Make Sure You Can Accurately Compare Estimates
All flooring contractors you’re considering for either installing or repairing hardwood floors need to provide you with written estimates in costs, steps involved and materials.
Do not consider verbal estimates or agreements. Never!
With the estimates in hand, you can now compare each contractors price, the steps they will take to perform and complete the job plus their allotted timeline.
Get Everything In writing
After you decide which contractor you feel most comfortable hiring, you’ll want to draw up a contract. Verify that the contract lists the specific products the contractor intends to use as well as the specific installation methods.
Do not be shy about adding a penalty clause to the contract if the job is not completed to the agreed time frame.
Split Your Payments
Paying a contractor the full amount upfront could is rarely done. It’s common to give an initial 30% deposit and another 30% when all the materials arrive at your location. With the job’s completion you should pay the final amount due, the 40% balance.
Check The Contractor’s References
Any flooring contractor worth their salt will have happy customers. Ask to speak to at least three former customers. These customers should be a mix of recent and older customers. This will give you a better overview of the contractor’s quality of work. If at all possible, ask the former customers to send photographs of their hardwood floors.
Check Insurance Policies And Business Licenses
You want to make sure the contractor is on the level. Ask to see their business license and declaration (“dec”) page from their insurance policy.Also inquire as to whether the contractor’s workers are employees or sub-contractors.
Avoid The Big Box Stores
While the Big Box stores will typically be the cheapest option in your area, you have to remember the old adage “you get what you pay for. The salesperson, for all you know, may have little to no experience with hardwood floors.
Professional hardwood floor contractors and installers — especially ones certified by NWFA — are far more knowledgeable and experienced. The NWFA is dedicated to training and educating wood floor professionals. A professional and experienced hardwood floor installer should be able to give you professional results and offer advice in case any questions arise after installation.