The Self Build Self Help Site Buying Materials

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.


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Buying Materials

Have they got a Hiab?

Certain materials will be sourced directly from the manufacturer/supplier rather than from your builders merchants - examples are cavity wall insulation, walling stone, steel mesh. Unless you ask, you may find that these are delivered on a lorry that does not have a Hiab (the generic term for a lorry mounted hydraulic loader). The supplier may assume that there is the means on site to offload such materials (not so bad regarding insulation materials). So, if you do not have the means, let them know when ordering and ask for a lorry with a Hiab.

Noting dimensions

At some stage you will be looking for wall tiles, floor tiles, and other materials for which you need specific room and other dimensions. You may find that you visit showrooms at times when you haven't planned and, unless you have the best memory in the world, you may not know how much to order or to estimate the cost. As soon as you know, write the key dimensions of the relevant rooms on a piece of paper and keep in your wallet.

Dimensions you'll need will include:

For both wall tiles and flooring material you will have had to calculate areas required - but don't forget linear dimensions so that you will be able to order, for example, border tiles.

Shelf Life

Most products that have a shelf life, such as cement and plaster, are turned over quickly by the builders merchants and so you only need to worry about your own storage time. But one notable exception is sulfacrete cement - used to reduce the appearance of efflorescence when laying brick. This type of cement does go hard fairly quickly so check it when delivered before the lorry leaves .

Hiring Equipment

Visit some plant and tool hire shops to get an idea of what there is to help you. When you do hire anything, make sure that you phone to off-hire as soon as you have finished. Even if you say you only want to hire for a certain period of time, the hire companies will usually keep the clock ticking until you notify them to off-hire.

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