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  #1  
Old 2009-07-07, 02:22 PM
michellew michellew is offline
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Default builder's hardwood or contractor afterwards?

Can anyone guide me in deciding between having the contractor install our hardwood throughout our main floor (Phoenix Rockport Collection) or should we do it with a contractor afterwards?
If afterwards is your opinion...can you recommend reasonable, reliable contractor?

Thanks!
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Old 2009-07-07, 04:04 PM
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Riverrock Riverrock is offline
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Default considerations

Hi Michelle,

IMHO there are a few things that you need to consider:

Cost: Contractor will likely be much cheaper

Selection: Contractor will liekly have a better selection of woods to choose from.

Funds: It's easier through the builder because it just gets added to your mortgage. Do you have $5-7K available to spend after you just bought a new house(depending on size, could be more or less).

Finish: How will the finish loook where it connects to the floors that you have in the house (i.e. if you are joing to ceramic, will the HW be too high/low if you get it done after the fact). The builder will ensure that everything is planned and integrated together.

Mess and inconvenience: With a contractor you will have to be out of the rooms you plan on doing for at least a couple ofo days if not more and you will need to clean up afterwards.

I'm sure there are other considerations, but these were the main ones for us and we decided to just have the builder do it.
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Old 2009-07-07, 04:19 PM
michellew michellew is offline
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Those are definitely the same considerations we have been thinking of.
Adding the cost to the mortgage is easier as having disposable $ afterwards is not likely! But at the same time....adding it to the mortgage means paying the cost over the life of the mortgage with interest!...hmm...
Thanks!
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Old 2009-07-07, 05:27 PM
Jive Jive is offline
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Get quotes for both.

We decided to go through a contractor afterwards. We know it will be a headache, but our builder quoted us over $14 000 for the same amount of flooring (and exact same product) versus a contractor quote of around $6500.
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Old 2009-07-07, 10:13 PM
4sail 4sail is offline
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Default Site finished as option...?

We went with site finished hardwood (Jatoba) after we closed. With site finished, you get a uniform flat floor with no gaps between the boards and you can choose whatever stain you want. We chose Jatoba (Brazilian cherry) because we have a very busy household with 3 kids and a big dog. It is 230% harder than oak and there is no need to stain the wood since it has a natural deep brown colour. When it gets scratched it is the same colour all the way thru, so you don't see it as much as when a dark stain is removed from being scratched. We used a low VOC water born finish that is very hard and makes the wood more of a brown tone. (If oil based finish is used on Jatoba it will take on more of a red tone over time) The water born stuff is available in a flat finish which is very nice since it does not reflect light, thereby reducing the appearance of scratches even more. The guy who finished our floors used semi-gloss. (TWICE contrary to our request to use the flat finish) I've learned to live with it since I'd rather have scratches on wood instead of dirty carpets. Anyway... if you have a busy household and are worried about your sanity as your little gremlins and dog trash your house, then consider Jatoba. If you prefer the more brown colour, go with a water born finish. Our floors are trashed already after being here a year and a half but you only notice it in certain light. If the contractor had got it right, the flat finish would further reduce the appearance of the scratches. Not many builders offer site finished, so you can really fine tune what you want if you go with it after closing...
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Old 2009-07-08, 08:18 AM
foxborough foxborough is offline
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You should also consider that if you have a contractor install after you close, you will have to move all the furniture out of the area, possibly remove the current floor covering and your baseboard trim may need to be added to. If you have carpet installed by the builder then you will have to remove it, the tack strips and most likely will need to install a quarter round to your baseboard after the hardwood has been installed (this should be included in the price of your quote though). You do though get to keep the carpet for other areas of your home.

Having the builder install is easier, as long as it is installed well and well protected after wards. Builders are not known for covering the floors with paper after the install and you may find yourself with lots of scratches and dents in the floors on moving day. This will affect the quality of the finished product, especially if individual boards have to be removed and replaced. Removing individual boards affects the integrity of the entire floor.

Hardwood was standard in our home. Next home I will install it myself after the fact. The selection will be better and the installation will be better resulting in a better product.
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Old 2009-07-08, 08:49 AM
ericshai ericshai is offline
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Don't know why your builder charge 14K vs 6.5K quoted from contractor. In fact Minto charged us also 14K, but same area (around 1100 sqft) contractor would charge me 10-13K, not really big difference, so we went with Minto, and so far happy with it, because the moment you move in, you see nice floor and hassle-free.
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Old 2009-07-08, 09:07 AM
Baycliffe "B" Elevation Baycliffe "B" Elevation is offline
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I would suggest doing it after. We are going this route for a couple of reasons.

1.) it's way cheaper!
2.) we havn't heard very good things about our builders hardwood installer
3.) contactors coming in and out of your house for different things means it's more likley to get damaged (scratch, chipped, etc....)

The only pro is that I guess if you don't have the money onhand to do it after then it may make more sense to put it into your mortgage. The end result you get though might not be the best.
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Old 2009-07-08, 09:20 AM
noordinaryotter noordinaryotter is offline
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Two other pros are: avoiding the hassle of arranging and supervising post-closing work, and not wasting other products that would have to be removed and in some cases discarded.
We didn't find the price too outrageous, and certainly our time has a very high price tag in any case. We have enough to do post-closing without the hassle.
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Old 2009-07-08, 10:53 AM
Jive Jive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericshai View Post
Don't know why your builder charge 14K vs 6.5K quoted from contractor. In fact Minto charged us also 14K, but same area (around 1100 sqft) contractor would charge me 10-13K, not really big difference, so we went with Minto, and so far happy with it, because the moment you move in, you see nice floor and hassle-free.
It is around 650 square feet that is being floored. The only reason I can think of is that the builder really didn't want to do it.
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