A Guide on Builders Merchants
Builders merchants supply and stock the majority of all construction materials that you will need for any project, with the exception of specialist items and products. They will also be able to help you source many other items should they not have them in stock.
Builders merchants are forever expanding their product ranges. The bigger chains such as Jewsons, Travis Perkins and Bradfords, supply everything from drainage and masonry materials to wood, hand and power tools and decorating supplies.
Finding the right merchant for your materials couldn’t be easier these days. As well as the national chains, there are also an abundance of small, independent merchants that can sometimes offer you a better price and service than the bigger stores. It’s always best to shop around if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
Builders merchants may seem like scary and confusing places to the average person, but they’re always there to help you find what you need if you are uncertain.
Who can use Builders Merchants?
Anybody can use a builders merchants. Whether you’re a Sole Trader, a Limited Company or a weekend DIYer, builders merchants are there to supply your construction needs.
Being a trades person does mean you get better offers than the standard DIYer. This may seem unfair but builders merchants thrive on returning customers and those that have their own trade accounts and use their store multiple times a month get the better deals to keep them coming back time and time again.
Do you need an account to buy from a Builders Merchants?
No, not at all. Lots of customers make one-off occasional purchases. If you want to buy in large quantities though. it makes sense to open a trade account. Most merchants will be able to offer discounts on products for account holders.
When are Builders Merchants open?
Builders merchants are generally open Monday – Friday. Some now open weekends for those DIYers who have been busy working their day jobs throughout the week and need their materials for the weekend.
You will have to contact your local store for their daily opening times, as these change from merchant to merchant. As a standard though, they’re usually open from 7.30am until 5.30pm throughout the week and reduce their opening hours at the weekends.
Do Builders Merchants deliver?
Most builders merchants will offer a delivery service. The costs involved will depend on the amount of materials you order, what you order and where you need them delivered to.
If you’re ordering a small quantity of materials, it would be more cost effective for you to buy and pick up in store.
Lots of companies now offer nationwide delivery too. This service is usually only used for bagged materials or materials that can be packed and strapped onto a pallet. These types of deliveries aren’t usually made by the builders merchants own drivers, but by using pallet couriers that collect the items from their stores and deliver across the country for them.
How are materials delivered from Builders Merchants?
Builders merchants more often than not have their own trucks/lorries and delivery drivers. The types of trucks or lorries they use will depend on what they are delivering.
Almost all builders merchants that offer delivery will have a 4 wheeled rigid truck with a HIAB fitted. These are the ideal trucks for delivery of pallet items and bulk bags such as blocks, bricks, sand, stone and gravel. They are also particularly useful for the delivery of wood and paving slabs.
For merchants offering loose load deliveries, they will usually have a 4 or 6 wheeled tipper truck. The tipper makes it simple for the driver to tip the materials off in one place, quickly and easily.
It all depends on how much the vehicle can carry as to how much you can have delivered at one time. All trucks have different weight classes so a chat with your local merchant will help you to understand what can be delivered at one time.
Can you buy online from Builders Merchants?
Buying online has become more and more popular in the last couple of years. Lots of merchants that weren’t online have more than likely upgraded to online ordering now due to not being able to open up to the public. A quick Google search should tell you whether your local merchants offer this service.
Some builders merchants also do a click and collect option. Simply buy online and collect in store later!
Do Builders Merchants offer loose loads of aggregates?
This all depends on their facilities. Some merchants will have loose materials on site ready for their loader driver to load onto your truck, whereas others won’t have the space or machinery to offer this service.
Some will offer a delivery only service though where they collect the aggregate from the quarry and deliver it to you. Just call your local merchants to see what they have on offer.
Not sure exactly what you need?
If you’re not sure exactly what you need for your project, don’t stress! Many builders merchants employees have advanced knowledge in the construction industry. If you ask, they will be more than happy to help you out, not only with what materials you need for your job, but how much of each you’ll need too.