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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I am Afraid to Have My Floors Sanded!

I understand! Many people are scared to death to have their floors sanded. Granted, the procedure can be a little trying with moving furniture around and arranging for a place to stay for a few nights, however, your flooring contractor should not add a lot of stress to an already uncomfortable situation. Research! You have to do some leg work on your own to ensure that you hire the right company for the job. There are a few very simple rules that you should follow when interviewing and considering potential contractors. First, always be sure that the flooring contractor is adequately insured for the project the you will be hiring him or her to do. General liability insurance is an absolute must. No reputable contractor is going to go into your home with the intention of doing damage. After all, you are hiring them to restore or upgrade your floor. Having said this, accidents do happen! Should one of these accidents occur and it is deemed that it was at the fault of the "floor guy", then you deserve to have your property returned to the same condition that it was in prior to the "accident". Most individuals don't have that kind of cash flow. If you ensure that your contractor has Liability insurance, then you should be covered. Never assume that every contractor has insurance. Always ask for a certificate from their insurance company. Second, check your contractor's references. References are a wonderful source to ask the questions that you may feel uncomfortable asking your contractor. Were they on time? Were they professional? Do they have good customer service? Do they do good work? These are just a few examples of the questions that, through my years in this industry, have proved to be some of the most popular. Don't be afraid to ask questions! The only dumb question really is the one not asked. Third, Educate yourself about the procedure that you are having done. Having said this, keep in mind that not every hardwood flooring technician follows a straight and narrow line that is the end all be all of the flooring world. Ultimately the finished product is what we are all most interested in. There are basic procedural events that should take place on every sanding job and those are the things that you should be familiar with. Ask your contractor about their specific procedure and, once again, ask questions. Find out if they use a dust containment system if you are concerned with dust. Ask if they offer a cleaning service after the project has been completed. Educate yourself! Finally, have realistic expectations of how your project will turn out. If your floor is 100 years old, it will not look brand new once your flooring contractor is done. It should look like a 100 year old refinished floor. View your completed flooring job from a standing position as this is how others will view it. I promise, I can crawl around on any floor in the United States and find imperfections in the floor boards, finish or both and I can find these imperfections in job site finished or pre finished hardwood floors. Sanding floors is an art form with imperfections and character. Be aware that there will be defining characteristics of every floor. Many contractors will do everything in their power to fix any problems that you may have with your completed flooring job, however, sometimes trying to fix small imperfections can lead to much larger problems. In closing, sanding your hardwood floor is a large decision that should be thought about and thoroughly planned. Having your floor sanded properly and professionally will save you a lot of heartache and extend the life of your hardwood floor for many years to come. Remember, educate yourself and most importantly, you get what you pay for.

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