Thanks to the power of the internet, businesses can market new products directly to consumers with just a click of a button. The hard part as the consumer, is we don't always know which brands to trust. In the building product community, it's important to know who you're buying from, and what it is exactly you're getting, as these products can contribute to the safety of future homes, schools, and offices.
We came up with five helpful tips to consider when looking at a building product.
With so many new companies, products and product variations flooding the market it can be difficult to determine whether the product/company you are looking at is a reputable one. In addition to this, with companies like Squarespace and Wix it is very easy for anyone to make a convincing website.
We believe the first place to start is by looking into the vendors location.
- Is there a posted address and phone number? Or just a contact form?
- Is there photos, videos, testimonials, or an "about" page?
- What's the company history? How long have they been in the industry?
- Does the company conceal their address?
- Ask to tour the facility. Ask for samples. Always ask questions.
Many building product vendors buy product offshore with little or no control over the manufacturing process and then re-brand/package the materials to be their own. Quality of raw materials and inspection are crucial to the making of a good product and what separate an average building product from a great product. Always check the product specifications when purchasing something new.
- Read about the product. How is the product made?
- Where are the materials sourced from?
- How is the product handled, and shipped?
- If it's metal, what kind is it, and what grade is it?
- What's the testing on the product like, was the testing carried out by an accredited lab
- Is it non-combustible? Make sure it's ASTM or CAN/ULC rated to ensure this.
Going hand in hand with quality, it's important to check the sustainability of a product. Nobody wants to waste time and money.
How long should the product last? Check the warranty.
Check the grade of the materials used.
Can it sustain itself in different climates?
Is it an investment, or is it a temporary solution?
Without sacrificing quality, why do something in 10 steps, if you can do it in 5? It's like they say, "time is money".
Consider the product. Does it have features that can save you time?
Is it easy to use/install? Are there technical resources available? Phone numbers, diagrams, installer-certification programs?
What's it like compared to the next top brand? Is there more features?
What is the communication like between you and the business itself? If there's questions or concerns, how are you treated?
If you're buying from a distributor, do they have the necessary support needed for that caliber of product?
Try to find a product that suits all your needs.
Check how many colours, patterns, and sizes it comes in.
How many applications are there? Can it be used for interior and exterior purposes?
If you can install it, how many different ways are possible?
We hope this short guide helps to make informed decisions when purchasing architectural products. Looking for these 5 key components and asking these questions will help determine the overall value of the product, and whether it’s worth your time, or not. We wish you the best in finding exactly what you need, so instead of being let down, you can get down, to business!