I just finished a spreadsheet that compares building material costs for Western Massachusetts building supply outfits. R.K. Miles (Hatfield, MA), Cowl’s (Amherst, MA), and Leader Home Center (Greenfield, MA) are compared in the following PDF:
Surprisingly, each outfit made numerous errors. All three left off materials that I requested. Leader and Cowl’s both had some quantity estimates that were much too low. In one case (Leader), added material that I had not requested (siding), which is why, in the non-normalized cost totals, Leader comes out $5000 more. In their defense the estimates are free and all three outfits informed me of their large workload.
The cheapest ended up being R.K. Miles with Leader being about 4.7% more expensive and Cowl’s being about 12.4% more expensive. I estimate that going with R.K. Miles over Leader would save about $700-$1000, however R.K. Miles is 30 Minutes away as compared to 15 for Leader. Considering my amateur building status I anticipate a need for a lot of quick runs to purchase small quantities of materials. The question is, would the discount savings for that type of purchase add up to $700-1000? Clearly it wouldn’t, as I would have to purchase at least $15000 worth of materials before I cleared $700 in savings.