Wide Format Printing – More Than Just the Price Tag

1. Colour or Black and White?

Choosing a colour and/or a black and white large format printer mostly depends on what you expect your output to be, what print speed and print robustness you need. For example a colour large format printer can print in black and white for approximately the same cost as a monochrome printer especially at lower print volumes.

The choice between black and white or colour has consequences for how your users will actually use the printer. Analysing what you need based on the type of print jobs that you do will help determine which in the end is the most cost effective.

2. Costs

When you ask about the costs of a printer, you can get a variety of answers. The first and most likely answer will be related to the purchase price. Secondly, the running cost of the system will be addressed.

Although tempting, it is not wise to base your purchase decision on the purchase price alone. A cheap printer with costly toner cartridges is actually an expensive printer in disguise. And even when you have evaluated the running cost, you’re not safe. You may think you’re getting a bargain on the printer itself but if your machine breaks down frequently or simply can’t keep up with your copy demand, then you will be paying too much in the long run. So, hidden costs can completely change the picture.

To determine the return on this investment, all related costs must be taken into account, as a printer is an investment in your work processes.

Initial investment: make sure that you compare similar configurations and delivery conditions. When investing in a new printer, it is worthwhile to consider costs related to switching to a new printer. Companies have hundreds of pounds of consumables in stock, which often cannot be used on the new system. Also installations of new drivers take time and therefore money.

Running cost: printer running costs are the cost of consumables, media and eventually the service contract. These costs can be determined upfront by straightforward calculations. However, to make these calculations, you need to have access to relevant information. Vendors tend to provide indicative figures that are not representative for your actual day-to-day usage of the printer, i.e. the ink consumption calculations based on a ‘fast mode’ is meaningless if you always use the ‘normal mode’. Most people use ‘normal mode’ for either quality standards or out of convenience.

If a service contract doesn’t cover spare parts or software updates, you have to estimate the additional costs for the short and the long term.

Hidden Costs: Costs that are related to the printing process itself but are less obvious to identify include e.g.:

Output: if are you printing posters, photos, technical documents or drawings, presentations, you will most likely choose colour.

3. Ease of use

When you think of large format printers and ease of use, you may associate this with flashy touch screens and the many possibilities that go with this. But there is more to ease of use than the user interface of a large format printer. Other factors to consider are the ease of adding ink or toner, loading paper rolls etc.

If it is not easy to load paper rolls or run complex print jobs for example, too much time will be spent on performing these seemingly easy tasks. Not only will your employees get frustrated, irritated and engage in ‘printer bashing’. Even worse, as a result of multiple misprints, they may start showing printer avoidance behavior. Not exactly what you had in mind when investing a considerable amount of money in your new large format printer.

When looking at and evaluating the user interface of a large format printer, start with considering how you currently use or plan to use your printer. Deciding which type of user interface to go with (touch screen or hard buttons) follows from an evaluation.

Types of print jobs: is the bulk standardised or do the print jobs require individual settings?

Standardised bulk: look for possibilities of automation by using templates.
Specialised print jobs: look for possibilities to maintain full control with easy ways to adjust and set parameters. User interfaces using touch screens and hard buttons can both work well.

Number of users: will the printer be used by multiple users or a few specialised users?
Multiple users: look for ways to automate print jobs. Besides templates, make sure the user interface is self-explanatory.

Specialised users: these operators are used to a high degree of automation but still need full control to run complex jobs. A touch screen would be a disadvantage in such an environment, because the operator must pay attention to see which screen is active and to locate the ‘buttons’. It has been proven that touching or feeling hard buttons allows the operator to keep an eye on the printing & finishing process, on output quality and feeding in originals.

Consumable loading: how convenient is it to load or exchange ink, toner and media?
Look for possibilities to exchange ink cartridges or refill toner during large runs.
Look for the number of media rolls in the printer and check if they can be exchanged on the fly.

Ergonomics: what is the physical burden on the operator when operating the printer?
Replacing empty paper rolls with new rolls can be heavy work; does the printer design help the operator? Are prints easily accessible to the operator or do you need to bend and stretch to get access? Is the operator panel at the right angle?

4. Floor space

When thinking about floor space, you tend to think of the 2-or 3-dimensional size of a large format printer. For sure these physical dimensions of the printer should be part of your considerations. Exact measurements can be found in the technical specifications of the product.

It is however maybe even more important to take the operational floor space into account. This is the space required to make prints, copies and scans in the most efficient way possible and includes, loading media, collecting the original, collecting/collating prints, loading originals for scanning and more.

There should be sufficient place for the handling and finishing of prints such as folding, enveloping and distributing. Media, toner and ink cartridges also need to be stored in close proximity to the printer for easy access.

It is important to balance the cost of floor space (£/m²) versus efficiency cost. The latter may be difficult to quantify. But, in the end there are significant consequences to not having enough space such as:

Damaged prints because they fall on the floor. Damaged originals because there is no space to handle sets of A0/A1 originals for scanning.

Cost of incomplete sets – i.e. how do you measure the cost of a construction site having to slow or even shut down while waiting for additional prints to be made?

A lot of printers are presented or promoted as a single footprint multifunctional solution. When you are considering this keep in mind the additional operational floor space the large format printer requires to fully operate. Sometimes a better solution can be to place a separate scanner, maybe even in a separate space.

For making the best use of your floor space, consider a single or dual footprint set-up:

A single footprint – with multi-functionality allowing you to copy, print and scan.
Dual footprint – with a separate scanner next to your large format printer (depending on your needs and workflow situation).

5. Image quality

Expressed in dpi (dot per inch and image quality are amongst the first things that spring to mind when thinking about large format print quality. High resolution however does not necessarily offer the best quality. Compare it to digital cameras. Nowadays high dpi is no guarantee for high quality photos. When printing, the way the large format printer interprets the data is as important as the print technology itself.

When printing technical drawings, it is essential that dotted, fine lines are printed clearly. You don’t want to loose information. Losing a dotted line that represents electrical wiring at a construction site can have catastrophic consequences.

Also when you are presenting concepts, images say more than words. Insufficient print quality may lead to losing a bid, order etc. Obviously in this case as well, sufficient image quality is essential to your bottom line.

When looking at image quality, consider the following:
Resolution versus image processing: instead of looking at the resolution of a large format printer, take into account the way the printer interprets the data. The quality of this ‘interpreter’ is especially important when you work with fine or dotted lines and detailed prints.

Quality and media dependency: for black and white large format printers, no matter what media you use, the print quality is more or less the same. When using an inkjet printer however, quality can vary tremendously. When printing on glossy or photo paper versus normal paper, differences can occur in colour output and quality of thin and fine lines.

Scan technologies: when copying the original is first scanned. The challenge manufacturers face is to suppress wrinkles and folds of the original drawing while at the same time enhancing and maintaining weak information such as pencil lines. There are definite differences in quality for scan technologies by the different printer manufacturers.

6. IT infrastructure

Most people associate security with up-to-date virus scanners on their computers. However, consider that large format printers are an integral part of your IT infrastructure. This is especially true for printers with a USB port.

Protecting your large format printer is a start. But equally important is to protect your own intellectual property. Intellectual property, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, names, images, and designs used in business can be extremely vulnerable to theft or damage.

Physical property can easily be hidden from view or locked up for security. However, data is very fluid in nature and can multiply quite quickly. When in digital format, data is stored on a network or hard disk; so protecting this network is crucial.

Hopefully you have never experienced a breakdown of your IT infrastructure caused by a virus, but you can imagine the consequences. Losing information and loss of productivity are then inevitable. Equally damaging is theft of your intellectual property. The commercial consequences can be huge.

When selecting a large format printer, security issues should therefore be taken into account.

Position in the office: does the printer need a separate space or can it be placed near to people that use it? Consider the trade-off between printer proximity to potential health issues of you employees.

7. Options
Most people try to define the large format printer that they will need for the coming three years. However, as it is difficult to predict the future, consider how the large format printer can be adapted to changing needs if and when these needs occur.

Ideally you invest in a product that will offer you a long-term solution. However requirements evolve over time and when your business enters a new phase your requirements can change. If you buy a feature now because you think you might need it next year, you might be throwing money away. On the other hand if your needs change other than you had expected, you might need to prematurely buy a new printer.

Field upgradeability: When looking at the field upgradeability of your large format printer consider the following:

Hardware: can you add hardware such as a scanner, a folder, additional paper rolls, and additional working memory to the print engine in the future?Also consider if these upgrades can be done on site at your company.

Software: does the manufacturer offer firmware updates to stay compatible with new IT developments?

Service: can you change your service contract to for example shorter response times if needed?

Financing of field upgradeability: Financing of new upgrades can be cumbersome because of investment approvals needed. Keep in mind that leasing contracts can help you with the administrative consequences easily.

Speed and performance: When judging the performance of a large format printer you tend to look at the speed of the printer listed in the technical specifications. However, the time needed from the sending a print job to the printer and actually holding the print in your hand is something totally different. Compare it to the maximum speed your car can do and the time it takes you to drive to your local store downtown.

Optimising the performance of your large format printer is obviously important. To continue with the car analogy: don’t spend money on a Formula 1 car when all you need is a car to get your groceries downtown. Optimisation does not automatically mean a faster printer.

When looking at speed and performance of a large format printer look further than the initial specs. There are several factors to consider in order to gain a complete picture of a printer’s performance. If you have a continuous flow of documents, throughput speed is most important. If the machine is used incidentally, then the first print out time must be short.

Short first print out time. Processing time: before the printer can start printing, it must process the files to be able to print them. There are huge differences in processing capabilities in large format printers in the market today. Although the size of the internal memory is an indication, the proof is in the number crunching.

Warm up time: any machine, when not used for a while will turn into sleep-mode. When you push a print button however, you expect the printer to start printing straight away. In some cases it may take a large format printer several minutes to be ready to print. Speed vs. print quality mode: when using a black and white large format printer, print speed is constant. This is not the case for ink jet printers. The print speed varies depending on whether you are using a draft mode or a higher quality presentation mode. This time difference can be more than 10 minutes.

Throughput: If you have a continuous flow of prints, make sure that the printer can process new files while printing previous ones (concurrent processing).
Consider inter page time as a factor for print speed: This is influenced by drying time (only ink jet), roll changes, maintenance during print jobs, such as calibration, print head cleansing during print jobs.

Consumers today should take a look at how their office equipment impacts the environment. This relates to waste, recyclability, energy consumption and printer emissions. It takes into account the hardware (or machine itself) as well as all consumable products.

If we don’t look at the environmental implications of using our products, these decisions can ultimately lead to unnecessary waste and high energy consumption. Most importantly, the health and safety of your employees can be at stake. There’s always a risk of indoor air pollution caused by the products’ emissions.

Waste:The first thing that springs to mind when thinking of waste is the ink cartridges or residual toner disposal. This is usually your prime consideration. But, what about prints that cannot be used due to poor quality, printed at the wrong location, or simply because the prints are not correct? Waste can also occur as a result of trimming when the wrong media size was loaded.

Amount of waste generated: how much waste are empty ink cartridges or toner bottles generating? Check to see what the capacity of an ink cartridge or toner bottle is to estimate how often these need to be replaced.

Poor-quality prints: how much waste is being generated as a result of misprints
How often do you need to throw away prints due to insufficient quality or simply because the outcome is not what you wanted the printer to do.

Waste as a result of trimming: how much paper do you throw away as a result of trimming? Check to see if the printer can hold different media sizes to avoid unnecessary trimming.

Recyclability: When selecting a large format printer recycling plays an obvious role in the area of ink cartridges collection and residual toner disposal. However, the printer itself can also be recycled.Is there a system in place for collecting old ink and toner cartridges?
Consider whether in your case collecting used ink cartridges will impact the environment more than local disposal.

Printer recyclability: Does the manufacturer maintain a cradle-2-cradle philosophy so that old printers can be refurbished, reused or remanufactured?
Consider if the printer manufacturer has a remanufacturing program in place.

Energy consumption: In the technical specifications you can find the energy consumption of large format printers when actually printing. However to get a complete picture of the energy that a printer consumes, it is good to consider how the machine is used on a typical day: What is the actual energy that a printer consumes?
To get a better idea of the energy consumption of your large format printer, estimate how long the printer will likely go into sleep mode, how often will it be used per day and what type of printing it is doing.

Cooling: Does the room in which the large format printer is placed need to be cooled?
In many cases the heat dispersed by the printer needs to be compensated by energy guzzling air conditioning, meaning your energy bill is doubled and you end up paying twice!

Emission: Some large format printers make noise, can smell (ozone), and exude heat and dust. Obviously it’s convenient to position the large format printer close to its users; it saves time. However, we often see large format printers in a separate room. Why is this? Is it floor space, or protecting your employees from the printer’s emissions?

Noise, heat, dust and odors: can printer emissions lead to disgruntled employees?
Consider what the large format printer’s emission is impact on your employees. Obviously a heat emitting, noisy, dusty, smelly printer is not going to do wonders to your employees’ productivity.

Position in the office: does the printer need a separate space or can it be placed near to people that use it? Consider the trade-off between printer proximity to potential health issues of you employees.

Plant and Construction Tracking Devices and Tracking Systems Buyers Guide

Tracking Systems – Plant and Machinery. What you need to know.

It is an inescapable fact that plant theft is a major and increasingly serious problem for the plant industry, and it causes major disruptions. The threat of loss is greatest for smaller plant hire companies where theft can result in bankruptcy, but even for larger companies the result can be a debilitating loss of earnings, and a loss of goodwill with contractors.

In common with many emerging markets, the tracking industry is cluttered with offers from newly-formed suppliers seeking to cash-in on new opportunities. But robust tracking systems are not to be found in do-it-yourself cartons. It is essential, particularly where high-value plant or shipments are involved, to spend time researching the most appropriate system devices, and its essential back-up. The differences between entry level equipment and state-of-the-art bespoke systems are, to say the very least of it, dramatic. To ensure that the selected tracking system will actually be capable of fulfilling its purpose, vital questions must be answered.

Most essentially, the company you intend to deal with must be able to demonstrate a strong record of tracking success, and show itself to have been durable enough to thrive in the current economic climate. A large investment in tracking hardware can be lost if the selected tracking partner does not survive as a company. Under such circumstances the potential exposure is even greater than the immediate loss of equipment, because the tracking facility will also have been lost, and protection will be compromised. The writer suggests a minimum proven tracking industry record of five years. References should be insisted upon, and a list of clients made available. Top tracking companies supply and service tracking requirements for governments, major international brand names, and NGOs. Their experience allows them to provide robust solutions anywhere in the world, and in the most demanding of climatic and terrain situations.

Until quite recently tracking has been considered to be the stuff of James Bond films, and quite beyond the scope of everyday life. But it has now evolved into an accessible business tool that in one of its many forms suits a huge number of applications. At its best it has the potential to make the theft of plant and machinery (and even car theft) a rare occurrence. Because tracking is a rapidly expanding market it has attracted many new companies with very little experience. It is therefore essential to be able to recognise the established professionals.

At its simplest tracking is incorporated into a Smart Phone. In its most sophisticated forms custom-made tracking hardware and software really is as James Bond films might suggest. Every tracking requirement should be assessed on its merits, and each solution should be custom specified. The right supplier will be able to supply that solution. In the long term the right supplier will also offer the most economical solution, because it will work.

So what makes your plant equipment safe? What should you and shouldn’t you be looking for when buying a tracking device or considering your next tracking tender?

Checking the company is the first step, you have to be sure that the tracking devise you are considering is up to scratch. There are countless products which promise to “change the tracking market as we know it”, but all too often this ‘new’ technology is just cleverly rebranded, low quality Chinese tech. Look out for products which advertise an “extra long life battery pack” or “optional hardwire kits”, for those who understand tracking, these phrases mean one thing – turn and run away. For continued security you need a tracker with an integrated battery to ensure that it can be positioned covertly and can do all of this without compromising on longevity. Sending men into the field to change battery packs is expensive, long life lower the need for this costly requirement. A lot of these issues can be avoided by an easy acid test, was the product made in the UK. UK equipment is far more likely to be high quality; it’s a good place to start.

Pay as you go SIM cards – this is probably the ultimate example of how to get things wrong. Imagine a scenario where your £50,000 piece of plant goes missing just at the point you run out of credit. No problem, just top up and you are ready to go. WRONG, despite what you may have been told there have been numerous reports of credit taking up to 3 days to filter down to the device. Statistics show that 85% of stolen plant leaves the UK through one of the 8 major ports in the UK within 8 hours. By the time the device has recognised your credit, chances are your plant will already be on the continent. Not a risk we would want to take yet we hear reports like this all too often about other products.

Pay as you go SIM’s are not designed for M2M – fact. Sometimes companies are drawn in by the idea of cheaper costs and the possibility to control monthly outgoings, in reality the only reason these SIM cards are cheaper is because they are simply not designed for the M2M market. Lower price is due to lower demand. Tracks360 recommends suppliers like STEAM communications (credit) for a service that you can rely at all times. When the worst becomes a reality, you will be very glad that you chose the right product after all.

Credit failures are not the only reason that a tracker can fail in the field. Many products rely solely on GPS location, good for smart phones but the signal can be blocked easily by an experienced thief. The best products don’t rely on one system of communication; make sure that your product has a variety of positioning technologies. If you do this then you will have gone a long way to giving yourself peace of mind but just to be safe, its important that you are using good quality management software. This will allow you to check whether your tracker is working as planned and alerts you if anything seems amiss. If the equipment isn’t working in the field it won’t track, the right software ensures that down time is brought to an absolute minimum.

Awards and accreditations. It is always advisable to ask if the tracking device and company has been awarded any awards accreditations, look out for Thatcham approval as this is a cast iron guarantee that the tracking device does what’s it designed to do and not just hyped up marking.

In short, if you are serious about recovering you plant you will need to choose not only the correct tracking device but also the right SIM and the right software to go with it.

What makes us the experts? The Tracks360 consortium is made up of several market leading tracking and logistics based companies. We include international powerhouses such as PLC’s, boasting turnover of nearly £50 million a year and over 50 years of experience, as well as smaller niche companies that provide the expertise to truly excel in their chosen specialisation. Moreover, we have serviced and are currently supplying tracking contracts and tracking systems in almost every conceivable market, working with household company names to extend our influence globally. Tacking is a rapidly expanding market, because of this the industry includes many companies that are all marketing and little knowledge, we aim to help you make this vital distinction.

Upgrades to Negotiate With a Builder When Buying a New Construction Home

Last week our friends just purchased a new house in Toronto. They did a fantastic job of negotiating the best price AND a ton of upgrades into their deal. Our friends had done their research and came prepared when they met with the builder. If you are buying a new home in today’s market, if you want to get the best deal available, you should follow their example.

Often a builder will be unable to negotiate on price – or will have very little room to move. This can be for many reasons, but the biggest one could be constraints that have been placed on them by their lender.

Where you can often get some fantastic deals with a builder is in upgrades and finishing work on your new home. But, what can you ask for? I will give you a list of ideas, but your best source of information will come from competing builders. Shop other new home developments in your market. Find out what incentives, upgrades and terms the other builders are offering and use those to negotiate the absolute best deal you can.

Upgrades to Consider Negotiating into Your New Home Purchase Deal:

Flooring (better quality of hardwood or carpet, different colour, more of it, etc.)
Higher quality windows
Light fixtures
Mirrors
Paint colours or type
Plumbing and fixture improvements (or additional – sometimes you may want things roughed in for a wet bar in the basement or a different spot for the washer and dryer – all of these things can be done much easier before the house is finished!)
Basement (sometimes the basement will be unfinished but you can negotiate some of the finishing work to be done)
Quality of finishings like light switches, door handles, railings, cabinet hardware etc.
Doors
Countertops – you can negotiate the type, the style, the colour and maybe even get extensions on your counters.
Appliances – you can usually negotiate at least a better model of the same brand but sometimes you can even get a totally different brand Insulation – maybe you want thicker insulation or a different type
Driveway material
Fencing
Landscaping
Other exterior finishings.

If you aren’t able to negotiate exactly what you want, you can always try asking for a discount on their current upgrade package. While the builder may be unable to move much on their list price, there might be more room to move in the price of their upgrade package.

Estimating In-Ground Pool Prices

This article summarizes key factors when estimating inground pool prices. Costs can vary greatly, but the intent of this article is to be certain you think through all the options available when considering a below-ground family pool, and avoid possible cold feet as you are getting the bid from a contractor.

Below ground pool cost ranges are dependent a great deal on how deluxe you aspire your final result. A deck, landscape designs, hardscapes, furnishings, fence options, along with additional amenities almost always double a entry-level below-ground pool building price. As an example, any time you decide to spend $25,000 for a medium-sized swimming area, you can assume to commit almost that amount a second time on add-ons before your pool area has been completed.

Builders consider many central areas when constructing an in-ground estimate. The form of dirt dug up can impact the amount of money charged, as costly chiseling and blasting are called for if bedrock is discovered. Existing water along with sewage lines, tree stumps, cement chunks, plus large boulders are frequently discovered resulting in added digging and disposal charges. Using in-ground vinyl pool liners calls for reinforcement construction built which the liner then adheres to, and cement pools require directing the material into iron re-bar cage structures. Water hoses, a water pump, along with filter systems are frequently a part of the bid approximations. Builders by and large pass the licence charge on to the pool buyer, and also add a little extra for his effort acquiring and attaining licences from city administrators. Builders almost always add excise tax and disposal charges in the bid, but commonly leave the sales tax off the initial bid. Be certain to add area sales tax, as this adds a great deal of cost on top of the combined amount.

There are important aspects affecting below-ground pool dollar figures. Shape is critical, as prefabricated options call for decreased labor during construction, and cost less. Rectangle-shaped pools with a common dimension are going to be less costly as compared to custom circular, “kidney”, or “L” configurations. Family pools are almost always vinyl-lined, cement, gunite or shotcrete, or fiberglass, and each can be different in building cost figures. As a rule, shallow or sport pools are cheaper to implement compared to a dive pool, as there is a lesser amount of dirt that has to be dug out. The bigger the pool capacity, the greater the assembly amount, as a consequence of burrowing a bigger cavity, additional retaining wall along with bottom supports, and better pump and filter considerations. Electrical may not be attached to the agreed-upon bid. Water lines along with perhaps gas lines have to be fitted, plus luxury amenities (water falls, a fountain, and others). The farther the swimming area is built away from energy access, in particular water, electric, and gas, the greater the cost to install pipe, lines, and conduit. The locale for the water circulation equipment, filter, and heater also affects the cost. Can your dwelling accommodate bulky equipment that can then be brought in, or will pool builders be required to bring in compact and costlier hand-operated equipment?

Amounts for below-ground family pools can vary anywhere from about $15,000 for an affordable and easy to implement pool, to above $40,000 for a custom cement pool with a great deal of accents. Be mindful of charges which differ quite a bit based on area labor costs and alternatives in each addition as listed above.

A great deal of add-ons can add much more total cost to below ground backyard pools. Additional foundation components, including additional re-bar in cement to avoid cracking, are essential. Below ground designs almost always call for a basic safety barrier all around the swimming area or the complete backyard, according to area laws. Also commonly considered necessary are auto-closing fence panels with hardware that close the doors as well. Do you desire a basic 4 foot chain-link fence, or a 6 foot iron fence accompanied by decorative metalwork? Decking is a necessity, as the pool coping is attached to the deck. A couple of alternatives consist of mixed or imprinted cement, brick paver, ceramic tile, along with all-natural stone. Diving boards and pool slides are desirable, but be aware; home-owner insurance charges can climb if adding a water slide.

Additional illumination, ladders, hand railing, along with stair locations are just a few choices that can be added. In-pool cleaners, automated chemical delivery appliances, pool electric heaters, saunas or hot tubs, water falls, or fountains all are examples of pool accessories. Pool covers are available as manual, automated, above the pool level, or embedded in the pool coping. Both equally come with functionality and aesthetic aspects.

It is easy to commit a further $12,000 to $40,000 above the basic below ground pool amount directly on accessories. Alongside below-ground pool pricing, along with add-ons just mentioned, absolute amounts to dig a pool down into the dirt can differ from $31,000 to $80,0000, if not more. Check into building your pool before or after peak season for a possible discount from the pool builder. Ask the contractor exactly what electric, plumber, or gas company jobs are added in, as power connection costs from the home into the pool equipment are commonly not added in. Approximate all of your foreseeable pool maintenance costs. Chemical additives, gas and electric power, and local water are normally the key costs. Areas with water constraints and elevated energy costs can additionally add to continuing bills. Pool life-span is actually essential to bear in mind. Vinyl-layered pools have an 8-10 year life, compared to cement or fiberglass that typically are longer lasting, and additionally are based on the harshness of where you live. Bright and sunny areas break down vinyl at a faster rate. Chilly climates broaden and contract the pool and adjacent area, in some cases cracking cement pool wall structures.

After considering this article, we hope possible pool customers develop a better appreciation of below-ground pool costs, along with all the elements that go into the cost of building a family pool that’s appropriate for you.

How to Find Affordable Shed Prices Online

If you are still one of those people who haven’t tried online shopping then you are definitely missing a lot. You’ll be amazed at how easy and convenient shopping has become, as opposed to getting into your car and driving a couple or so miles just to get a bottle of milk and a carton of eggs. The internet has made living a whole lot easier and thus, you need to take advantage of it pronto.

The great thing about online shopping is there isn’t anything you can’t buy. These days, people take to the internet to shop for everything and anything they need, from their basic necessities to the latest books, clothes, home appliances and gadgets. Even items you wouldn’t think would be available online are there for the taking, like sheds. Yes, you can shop for sheds online and for most people; it is the only way to shop for sheds.

You may have experienced at least once in your life, how it’s like to shop for wooden boards and traipse from hardware store to hardware store in search of perfectly straight ones without any knots or dark stains on them. You’ve probably inhaled enough sawdust to know that you wouldn’t want to go wood-shopping again, not unless it’s absolutely necessary or if your life depended on it.

Well, all that is changed with online shed shopping. With just a click of your mouse, you can have access to thousands of sites selling sheds at affordable prices and all without having to tire yourself out or inhale sawdust. You can even have your pick and choose of either building it yourself or investing in a shed kit. You don’t have to drive over to any store and waste precious gas or have to talk to over eager sales staff who would sooner sell you their most expensive sheds than offer you what you need most.

So how do you find the best shed prices online? Of course, assuming you already know what type of shed you need and what you’ll be using it for, the next step you need to do is to determine your search filters. The internet is able to pull up sites that list all the important information you need like product descriptions, ratings from previous buyers and of course, prices. You can choose to search by size, capacity, durability, construction and even check for difficulty of assembly if you plan to build your shed on your own. Make sure you compare the measurements of the sheds you check out online against the actual measurements you have for the space you plan to build or install it on.

Another thing to remember when searching for the best shed prices online is never to fall for the cheapest price. When computing the costs, you must also include any shipping fees and tax and compare it with the actual cost of purchasing your shed from an actual hardware store. You can also use price comparison sites that list all the best stores that sell sheds online and lists them from the highest to the lowest prices available.

And last but not the least, always do your research beforehand. These sites list user reviews and testimonials which you should read to help you narrow down your choices. These testimonials will contain information on which retailers you should buy from as well as those you need to avoid so you won’t fall victim to any online scams.