How to Hire a Hardwood Flooring Contractor
Check credentials and references before signing a contract with a flooring contractor
By Stevie Donald
Hardwood floors add beauty and warmth to your home, and can be an investment in value. Hardwood doesn't come cheap, especially if you deviate from standard oak and choose eco-friendly, sustainable materials such as bamboo or teak. Don't compromise your investment by making a poor choice in a hardwood floor contractor. Hire an experienced contractor who will install or refinish your floor without getting dust all over your home, dinging up your walls or using poor quality equipment that results in an uneven or rough finish.
- What You Need to Know
- Consider your flooring options and your budget. Hardwood floors come in a range of products and pricing, from pre-finished planks to solid wood floors. If you are getting quotes to have your floors refinished, be aware that it will be more costly to have them completely stripped and re-stained than just to have them sanded and re-varnished.
Ask for recommendations from people you trust, and go look at the job. Pay attention to details. In a bright light, make sure the surface is sleek and glossy, the joints tight and nail holes evenly spaced and filled with matching putty. Walk across the floor and listen for squeaks. Ask if there were any problems, and if so, how the hardwood floor contractor dealt with them.
Get three estimates from established, licensed professionals. Make sure each is giving you a bid on the same square footage and types of materials. Meet with each flooring contractor and ask questions about their procedure, their equipment and what steps they will take to be considerate of your home.
Plan the job well in advance and try to arrange to have work done when the weather is good. You may have to move a lot of furniture into other parts of your house or the garage, and have the ability to open windows to let dust and fumes dissipate. Remember, that a good flooring contractor may have a waiting list of clients.
Request proof of insurance and any necessary licenses from the contractor, and check the contractor's reputation with the Better Business Bureau.
Arrange a reasonable payment schedule for the job. A contractor may want some money up front, but avoid giving more than 50 percent, at most. The final payment should be made promptly, but not until after all the work has been done to your satisfaction.
About the Author
Stevie Donald is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has been a painting contractor since 1979.
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