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South coast inflation




The background plotting and scheming continues as I tick items off a never-ending list of stuff whilst I wait for the bat licence to be granted and start demolition of the bungalow.  Much of this has involved shopping around for various services that we have to have, such as a soil survey (MBC requirement) and SAP calculations.  Other items are for big ticket expenditure such as glazing and cladding. 


I live in Bournemouth but the new build is at the other end of the county, in north Dorset.  Aside from the obvious differences in scenery and population density I've noticed a very big difference in prices, meaning that the closer you get to the coast, the more expensive they become.  This has been apparent on pretty much everything from SAP calculation fees to cladding, with the latter coming in at £58/m2 from a supplier just to the east of Christchurch, but just over £47/m2 from Sydenhams nearest the new place, in Gillingham.  I understand that Sydenhams may command more buying power and, thus, better discounts than smaller outfits but a price difference like that equates to over £1000 on the amount that I will need to spend.  That's the lion's share of our rainwater storage tanks that are now going on the shopping list thanks to BH finding yet another competitive supplier.  It's disappointing that my natural cynisism about the Christchurch/Bournemouth/Poole conurbation is being fed by experiences like this, but I'm sure it's got worse since AFC Bournemouth got promoted into the Premiership.

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Sydenhams are brilliant, they became my go-to BM.  I used the Salisbury branch a lot, and the guy I got to know there always tried to price match, even when I'd got prices from on line suppliers.  The only time they couldn't price match was with stuff from Paving Direct, as they said they couldn't buy in stuff like Bradstone pavers for the price that Paving Direct were selling them for.  The other good thing about Sydenhams is that they seem to have the best delivery drivers around.  We had no problems at all with deliveries from them, whereas pretty much everyone else delivering to us cocked up in one way or another.

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I'm in North Dorset Vivienz.

At an early stage of works I accompanied my groundworker to Sydenhams and Bradfords, places he favoured and had a rapport with.  His introducing me made a significant difference I believe and i've had great service and good prices from them both, compared to other merchants where i've just made solo contact as a self builder.  My Blandford branches are constantly accessing Verwood's stock for me.  Even if I went into Verwood for something i've already had before from Blandford, they'd check to ensure I didnt pay more than I previously had.  I think it all comes down to what 'discount tier' the merchant group chooses to put you on, and for me that was significantly affected by how I was introduced versus my cold calling for 'best possible prices'.

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