The Benefits of Gathering Multiple Quotes for Your Flooring Project
Flooring projects can make a huge impact on a home's style and atmosphere, but homeowners need to be smart. Getting multiple quotes will help.
Whether it's a small tile floor or wall-to-wall hardwood throughout the home, a flooring project can be exciting. Fresh new floors can breathe life back into an older home and change its entire look and feel. They can even boost the home's resale value if you decide to sell your home. But, this seemingly small project can get out of hand in a hurry, particularly for homeowners who don't do their research.
One of the best ways that a homeowner can educate themselves when considering a flooring project is to get multiple quotes. Having a few prices in hand gives the homeowner a lot of power. Keep reading to learn about the biggest benefits of getting multiple quotes for flooring projects.
How You Can Benefit from Multiple Flooring Quotes
There are almost as many benefits to getting several quotes on a flooring project as there are types of flooring to choose from. The following are some of the most important benefits that homeowners can leverage during the planning process for their flooring job.
1. Clearer Scope
In many cases, homeowners don't know exactly what goes into completing a flooring job, or any construction project at all. Whether this is because they're busy with family life or their careers, or they simply aren't interested in learning the ins and outs of the industry, they may not have a full understanding of what their job entails.
With several quotes in hand, homeowners can compare and learn from them. For a specific example, the homeowner might not realize that their subfloor isn't suitable for tile as is. If several contractors are listing concrete board and the labor to install it as line items, the homeowner is more likely to recognize that it's probably a necessary step toward making the project happen.
It might seem that just one quote should provide enough of a roadmap for a homeowner to follow, but that's not the case. There is often more than one way to do a job, and multiple quotes may reveal these methods. The homeowner will be able to compare them to make a decision on the direction of the project.
2. Getting Familiar with the Contractors
In the grand scheme of home improvement projects, flooring jobs are relatively small. However, once a homeowner decides to work with a particular contractor, the two will probably spend a lot of time together choosing wood species, colors, tiles, grout, and more. Most folks would like to get to know these contractors before they enter into a contract with them, and getting several quotes can help.
Working with contractors during the planning phase can reveal a lot about them and the way they do business. For instance, contractors who fire off a generic quote without regard for the customer's wants and needs are likely to become a nightmare once the project kicks off. Conversely, contractors who take the time to get to know their clients and their needs before sending off a quote are already setting the stage for a positive working relationship.
3. Materials and Supplier Comparisons
Flooring can range tremendously in value and quality, and homeowners should have as much information on this topic as possible. Getting a quote from several contractors will help the homeowner compare the materials proposed by each company. They can compare the price of those materials to the quality and determine whether or not the value is there, or if they need to move on to another product.
Materials choices, and their accompanying considerations, might include:
Tile: Tile floors come in different grades, including budget-friendly porcelain or ceramic, mid-grade ceramic and slate, or luxury-grade marble or travertine. Quotes for tile floors may include additional items like cement board and the labor to install it, as tiles need a solid substrate to prevent popping loose.
Laminate: Laminate floors are generally on the more affordable end. Rather than adhering directly to the subfloor, laminate floors lay on top and float, with interlocking tongues and grooves keeping them together. These quotes may include the cost of a moisture barrier, but labor costs and other materials are generally fairly low.
Hardwood: Quotes for installing hardwood can vary wildly. Some flooring species, such as red oak, white oak, pine, and maple are relatively affordable. More exotic wood species such as some species of cherry, mahogany, and walnut may cost much more.
Vinyl or Linoleum: When it comes to the look of tile or hardwood without the cost, some folks consider vinyl or linoleum to be the answer. These flooring choices are extremely affordable, and they come in rolled sheets or laminate versions. Installation is typically low-cost, and some of these products are surprisingly luxurious.
Carpet: Many homeowners consider carpet for its quieter, softer, warmer feel underfoot. It comes in varying degrees of quality, pile (essentially the carpet's thickness), style, and texture, however, it's typically one of the most affordable options. Expect to see additional costs such as tack strips, thresholds, and carpet padding (an important investment) on these quotes, as well.
Epoxy: For an industrial look, or an actual industrial-grade floor, epoxy is worth considering. These floors are excellent for garages, utility rooms, or even laundry rooms as they're water-resistant and easy to clean. Epoxy floors tend to be more expensive than vinyl or carpet, but typically less than hardwood or natural stone tile.
Also, most don't realize it, but homeowners have a right to know where a contractor is buying materials for their home. Most contractors won't volunteer this information, but they'll have to let it out if asked. Homeowners who request contractors' list of flooring suppliers will have a good idea of what the contractor's supply chain looks like. This allows them to better leverage the quotes, or put contingency plans in place if their materials are on backorder.
There will be times when a homeowner doesn't like the contractor's price and believes they can get the materials cheaper. When this is the case, use a contractor's allowance. This is a line item on a quote that a homeowner can assign a value to without details or specifics on the particular item. They can figure it out down the road but move forward with the project in the meantime.
4. Choosing Finish Levels
Homeowners spend a lot of time and energy choosing just the right flooring for their projects. And, since these materials come in different tiers based on quality, price, luxuriousness, and even availability, it makes sense to get several quotes from contractors.
As with most building materials, there are three basic grades of flooring products: builder-grade, mid-grade, and luxury-grade. Builder-grade flooring options might include vinyl flooring, carpet, or low-end hardwood like red oak. Mid-grade flooring might include better quality hardwoods like maple or white oak with prefinished surfaces or stone tiles. For luxury-grade flooring, think of exotic wood species, marble tile, and the like.
Homeowners who have strong preferences in one area might be willing to compromise in others to achieve a project that fits their budget. But, they can also discuss prices and availability with contractors they might be considering working with. With multiple quotes to reference, they'll feel more empowered to negotiate than someone who accepts the first quote they see.
5. Being an Educated Consumer
It's true that knowledge is power, so the more information that a homeowner has, the better decisions they're able to make. By requesting quotes from several contractors, they'll get an inside look at what each contractor believes is necessary to tackle their flooring job. That inside look can mean a lot.
If a homeowner is comparing several flooring quotes, they might notice that one contractor left off some items that everyone else included. This could be due to a mistake or simply a lack of experience, and neither is good for the homeowner. Conversely, a contractor that adds items to a quote that no one else has mentioned is either trying to take advantage of the customer or a seasoned veteran who knows something no one else does.
The only way for a contractor to notice these inconsistencies is to ask for quotes from several contractors. By laying the quotes on the table in front of them, they may be able to determine which contractor has the goods and which needs to put a few more years in.
6. Keeping Cash in the Bank
The greatest benefit of getting multiple quotes for a flooring project is saving money. Materials and labor mark-ups are commonplace, and they're not necessarily nefarious. However, contractors will inflate the cost of materials or labor to give them some room when it's time to start negotiating.
When a homeowner has several flooring quotes to review, they can leverage those quotes, amounts, labor rates, and timelines against other contractors' quotes. They may be able to deflate the pumped-up prices a bit just because they took the time to get multiple quotes during the planning process.
Ready to Receive Quotes for Your Flooring Project?
If you're ready to receive quotes for your flooring project, we can help. We'll connect you with up to four local qualified and trustworthy contractors that will provide the quotes and information you need to succeed and achieve your goals. Let ContractorClicks help you make the flooring choice of your dreams a reality.