Shopping around for materials costs time, money, and fuel. Sites such as Craigslist or eBay can be hit or miss. Enter BidForMaterials.com.

Begun in 2009 by Fred Cann, a full-service remodeler who also owns a plumbing and heating company, BFM is a virtual marketplace for contractors and suppliers to connect.

Contractors sign up on the website, enter a business profile, and type in or post a PDF of a materials list. Contractors are checked for legitimacy; DIYers are not allowed.

Bids From All Over

The materials list is immediately searchable by BFM’s more than 3,000 registered suppliers in 52 categories with everything from drywall and roofing materials to electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and masonry supplies.

Depending on the materials, quantity, or location, you may, for example, receive six to 10 bids within 24 hours. Everything is confidential for the bidding process and contractors can contact suppliers directly with queries. BFM does not handle the materials. Membership is free for suppliers and for contractors.

“If I want 300 pieces of Sheetrock,” says Omar Cerruti, owner of Boca Contracting, in Long Island, N.Y., “I go into [BidForMaterials] and get bids from all over. Suppliers will deliver to a project site for no extra fee.” Cerruti has been using the site since its inception and finds it easy and convenient.

Site visitors can also view a directory of registered suppliers, read industry news, and engage in discussions posted on the site’s message board.

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.