Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a professional to order from The Builder Depot?
No you do not. We have created a business model that tries equalize the price disparity from distributor to retailer to contractor to consumer by offering everyone irrespective of position in the 'old' supply chain, the same price. Tiered pricing is quite frankly a pain. One price for all is a lot easier, the best price for the best quality we can offer. (Wow! That sounds like some sort of declaration and you can read more on this in our about us page on our blog).
What are your hours of operation?
"Officially" our customer service phone hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm EST. Email customer service is open 7 days a week from 7am to 9pm EST. We will even try to reply later or earlier if we are online. We start at 6am, but that is to get a head start on packing before the Georgia heat builds. Today you cannot escape email and no one can resit checking it. Samples and orders can be placed online 24/7 and 365 Days a Year. However with offices in Europe and the time difference The Builder Depot is actually working 24 hours a day to make this operation work.
Do you ship to my home?
Yes. It would be delivered to your home and more than '40' Forty Square Feet via freight. This is called LTL and is "Curbside Delivery". 99% of the time we use UPS Freight (not the least expensive - but reputable and that is important to us). The truck will arrive with a lift-gate to lower the product to ground level. They will call prior to delivery to arrange a time. The delivery term is called "curbside" delivery. They are not allowed on your property. (Insurance overlap I believe is the reason). Do they break their own rules? They are human. I have come to realize taking a "Curbside" delivery from Walmart that there is indeed an entire cash market for this process. I had a TV delivered and it was going to be left on the curb, for $20.00 the guys bought it in took away the packaging. I have nothing against Walmart. That is the rules of freight, I should have read more and understood it better. Inside delivery is an insurance costing nightmare where everything is charged per pound and my TV would have cost over $600.00 to be delivered inside my home to where it ultimately ended up. Cash to the rescue. $20.00 cash to this one guy, he just took care of it (I think for another $20.00 he would have mounted it). I am sure there is a huge market for this. Some do it some do not. It is all about how you approach the driver and your personality at that point. Another good resource is your contractor. The FAQ #6 and #8 go into this in lots of detail with pictures and advice on receiving your order. Take me to this page now I would like to know more on receiving my order then just Click here
How much should I allow for breakage/damage?
We have a damage policy link at the bottom of the website and on the shipping policy. It is reasonable and fair. It is what we would expect ourselves and own families to understand. It is anticipated that up to a maximum of 5% of the product could be chipped or damaged. A chipped corner in the tile is not a lost tile. Tiles have to be cut, so use that for cut pieces, a chipped corner on a 2x4" mosaic does not require an entirely new sheet, pull the chipped piece off (use it for a cut end piece and replace with a good one). If the damage exceeds 5% then please contact us and we will replace. What we are striving to do is keep the costs as low as possible for everyone. Customers should over order by 10-15% for design cuts and waste and damaged pieces can be used in the process of those design cuts. If every customer required 100% undamaged tile 100% of the time, (you know absolute complete and utter perfection) then buying online is not for you. Buying anywhere is probably not for you, as even if you order from a retailer, they would have it shipped in from a company like ours that stocks over two million square feet of Carrara (as we are probably largest stockiest of Carrara in the USA), except they would go through it at their store and charge you $20 an hour to pick out the 1% damage (as it is rarely greater than that) and then change you 100% mark-up for the exact same product and labor costs. To date in 2015 the largest amount of damage was 1.4% (that we were made aware of) That is excellent!
What if the shipment gets lost or completely destroyed by a crash or natural disaster while on its way to me?
Completely different issue from above. Our shipments are insured 100%. So we would simply re-ship the product to you at our cost, it will obviously not arrive on the date of the first tracking number and we cannot overnight 100Lbs of marble to make up the time. But we will re-ship or you can get a 100% refund. We do not sell marble we just try and match the right customer to the right products, if those are our products great. If not then we will try and help send you somewhere local we know this market and we will try and help you anyway possible, who you ultimately buy from is our secondary concern. Simple and honest - just like the good old days.
What is the return Policy?
Very important. Always check the return policy on heavy items! First you want to ever avoid the issue of a return. The best way to do that is by ordering a sample. If your sample is man made like glass, metal or ceramic then there would be very little variation variation so just try and order within a 30 day window of the sample. The shorter the window the more likely it is the sample will be an exact match. If you are buying Bianco or Calacatta these two particular stones have significantly more variation (The Venato Carrara is incredibly consistent and has not changed in over a decade). So let's focus on avoiding a Bianco or Calacatta return. Most return issues seem to arise when people are matching. Either matching to a counter top or a particular look they saw on HGTV or existing tile. Please note that no two pieces of Carrara or Calacatta are identical. So if you order a sample online it is just a guide. If you are going for an "exact" match or really specific look where your customer or yourself has no room for tolerance in the veining. Please call us. We need to "work together", pictures, more samples. We will try and create a situation whereby you are here with us in the warehouse looking through the lots, making your choice as you go. Never just buy and hope. We cannot read your mind and know the exact look of Bianco Carrara or Calacatta bathroom you are going for. (If we could read minds we would probably be doing something else or locked away by some secret agency). Given that we cannot we have to use past history of images. Our Blog has room scenes and pictures of products as they come in, I would use that as a starting point see other people's bathrooms if you like what you see in the Bianco then you are in the right direction. Room Scenes on our Blog
. Failing any due diligence and you just ordered blindly hoping that your Carrara Bianco counter was from one of the 330 Italian Carrara quarries and was quarried at the exact same time at the exact same date. You maybe disappointed that it is not a perfect match (statistically you stand more chance winning the mega ball over 4 times in a row). Then you may need to make a return we have a page dedicated to the return policy. Return Policy Page CLICK HERE.
Product Information & Tips
Do you have any room scene pictures?
Yes! Lots of them sent in by customers the best way actual installations. Please go to our blog and take a look there is a room scene icon on the right and on the top tab. We have hundreds of pictures on our blog of product coming in, different lots, product on top of pallets as they just arrive. Italian quarries, manufacturing of Calacatta Gold, port of delivery and so on. Transparency is the key. The trusty iPhone has made it a whole lot easier to just walk and snap pictures, they may not be brochure quality, but we think they show what is real and not photoshopped. It is also inexpensive which means lower prices to our customers. When inexpensive and plain up front honesty meet that is our type of business. Take me to the Room Scene now, I have read enough Click here
I want more information, where can I find the blog with more FAQ's?
We do have another page dedicated to FAQ's. From how to order a sample (with pictures) how to get a shipping quote (with pictures) to the top mistakes that other people make. That is Question Number 15 and is an absolute "Must Read". Click here
To be taken to more detailed FAQ's on shipping, ordering, who we are, difference between honed and polished and so on..... just a lot more depth.
Why are not all of the Products Free Shipping?
There is no such thing as Free Shipping. Companies increase the product price to cover the cost of shipping or lower the grade of the product to make it cheaper and cover the cost of shipping. You will see some competitors make it thinner or remove rows. This allows savings which covers the cost of the shipping. But "Free" does not exist. We are 100% upfront. So we refuse to be part of this trickery and want to show you the best quality product and the price to ship UPS. Please remember you were told it a long time ago; perhaps by your Grandfather and it is still true. Look at UPS, FedEx look at their profits. They did not ship for Free. Their drivers are not volunteers doing it for fun and paying the gas out of their own pocket. There is one legitimate reason for free shipping. That is new market entrance. You are offering a product paying for shipping as a company you want consumers to try it. To post it on Facebook. Legitimate Free Shipping can be used as a marketing tactic to promote 'New Products'. We have a list of those on this page.Click Here.