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Beware the hidden costs of using a ‘cheaper’ imported product. That’s one of the messages Atkar project manager Travis Parker has for builders looking to swap out materials specified by a project’s architect.
Architects specify materials based on research and experience and stipulate products that are suitable for their required applications. While a tender document may allow for “equivalent” materials to be used as an alternative, all too often these are equivalent only on paper.
While the arguments for following an architect’s specifications apply to all building applications, Parker provides some convincing examples from his experiences working for Atkar supplying acoustic and architectural panel solutions for projects.
“In the past, when we have lost an order to a competitor that initially appears cheaper, there have been unforeseen problems that didn’t surface until after the builder has ordered those products,” Parker says.
“Many suppliers will often charge for a standard panel, then charge extra for custom sizes which easily can add up. Atkar quotes a single rate for our panels that covers standard and custom size panels. With our quotes there aren’t any hidden costs.”
In Parker’s field, another hidden cost for builders choosing non-specified materials is the potential lack of proprietary installation systems, meaning the builder is left to improvise ways to install the lower quality panels. This will ultimately take longer, leading to deadline blowouts and labour costs, and may not stand up to the project’s requirements – leading to yet more delays and costs.