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Buying cheap often risky

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Concrete example to illustrate my advice about cut-price products

My engineer friend Bert called the other
day to ask if I had heard about a particular
brand of cement. 
On inspecting a contract,
he had found evidence of a weak cement that
was failing badly.
It wouldn’t be wise to mention the brand as there
appears to be some legal action around it. 
Suffice to say
it is an imported product which failed quality tests when
it was initially brought in. It is not a name I have come
across in my time in the industry nor have I seen it sold
in any of the large building material stores. 
This is a warning about buying cheap products from
stores that are not real builders’ merchants and will
happily sell anything to make a profit. With us all trying
to save money as prices soar, we need to be wary about
accepting cheap alternatives. 
I have been writing about not accepting the cheapest
price for years and, eventually, people will realise
it is impossible for a builder to quote at half the price
of anybody else and finish the job, let alone produce a
top-quality end result. 
During a recent meeting at the office, one of my colleagues
asked why we “waste” so much time preparing
long, detailed quotations when the average client simply
looks at the bottom line. 
My appeal this week is to please ensure you know
what you are buying and that it comes complete with
the necessary guarantees and quality approvals.
*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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