Money tends to have the biggest impact on home improvement project elements. Educate yourself with the cost drivers for flooring projects so prices don’t come unexpected. You may be thinking you can save some money by taking on this project yourself, but that depends on other things like your skill level and availability. It’s important to lay out all costs for your potential flooring project before taking action, so that you know what you’re getting yourself and your wallet into. Evaluate and compare costs for a DIY or hiring a professional flooring project.
The following are a few standard DIY costs that can be added to your budget if you were to do your project on your own:
- Flooring materials
- Ordering and shipping fees for products
- Equipment for removal of old molding and installing new materials
- Tools and supplies (e.g., stain, screws, nail gun)
- Repairs for mistakes made come out of pocket
This list covers the payments you will need to make for hiring a flooring contractor to do the work for you:
- Preparation and installation labor fees
- All materials needed for installation or repair
- Cleanup and removal of debris
Hiring a flooring contractor can be expensive due to labor costs, but you have the opportunity to cut down fees by doing some of the DIY work on your own beforehand. Clearing furniture in the work area or prepping your floors prior to installation will help speed up the process, as well as save you some cash. But, spending the extra money to hire a professional will make sure you receive high-quality work that you are satisfied with, free of all the hassle a flooring project can entail.
Taking on DIY projects may seem like the perfect time to learn new skills however, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort and commit to actually completing the task. If you don’t like getting your hands dirty or have no prior experience, then the DIY method may not be for you. Here are a few things to ask yourself when it comes to your level of experience for a flooring project:
- Have you ever installed flooring in your home?
- Are you familiar with basic home improvement projects?
- Do you know how to use construction tools Properly and safely?
- Do you enjoy taking on hard labor tasks?
- Do you know how to check the sub-flooring or joists?
- Do you know how to create a transition between different flooring levels?
- Do you understand the amount of slope needed (for drainage rooms like laundry rooms)?
- Do you know how to safely remove old flooring material and prep the subfloor?
- Do you know how to replace sub-flooring or check for water damage and mold?
If you answered no to some of these questions, then DIY may not be right for you. A contractor can take care of all job details, leaving you with only the job of making the payment, choosing the flooring, and staying communicated with him or her. A flooring contractor should be an expert in his or her field, providing your home with reliable and credible service. If you lack the knowledge when it comes to home improvement projects, let a professional install or repair your floors for you.
Expect the unexpected
Even an experienced flooring professional encounters improvement projects that require emergency fixes. It’s quite common that while ripping out old flooring, the sub-flooring may be deemed in bad condition and needs replacement. It’s also quite common that your new flooring may be too heavy for your joists, and extra support beams may need to be installed. Of course, not all flooring projects are complicated, some are quite straight-forward. Just be aware that a flooring project may be more involved than a simple replacement.
Even if you’ve decided against hiring a contractor, consulting with one about your project will cost you very little or nothing at all, and could help you avoid pitfalls and problems you wouldn’t have anticipated. Understand all that goes into a flooring project from materials to the installation process, and be realistic about what you can and can not do.