Congratulations if you have recently decided to upgrade and give new life to your old bathroom. Renovations can provide an uplifting boost to you, especially in a room that people use so often. Regardless of how extensive the renovations are — from a few simple cosmetic upgrades to gutting down to the studs and installing a new shower — you need supplies. The materials and hardware to build out a space have to come from somewhere.
At this point, most people are aware of what a great bargain they can find by shopping online. Though, the big question is is it a good idea to shop for bathroom supplies online? There are several advantages — cost, and variety — to buying online, and several disadvantages — shipping costs, and inability to see and touch items before buying them.
Most homeowners are not licensed, plumbers or electricians. The bathroom is full of plumbing and electrical. In addition, if you are gutting down to studs, then you will need a contractor who will handle the structural buildout as well. This is worth mentioning when you are considering ordering materials for your contractors. Basically, if you arrange it with your contractors beforehand, you may be able to buy materials directly and have them delivered (or bring them home yourself), rather than having the contractor do it. This saves on their labor costs.
Now some items are fairly convenient to buy online. A bathtub that will be fit over your existing tub is not one of them. That is unless the contractor is specialized and does a home consultation and then allows you to order online. They may be manufacturing the tub and delivering locally. That is ok.
But imagine the hefty shipping costs on a bathtub versus buying some one-of-a-kind drawer pulls. If you are renovating the whole bathroom, there can be too many parts to keep track of for ordering purposes. It might set your project off schedule if you cannot guarantee when items arrive for your contractors. Remember, you cannot lay flooring if the contractors do not have any grout. This is one time when a tub of grout is expensive to mail, for one. It is also easier to order it locally and have it delivered to you, or just pick it up.
Contractors, though, know what materials they need. Often they may be able to get discounts because they buy in volume. For instance, an electrician is going to buy a lot of wire or outlet plates. They know where to buy them and they get a good deal. The question for you to answer is it worth it to spend a few extra dollars for the electrician to bring supplies or to buy the wrong item, and ruin your relationship with your electrician because the parts have not arrived yet?
Online you can find anything. It is usually lower in cost. Lighter and smaller items are easier to buy online because the shipping is less expensive. It is an excellent way to find replacement parts that coordinate with a now-defunct company’s light fixtures. Test ou to see what you need and how much time and money it costs to go online compared to being able to go in person to the store to shop for everything at one time.
Do look for shipping discounts for the items that you can buy online. Additionally, if you give your contractors a sufficient head’s up, they can give you lists of supplies to order. Though, you need to make sure that you manage the project well then. You need to have supplies available as they need them, or well ahead of time.
There are many reasons people still go in person, as well as many advantages to shopping online. See what works best for your bathroom renovation.