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  • Hardwood floors

    Never really visited this section of the forum, but I do have a question for the Pro's over here. For those that don't know, I'm having a house built, and once it's done I plan on adding hardwood floors on my own.

    My question is, what should I expect to pay in "labor only" for having hardwood floors installed? I'm going to take down the baseboard trim and rip up the vinyl floor myself. I'm extremely handy, but this installation is meant for the Pro's, as I am a very anal person and I want it to look right.

  • #2
    Re: Hardwood floors

    Chances are you are going to get charged by the square foot, start calling around and ask what the going rate is. Get a quote from HD and use that as an idea of what you are going to pay. Call around to the shops, try to get in touch with the installers and get them to do the work as a side job, you will pay less.

    A few things to consider..

    After the floor is put down, base board is going to go back on of course, either with quarter round molding or coping the base to the profile of the floor, I personally prefer to have my baseboard coped to the floor(have it match the profile of the wood) IMO the quarter round looks like you are trying to hide something. The quarter round is going to be an extra cost per foot to install. Re-using and coping the base will add some time, but eliminates the cost of the quarter round and the labor.

    The floors need to be reasonably level, no dips or high spots. Have the installer come out prior to the install date and mark the floor for prep. Low spots get floated, high spots get ground down. The wood cannot bend or conform to high and low spots without problems later.

    Make sure the installers and the owner of the company know that you expect a perfect floor, OR they will not get paid and will be redoing the floor on their dime. You will pay more up front when they know you are going to be difficult but you have set the expectation for the level of quality you expect. Discuss every detail prior to the job starting and a contract signed.
    We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hardwood floors

      You doing Engineered Hardwood, Hardwood planks, or laminate? All three install in different ways. I would stay away from Engineered hardwood if I where you. It's way to fragile.
      Will Rogers Plumbing
      Moore, Oklahoma
      (
      405) 323-2852

      "Your Solution for Any Sewer and Drain Cleaning Needs"

      "We Unclog Drains That Others Can't"



      www.willrogersplumbing.com
      http://willrogersplumbing.com/?page_id=8

      "Oklahoma's Favorite Plumbers!"

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      • #4
        Re: Hardwood floors

        It all depends on what kind of floor & who makes it. The Primo Donna Anal installers I use are very particular when it comes to the manufacture of the floor they will install. I would contact the contractors you work for & know & get recommendations from them on an installer. Then contact them on recommendations on type & manufactures of hardwood. Then I would get prices. Shoe molding runs a $1.00 a linear foot, but the flooring depends on what kind & the manufature. If you going to rip up the builders floor right away I would have them just staple the vinly down & not glue it. It will make it a lot easier to rip it up.

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        • #5
          Re: Hardwood floors

          I want to buy 3/4"(is that thickness right?) plank wood if that's not in the budget, I'm going to go with something smaller width wise. I know lot's of people who do floors, but the problem is I don't think I want to go down that road with friends in different trades. I'm the type that believes "You pay me...I pay you".

          Masterbeavis - when you say coping, do you mean like...the baseboard is cut at an angle at the bottom to kind of blend into the floor? I agree with you on quarter round...I never liked the look either.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hardwood floors

            Originally posted by Flux View Post
            I want to buy 3/4"(is that thickness right?) plank wood if that's not in the budget, I'm going to go with something smaller width wise. I know lot's of people who do floors, but the problem is I don't think I want to go down that road with friends in different trades. I'm the type that believes "You pay me...I pay you".

            Masterbeavis - when you say coping, do you mean like...the baseboard is cut at an angle at the bottom to kind of blend into the floor? I agree with you on quarter round...I never liked the look either.
            Coping is the only word I can think of to describe the process you describe me describing, but yes that is what I mean. Cut at an angle, not really, but shaved or ground to fit the profile of the floor, yes.
            We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hardwood floors

              Flux... if your looking to install these floors right away after you close, I have a very important recommendation. Since you are having vinyl installed it seems to appease the finacial company and city inspector for occupancy, convice the builder to install cheap vinyl, NO UNDERLAYMENT, and border glued product. This means no 1/4" underlayment, just sand the subfloor and install it right over that. After spending an entire day and a half pulling up underlayment that some staple machine gun, itchy trigger installer put down with 40k staples... trust me, tell them NOT to waste their time with underlayment if your just going to have to tear it up anyway. Some vinyl can be installed with just glue around the outer edges of the room, not in the center, stretched kinda like carpet. This would also be a good option if you are tearing it up soon after install.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hardwood floors

                Your suggestion is an excellent one but I see one problem. As former management for a large tract home builder, I would refuse such requests. It happened more times than not that a buyer would not complete the transaction for various reasons. Had I allowed such modifications, I would be stuck with a half arsed install that I would have to buy. It does not hurt to ask however.

                Flux, the word I could not come up with when I had a permanent brain fart was scribe, not cope. You cope inside corners of baseboard, you scribe material to an uneven surface
                We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hardwood floors

                  MB, on vinyl, something this simple I don't think would be an issue, heck with 3/4" sub flooring, the underlayment is not needed IMHO. If its flat, fill the seams, sand it, install vinyl, done. If he did back out, its just cheap vinyl, if it sucks, tear it out and put the underlayment in and maybe even re-install it if it came out ok. Guess I don't see the issue, maybe if he paid upfront for the vinyl just to cover the change, the builder would be ok with it...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hardwood floors

                    Its all about time and the budget. Paying up front is nice, but if a deal were to fall thru, the buyer gets any and all $$ refunded, irregardless of what the contract says.(a sore subject for another discussion)

                    I was allowed XX many days go get the house built, and was rewarded $$ for coming in under budget, under the scheduled time, and a clean sweep on the final walkthru. Making changes or re-doing something usually meant some sort of delay or fire drill, making my life difficult. I had limited manpower, and my subs were super busy and out at least a month on any sort of work. Making one change would foul up 5 houses or more worth of scheduling. Most of my subs did not like being stacked, and depending on when the buyer fell thru, I did not want significant changes or remodeling going on in a home that was almost finished. I don't like it when my life is difficult.

                    This of course was when we did not care if you bought our houses or not. If you backed out or were somehow no longer qualified, we would have the house resold within a few days, and for more $. There would be a rush when we would open a new subdivision opening up, we would take 20 deposit checks the first day we were open, and each new phase would see a 20K price hike. If we did not like you for whatever reason assuming you really pissed us off, we would fire you as a buyer(only happened a couple of times in 3 years). Nowadays I would assume that we would be kissing your butt and jumping through hoops for you. I no longer do management (thank god)
                    Last edited by masterbeavis; 10-28-2011, 02:16 AM.
                    We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hardwood floors

                      Now I use to do New Construction..so i know how the game is played from both sides.

                      Well, last weekend we went to the design center to pick out our options. I was 99.9% prepared for anything the lady was going to throw at me...except 1 thing. lol

                      When it came time to pick out our cabinet colors...we wanted DARK colored cabinets for our Kitchen. It's kind of the fad right now...and that's what we like. Well come to find out...if we wanted the DARK colored cabinets, that's in the last level of pricing (#3) that was $3,300.00 extra for the color alone. Nobody in their right mind would pick the 3 colors the builder was including in the price of the home.

                      So I asked the design lady..." besides color, is the quality better with these cabinets compared to level #1 cabinets?" Her answer was "No".

                      "So basically I'm paying $3,300.00 for a color?" Her answer was "yes", my answer back to her was..."I wish I would of known this before I signed the contract with you guys".

                      Her facial expression---->

                      Also... I'm not allowed anything special regarding the way something is installed. I'm already having the argument regarding a Plumbing issue that will eventually come to a head, cause I don't think they are taking me seriously. She told me "our mechanicals are installed only ONE WAY!!!". My response to her was..."how come the spec house I walked in...half the register was underneath a kitchen cabinet?" I also said..."I'm going to tell you right now, THAT won't be happening with the house I'm buying".

                      Another example: I asked if they would put backing in the ball for my wall mount LCD TV...her answer was " No, because if we don't put it at the right height the customer will complain". my response was.." well then how are you offering and charging $650.00 as an extra to run the electric for wall mount TV's if you don't know where the customer wants it? "

                      Again...she went silent.


                      I have a feeling I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get the underlayment and glue off the floor myself.

                      Any tips for that?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hardwood floors

                        Flux im young and can be an asshoole when it comes to spending my money, the squeeky wheel gets the grease go up and up and up till you talk to someone that has the authority to give you what you want...if it were me id ask for a number to the board or "financers" id go to the site and take pictures as the suite got built, id take those photos to my local building inspector.. basically make a stink, i know im one of those customer "like i put it in another thread running around with paper towels under all our joints" the difference beeing i own to houses "well paying for two houses". If i was to buy a new house , hidden costs and 3300 for a colour i wouldnt stand for it, let them know right away your not a sucker and your paying for what you want i bought 3/4 tuscan maple prefinished hardwood "25 year warrenty" for 3$ a sq foot so 3300 $ will buy you a bit of flooring maybe tell them heres my money i want no cabinets "or the cheapest option" and redo the cheap fixtures cabinets floors and whatever else there putting "contractor" grade items in your new house i would say if in todays economy if there not kissing your "flux" a$$ then let them revoke the deal but make it clear this is my house this is how i want it. Might be the first time in ten years youll get away with it... But dont get stuck with a new home that isnt what you want. Thanks seanny

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Hardwood floors

                          What you need to do is make friends with the superintendent. If you are buddies with him, you will get alot further in getting your way. Sales people, albeit nice, and sometimes hopefully attractive, are idiots.

                          if you get stuck doing it yourself, a hammer and a bear claw.... If it is a large area, I would try using a roto hammer with a 1" chisel on it. I have never tried that, but if I was in that situation again, then I would certainly try.

                          [edit]It has been my experience that any kind of change the builder will want money for. Even if it is deleting something major, you still will get charged, or maybe get a $50 credit.

                          I have seen people get charged $500 plus for a fancy air filtration system. We forgot to put it in(I honestly never seen this option get chosen.) I call my HVAC foremen to get it resolved, he shows up 5 minutes later with a $20 washable nylon filter and swaps it out. The homeowner was HOT! Builders overprice and mark the crap out of stuff.

                          I agree with Seanny. Politley raise hell if making friends with the super does not help. He cannot control pricing however, but he has some sway on how things will get done during the construction. Dirty pool, Ask them if their doors have MDF in the centers or real plywood. MDF veener is way cheaper than real plywood. Insist on real plywood (assuming you are not getting raised panel doors) and melamine for shelving. They can and will cheap out on you and give you SH IT. Ask if you can get just unfinished boxes installed and get your own doors. The money is in the doors, boxes are cheap. I can reface a set of paint grade cabinets in a day and make it look like stain grade cabinets. Get the cheapest crap and upgrade it once escrow closes.
                          Last edited by masterbeavis; 10-29-2011, 12:46 AM.
                          We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hardwood floors

                            The Superintendent and I haven't met yet, he's the next person I'll be meeting with soon. I've been told by quite a few people that he's a very nice guy, and I'm not going to be a d*ck from the start. I will explain my background to him in a polite way, and we will have a contractor to contractor talk. I just don't want to see no silliness Plumbing or Heating wise in my house.

                            As far as the Carpentry goes, there are quite a few builders I know that I'm going to take with me to look at the rough framing.

                            We shall see how this goes when the time comes.

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