Whether this is your first time working with a contractor or you’ve already completed several home improvement projects with professional assistance, knowing what to ask is critical. Before hiring an experienced professional to install new hardwood floors, ask your contractor the following eight questions.
1) What Type of Hardwood Flooring Is Best for My Home?
If you’ve already decided to install hardwood flooring in your home, you might have a good idea about the type of hardwood flooring you want. An experienced contractor can offer expert advice about the type of flooring that will work best with your home’s style. For instance, you might not have considered one of the hardest options, like hickory, or one of the more sustainable options, like bamboo.
A contractor can also recommend the right kind of hardwood for your home’s natural environment. If you live in an area with high humidity levels, for instance, your contractor can help you decide on a type of hardwood that won’t warp due to moisture.
2) What Is Your Anticipated Installation Timeline?
Whether you need new hardwood flooring installed quickly or your timing is relatively flexible, a professional contractor is able to explain the installation process, the timeline, and related expectations. For instance, be sure you understand who’s responsible for moving furniture and other belongings out of the installation area. Also ask whether the contractor will remove the old flooring and other construction materials, as well as if there’s any additional costs involved for this work.
3) How Will You Handle Unexpected Issues or Installation Problems?
Your contractor might have a relatively straightforward plan for your hardwood flooring installation, but it’s important to remember that issues can arise at any time during the process. If your subfloor has some damage, for instance, it might need significant repairs or even replacement before installing the hardwood flooring. Ask whether your contractor can handle these issues and how they might affect the total cost and timeline.
4) What Do You Charge for an Installation Estimate?
You shouldn’t hire a contractor without getting an accurate in-home estimate. Some contractors offer free estimates, while others charge a standard fee. Neither method is better than the other, as long as you know what to expect ahead of time.
5) What Does Your Flooring Warranty Include?
Most contractors offer at least one-year warranties on materials and labor, but some offer more extensive warranties. Find out if your contractor needs certification by the flooring manufacturer or if there are other restrictions in place for the warranty to work.
6) Are You Insured to Install Hardwood Flooring?
You don’t want anything to go wrong during the installation, but planning for the unexpected is essential. Make sure that any contractor you hire has the proper contractor insurance in place before starting work in your home. Request specifics or a copy of the policy if necessary.
7) Are You a Member of the National Wood Flooring Association?
A National Wood Flooring Association membership indicates that a contractor is highly qualified and follows industry guidelines for hardwood flooring installation. While you don’t need a contractor who is a member, it’s generally a sign of higher standards and commitment to the industry.
8) Can You Provide References?
Speaking with a contractor’s references is often the best way to get a sense of how your experience with the same contractor might go. Don’t hesitate to ask your contractor for references, and follow up to ask previous customers for details. If they were highly satisfied with your contractor’s work quality and professionalism, that’s a sign you’re in good hands.
No matter where you live, you’ll find many flooring contractors in your area. Make sure you’re hiring the right person for the job by asking your contractor these questions first.
Have you ever used a contractor for a wood flooring installation? Share your experience in the comments section below.