Do you trust your installer has enough experience that he knows what your options are and can present them to you and guide you through your choices? Is he an artist in how he arranges grain and cuts in your fireplace or rounded landing? If he ran into a problem would he knowhow to resolve it? Does he have the saw skills to achieve the look you are going for? Can he miter in your baseboards so they look finished? Does he have the patience and personality to navigate often difficult situations that arise with a flooring project?
Garrison Crystal Valley-Red Oak Natural
On a more basic level, do they survey the job before they start so they don't run into surprises with materials or moisture while your house is torn up, prolonging your project? Does he have adequate trained helpers that will show up each day and keep the job progressing on schedule? Do they have the equipment necessary to accomplish the best looking result? Undercut saws for door jams, a grinder for efficient leveling, a jigsaw to cut flooring away from a cabinet.
This is Nuno, he has been with my company for 24 years. He was trained by my uncle, and has worked solely for my company since he was 18 years old. We have worked together for 23years. We know each other’s pace, strengths and weaknesses. When he needs a consult he calls me and we discuss the options. We have done thousands of floors together, and run into large and small problems and navigated them together.He knows what to do when the customer doesn't like the color, the variation, the knots, or something about the material. He gets approval and helps set expectations. He knows how to shuffle boards and create a look they like, he knows if these specifications are possible with the floor he is looking at.He can artfully replace a single board in the middle of a glue down or floated floor. His saw skills are unparalleled. He can cut in a curved landing flush seamlessly. When someone is nervous he is at his best, slowly explaining options, not rushing, giving them the night to consider what they want, and giving his professional opinion. He knows what moisture looks like and how to mitigate it using different installation methods. He knows how to manipulate materials and moldings to create specialty looks. He knows what raw materials are available to trim things out if they need something outside the standard. He knows how to plan out a job and communicate so that homeowners can stay on site and not incur additional costs, and to oversee the floor coming together, and be comfortable in their home. He is a baseboard expert- pinning the base down to the hard surface floor to not expose the never-perfect leveling of a subfloor, installing around curved corners and capping off ends. He knows how to shuffle mixed widths, standard lengths, and create appropriate joint spacing.
There is no replacement for experience. He has done hundreds of floors that had tiny exceptions and differences. He has handled hundreds of manufacturers with various colors to mix and achieve a random grain pattern.
Garrison Crystal Valley-Red Oak Natural
How to choose an installer:
- Trust your intuition
- Are they polite, thoughtful, easily explain like they've said it a thousand times?Are they patient with your questions? This will come up again, and you will want to be in the middle of the project with someone you trust is looking out for you, guiding you to what's right, not cutting corners, and is kind.
- Are they licensed?
- This is your state enforced protection that they need to perform things to industry standard. Your recourse is to go to the State Board if they do not ultimately resolve your objection to variations from the industry standard. This also means they have the minimum of on site work experience to perform the work and they have passed a written skills and law test.
- Where are you getting the material?
- I suggest getting materials and labor in the same place. If something goes wrong, it is always “the other guy's fault”. The materials supplier blames the labor guy. The labor guy blames the materials supplier. If you contract them through the same company, that shifts the responsibility to your advocate for them to figure out. They must solve the problem and figure out how and who is going to pay for the problem.