Top Tips For Buying Drainage Online
Put the term “Underground Drainage” into Google and you will be faced by a baffling array of businesses trying to entice you to their websites. So how do you choose the right one? And once you have found a good website, what steps can you take to try and ensure that you get the right materials for your project?
We dispatch orders every day to all corners of the UK. It’s our job to make sure that what you order is what you really need to get the job done, so we’ve filled our website with as much product information as we think you’ll ever want to read – we appreciate that unlike us you probably don’t deal with drainage products every day! In addition to the product side, you also need to be comfortable with the company that you’ve chosen to place you business with, as the likelihood is that if you’re buying online they won’t be based on your doorstep. So we’ve put together a few tips and things to think about which will hopefully help you to get your order right first time.
Who to Buy From?
Firstly, we’d recommend you use a specialist Drainage Merchant. Builders Merchants and DIY stores are fine for general building materials, but they don’t live and die by the drainage products that they offer, as drainage specialists do. They are also unlikely to be as competitive on price as a drainage merchant.
So having narrowed the field down, how do you decide which specialist to go for?
For us, it comes down to four key points:
- Make sure the company actually exists, and isn’t someone hiding behind a nice website but trading out of a garden shed. Google their address, go to Street View and see what the premises look like. If you can’t get a Street View, make sure they are based on an industrial estate.
- Make sure the website uses a well-known, secure payment provider like SagePay or WorldPay.
- Make sure the products sold are British or European Standard. This should be detailed on the main product sections of the site.
- Choose a website that is easy to navigate. A good online merchant should let you choose your items like a shopping list, adding all your quantities and then hitting the buy button at the top or bottom rather than having to buy each product individually.
When comparing prices, the thing here is to make sure you go all the way through the process, as lots of Internet Sellers will add on a hefty delivery charge right at the end, particularly for bulky, heavy or long length items. If you’re not sure, check the delivery terms – there’s no point saving £1 a length on 10 lengths of pipe and then paying a £20 delivery charge.
We deliver all orders over £100 (which most are) free of charge. The only exception is for bulky items like large coils where we make a one-off charge of £10 – we actually get charged more than this by the carrier company so adding this on helps us to keep our prices keen.
The other thing to look out for on price is headline grabbers – items priced very low to entice you to use a certain website. Again the answer is the same – check the whole shopping basket and don’t forget to factor in the delivery cost where applicable.
The other tip is to make sure the quality of the product is good – no point paying little on something that will break during transport or while installing it. You will want to look out for products that have a good manufacturer warrantee and are built to British or European Standard as explained previously – when it comes to your house, value for money rather than the cheapest thing should be your guide.
Check That You've Got Everything
By the time you have got around to looking online you will probably have already made a list of the items you need. The tip here is make sure you have ordered enough – it sounds obvious but, we do get a lot of small, repeat orders for extra items that were missed on the first order. So for instance when you add up all your lengths of drainage in metres, add an extra 15% for cuts and wastage.
It’s also a great idea to buy an adjustable bend just in case, as trenches rarely run at the exact angle that you expect them too and adjustable bend can be a lifesaver. Don’t forget silicon lubricant for the joints (don’t rely on the old method of using washing up liquid, it ruins the seals!) And when you buy inspections chambers, order two 45° single socket bends, one for the entry in and one for the exit, as this is the correct way to install a chamber. If you are likely to have to join onto old clay drains, buy the jubilee clip type rubber adaptors – they are a masterpiece in engineering and they will fit all types of clay.
Finally as we said in the first point, make sure that the system that you are buying complies with the relevant British or European Standard – if something is miles cheaper than all the other equivalent products, there’s usually a good reason!
Delivering drainage is not like delivering books or DVD’s – it won’t go through the letterbox. You need to make sure that someone will be around to take delivery of these goods, unless you want to run the risk of leaving them unattended. If you can’t be around to sign for them, the next best thing is to specify clearly a safe place for the delivery driver to leave them, but you need to be aware that the risk is yours if you’re not there to sign.
The other key point about deliveries is to allow yourself a bit of breathing space. If you have builders due to start on site on Tuesday, make sure you have all your items a few days before. It sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people leave it until the very last minute before they start panicking!
The final point we would make is that if, even after reading all the above, you still aren’t sure what to buy or who to buy from, pick up the phone and talk to a specialist. You’ll very soon get a good feel for whether or not the guy or gal at the other end of the phone knows their stuff and how friendly they are, and provided they do their gullies from their rest bends it will put your mind at rest. And if they don’t, well - at least it’s another one off of the list!
Items you will need
- Drainage Pipe Single Socket - 160mm x 3mtr£28.81 £34.57
- Inspection Chamber Set - 300mm Diameter£55.77 £66.92 £69.71 £83.65 Save 20%
- Site Starter Pack - 110mm
ON BACK ORDER - Please contact us for availability and alternatives£109.03 £130.84
- Site Starter Pack Including Inspection Chambers - 110mm
ON BACK ORDER - Please contact us for availability and alternatives£343.01 £411.61
- Site Starter Pack - 110mm Large
ON BACK ORDER - Please contact us for availability and alternatives£254.11 £304.93
- Site Starter Pack Including Inspection Chambers - 110mm Large
ON BACK ORDER - Please contact us for availability and alternatives£480.28 £576.34