I got a call today from a homeowner looking for some guidance on a problem with product they bought from a wholesaler that was installed by their contractor. The homeowner bought a whirlpool tub that was installed into a custom base and then the plumber installed the drains and other items neccessary. The rough wiring was installed. The tile was installed around the perimeter, the faucets were installed and the last item to wrap up was the final electrical connections. When the electrical was connected there was a problem with the motor and factory wiring of the unit. Turns out the motor and wiring would not work and was defective.
The homeowner asked the contractor to fix the problem. The contractor said it will cost more money to fix it because the homeowner supplied a defective product. The homeowner told the contractor that was not acceptable and an argument ensued. The contractor said if you paid me to supply the product I would have to fix it for free but since you (the homeowner) supplied it you are responsible to pay me to remove and reinstall it, replumb it and rewire it or you can have the wholesale supplier pay for the repairs.
The homeowner called the wholesale supplier who said it must be the contractor who broke it. Sounds like alot of finger pointing going on here.
If a homeowner wants to save money and supply products to be installed by a contractor most contractors will not warranty products they did not supply for the job. A contractor who supplies material and labor has to back them up for a one year period. The amount for carrying this risk is the small difference between the contractor price and the homeowner price. Usually the savings are only 10 to 20% of the cost of the unit.
If you are going to supply products to be installed by a contractor make sure you know the risks associated with supplying those products. Who will be responsible if the product is defective? Sometimes the savings you get buying wholesale may not be worth it if you receive a defective product. The cost to repair this item will be more than 10 times the savings the homeowner received buying the unit wholesale. Was it worth it?