Canadian Contractor

Regina Gadacz   

Supply runs take time and are hard on your body. Follow these tips to save both.

Renovation Contractor

Frankly, I believe that the best supply run is the one you don't have to make. I always thought there had to be a better way, and it turns out there is.

By Eamonn O’Rourke, Co-Founder and CEO

It’s 7 a.m. on a Tuesday, and thousands of contractors just walked into hardware stores across Canada, coffee in hand and running late. They hunt for the perfect materials, wait in line, then load their trucks and go. All the while, the clock is ticking, and their blood pressure is rising.

When I was a contractor, supply runs were my biggest annoyance, and I’m not alone. Frankly, I believe that the best supply run is the one you don’t have to make. I always thought there had to be a better way, and it turns out there is.


I created RenoRun to save contractors the hassle of making supply runs on their own. But careful planning and best practices can reduce stress, too.

Why Do Supply Runs Matter?

The problem isn’t one supply run. The problem is all the supply runs you’re making throughout your career. Every trip adds up, taking a toll on your health, your vehicle, and your efficiency.

Let’s look at some numbers. In 2019, 36 percent of Canadian homeowners said they planned to do a bathroom renovation. A 5×7 bathroom uses seven sheets of drywall, each weighing 52-77 pounds. For one bathroom, a renovation contractor is carrying 538 pounds of drywall. And that doesn’t touch other materials like lumber and fixtures.

Think of the pressure on your back and knees, lifting materials onto your cart, off the cart and onto the truck, off the truck and into the house. Think about the wear and tear on your vehicle.

And now think about what happens if you forgot something or underestimated. Here are some solutions.

The Keys to Effortless Supply Runs

Unless you go with a building supply service, supply runs are going to happen. So, how can you make them a pleasure instead of a pain? Here are some tips:

  • Plan and source materials in advance so you know they’re in stock and how much you need of each. Don’t calculate how many bags of concrete mix will cover 22 cubic feet while standing in a hardware store.
  • Inspect your materials before you leave the store. Remove that chipped piece from the drywall stack and get a replacement, saving time and money on returns later.
  • Make sure your vehicle can take it. Your supply run is only as good as your vehicle. Check out Renovation Contractor’s December 2017/January 2018 recommendations on the best work vehicles.
  • Watch the weather. We know you’re checking the weather but be sure to get a reliable weather app. Surprise rain, snow, and even wind can ruin your materials and put you in danger.

These tips won’t fix all your supply run hassles, but they reduce stress and keep you operating efficiently.

You already work hard. Why make extra work for yourself with inefficient trips to the hardware store? Focusing on planning and procurement will make your supply runs better and faster, but you can take efficiency to the next level with a tech solution for materials ordering and delivery.

That’s what RenoRun is all about — making life easier for hardworking people like you.

Eamonn O’Rourke has more than 20 years of construction industry experience under his tool belt, building houses in Europe and North America. His current focus is building technology to reshape the industry with his company, RenoRun.


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