Floor Remodeling - What Are Some Great Tips To Understand?
Begin with the end in mind. Know what you are expecting in both style, color and durability from your new floor. Give yourself time to research the project. Don't rush. Learn how to buy products to get the best price. Understand the construction process, and what to expect when the installers arrive at your home. Learn how to clean and maintain your new floor.
Begin With The End In Mind
Before embarking on a floor remodeling project, you should understand what you are trying to achieve by doing this project. For example, maybe you have a space where the carpet is just not holding up. It's a high traffic room, and you need more durable flooring. You might have a rental home that you're trying to spruce up, so it can be rented out. Maybe you have a living room that you're planning on being in for the next 20 years, and you want some really nice carpet. Maybe it's time to finish out the basement, and you want some nice flooring, but you don't want it to break the bank. No matter what the situation is, you need to understand why you are doing this project, as well as what you want this space to look like when it is done.
The next part of this process is to understand your budget. How much money are you willing to spend? It is important to not only know how much money you can afford, but also where is this money coming from? Will it be a cash purchase or will you finance it?
It is very important to understand these two factors. Otherwise, at the end of the project, you will be disappointed. You will either end up with a product that you don't like, or you will be mad that you spent too much money.
It is very common for a homeowner to fall in love with a flooring product they simply can't afford. Once this happens, no other product seems to be as good. Don't go in to a store blind, and start shopping for materials that you can never get.
Once you have a clear understanding of what you want the end result to be, as well as your budget, then you can start to think about shopping for materials.
Give Yourself Time To Research
It is always best to give yourself plenty of time to research for floor covering products. Stores sell different products. In fact, stores go out of their way to sell different products than their competition. Don't get stuck waiting to the last second, and having to settle for whatever a store has in stock.
Likewise, stores will usually offer you a free home measurement and estimate. Take advantage of this opportunity. Go ahead and get flooring professionals out to your home. Ask questions. The more information you can collect, the better it will be for you during the remodeling project.
If you have a big remodeling project going on, go to 2-3 different stores. Take samples home. Get quotes from different places. Don't feel bad about taking up some stores time. That's their job. It's your money. It's your home. Be picky.
Competition is a wonderful buying strategy that you can use to your advantage. Most sales people work on commission. If they know they are competing for your business, chances are, they will get you a competitive price. Take advantage of that. Use time as a buying tool.
Another great tool that most manufacturers have these days, is what's called a "room visualizer.." You can upload a picture of your space, and the room visualizer will insert different flooring products on the floor of the picture. It's a great way to shop from home. Take advantage of the internet. There are some wonderful tools available free of charge.
In addition to getting a competitive price, allowing yourself time in the buying process, also allows you to not rush with your work schedule and home life. A flooring remodeling project can cause havoc in the home. Set it up when it is the best for you. If you give yourself plenty of time, you will have no worries about your schedule.
Learn How To Buy The Right Way
There is a specific process to take when buying floor covering. Retail store sales people usually work on what we will refer to as an "up system." This means they rotate throughout the day on who calls on each new customer. Once you get locked in with a sales person, you are stuck with that sales person.
The problem is: not all sales people are equal. Some sales people are just more experienced than others. Some sales people have more flexibility to lower pricing than others. Some sales people listen better than others, and are more willing to assist you. You don't want to get stuck with a random bad sales person, simply because you walked in to the store at the wrong time.
We have a good article, "How To Buy Flooring For Your Home," that does a good job of walking you through the buying process.
As a customer, you need to get aligned with the right sales person. For example, did you know that retail sales people work on around a 35% margin on their orders? On the other hand, commercial sales people work on a commission margin of around 20%. That's a big difference. Guess what? They all work on commission. Meaning, the more they sell, the more money they earn. Our point is: most sales people are willing to take your business. As a customer, you simply need to get aligned with the sales person that works around the 20% margin rate.
Don't just walk in to a store blind. Call ahead. Find out who does the commercial work, and make an appointment with that sales person. By making an appointment, you won't get stuck with the sales person that will over-charge you on your project. By aligning yourself with the best sales person, you will have the best chance to get a very competitive price.
Understand The Construction Process
Once you order floor covering, if the retail store has to order the material, it can take 7-14 days for the material to arrive. This time period could be shorter or longer, depending on multiple factors such as: where the manufacturer is located, is the material in stock at the manufacturing warehouse, and shipping speed.
Depending on the type of material that you purchase, it is sometimes necessary for the material to "acclimate" in your home. This means in order for the material to be installed correctly, the material needs to sit, untouched in your actual room space prior to the installation. It is not uncommon for a store to bring hardwood or vinyl plank to your home 2-3 days before the installation.
Prior to setting up the installation with your local store, ask questions. Once again, this is your home. You have every right to understand what will be going on. Here are some common questions that should be asked:
How long will this installation take?
Will this installation create a lot of dust? If so, how will you protect my home?
What exactly will you be doing in my home?
Who is installing, and have they been installing for you before?
What about my wall base boards? Are you replacing them? Are you taking them off?
Will my new flooring match in height to the other floors in my home?
There is no silly question. If you don't understand something about the process, ask the question. When the installers arrive at your home, you should have a clear understanding of what to expect.
Likewise, the installer should also have a clear understanding of the project. A good flooring store will provide documentation for each installer, so they have written marching orders on what they are supposed to be doing in your home. If an installer shows up unprepared and uninformed, that should be a red flag.
Know How To Maintain Your New Floor
Each manufacturer has a website where customers can download their product warranty. In each warranty, there will be a section that talks about care and maintenance of your floor. As a buyer, make sure to download this documentation, and follow the guidelines as outlined in the manual.
This is very important, as if you go against any of the product care and maintenance guidelines, you could be in jeopardy of voiding out your product warranty. For example, if you just installed new carpet, and you have a product claim, if you are using the wrong type of vacuum cleaner, your manufacturer could reject your claim. Or, let's say you have a new hardwood floor, and use a cleaner that is not approved by the hardwood manufacturer. That manufacturer could reject any claim for product failure. Always read the warranty information.
It's also a good idea to save any receipts that you get from professional cleaning companies that work in your home. Many carpet manufacturers will require you to have carpets professionally cleaned 1-2 times each year.
Common sense rules the day most of the time when trying to maintain a new floor. Simple things like: placing floor mats next to outside doors, taking your shoes off inside, keeping pets well groomed, cleaning up spills right away, and putting felt pads on table and chair legs, are all common sense measures that can help keep your new floor looking good.
One last point on floor maintenance: many manufacturers will allow you to register your floor upon purchase. Take advantage of this option. This will ensure that you have your purchase information on file. Five or six years from now, most people will forget when they purchased a floor. By registering it at the time of purchase, you never have that concern.
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Conclusion - Floor Remodeling
The floor remodeling process can be a complicated adventure, if you don't set things up the right way. Begin with the end in mind, give yourself time to research the project, learn the most effective way to buy products at the right price, understand the construction process, and finally, learn how to maintain your new floor.
If you do these things correctly, you will have a much better floor covering remodeling experience.
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