How do I hire a quality hardwood flooring contractor?
Wood floors can be a stunning addition to your home. The beauty of hardwood floors does come at a price, however. The cost of the wood can be quite expensive, depending on the type of wood you select and the size of the room. The initialinvestment can be justified by their durability — they can last for generations if properly installed and cared for.
Proper installation is essential to creating a flawless floor that will stand the test of time, so finding a quality hardwood flooring contractor is important.
You may be tempted to save money by installing the floors yourself, but unless you have advanced carpentry skills, a professional contractor is probably your best option. Although home improvement television shows may give you the impression that it is a relatively simple task, in reality there are many things that can trip up the installation and cause problems down the road.
Before speaking with potential contractors, take the time to educate yourself about the types of hardwood flooring and the installation process. Arming yourself with some basic knowledge will help you discuss your options with the contractor and ask relevant questions that will help you make a smart hiring decision. Topics to research include the different types of hardwood floors, subflooring, underlayment, and the four installation methods: nail down, staple down, glue down and floating.
Finding A Contractor
Big Box stores often have a list of recommended installers, but be aware that these contractors may not be skilled in all types of flooring or specialty work. Local carpet and flooring stores may also be able to handle the installation, but they probably will not guarantee their work on materials that are not purchased from them. Another way to find a reputable flooring contractor is to check out our list of quality floor covering installers.
Now that you have a list of potential contractors you can begin the interview process. Some important questions to ask and areas to cover:
Scope of Work
There are a few items that you should be aware of before work begins. Trim, baseboards and moldings may need to be removed during installation, which can cause damage. In most cases you will be responsible for any touch up painting or repair required.
It is possible that your closet or room doors will not clear the newly installed floors. As with trim and baseboards, correcting any problems will be your responsibility. Inquire about the installer's policy — some will shave down doors for clearance but may charge an additional fee. If the contractor does not perform this type of work you will need to hire a carpenter to make any adjustments.
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