Where to Buy Sheet Metal
Many of our clients ask us where they can buy sheet metal. The better question is: where should they buy sheet metal? It’s easy to find assortments of pipe, plate and small sheets at large construction-oriented stores like Home Depot or Princess Auto, but they won’t offer you the best price.
How Metal Distribution Works
Keep in mind that these stores don’t manufacture the metal themselves, they buy it from someone else, and even those stores often have bought it from another retail company. You should find a much better price by getting close to the source and eliminating all the middlemen. Minimum order requirements are often the only roadblock that prevents you from shopping at companies with the best pricing. Manufacturers don’t produce single pieces at a time, nor do they have the sales staff to deal with small orders. For this reason, they rarely sell orders smaller than $10,000, if not $100,000 or more. Large companies purchase mass orders from the manufacturer and then redistribute them to smaller companies. In turn, these smaller companies will likely sell to an even smaller company, and so forth. It is not uncommon for a chain of several companies that have bought and sold from one another before the metal finally gets to the consumer.
Where You Should Buy Sheet Metal
Contacting small distributors such as McKinnon Metals, Mr. Metal or The Metal Supermarkets (all easily found in the GTA) is ideal for individuals for an order or less than roughly $1000. However, to consider is that all of these companies cut your order to the size you need. If you are looking to purchase a larger order, you still may be better off shopping from them, as the larger companies often only sell metal in huge lengths that you may not be able to handle. That said, if you can cut the material down to size yourself, a large distributor like Russel Metals will give you a much better price.