General Contractor Blog
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Home Constuction Advice – Let the Plumber Buy the Fixtures

Building  a home and have questions about the building process?

It’s only natural. When remodeling a home, people have questions. One of them regards buying the various fixtures necessary to complete the home construction. Every homeowner contemplating a remodel wants to get maximum value for their money. Who wouldn’t? Sometimes the homeowner will want to buy the light fixtures or appliances themselves to avoid the contractor’s mark-up, and I always agree to this without hesitation. On most Santa Barbara remodel jobs, we will even allow clients to purchase appliances from our supplier, on my contractor account, and reap the advantage of my discount. (This is one the many advantages of using Micheal Parks Construction, Inc., for your Santa Barbara home remodeling.)

There is, however, one caveat.
Plumbing Fixture

A beautiful fixture, bought by the plumber.

Let the plumber buy their fixtures.

The one instance where we advise against clients purchasing their own fixtures is with plumbing. We strongly recommend, “Let the plumber buy the plumbing fixtures.” If there is a problem with a plumbing fixture (and there frequently is—even with high-priced, high-quality fixtures), if the plumber has bought the item, it is the plumber’s responsibility to make it right—including removing the faulty fixture and replacing it. Yes, the plumber will mark up the fixtures, sometimes as much as thirty percent, and this is one reason why: consider it a cheap form of insurance if there is a problem. As you can imagine, the cost of removing and replacing a heavy and expensive item, such as an under-mounted farm sink, for example, greatly exceeds the cost of the fixture itself. As the homeowner, you don’t want to bear this cost. It’s well worth the additional price you pay for the fixture to be spared this liability.

In the same vein, plumbing supply houses deal with plumbing contractors on a regular basis and they have a strong interest in satisfying these professional clients for their return business. If something goes wrong with a plumbing fixture or valve, the plumber will have a much better shot at getting a replacement at no charge from the supply house than will a homeowner.

For this reason, I also advise against buying fixtures from a discount plumbing supply store or a big box store. The money you save at the outset may be far exceeded by the money you lose if there is a problem with your fixture and you find out after it is installed. Moreover, discount outlets are typically selling products that are sorted at the factory as “seconds,” or are manufactured with inferior materials. It makes good economic sense in the long run to buy the very best plumbing fixtures you can afford, and let the plumber do the buying. And of course, always use a general contractor who uses quality plumbing sub-contractors.

For Micheal Parks Construction references—or plumbing horror stories—contact mp@mparksconstruction.com

Mike Parks Micheal Parks Construction, Inc.

PHONE: (805) 895-3015