How to Avoid traps buying plasterboard
Perhaps the greatest trap getting prices for materials is asking for the price per square meter for standard 10mm board. We see this day after day.
The problem with this is that 10mm plasterboard represents only a part of the materials required. Many people assume that if the 10mm plasterboard price is cheaper so will all the other products. Or they believe that, as 10mm plasterboard is the greatest component 20 cents per m2 will make the overall price cheaper.
Unfortunately many plasterboard suppliers recognize this and make full use of it to get a better overall margin. I have recently seen 10mm plasterboard advertised at $3.25 per m2 but delivery was 55 cents per m2 making the board price dearer, while accessory prices were high.
The solution to this is simple. Prepare a complete list of materials required and either fax or email, (if you can), rather than phoning the list, to at least 3 different suppliers. (Us included I hope). This will give you a true price comparison.
Quantity Takeoff Trap
It is quite common to send your plans to several suppliers to get them to work out the materials required for your project.
The trap here, is many people get a price back to supply the materials as a lump sum. Many suppliers are reluctant to give you the complete list of material afraid you will shop it around, (which is exactly what you should do. You may go with the cheapest price only to find you run short of materials, (under measuring), to get the additional material you will have to buy them on top of the price quoted. You will most likely be charged a minimum delivery as well. Making the price much more expensive.
The solution here, is before sending your plan to get estimated, ask if you will be given a complete itemized list. If not, find a supplier who will. Rather than giving the plans to several suppliers. Then take that list and get comparative prices from other suppliers. This way you will get an accurate estimation for the materials being supplied. Most suppliers will take back materials not required.
As a curtesy to the supplier taking their time to do the take off, you should go back to them asking them to match the cheapest price you have.
Plaster Brokers are more than happy to operate this way. Our intention is to be competitive always giving our customers the best price.
Price Rise Trap
Many plasterboard consumers are semi-regular purchasers of plasterboard products. Most are loyal to their regular supplier, which is fantastic, except many get caught in the price rise trap.
This trap is common due to increased competition in the industry. In real terms plasterboard prices have not gone up a lot in 20 years! unless you are in the price rise trap!!
It is understandable manufacturers are keen to get prices up. There have been many false starts, on price increases, over the years, with the price going up and then because other competitors don't follow suit, the prices to selective customers stays the same and its only the smaller LOYAL customers who cop the increase.
The solution is, even though you may want to stay loyal to your supplier, get prices from other suppliers from time to time, especially after a price increase. Then ask your supplier to match that price.