Late deliveries will result in delays on the job site that will most definitely cost you time, but potentially money as well. Lesson five; Allocate plenty of time for research and purchasing and be sure not to have late deliveries to ensure the maximum savings.

With that all said, this is a very real way to save money, especially when building with a custom home builder. A bit of effort on your part, coupled with clear communication between you and your builder, has the potential to save you a lot of money.

Have you ever built or renovated a home? Did you source your own fixtures and fittings? How did you find the experience?

Nicole xxx

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT


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  1. Too true. I think you often have to weigh up the pros and cons with things like this. We were urged by lots of people to do the demo of our bathroom before getting it redone to save us money, but it would have taken my husband and his Dad and brothers an entire weekend, and required us to source our own skip, and the saving we would have made was negligible compared to the convenience and speed of having the builders demo it themselves in a day. For me, unless the saving is going to be huge, then it’s not worth my time and effort and better to leave it to the experts.

    1. That’s so true Kylie, you really need to weigh up the time and value of your own effort and take that into consideration as well. As an amateur myself, I am always frightened about what could go wrong doing it myself. Thank you for dropping by x

  2. I went with our builder to the bathroom shop and chose what I wanted with him and then paid for them directly. Our Queenslander reno is proving full of quirks – we have currently had to move out due to unexpected need to rewire the house!!!!

    1. Oh no! Old Queenslanders can be full of little trouble that turns into bigger trouble. Going with the builder is a great idea and one that could save so much money and stress. Great thinking 99. xx

  3. Oh yes! I have been here plenty of times before when clients have supplied their own fixtures and it has taken us HOURS to install which ads to the labour bill! I always say buy quality and you save money both now and in the future when it comes to buying spare parts.

    1. Perfectly put Bec!

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