When installing a hardwood floor, it is important to choose your contractors carefully. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you will be happy with the results.
Determine what you need
Your needs will vary based on how much work there is to do, and you’ll want to choose your contractor accordingly. Maybe you want to remove old carpets and replace them with hardwood floor. Maybe you want to replace old wood with new, or simply refurbish hardwood flooring you already have. Be sure you know exactly what you want done, and write it down.
Consider your lifestyle
You can look through magazines and decorator books for ideas on the kind of flooring you like, but keep your lifestyle and needs in mind as well. How much time you spend cleaning will affect what flooring is the most practical. If you have young children or large pets, you should take that into account, too.
Ask for recommendations
Ask family, friends, and neighbors if they have had floor work done and can recommend anyone. This is more reliable than simply consulting the phonebook. Also, many good contracting businesses are in such demand that they only accept business from people who have been recommended by a previous client.
When asking for prices…
Bear in mind that:
- In a given timeframe, the price of wood should be the same for all contractors.
- Many storeowners have never personally installed floors, relying instead on the knowledge and expertise of subcontractors.
- Most companies and warehouses hire subcontractors for the actual installation. The same contractors may be working for several or all of the companies you get quotes from. These subcontractors may be the people who can get you the best deal.
- Contacting small, family-owned stores may get you better installation prices for the same products and warranty. Since large companies often hire jobs out to these small businesses, you would likely do business with them anyway, so it can be better to contact them directly.
When getting estimates…
Set aside time for contractors to come in and give an estimate. You should get 3-5 different quotes, and they should be provided for free. Get them in writing; the prices should be guaranteed for 30 days afterward. Do bear in mind that the contractors are busy and you will need to be flexible about the timing of their visits.
Questions to ask your potential contractor
- How long will the project take?
- How long will it take the wood to acclimate?
- What stages are involved in this job?
- How will the wood be delivered?
- What warranties are available?
- What products are used, and how long do they last?
- How much dust will the project create, how can it be contained, and what is the cleanup procedure?
- How much noise will the job create?
- Do you need to protect your furniture, and if so, how?
- What are your options for varnish?
- How many years of experience does the contractor have, and can they provide references from recent jobs?
You should also ask about liability insurance, payment options, and the terms of payment, including whether a deposit is required.
What is most important?
It’s best to pick someone who can provide good references and is established and respected in the community. This person might not provide the lowest quote, but you can trust them, and their installation will often last the longest.
Things to consider when executing your contract
The person who gave you the estimate will typically not be the one coming in to do the work. Make sure you know who is coming in and what to expect.
If you want them to install your own wood, the contractor may want a small booking deposit to get a solid date for the project. It shouldn’t be more than 10% of the total cost, and is usually not refundable. If you want to order wood, they may ask you to pay upfront for the materials. The manufacturers generally do not accept returns, and if you change your mind, not much can be done with the wood they bought for you. Get a receipt for your deposit if this is the case. There should be no other deposits necessary.
Remember that you face little or no risk if you are dealing with a trusted company. Businesses want to keep their clients happy, so if something goes wrong, a reputable business will be willing to give you a refund and recommend someone else to do the job. It is in their best interest to do this in order to protect their reputation. As long as you plan thoroughly and choose your contractor with care, you should be able to get exactly the floor you want.
Michael’s Flooring provides interior decorating expertise to help customers choose the best window coverings and hardwood flooring in Ontario. Whether you’re looking for carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, blinds or cleaning products we have the high quality products that will help make an impact to your home’s interior style.