Typically, when you remodel your home, the contractor or contractors you hire will be the ones to order any building materials needed for the job. But this can sometimes be problematic. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports survey of general contractors, the second biggest cause for delays and cost overruns on remodeling projects was building materials arriving broken or different from what was ordered. To avoid this happening to you, you can order the materials yourself to make sure they arrive ahead of schedule just in case there are any problems with the order that might delay the remodel.
Not only does this reduce the odds of the project being delayed and going over budget, it can also help you stretch your budget since many contractors will lower their fees for homeowners who manage this aspect of the remodel themselves. Purchasing your own materials way in advance can also give you the ability to be a little more patient in waiting for the right deals to come along.
But purchasing your own materials isn’t without its risks. After all, contractors know a lot more about it than you do and you may end up with inferior materials or the wrong materials if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are six tips to help you if you decide you want to purchase your own renovation materials.
Find out what your style is
Spend a few hours online looking at different types of materials to figure out what your style is. Many websites allow you to add photos to a digital ideabook that will help you determine what your preferred design style is. Once you’ve identified your style, then you can start looking for specific building materials showrooms that carry those kinds of products.
Make an appointment
Though you could just show up, it’s better to make an appointment first so you can be guaranteed to have a designer on hand and ready to help you select your materials. It will save you time and make the process go a lot smoother.
Don’t try and rush it
Most showrooms are going to have hundreds, if not thousands of different products to look at and consider so allow yourself plenty of time at each showroom you plan to visit. Force yourself to be patient since you have to live with the decisions you ultimately make. Try to enjoy the process even when it’s slow going.
Come prepared with your floor plans and ideabook
The showroom designer who is assisting you will have an easier time directing you to the products that you’ll be interested in if you bring your ideabook, whether digital or hardcopy, and your floor plans. This will let your designer know the specifications he/she is working with and also your style.
Know when to splurge and when to save
Only you know your vision for the finished remodel so you have to prioritize your wish list beforehand. When you start seeing the actual costs for the things you want, you’ll be prepared to make decisions about which things to splurge on and which things to cut back on.
Consider secondhand materials
Finally, keep in mind that secondhand doesn’t always mean second-rate. Materials salvaged from high-end homes or leftover materials from completed projects can be of high quality at a much better price so be willing to check out the secondhand market, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Source: Consumer Reports
Measure the height from the floor to the top of the metal wall plate.
Follow our guide for baseboard heater cover measurement:
Any baseboard larger than 7 3/8" (188 mm) will be compatible with our standard cover.
Any measurement greater than 9 3/8" (238 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure from the bottom of the finned tube heating element to the top of the metal wall plate,
A measurement of 5 1/2" to 6 3/4" (140 mm – 172 mm) will fit our standard cover.
A measurement of 7 1/2" to 8 3/4" (191 mm – 222 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure the distance from the wall or the metal wall plate attached to the wall, to the outside of the finned tube heating element.
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our tall cover.
EZ Snap™ Wall Widgets are used when your old or existing wall back plate has been removed or if you have to hang your new cover 1 inch or higher to bring them up to a height that will fit our installation guidelines. Just measure your overall desired height, subtract 1", drill a hole, preferably in a stud and attach it to the wall with the included screw.
EZ Snap™ Floor Fidgets easily raise your new covers ¾ inch to compensate for any ¾ inch floor (wood, tile, or other) that has been installed any time since your baseboard heater was originally installed. May be used for any reason when the overall height has been shortened and the total height is less than 7-½ inches for standard height or 9-½ inches for the TALL height EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Covers. Just use the self-tapping screws to secure them to the top of your existing wallplate.
EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions are used when your wall back plate has been completely removed. EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions receives your EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Cover and keeps your aluminum fin tube from sagging. These completely replace your wall back plate. To install, slide up from the bottom and make sure the top is at your desired height. Screw to the wall, then bend the front finger up to hold the fin tube in place.
Measure from wall to wall and subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 flush to wall end caps.
Measure the overall length of the existing unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 Closed or Open-end caps.
Measure from the corner to the end of the unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 1 Closed or Open-end & 1 flush to wall end cap.
Measure the left side from corner A to corner B (see diagram). Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side if also wall to wall. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from each side that is wall to wall. Choose your end caps.
Measure the left side from the corner of the wall to the end of the unit with ends caps. Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from both left and right sides. Choose your end caps.
L-Shaped outside radiators ending in the middle of the wall:
Measure from outside corner of the wall A to the end of the radiator unit with end caps attached B, then subtract ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Measure from outside corner of the wall to the corner of the wall, then subtract 1/2" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Left leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½ (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Center leg - measure from corner to corner and subtract 3" for each corner a total of 6"
Right leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.).
We recommend that you order covers a little longer than normal and cut them on site, as there are many opportunities for mistakes in measuring and installation. By cutting on site you can fit and cut to fit. The covers can be cut with a good quality jigsaw and a fine metal cutting blade.
Now that you’ve learned how to measure baseboard heaters,
you’re ready to order.