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  • Writer's pictureCedar Creek Custom Homes

The Perks of Shopping Local

I get it. When you're building a new home or renovating your existing home, you're usually on a budget. Shopping around for the best deal on supplies and materials can help make a significant impact on your overall cost to build. In this day and age, it can be very tempting to shop online and look for bargain basement labour to help keep costs in check.

That being said, let's explore the value of not ALWAYS choosing the lowest bidder and the areas in which I would strongly suggest NOT shopping online.

With custom home projects underway in Saskatchewan, Canada as well as Priest River, Idaho, AND Coeur d’Alene, Idaho...its safe to say that we've got a few irons in the fire. It's been fascinating to see that the cost of building between the US and Canada is surprisingly similar.

Whether we are building in North Idaho or Northern Saskatchewan, we are strong proponents of supporting local suppliers and trades whenever possible. One of the biggest reasons why we prefer to use local suppliers is SERVICE.

Let's say you're thinking of ordering your kitchen cabinets online, because it is considerably cheaper than ordering through your local cabinet supplier (which it probably is much cheaper to order online). Cabinetry is one of the most complicated and most intricate components of your new home. It is also one of the components that attracts the most appreciation or the most scrutiny when friends and family come over. This aspect of your new custom home comes with such a high margin of error, that we would downright refuse to use anyone but a local supplier who is willing and able to visit the site firsthand prior to ordering and one who takes full responsibility for the installation and the service work. We would want the same company to be responsible for the product AND the install. Mitigate risk where you can, and this is a big one.

beautiful custom kitchen  priest river idaho

A beautiful custom kitchen by one of our favourite suppliers.

Depending on your location and thus the local availability, sometimes sourcing plumbing fixtures and light fixtures online is almost a necessity. This is one place where ordering online may save you time and money by not travelling too far to shop for those special items. This is especially true if you can find an online supplier that offers free shipping and most of them do now.

Flooring can be a tricky one. Nine times out of ten, we choose to support our local flooring store for the materials and the installation. Its nice, once again, to have the same company supply and install, so that they are fully responsible for the entire task. I don't mind picking up tile on sale from a box store every once in a while, or for a portion of an overall job, but we generally try to stay away from large retailers as the service and long term availability of the product is often less than ideal. I am very leery about purchasing hardwood online. My number one corncern is that the product quality will be compromised if it is cheaper than what I can find locally. Unless it is exactly the same manufacturer and product line, generally speaking, a lower price on flooring means lower quality overall. That rings true for almost anything. My second concern with flooring is who is going to warranty the product if I order it online? It is a major purchase and I want to protect my investment by dealing with someone local whom I can trust.

Custom home building becomes a balance of cost and risk. Do your homework and make sure that the pricing you might be considering is apples to apples.

Happy Building!

Jennifer Knappe


Cedar Creek Custom Homes

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