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Lynnette's Forum Posts: 43
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By Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/9/2007


Does anyone in Greater Orlando or surrounding areas have any recommendations on lumber? We are ready to get our materials priced for framing (already have truss and floor joist). So we need to contact lumberyards for studs and hardware, also for the drywall. Would welcome any referrals from those who have already done this tedious task. Thanks in advance.

Lynnette


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By Del in Norcross, GA on 1/16/2007


Hi Lynnette,

I'm finishing up the takeoffs for my plans now. I've separated everything into functional blocks and plan on dropping packages by every building-supply house within a 50-mile radius of Polk City next week for quotes.

I'll give HD, Lowe's, Stock, and 84 Lumber the complete package for an "if I buy anything I'll buy it all from you" quote as well as by functional block, with delivery staged in several increments so that I don't have piles of material sitting around. Other vendors will receive quote packages based on their primary material offering. Those that can provide a competitive quote in 7 days will get my business.

Several people have told me that getting a quote on that much material in 7 days isn't realistic. That may be true, but I figure if you're going to spend such a huge amount of money with someone, they darned well better be willing to give it their full attention. I took the time to price everything thus far in HD, either looking in the store or on their website, so I have a pretty good retail basis to accept or reject quotes. I'll let you know how it turns out. If you happen to stumble upon a good source before I do, please let me know.

Thanks, Del


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By Bill in Callahan, FL on 1/17/2007


Right now, lumber prices are great. The lumber futures look good through at least midyear. 

I had my lumber quoted by my 84 in Jacksonville in March, '06. I came in at about $56,000. I recently re-quoted with Granger Lumber. It came in at about $30,000. That is mainly due to the drop in lumber prices due to the slower market. It is also allowing for many other discounts.

Check Craig's List. There are many skilled tradesman willing to work by the hour b/c they are out of work. A year ago, you were lucky yo get these guys on the weekend. Now, you can have them 40 hrs. a week if you need them. 

Economically, with building material prices down and good interest rates, it is a great time to build. I also expect drywall to start falling soon. A large drywall plant I used to work at has been running 24-7 for five years. They are currently running about 5 to 5 1/2 days a week. There is also a ton of new supply coming online towards the end of the year. This will also greatly reduce drywall prices.

Bill in Jax


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By Phillip in Tampa, FL on 1/18/2007


I did similar to Del and got prices from Stock, 84, and HD. 84 was by far the best-priced and easiest to work with. They are really trying hard to get truss jobs right now, and they saved me over $4K on my trusses alone. Plus, their windows and doors worked out significantly cheaper than anyone else.

Phillip


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By John in Lake City, FL on 1/19/2007


Hi Lynnette;

I have done two O-B projects in the Orlando/Groveland area. For the first one in 2000, I used West Orange Lumber. At the time, they had great pricing, and on-time delivery, and they established an account for me to get my materials business. The second time in 2004, I used 84 Lumber, since I knew a sales rep (or at least I thought I did). The pricing was good at first, then it went downhill from there. Always late with materials or brought wrong quantity or wrong type. I disputed the price of material that was quoted one day and was delivered on the following weekend higher priced because costs supposedly went up. I have not used them since. This is just what I experienced.

John


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By Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/19/2007


Update:

First, I would like to thank everyone who responded with their information. I spent this week pricing out our take-off on lumber and drywall. (Our lumber take-off also included the roofing materials & drywall, which some people included and some did not). Overall, the sheer quantity and variety makes it somewhat difficult to sift through and compare apples to apples, but I think I have gotten a handle on the differences in price.

I got bids from the following suppliers: 84 lumber, HD Supply (Home Depot), Thomas Lumber, and Manning Building Supply (who acquired Mills & Nebraska last year). Hands down, HD Supply came in the lowest. Remember, I did not go through the retail store, I went through the lumberyard directly in Sanford. Their prices were significantly lower than everyone else, to my surprise. Their price for our lumber was $20,458. The next lowest was Manning at $24,581. 84 and Thomas Lumber were nowhere in the ballpark. This included all studs and drywall. Also, drywall pricing was not given by HD Supply, which I will be trying to get today. I don't know why they did not include it, but whatever.

The best drywall price was given by 84 Lumber. This is comparing Thomas and 84 Lumber only. Manning does not do drywall and as I already said, HD Supply did not give pricing. As I get that price I will share it. I was given a drywall price of $14.63 for 1/2x4x12,  $10.06 1/4x4x8, $18.32 1/2x4x12 water-resistant; $16.24 5/8x4x12 fire-code, $17.22 1/2x4x12 ceiling, $19.02 1/2x4x12 soffit. 84 Lumber ran about $4 higher per piece on everything. I hope anyone who found better pricing will share the info with me. If I have helped anyone out there, I am happy to pass info along.

I spoke to Cara this week, and she was very gracious to give me some info on her framing, truss, and lumber supplier. I did contact them and am waiting for pricing from them. I will update if their pricing is competitive.  I will say that they have been extremely attentive and have wonderful customer service. 

Phillip, I will be contacting 84 Lumber to see if they will price out my windows and doors. Manning has done the best price for me so far. But, you never know. I take nothing for granted in this process.


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 1/19/2007


Lynette,

With reference to drywall, I contacted Residential Drywall and their bid came back very competitive. They broke it down for me, materials and  labor vs. materials, labor and drywall, so it was easy to work out the cost of the drywall. It was not worth me ordering the drywall separately. They turn up with it, and take the excess away, but if they need more because they miscalculated, your bid is the same. Basically they bring too much.

The savings to get materials separately were not worth it, and I have the assurance that when they turn up everything will be there and not lying around for ages. Their bid for labor was not the lowest, but not far off and from what I understand, getting a good company is better for this trade and I have heard good things about them. Their service post-job is good apparently, and so if you move in and knock a hole on the wall, they come out for free to fix it. I dealt with Kim and she made the bid stage very simple and got back to me very promptly.

Hope this helps,

Lisa.


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By Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/19/2007


Lisa,

I looked them up in my phone book and could not find them. Do they do work in Orlando? It doesn't appear so. I would not mind getting a bid if possible.

Lynnette


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By Del in Norcross, GA on 1/19/2007


Lynnette,

Here's a listing for them. They're located in Tampa, but service all of central Fl. Lisa, correct me if I'm wrong.

Residential Drywall

Del


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 1/19/2007


Lynette,

My goodness that was quick. Del has got the right people. Since contacting them, their signs at the edge of the road have gone up everywhere near our land. I don't know if the office is manned at the weekend, but if you have a bid form and PDFs send them to Kim@resdrywall.com. At least she'll get them first thing Monday morning and you can follow-up with a call. They did my bid from the PDFs. 

We wanted a smooth finish, but they also priced out knockdown, orange peel and and various combinations and let's just say a knockdown ceiling with orange-peel wall will save > $6,500. (That's two thirds of my appliances.) It does not offend us that much, so we will be going with knockdown and orange peel. I had my bid back within a week and they were really busy then (Oct). I queried it and got the query within 24 hrs. 

Tel: 813.930.9200. They told me what they do but no hard sell, which I loathe, so I came away with a good impression. I will let you know how they work out, unless something fab comes up in the meantime, always open to better bids with references.

Hope this helps,

Lisa.


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By Del in Norcross, GA on 2/5/2007


Lynnette,

I had a very long and interesting phone conversation with the manager of the Lowe's in Lakeland today. I had given them a quote package last week and called to follow up. They had not yet completed their quote because (many excuses), etc. In the course of the conversation it came up that I had not included any appliances, cabinets, countertops, floor coverings, etc. I told him that I didn't include items like those because I felt certain that I could get better pricing and quite frankly, quality elsewhere. The conversation segued into my postulating that they and the other big box stores were missing a huge opportunity to reap significant O-B business by not courting customers such as ourselves with special incentives and attention.

I asked him if he would rather service a customer who was buying three sheets of drywall and a gallon of mud for 50 bucks or a customer who was buying not only 300 sheets of drywall but everything else that went into the house for >$100K. He didn't answer, but thanked me for giving Lowe's the opportunity to quote my material list and said that they would have it ready by the end of the week. I thought to myself, yada, yada...

About three hours later my phone rang and it was the Lowe's manager. He said that he had discussed our conversation with his regional manager and that they wanted to try a test O-B program. If I agreed to buy all of my materials from Lowe's they would give me a flat 30% discount off of any item in the store for the life of the building project or until I got my CO. We hashed out the details a bit and after I run the numbers I may go this route. It would be nice to have a single source to yell at if necessary. If I come in and pick up a box of nails for my nailer it's 30% off. If I have them deliver 100 sheets of plywood, it's 30% off. Since I'll be buying my materials in segments to avoid having material stacked up, he agreed that any lot of material over $1,000 would be delivered for free within two days of placing the order. He also agreed that if I found any of the material delivered to be unsuitable that they would deliver a replacement and pick up the unacceptable items. Ergo, no crappy studs in the middle of a bundle, etc.

I was unable to pin him down on a time frame for replacement, however. I wanted same-day service and he said that wouldn't be possible. I told him that was a deal breaker and that if they were serious about courting the O-B market they would have to do better. He said to let him work on it. I told him to hurry up because I want to get started. He said that he would call me by Thursday with what he could arrange.

From years of dealing with hungry people, I got the distinct impression that this guy desperately wants to move up in the company faster than his career path has been progressing. Bumping up his store sales significantly in a short time would be a sure ticket to the fast track for him so he may find a way to make this work.

I'll let you know what his response is on the material replacement interval.

Del


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By Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 2/6/2007


Del,

Sounds like you are going to get a great deal. It will be interesting to find out in the end just how much you saved overall. I think it is really wonderful to get a 30% discount on absolutely everything you buy. When you consider paint, lumber, tile, carpet, appliances, windows, doors, etc. It could really add up. Keep us posted.

Lynnette


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By Del in Norcross, GA on 2/6/2007


Lynnette,

I've spent a large part of today pricing the items on my cut sheet against the retail prices at the Lowe's here in Atlanta. Some items may vary in price between here and Lakeland but they should be pretty close on most things. Taking 30% against quotes that I had already received for rebar and lumber (2x12, 2x12PT, 2x6, 2x6PT, 2x4) from 2 small companies in Lakeland came up bad for the rebar but excellent on the lumber. Even at 30% Lowe's can't come close to touching the quote of $8.50 a stick for 20 ft #5 grade 60 rebar. However, 30% on all of the lumber is a huge ($2,300) savings. Drop that to $1,800 if the rebar is included in the mix. I'll be interested to see the advantage overall.

The biggest draw to this will be all of the little things that I failed to quote or underquoted through ignorance - a prime example is the hurricane straps. I feel certain that being able to run over to Lowe's and pick up an additional couple of boxes of wire, nails, and all of the other niggling little things that come up will constitute a substantial savings overall. Now if I could only figure a way around the sales tax...

Although this is a Lakeland store test only at this point (and it's not a done deal until I get an answer on the material replacement interval) I hope that others will feel emboldened to confront box stores in their area with a similar proposals and maybe the light bulb will click on for these folks eventually. Once I finish the detailed comparison I'll post a spreadsheet showing quotes vs. 30% off retail.

Del


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By John in Lake City, FL on 3/23/2007


Del,

I am in the planning stages of my O-B project and am trying to get some takeoff numbers. I thought I read somewhere in the forum about Lowe's and an O-B program. I am lucky I can remember things I read! Do you know where Lowe's is at with this process? Are they really going to do an O-B program? I would love to know where it is.

Thanks,

John


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By Del in Norcross, GA on 3/23/2007


John,

Unfortunately, the Lowe's deal didn't work out and I've scratched them off of my supplier list for this, or any other project. I recounted the grisly details in my blog (PolkCityProject).

Surprisingly enough, Home Depot came in better than anyone else for a total materials quote - 23% off of their retail price. That's just for the "lumber" part of the package. That included anything on the quote list that is not in their appliance, millwork, or electrical departments which was quite a lot of stuff (lumber, drywall, insulation, plywood, etc.). The millwork (doors, windows, etc.) was a separate quote which was only 15% off of their retail price. I didn't bother with the plumbing and electrical because I know that I can get it cheaper elsewhere.

Check with Lisa in Groveland. She may have procured some quotes that might be beneficial. Good luck.

 Let me know if I can provide additional information.

Del


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