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Thread: DIY advice.

  1. #11
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    Asking for advice in places like Wickes/Screwfix/Toolstation is generally a waste of time - the staff are generally inexperienced on minimum wage. I am fortunate that we have a building supplies company near us (a family firm) which is mainly trade. Their staff really know what they are talking about and although they may be a bit more expensive, they are a real pleasure to do business with.

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    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Carr View Post
    Asking for advice in places like Wickes/Screwfix/Toolstation is generally a waste of time - the staff are generally inexperienced on minimum wage. I am fortunate that we have a building supplies company near us (a family firm) which is mainly trade. Their staff really know what they are talking about and although they may be a bit more expensive, they are a real pleasure to do business with.
    Who needs to ask for professional advice when we have The Dive Forum?
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  3. #13
    Last of the Mohicans gobfish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Carr View Post
    Asking for advice in places like Wickes/Screwfix/Toolstation is generally a waste of time - the staff are generally inexperienced on minimum wage. I am fortunate that we have a building supplies company near us (a family firm) which is mainly trade. Their staff really know what they are talking about and although they may be a bit more expensive, they are a real pleasure to do business with.
    Go to Screwfix web site and you can find all the information you would need .
    drill size and screw size for what ever plug you want to use . You could even go and watch some DIY guy on YouTube . Screwing lol
    None diver as of 2018.

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    Established TDF Member Finless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gobfish1 View Post
    Go to Screwfix web site and you can find all the information you would need .
    drill size and screw size for what ever plug you want to use .
    I missed that / will have another look.

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    Established TDF Member Tel's Avatar
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    Screwfix is owned by the same group as B&Q which is why it sells a lot of the same products, but often way cheaper.
    Toolstation is owned by Travis Perkins who also own Wickes and again well cheaper.

    Since these two have come on the scene and Screwfix even having it's own room/desk just for electricians and plumbers,
    those trades have started to get twitchy and are adopting similar models. Outfits like CEF electrical that used to almost
    exclusively sell trade are now pushing retail hard and have a much better web presence and massive range of products.

    These days it's well worth looking around at other outfits than the usual traditional suspects, I now live at Selco

  6. #16
    Formerly sbc23cam Steve Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tel View Post
    Screwfix is owned by the same group as B&Q which is why it sells a lot of the same products, but often way cheaper.
    Toolstation is owned by Travis Perkins who also own Wickes and again well cheaper.

    Since these two have come on the scene and Screwfix even having it's own room/desk just for electricians and plumbers,
    those trades have started to get twitchy and are adopting similar models. Outfits like CEF electrical that used to almost
    exclusively sell trade are now pushing retail hard and have a much better web presence and massive range of products.

    These days it's well worth looking around at other outfits than the usual traditional suspects, I now live at Selco
    It's complicated and not obvious how to get the best deal in each circumstance. It varies all the time, but here are some examples to be aware of :

    Wickes (part of TP) sell board and multi-finish plaster at -15% on Mondays. Their prices also include VAT and are as cheap as anywhere.
    A box of 25mm drywall screws from Wickes costs 1.86 (18.60 per 1000). I buy them from a wholesaler at around 2.00 per 1000. That's an 800% markup. Look at the price on the shelf in a branch of TP for the same - 16.00+VAT. Discounts could be anywhere from 20-90%.

    Elecfix & Plumbfix (the room at screwfix) appear loads cheaper than screwfix. The adverts all look the same, but none of the prices include VAT like they do in the main screwfix store. The saving is normally ~10% at best.
    You may find a standard MK double socket at Elecfix cheaper than CEF. Say 2.00 vs 2.50. Try and buy anything else, eg. a switched fused spur and it will be 5.00 vs. 3.00.
    Cable. You get a fixed price at Elecfix which is ok, but consider that the trade discounts at CEF will be in the range of 80-90%. It may be 30quid a drum at elecfix. At CEF it will be 40quid with 80% discount, 20quid with 90% discount.
    Same with boilers. The headline cost for a boiler will appear cheap, but the flue kit or extensions will be double the price of a plumbing wholesaler.
    Last edited by Steve Clark; 29-07-2019 at 12:01 PM.

  7. #17
    Established TDF Member Tel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clark View Post
    It's complicated and not obvious how to get the best deal in each circumstance. It varies all the time, but here are some examples to be aware of :

    Wickes (part of TP) sell board and multi-finish plaster at -15% on Mondays. Their prices also include VAT and are as cheap as anywhere.
    A box of 25mm drywall screws from Wickes costs 1.86 (18.60 per 1000). I buy them from a wholesaler at around 2.00 per 1000. That's an 800% markup. Look at the price on the shelf in a branch of TP for the same - 16.00+VAT. Discounts could be anywhere from 20-90%.

    Elecfix & Plumbfix (the room at screwfix) appear loads cheaper than screwfix. The adverts all look the same, but none of the prices include VAT like they do in the main screwfix store. The saving is normally ~10% at best.
    You may find a standard MK double socket at Elecfix cheaper than CEF. Say 2.00 vs 2.50. Try and buy anything else, eg. a switched fused spur and it will be 5.00 vs. 3.00.
    Cable. You get a fixed price at Elecfix which is ok, but consider that the trade discounts at CEF will be in the range of 80-90%. It may be 30quid a drum at elecfix. At CEF it will be 40quid with 80% discount, 20quid with 90% discount.
    Same with boilers. The headline cost for a boiler will appear cheap, but the flue kit or extensions will be double the price of a plumbing wholesaler.


    True you have to be savvy, but the point I was making that the likes of Screwfix and Toolstation have opened up the market to make that possible.

    To take an example last year I bought a product from SF that was I thought a good price, but last night online bought the same brand and the next
    model up with better features from CEF for the same money Not only that the access to CEF product range means I can now retro fit and upgrade
    rather than replace, saving I kid you not a whopping 600

  8. #18
    Formerly sbc23cam Steve Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tel View Post
    True you have to be savvy, but the point I was making that the likes of Screwfix and Toolstation have opened up the market to make that possible.

    To take an example last year I bought a product from SF that was I thought a good price, but last night online bought the same brand and the next
    model up with better features from CEF for the same money Not only that the access to CEF product range means I can now retro fit and upgrade
    rather than replace, saving I kid you not a whopping 600
    It's just a giant pyramid of margin. Join the game at the lowest level you can access.

    Take a 600x600mm LED ceiling panel that are now being installed everywhere. 4 years ago or so, we were involved with a project where Phillips had persuaded a hospital (presumably with a golf day or something similar) to replace all their existing fluorescent fittings with LED panels and save xxx thousands on electricity and maintenance costs. They cost the hospital 500.00 a fitting + installation costs.

    You can currently buy an equivalent fitting in CEF for about 20.00

    We recently fitted-out the headquarters of a large lighting importer/installer. They specialise in retro-fit work to retail / industrial / commercial property to save electricity and maintenance. They buy the same fitting free-on-board in Shenzen for 3.00. You can fit 2,100 units in a 20ft container => Shipping costs about 50p.


 
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