Like most renovators, you’re probably looking for ways to save money on your renovation. You might think the obvious way to limit costs is to buy your own materials instead of having a tradesperson purchase them for you. Seems logical … doesn’t it?

However, if you look beyond the surface, you will see that buying your own materials isn’t always a wise move.


Well, let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re renovating your bathroom and you’ve bought your own tapware. Whether the plumbing is staying where it is or being relocated, once the tiling is done, all the plumber has to do is fit the new taps.

But what happens if something goes wrong after the taps are installed? Does the fault lie with the product or with the installation? Who pays to rectify the situation?

In all likelihood, if you had purchased your own products and handed them to the plumber to install, you would have to foot the bill to remove the tiles, change or fix the plumbing components that had failed, re-waterproof the walls, then retile the walls. However, if the plumber had purchased the tapware under your instruction, he or she should take full responsibility for fixing the problem – even if it involves paying for more materials and another trade to replace them (in this case tiles and the tiler).

Weigh up the hundreds or thousands of dollars it could cost you to get back into a wall to repair a problem as opposed to the (usually) much smaller extra cost of getting a tradie to buy your selected products and materials on your behalf. It’s a no-brainer really, isn’t it?

Let’s look at another example. Perhaps you’re renovating your kitchen and you’ve saved some dollars by ordering your own bench top. Come installation time, the kitchen installers and the joiner are ready to do their bit, but then you realise the bench top doesn’t fit the space.

Who is at fault here? Unfortunately, it’s you, and in this situation, you would now have to spend more time and money trying to get a new benchtop measured, ordered, delivered and installed.

It’s far better to spend a little extra up front for a tradie to purchase materials than it is to pay to have them fix a problem or redo a job when something goes wrong. And trust me on this one, there are many times things don’t quite work out when you are renovating.

Sometimes, you don’t find out there is an issue until a month or so down the track. What happens if you have a plumbing leak behind the wall in your bathroom or your kitchen bench sags?

If a tradie has purchased the materials, then you have to deal only with them, but if you have purchased the materials, then you have to battle to find out who is at fault – the installer, the manufacturers of the product, or the suppliers of the product.

Having each contractor take responsibility lessens miscommunication, disagreements and problems on site, and may not even cost you more. Often tradies and contractors get a discount from suppliers that they pass on to you.

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