Not all of our Reader Panel respondents do jobs where the homeowners supply at least some of the materials (known as buy-it-yourself, or BIY). But most — 84% — do. In fact, fewer than 10% say they have never done any BIY work at all.
In “Supplied-Side Economics,” we explored strategies for pricing these types of jobs. Here, we take a closer look at the dynamics of BIY projects.
It's a timely topic — 59% of panel respondents say they've noticed an increase in the amount of customers who want to supply at least some materials.
What do you tell homeowners to discourage them from supplying their own materials? “It will void our warranty.”
Emily Williams, Williams Tile & Marble, Maryland Heights, Mo.
“I give them my price plus 10%. Usually, that's enough to convince them to let me do the supplying.”
Calvin Stewart, Stewart Construction, Maumee, Ohio
“I ask them that if they buy something that is broken or defective, will they drop whatever they're doing to go get the part, and pay my plumber to wait? I ask them if the savings is worth the risk.”
Darius Baker, D&J Kitchens & Baths, Sacramento, Calif.
“You won't want to accept the responsibility when things go wrong, and you really don't save that much.”
Ed Castle, E.M. Castle Construction, Kensington, Md.
“We give them a disclaimer to sign, as part of the contract. It states their responsibilities, the consequences of delays, and our altered warranty for customer-supplied materials.”
Mark Redman, Gemini Design/Build, Glenwood, Md.
“You don't supply sparkplugs to your mechanic when you take your car in for service. We will not warranty the installation of owner supplied materials.”
Rabun Wilson, Wilson Building & Remodeling, Mill Valley, Calif.